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mesaSteeler
01-31-2011, 07:34 AM
Legursky is Steelers' new man in the middle
http://www.cantonrep.com/browns/x1145632830/Legursky-is-Steelers-new-man-in-the-middle
By Steve Doerschuk
CantonRep.com staff writer
Posted Jan 31, 2011 @ 12:28 AM
BEREA —

The Steelers are a rock, changing coaches and players roughly as frequently as the men on Mount Rushmore change expressions.

A crack in the middle, though, could weigh heavily on Pittsburgh’s chances against Green Bay in Super Bowl XLV.

One play after Maurkice Pouncey left the AFC title game with a nasty ankle injury, Doug Legursky replaced him at center, and Rashard Mendenhall scored on a one-yard run.

Running an offense for an entire Super Bowl behind Legursky might be complicated.

Pouncey came through big-time as a rookie No. 18 overall pick. He started all 16 games and played so well, that he was named to the Pro Bowl, ahead of Cleveland’s Alex Mack.

The replacement, Legursky, was undrafted out of Marshall in 2008.

As the probable starting Super Bowl center, Legursky will get his 15 minutes of fame.

He will be asked a hundred times to go over how it was that he was born in Frankfurt, Germany, and why John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” is his favorite book.

But can he read a Green Bay defense coordinated by old fox Dom Capers? He has started just four NFL games, all at right guard as an injury replacement early in the 2010 season — one start was in a 28-10 win over Cleveland.

Browns President Mike Holmgren wasn’t talking about Legursky in particular but alluded to replacement linemen in general this week.

“It’s hard,” Holmgren said. “I don’t care who you are ... Favre, Joe Montana ... Tom Brady ... whoever. They can tell you until they’re blue in the face that they’re not even aware of who’s playing. That’s baloney. They know who’s playing up front.”

Legursky spent two years not doing much of anything. He didn’t play at all as a 2008 rookie. He was active for eight games in 2009, with no starts.

Legursky’s first NFL start at center will be in Super Bowl XLV. What does Ben Roethlisberger tell him? Just act normal, kid?

Legursky will have to fend off massive Green Bay nose tackle B.J. Raji. Kent State fans remember Raji from a game in Browns Stadium when he played for Boston College and spent the night chasing — sometimes comically — quick little quarterback Julian Edelman.

The Steelers spent a No. 18 overall draft pick on Pouncey to solve problems such as Raji, a No. 9 overall pick in ’09. The Browns applied the same thinking twice to acquiring centers.

In 2006, then-general manager Phil Savage paid a ransom to center LeCharles Bentley, hoping he would be an answer to Steelers nose man Casey Hampton. In 2009, Eric Mangini spent a No. 21 pick on Mack, with Hampton and Baltimore tackle Haloti Ngata in mind.

Pittsburgh has a history of impeccable play at center. Hall of Famer Mike Webster played the position during the Steelers’ dynasty decade of the 1970s.

During a 1990s resurgence under head coach Bill Cowher, Dermontti Dawson — a finalist in the Hall of Fame election set for Saturday — handled the snaps.

Legursky would be the third starting center within the last three Steelers Super Bowls. Jeff Hartings started for the 2005-06 Super Bowl team. Justin Hartwig was the man in the 2008-09 Super Bowl.

Hartings and Hartwig were veterans. Like almost every NFL backup, Legursky enjoyed big success at other levels.

As a high school kid, he was a West Virginia lineman of the year. At Marshall, he started at center for three years and was a Conference USA all-star.

He owns a few West Virginia age-group state power-lifting records. The heavy lifting he must do against Raji, however, could be a whole new ballgame.



OSU-MICHIGAN BOWL

Three former Ohio State players from Green Bay hope for a super-sad Sunday for three former Michigan players on the Steelers’ roster in Super Bowl XLV.

The Buckeyes-turned-Packers are linebackers A.J. Hawk and Matt Wilhelm and defensive lineman Ryan Pickett. The Wolverines-turned-Steelers are linebackers LaMarr Woodley and Larry Foote and Ryan Mundy, a safety who is on injured reserve.

Hawk has been an iron man for the Packers, never missing a game since arriving as a No. 5 overall draft pick in 2006. He made five solo tackles against the Bears the Sunday’s NFC title game.

Wilhelm, who will turn 30 Wednesday, was a senior on Ohio State’s 2002 national title team. He was cut by the 49ers on Sept. 3 but caught a nice break when the Packers signed him Oct. 26. He has appeared in all three postseason games as a backup.

Pickett, 31, has been one of the more productive off-the-radar Ohio State alums. He is one of the last vestiges of the John Cooper era at Ohio State, in terms of guys still playing.

The 6-foot-2, 340-pounder plugs the run and has started all three postseason games. He has played in 160 games in 10 years, including 12 in the postseason.

Meanwhile, the Packers also have one Michigan guy, cornerback Charles Woodson. The Steelers carry one Ohio State guy, safety Will Allen.

Dick LeBeau, Pittsburgh’s defensive coordinator, played on Ohio State’s 1957 national championship team.


WALLACE IN WAITING

Before the Browns faced the Steelers on Jan. 2, Eric Mangini called wideout Mike Wallace “a home run waiting to happen on any play.”

The 24-year-old speedster then caught three passes for 105 yards at Browns Stadium. One went for a 56-yard touchdown.

Wallace caught 10 touchdown passes in the regular season but has struck out so far in the postseason. He made three catches for just 20 yards against Baltimore and caught one ball for six yards against the Jets.
Copyright 2011 CantonRep.com. Some rights reserved

FanSince72
01-31-2011, 08:58 AM
I think this whole story is being blown way out of proportion.

Look at it this way: if this were just a Week 11 game against Green Bay instead of SB XLV, would anyone write more than a paragraph about it?

But if you listen to people this week, you'd think that we ought to just concede the game and not even bother to play it. Last I checked, Legursky was a professional football player and he wouldn't be in this position if he wasn't qualified.

tony hipchest
01-31-2011, 10:33 AM
Legursky was a professional football player and he wouldn't be in this position if he wasn't qualified. yep. had we not drafted pouncey it is very likely that legursky wouldve won the starting job and been our starting center going forward anyways (whether it had been this season or next).

it says alot that the steelers arent in scramble and desperation mode trying to get hartings back on the team (although maybe not a bad idea incase legursky gets hurt in the big game).

El Nino
01-31-2011, 10:48 AM
hopefully he doesn't play like sean mahan

TailgateMel
01-31-2011, 11:00 AM
Keep this in mind folks.... Mendenhall had 95 yards in the first half.... 68 of those yards came when Legursky was in.

This was against the 3rd ranked run defense.

FanSince72
01-31-2011, 11:08 AM
Keep this in mind folks.... Mendenhall had 95 yards in the first half.... 68 of those yards came when Legursky was in.

This was against the 3rd ranked run defense.

You're preachin' to the choir dude. It's the talking heads that don't want to allow that to be pointed out to anyone. They'd rather paint a picture of Tomlin standing on a ledge holding Pouncey's jersey and contemplating suicide because it makes for a better story.

vasteeler
01-31-2011, 11:13 AM
You're preachin' to the choir dude. It's the talking heads that don't want to allow that to be pointed out to anyone. They'd rather paint a picture of Tomlin standing on a ledge holding Pouncey's jersey and contemplating suicide because it makes for a better story.

dudette.........:wink02:

TailgateMel
01-31-2011, 11:17 AM
You're preachin' to the choir dude. It's the talking heads that don't want to allow that to be pointed out to anyone. They'd rather paint a picture of Tomlin standing on a ledge holding Pouncey's jersey and contemplating suicide because it makes for a better story.

Just providing some stats so fellow SF members can spread the good word of optimism :tt04:

U can call me dude if you want... LOL, I've been called much worse :drink:

Steelerfreak58
01-31-2011, 11:21 AM
Its a long two weeks and they have to have something to write about in todays 24 hour seven day a week media. It is pretty pathetic but now just the norm.

FanSince72
01-31-2011, 11:22 AM
Oops, didn't see your sig. :sorry:

Dudette, then?

TailgateMel
01-31-2011, 11:28 AM
Oops, didn't see your sig. :sorry:

Dudette, then?

Sister... since Steeler Nation is one big family ;) :tt:

FanSince72
01-31-2011, 11:33 AM
Sister... since Steeler Nation is one big family ;) :tt:

Sister it is! :thmbup:

We - are - faaaamily...

Now THERE are some memories! :tt02:

cloppbeast
01-31-2011, 11:47 AM
Look at it this way: if this were just a Week 11 game against Green Bay instead of SB XLV, would anyone write more than a paragraph about it?

Making your first start during a regular season is different from making your first start in the Super Bowl. That doesn't happen very often.

Center isn't an easy position to play, either - especially going against a NT like Raji.

I expect Legursky to perfom well, but nevertheless, this is as story. Our chances may hinge upon an undrafted center making his first start!

desertsteel
01-31-2011, 11:50 AM
For those of you who don't know, Legs is a freaky athlete for his size. He can bench 225 40+ times and has run a 4.8 40. At 315 lbs. He needs reps to polish his technique but he is a bull and has a nasty streak. There's a reason he made this team as an UFA. Now's his time to shine. Center is his natural position. Get ready to be surprised if you think there will be a big dropoff.

DFWSTEELERFAN
01-31-2011, 12:24 PM
For those of you who don't know, Legs is a freaky athlete for his size. He can bench 225 40+ times and has run a 4.8 40. At 315 lbs. He needs reps to polish his technique but he is a bull and has a nasty streak. There's a reason he made this team as an UFA. Now's his time to shine. Center is his natural position. Get ready to be surprised if you think there will be a big dropoff.

The link below compares the two head to head: :tt04:

http://vincenzolandino.com/tag/legursky/

kirklandrules
01-31-2011, 04:17 PM
Let me ask this question: How many times has Legursky banged heads against Casey Hampton (whom Raji could only dream of playing like) in the various practices?

Guess I'd be more worried if GB was better than #18 against the run.

pete74
01-31-2011, 04:18 PM
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP)—Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is not ruling out Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey(notes) for the Super Bowl despite the rookie walking on crutches with a high ankle sprain.

Pouncey injured his left ankle in the Steelers’ victory over the New York Jets in the AFC championship last Sunday. He did not practice last week, and Tomlin says Monday the Steelers are being “very aggressive” with Pouncey’s rehabilitation. He adds that Pouncey is “not on a running clock” until Wednesday—the team’s first practice before the Super Bowl.

According to media reports, Pouncey also has a broken bone in the ankle— with Tomlin saying only he’s “sure it could be characterized as that.”

Backup Doug Legursky(notes) would fill in for Pouncey if necessary