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Old 01-28-2011, 09:05 AM   #1
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Default Essex is line's Mr. Versatile

Essex is line's Mr. Versatile
By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times

Thursday January 27, 2011 11:47 PM

PITTSBURGH — Trai Essex is the poster child for what Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin calls “position flexibility.”

“I’m the backup everything on the O-line,” Essex said.

Essex has started 25 games during his six-year career with the Steelers. He started four games at left tackle in 2004 in place of Marvel Smith. Last year, Essex started all 16 games at right guard, and he started five games there earlier this season.

Essex lost his starting job at right guard at midseason to Ramon Foster. But Essex still has been getting his share of snaps at both guard and tackle due to injuries on the offensive line.
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And now that rookie center Maurkice Pouncey is doubtful for the Super Bowl with a high ankle sprain, Essex’s versatility is expanding.

With Pouncey doubtful, it’s looking more like Doug Legursky will start against the Packers at center. That means Essex is now also Legursky’s backup.

It also means if any of the five starters on the O-line are injured in the Super Bowl, Essex will be his replacement.

“I’ve taken some snaps at center the past few days, so I’ll be ready if I have to go in,” Essex said.
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