Want to quickly disarm a story/non-story about a night on the town singing Billy Joel songs? Have a practice that wordsmith/coffee aficionado Peter King describes as "scalding hot" on Thursday, which is exactly what Ben Roethlisberger did in throwing four straight red-zone touchdowns.
One person who wasn't concerned about the night out and subsequent TMZ report was Steeler coach Mike Tomlin.
"I'm not concerned one iota," Tomlin said. "It's normal for guys to eat dinner, believe it or not. During the course of the season, guys go out on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Believe it or not, guys live lives."
So that should be the final word on that mini-controversy.
Other than that, Friday should be a big day for Maurkice Pouncey, as Tomlin described the situation. "It's getting to be witching hour for Maurkice."
Pouncey was not a part of the team's practice on Thursday, held indoors at TCU, as he was receiving treatment on his sprained left ankle. If he can't practice on Friday, that would make his playing on Sunday seem like a greater longshot than it already is. In that event, Doug Legursky would make his first career NFL start at center. In the Super Bowl. But as Craig Wolfley pointed out earlier in the week, that wouldn't be a totally bad thing, either:
If Maurkice Pouncey wasn’t Maurkice Pouncey (A Pro Bowl and All-Pro center in his first year), then Doug Legursky would be the starting center of the Pittsburgh Steelers and most likely Maurkice would be lining up next to Doug at guard (the original plan if you remember). Doug could start for other teams in this league. He is the equivalent of Chris Hoke playing behind Casey Hampton.
Also of note on the injury front, Aaron Smith didn't participate in scrimmages on Thursday after limited work on Wednesday. Smith was reported to be out for the game on Monday by the PG, but it sounds like his status is still up in the air. However, it's looking more and more like a longshot to see Aaron in action on Sunday, and he is joined in the question-mark category by Pouncey. The only thing I can definitively say is that Friday will be an important day in the lives of the Steeler training staff.