Pouncey says he will play against Redskins
Steelers All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey, who missed last week's game at Cincinnati with an injured right knee, declared himself "100 percent" and said he will play Sunday against the Washington Redskins at Heinz Field.
"I'm eager to get back into the game because I hate standing on the sidelines," Pouncey said after practice Friday. "I want to get back out there and beat guys up and have some fun. I'm 100 percent. I'm most definitely playing."
Pouncey last week underwent drills to test his knee, which he injured at Tennessee on Oct. 11. But the team's medical staff and coaches decided he wasn't ready for contact.
"I kind of thank them for that because I came out this week and did all stuff I needed to get back into good conditioning," said Pouncey, who was replaced by Doug Legursky. "I'll see how it turns out in the game.
"I had a decent amount time off, so I had time for it to heal. The knee is feeling great."
• Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made a check presentation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia on Friday at the team's South Side practice facility. Roethlisberger presented a check of $25,000 to the organization's president, Judith Stone. "I have a special place in my heart for the Make-A-Wish kids," said Roethlisberger, who greets a kid after each Friday practice. "It's no secret what these kids mean to me." The donation raised during Roethlisberger's charity golf tournament will grant the wishes of at least six youngsters, Stone said.
• Nose tackle Casey Hampton is feeling confident about the defense as it prepares to face Washington rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. However, Hampton suggested the league's second-ranked defense can't afford the peaks and valleys it has experienced much of this season. "We've just got to be more consistent in our play," he said. "We still left a couple of plays out there against Cincinnati."
• Cornerback Ike Taylor said there's no comparing RGIII to another quarterback, including Philadelphia's Michael Vick, whom the Steelers shut down in a 16-14 win three weeks ago. "Sometimes we get caught up in comparing people," Taylor said. "Sometimes people are in a league of their own. And that's RGIII right now."
• Tight end Heath Miller has exploited the middle of opposing defenses but expects the Steelers to get more out of the long ball with a consistent run game. "I think the big thing we can build off the last game (is) continue to run the ball effectively," Miller said. "(Washington) is going to play two-high safeties the whole game, so Mike (Wallace) and Antonio (Brown) will have a guy underneath and on top of him. So it'll be hard to get deep but he can certainly do it. If we run the ball they have to bring a safety down in the box. Now you've got one guy to get on top of when trying to go deep."
• Washington coach Mike Shanahan was reluctant to compare running back Alfred Morris to other backs he has coached. "I will say this: If he can stay healthy - knock on wood - he's going to be good for years to come," Shanahan said. While in Denver, Shanahan's best backs, Terrell Davis and Mike Anderson, had their careers cut short by injuries.