Pouncey pulling for Lewis, Ravens in Super Bowl

| Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, 10:38 p.m.

The dilemma facing Steelers fans over the past week has been whether they prefer San Francisco winning a sixth Super Bowl and tying the Steelers for most in NFL history or having AFC North rival Baltimore win it.

At least one Steelers player is rooting for the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.

Center Maurkice Pouncey said Thursday before a rainy practice at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii in preparation for Sunday's Pro Bowl that he is hoping Baltimore wins in retiring linebacker Ray Lewis' final game.

“I am rooting for Ray Lewis,” Pouncey said. “He is from my hometown (Pouncey is from Lakeland, Fla., and Lewis is from nearby Bartow). If he would be able to go out on top, it would be great for our city.”

Other Pouncey thoughts from the Pro Bowl:

Q: What this experience has been like so far?

A: It has been awesome. I flew my entire offensive (line) out here — my 12 brothers — and my family. I am just going to enjoy it. I know we had a disappointing year this year, but a couple of us have a chance to take part in a great honor after the season, and we are going to try to do it.

Q: What is it like being Peyton Manning's center?

A: I have been sitting down talking to Peyton a couple times. Growing up and watching that guy and (to) have the experience of sitting down and talk to him is awesome. That guy is humble. To be that kind of star and be the man he is really awesome to see.

Q: Will you try surfing while you are in Hawaii?

A: Nah, man, there is too many sharks for me. I looked it up. Too many shark bites out here for me.

Q: How is twin brother Mike Pouncey is accepting not making the Pro Bowl?

A: We are going to work this offseason. He is going to have that edge on him knowing that he should've been here, and he is going to prepare the right way and get ready for next year.

Q: How will the Steelers respond to an 8-8 season?

A: You can't pinpoint one thing, but when it comes to this offseason, guys are really going to attack it. We need to approach it the right way and be professional about it and get back out here and have everybody kind of feel the Steelers again.

Q: Is your defense old?

A: How's that? We had the No. 1 defense in the league this year. For all the critics to say that, keep saying it.

Q: Why do you think you lost so many close games?

A: We can't make excuses. On Sundays, we got beat. Those teams were better than us. We have to come here ready to work.

Q: Do you have a young offensive line?

A: That's exciting. We have young guys who are all willing to work and try to come in there and do the best they possibly can. It is exciting to see football practices where there are young guys fighting for it.

Q: Do you think Mike Wallace or Rashard Mendenhall will return?

A: I hope they come back. They are great teammates and great players. If they don't, they will better their careers somewhere else.

Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mkaboly@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.

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