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Pouncey a tough act to follow for identical twin

| Monday, Aug. 30, 2010

Going from college to the NFL isn't the only adjustment center Maurkice Pouncey has made since the Steelers took him 18th overall in the 2010 NFL draft.

Since Pouncey, who started Sunday night in Denver, joined the Steelers, he has been away from his identical twin brother, Mike, for the first time in their lives.

The were teammates at Lakeland (Fla.) High School and the University of Florida before Maurkice left a year early for the NFL while Mike opted to stay in Gainesville for his senior season.

"We talk a lot, but we kind of understand we've got to go our own paths," Maurkice Pouncey said recently.

The two, in fact, talk every day. And Maurkice doesn't miss an opportunity to remind Mike, who is moving from right guard to center for Florida, that he won't be an easy act to follow.

Maurkice, after all, won the Rimington Trophy last season, which is given to the top center in college football.

He since has set his sights on an even bigger prize: opening the regular season as the Steelers' starter at center.

The 6-4, 304-pound Pouncey has the look of a future star, but he said he has not allowed himself to look ahead to Sept. 12 when the Steelers host the Falcons.

"I don't want to think about it," Pouncey said.

Beat-up Broncos

The preseason has not been a good one for the Broncos, and it goes beyond the 0-2 record they took into last night's game.

The Broncos had 11 players who didn't dress against the Steelers because of injuries.

Among them were outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (shoulder), who led the NFL with 17 sacks last season; cornerback Champ Bailey (shoulder); left tackle Ryan Clady (knee); running back Knowshon Moreno (hamstring); and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (foot), a first-round pick in the 2010 draft.

As expected, the Steelers held cornerback Bryant McFadden (arm) and free safety Ryan Clark (medical precaution) out of the game. Defensive tackle Steve McLendon (knee) and offensive lineman Chris Scott (foot) also didn't play.

Roster trim coming

The Steelers have to cut at least five players by Tuesday.

That is the day in which all teams have to trim their rosters from 80 to 75.

Final cuts have to be turned in to the league by late Saturday afternoon.

The day after finalizing their 53-man rosters, teams are allowed to sign up to eight players to their practice squads.

Him again

The Steelers renewed acquaintances with LenDale White last night. White, who stomped on the Terrible Towel near the end of a 31-14 Titans win over the Steelers in 2008, is now with the Broncos.

With Moreno and Correll Buckhalter sidelined by injuries last night, White started at running back and scored a touchdown on a 2-yard run less than four minutes into the game.

Extra points

Starting inside linebacker James Farrior left the game early in the first quarter with a head laceration and didn't return as a precaution. Farrior sustained the injury while making a tackle. ... Hines Ward made his first catch of the preseason last night near the end of the first quarter. Ward will enter the season with a streak of at least one reception in 178 consecutive regular-season games.

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