First-round pick Maurkice Pouncey, once considered to be more likely to start at right guard than at center as a rookie, has started to receive more work as the first-team center, getting snaps that would go to veteran Justin Hartwig, Pittsburgh's starting center the past two seasons. Pouncey received extended playing time at center in the preseason opener against Detroit before moving to right guard in the fourth quarter. Head coach Mike Tomlin, speaking to Pittsburgh reporters Aug. 16, said Pouncey has pleased with him by proving able to handle the responsibilities of center. Initially, Tomlin said the 21-year-old Pouncey might be better suited at guard in his first pro season, something Tomlin chalked up to "erring on the side of conservatism." That said, Tomlin said he has liked how Pouncey has been able to play both positions, so right guard can't be ruled out just yet. Wherever he fits along the interior line, there is little doubting the 6-4, 304-pound Pouncey is an exciting prospect, and his vast potential was apparent against the Lions.
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