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DALLAS — The Steelers wrapped up their Friday practice session, moving on with the news that neither C Maurkice Pouncey nor DE Aaron Smith would be able to play in Super Bowl XLV.
Doug Legursky will start at center, backed by Trai Essex. Head coach Mike Tomlin said the loss of Pouncey will not change the Steelers' game plan. "It won't. Obviously he's a quality player, and how it affects the game, no one knows. But as far as what we do, we have a plan, and that won't change."
Smith has been out for three months. It was hoped he might be able to recover from his torn triceps — the team kept him on the roster through the injury — but he was not able to put in a complete week of work. DE Ziggy Hood, as he has since Smith went down, will take his place.
The Steelers reportedly have been loose in practice all week. "We've had a very good practice week, very normal," said Tomlin. "We're lucky to have guys who just love football and love one another. It's a special group."
Troy Polamalu, who has been battling through an Achilles injury, intercepted his second pass of the week in practice, which drew chants of "MVP!" from his teammates.