Tomlin: Steelers need to see progress from ailing Pouncey

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Maurkice Pouncey didn't practice for the second consecutive day, leading Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin to declare "it's getting to be the witching hour" for his injured rookie center.

"He's going to have to show us something very soon," Tomlin said Thursday at Texas Christian University's Sam Baugh Indoor Practice Facility.

Pouncey, who suffered a high left ankle sprain two weeks ago, has said if he doesn't practice Friday, he will not play in Sunday's Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers. Backup center Doug Legursky would replace the Pro Bowler, as he did in the AFC Championship Game victory over the New York Jets.

Defensive end Aaron Smith, idle since Oct. 24 because of a torn triceps, again was limited in practice and didn't participate in any scrimmage work.

It isn't known if Pouncey and Smith can play, but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger looked more than ready at Thursday's practice. He threw touchdown passes on four consecutive red-zone plays, hitting Mike Wallace, Hines Ward, Heath Miller and Emmanuel Sanders.

"I'm glad we were sharp, but I'm not sure it really means anything for the game," Tomlin said. "I've seen us practice great on Thursday and play poorly on Sunday, and then I've seen us practice not worth anything Thursday and then come out and play great."

Notes: The Steelers mostly worked on nickel and red-zone offensive and defensive situations for exactly two hours. ... Ryan Clark intercepted two passes, and Ike Taylor and Troy Polamalu each picked off one against scout-team QBs Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch. ... TCU coach Gary Patterson attended practice, with some assistants and players from his Rose Bowl championship team. "To have the Steelers out here at our facility is awesome and great for our program," Patterson said. "A lot of their guys have picked up our (Rose Bowl) trophy and been impressed with it."

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