Pouncey says he's ready


The Steelers prepare for the Week 10 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.

IT'S A SNAP:** Center Maurkice Pouncey didn't practice today but insisted he'll play on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

"I'm playing 100 percent, never any doubt," Pouncey said.

Pouncey suffered a dislocated thumb in last Sunday's 21-14 loss at Baltimore.

He initially left the Ravens game after two snaps, returned and then eventually exited again, this time for the rest of the game.

Pouncey wound up playing 19 offensive snaps (28 percent).

Replacement B.J. Finney ended up playing 50 offensive snaps (72 percent).

There's been no official declaration from head coach Mike Tomlin or offensive line coach Mike Munchak regarding Pouncey's status for Dallas, but to Pouncey that's a mere formality.

"Coach Tomlin would want me out there, I think, so does 'Coach Munch,' so we'll see," Pouncey said. "No, I'm good, man. People are making a bigger deal than what it is. Let's just go play, man, we got a football game. I sat on the couch too long not to be ready to play in any football game.

"Honestly, I got surgery, everything went great. I'll be out at practice tomorrow. I'm ready, baby, born for this."

GREEN LIGHT: Pouncey also anticipates seeing tight end Ladarius Green activated from the P.U.P. list in time to suit up against the Cowboys.

"I think so," Pouncey said. "I've seen him at practice. If a guy's practicing, he's playing to me, unless Coach tells me differently.

"It's going to be great to get that guy out there. I've seen him at practice, he's been doing a great job. He looks awesome at practice but game speed will be a little bit different for him so we'll see how things turn out."

BOUNCE-BACK MODE: Pouncey's lunchtime session with the media also included an assessment of how the Steelers have been responding in the wake of their three-game losing streak.

"I like how Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday went for us," he said. "Practice has been great. The guys are really focused and locked in. Everybody's angry, everybody's pissed off that we've been losing.

"We're going to see how this game turns out."


SAFETY DANCE:** Sean Davis and Robert Golden continue to share strong safety, as they had at Baltimore.

"As of now I'm on the field splitting reps with 'Rob G.,'" Davis said. "We're splitting it 50-50. I guess whoever has a better week of practice gets to start, and then we alternate it based off of that. That's how I'm assuming it's going."

Golden played 43 defensive snaps against the Ravens (61 percent).

Davis played 27 defensive snaps (39 percent).

"I made the best of my opportunity last week, keep doing what I do and hopefully keep making plays," Davis said.

NO MORE POPCORN: After allowing 222 rushing yards on Oct. 16 at Miami and 140 on Oct. 23 against New England, the Steelers held the Ravens to 50 yards on 29 carries, a 1.7 average.

"Just guys staying in their gaps," defensive end Cam Heyward said. "We preach about doing the little things and staying in our gaps and executing. We just have to continue to do it. It can't be popcorn. It can't be here. It can't be there. We have to do it every time and be consistent."

The Cowboys lead the NFL in rushing at 165.3 yards per game and average 4.8 yards per carry.

Their offensive line is regarded by many as among the best in the business.

"They have three first-rounders over there," Heyward said, referencing left tackle Tyron Smith (2011), center Travis Frederick (2013) and right guard Zach Martin (2014). "They stick on blocks, they're athletic, they move very well. But we look forward to challenges like that.

"As a front seven, this is one of those ones we circle on the calendar because we know we can control the game."

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