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Mark Kaboly rules out Maurkice Pouncey, but doesn't rule out a Steelers' win because of it. Here's his breakdown on Doug Legursky:

Let's get this out of the way right now – Maurkice Pouncey will not play in Super Bowl XLV.

Done deal, book it, take it to the bank, move on, forget about it.

OK, now that's out of the way, we can focus on the real issue at hand: Can Doug Legursky fill in for the rookie Pro Bowl center with limited or no drop off to the unit as a whole?

I believe the answer is a resounding yes, and I'm not the only one.

"We have total confidence in Legursky," said guard Ramon Foster, one of many who said the same.

There's a reason for that. The kid out of Marshall is a pretty darn good football player even if Ted from Blawnox has no idea who he is or how to pronounce his name.

Legursky was good enough for the Steelers to let veteran Justin Hartwig go before the season started, and was good enough to handle himself pretty darn well in the four games he started at guard earlier in the year, and also the 3½ quarters he played center in last week's AFC Championship Game.

On his first play, Legursky drove his man deep into the end zone to help open a hole for Rashard Mendenhall on the game's first touchdown.

OK, he had two bad snaps. We can chalk that up to rust. The point is that Legursky's no slouch and/or a deal breaker when it comes to the Steelers and winning their record seventh Super Bowl. Actually, there won't be much drop off at all.

Now, he's no Maurkice Pouncey, but he's no Sean Mahan either.

Truth of the matter, if he were actually 6-foot-3 – his listed height at Marshall – he would've been a mid-round pick.

If it was up to Bruce Arians, Legursky would've already been a starter somewhere along that offensive line. Casey Hampton, who has made a living making centers look foolish, is a big Legursky supporter.

And the mental part?

"Doug knows the game inside and out and he was a big reason why Pouncey learned so fast," said tackle Jon Scott.

When it comes to knowledge, Legursky knows the position better than Pouncey – some teammates say a lot better.

It's natural to look at the Legursky-B.J. Raji matchup and notice that Raji has a substantial size advantage. Raji is listed at 337 pounds. Standing next to the man at last week's NFC Championship Game, if he's 337 Hampton must weigh about 280.

Legursky is 315, but is more like … well, 315.

Considerably shorter and lighter than Raji, the size disadvantage could help Legursky out in terms of leverage. The same concept that's allowed James Harrison to become almost unblockable by mammoth-sized tackles over the years also applies to the other side of the ball as well.

Legursky is plenty strong enough to get some push on Raji if he gets leverage.

Now, where Legursky comes up short of what Pouncey can bring to the table is the rookie's ability to get down the field to make a block.

Down-the-field, second-level blocking is something Legursky is more than capable of doing. Third, fourth and fifth level blocking that takes place 30 yards down the field is something only Pouncey can do.

But, seriously, if that's the only problem the Steelers are going to face with Legursky in the starting lineup, then I like his chances … and the Steelers' as well.

Yes, the Packers and Dom Capers will bring some inside pressure blitzes very early in the game to see how the backup handles it, and I'd be surprised if he doesn't pick it up with ease.

We've known Legursky has been a pretty good football player for a while now, and the world's going to soon find that out.

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