Game Day Notebook

Maurkice Pouncey says the change at left guard won't affect OL chemistry. Also, numbers and notes on Brett Keisel, Antonio Brown, Jason Worilds, James Farrior.

Time for a pop quiz.

Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was asked on Thanksgiving Day why he replaced four-year starter Chris Kemoeatu with Doug Legursky, Arians said:

A.) "His gaffe cost us the last Super Bowl."

B.) "His lousy pad level."

C.) "His inability to remember assignments."

D.) "His ill-timed personal fouls."

E.) "His poor pass-blocking."

F.) "We just have some good depth now for the first time in a long time. It's not a benching as much as it is putting Doug back in. Chris has played extremely well."

If you guessed F, you're right, but not necessarily correct. It's just that you've followed the NFL long enough to understand coachspeak.

Arians did respond with the proper coachly nonsense, but answers A through E are also acceptable.

The more important question may be this: What will a change – after four consecutive games with the same starting offensive line – mean to the unit's chemistry?

"Nothing will change," said center Maurkice Pouncey. "Legursky's a good football player. He'll give it all on every play. He's an accountable guy out there. He's a real smart player. Real smart."


The Steelers are 10-1 under coach Mike Tomlin on Monday and Thursday nights, but 6-5 under Tomlin on Sunday nights.

"That is a weird stat," said defensive end Brett Keisel. "I like the 10-1. I don't really like the 6-5 one. I don't know. We're a rested team. We've got to go into a hostile environment to get a win. This would be a big AFC win for us. We've got to get back into this routine and get ready to play a tough team."


Wide receiver Mike Wallace believes that Antonio Brown deserved his promotion to the starting lineup because "he has one of the best work ethics on the team."

Wallace was asked to elaborate.

"In practice he'll take every pass, even a two-yard slant, and take it all the way down the field," Wallace said. "It's gotten to the point where coaches tell him ‘Don't do it' because we've got to play the next play. He's got to come back.

"They know with him they're going to have to stop him or he's going to run himself into the ground because he doesn't know how to stop. He's gotta work all the time. If you're just sitting around talking, he's playing with something, doing something with his hand, a little machine or gadget. I think he might be a strength coach or something when he's finished playing because he's got too many gadgets at his house. He has stuff to work out with all the time. That's all he wants to do. He's obsessed with being great."


Jason Worilds has impressed the Steelers' coaching staff of late not only with his improved run defense and his burst to the quarterback, but in the win over Cincinnati Worilds dropped into coverage and altered the route by Bengals receiver Jerome Simpson. It resulted in William Gay's interception.

"I actually didn't even know about that play until one of the coaches brought it to my attention and said it was a good drop," said Worilds, the second-year outside linebacker. "Then they pointed it out on film, so I'm pretty happy about it."

Worilds was blamed for only three mental errors in the game, which is considered a good game for a veteran.


James Farrior is 36 years old and playing in his 15th season, but he felt young again this week watching tape of his old college teammate, Thomas Jones.

Jones is part of a three-man committee the Chiefs are using to replace injured Jamaal Charles. Jones has started four games, while Jackie Battle and Dexter McCluster have started three each.

"He's still letting me keep hope alive," Farrior said.

Jones, 33, was a freshman at Virginia when Farrior was a senior, and the two have become close friends over the years.

That friendship was interrupted briefly in 2007 when Jones broke the Steelers' 34-game streak of not having allowed a 100-yard rusher. Jones rushed for 117 yards to lead the New York Jets to an upset win over the Steelers.

"It wasn't a fond memory but I definitely do remember that game," Farrior said. "He was the guy who broke our streak and he never said anything about it. He's a very humble guy. He comes from humble beginnings. I know his family. I know his brother [Julius Jones]. He's not the type of guy to brag about things."

Last week against the Patriots Jones carried 8 times for 48 yards, giving him 10,365 yards rushing in his career and 252 this season, a season in which he garnered more attention for punching out first-round draft pick Jonathan Baldwin during training camp.

"That's what I want to talk to him about, to see what happened," Farrior said. "He's a tough guy. He's always been a hard worker, man. I don't know why the Jets got rid of him."

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