‘The fight was worth it’: Maurkice Pouncey returns from suspension



Pouncey doesn't typically practice on Wednesdays as Mike Tomlin likes to give his veteran center the day off to save the wear and tear on an ankle that required multiple surgeries to fix a few years ago.

But it's unlikely the Tomlin could hold Pouncey back from practicing on this Wednesday.

Pouncey was suspended for the two games, decreased from the original three-game suspension after his appeal with the National Football League, for his part in the skirmish that took place at the end of the Steelers-Browns game on November 14.

Wednesday was Pouncey's first day back on the job and he was more than happy to be back.

"I think the guys knew, my teammates know I ride with you no matter what", Pouncey said. "If he was racist, it would've been got exposed". "I've got a lot of energy".

That shouldn't be a problem. Pouncey added that he has received two "Free Pouncey" shirts that a slew of Steelers were seen wearing prior to Sunday's win over the Browns. They travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals (3-8-1) this Sunday and now hold down the sixth spot in the AFC playoff standings. His teammates rallied to his defence, sporting "Free Pouncey" sweatshirts before Sunday's rematch with the Browns then stopping by his house to award him the game ball following a 20-13 victory that gave Pittsburgh's playoff hopes a significant boost.

However, not only does the Steelers lineman have no regrets about his part in the fracas, he says Garrett's accusation that Steelers QB Mason Rudolph called him a racial slur, is unequivocally false. "I knew about that", Pouncey said when asked if he was surprised. It was awesome. The guys got out there, they protected well, they ran the ball well.

Pouncey is back from his two-game banishment, which was shortened from an original three-game suspension, for punching and kicking at Garrett.

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His argument in getting the suspension reduced?

"As soon as the brawl stopped, I stopped", Pouncey said. "They didn't have to stop me, I wasn't chasing down the players. It was just one guy".

"No regrets", the Pittsburgh Steelers All Pro center told, "but I've moved on now".

One thing is for sure, B.J. Finney, who started the past two games at center for Pouncey, won't be going anywhere.

Pouncey, who said that he spent a considerable amount of time working out by himself at public workout facilities around Pittsburgh, said that he appreciates the support he has received from fans and his teammates. "He played really, really well". And though he said he wishes the suspension was shorter, he would also hit Garrett again in the same situation.

"They played amazingly", said Pouncey.

"Yeah", he said when asked directly, "maybe not that many games, but just one".

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