Around the AFC North (2/2): Pouncey Hopes to Play

ARLINGTON TX - FEBRUARY 01: Maurkice Pouncey #53 of the Pittsburgh Steelers shows NFL Network's Deion Sanders his injured left ankle during Super Bowl XLV Media Day ahead of Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 1 2011 in Arlington Texas. The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6 2011 at Cowboys Stadium. (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

In today's edition of Around the AFC North, we take a look at a suddenly optimistic Maurkice Pouncey, who the Baltimore Ravens were able to sign to a new contract, and Cincy Jungle's reaction to the thought of drafting A.J. Green.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Pouncey Off Crutches, Hopes to Play

After hearing about the injuries to Maurkice Pouncey this past week that would likely keep him out of the Super Bowl, the rookie center is turning heads by being fairly confident that he will play in this Sunday's big game.

Maurkice Pouncey still expects to play in the Super Bowl. "Most definitely," the Pittsburgh Steelers' injured center said Tuesday. "I feel positive right now." In an interview with ESPN, Pouncey put his chances of playing at "75 percent".

ESPN's Adam Schefter has said that a league source told him Pouncey will not play against the Green Bay Packers. Unless the guy actually gets some practice work in prior to the game, I can't imagine the Steelers taking the risk on the biggest stage of them all. It's not like Pouncey is an established veteran who can confidently tell coaches from experience whether or not he is "good to go." Pittsburgh probably feels they are good enough to win without Pouncey in the lineup anyway, because they have been all about players rising to the occasion this year.

Baltimore Ravens: Sam Koch Signs New Contract

After another stellar season punting the football, the Ravens have signed Sam Koch to a five-year contract.

"We believe that we have the best punter and holder in the NFL, and we wanted to make sure he stayed a Raven," head coach John Harbaugh stated. "Sam is a hard worker, a solid person and a great family man. He represents the Ravens and the City of Baltimore very well. I am proud and happy that he will be a big part of where we are taking our team."

Cincinnati Bengals: Fans React to Thought of Drafting A.J. Green

Bengals fans would not mind if their team drafts wide receiver A.J. Green, but would they be doing so for the wrong reason? From Cincy Jungle:

If the Bengals go that route, I won't complain. He's a good talent. But keeping Carson Palmer happy by choosing their draft picks based on the franchise quarterback's preference is like the total opposite of how a franchise should be run. Yet, it's the Cincinnati Bengals we're talking about here. Moving on.

Let's hope the entire situation, from Carson Palmer's status being up-in-the-air to the confusion of being unsure which side of the ball to draft on, keeps the Bengals behind Cleveland for years to come.

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