View Full Version : Pouncey meets the press

04-23-2010, 11:15 PM
Pouncey meets the press
April 23rd, 2010
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It didn’t take long for Maurkice Pouncey to get an idea of how devoted the Steelers’ following is around these parts.

The guard/center had fans approaching him in the Pittsburgh airport Friday and congratulating him on becoming the newest Steeler.

“It was shocking,” Pouncey said of people recognizing him. “I’m a lineman.”

Welcome to Pittsburgh, Maurkice, where the Steelers are not just a sports team but also an institution.

The Steelers officially introduced their first-round draft pick Friday at team headquarters.

President Art Rooney II and coach Mike Tomlin presented Pouncey with a No. 1 Steelers jersey, and the former University of Florida standout hit all the right notes while taking questions from reporters.

Pouncey was funny and poignant, particularly when he talked about the work place accident that cost his stepfather, Rob Webster, part of his leg in 2008. Pouncey, whose identical twin brother still plays for Florida, was also respectful — not just of the Steelers’ tradition but also the job that lies ahead of the 2009 Rimington Trophy winner as he tries to challenge for the starting job at right guard.

What follows is transcript of Pouncey’s Q&A with reporters.

Pouncey statement

“I just want to start off by thanking the Rooneys and the whole Steelers organization and all the fans of the Pittsburgh nation. It’s really an honor to be a Steeler”

Q: Has it sunk in that you’re a first-round draft pick of the Steelers?

A: “It’s so amazing to me. It really hasn’t hit me yet. I’m so happy I’m a Pittsburgh Steeler. I always wanted this since I came out and met them at the (NFL Scouting) Combine.”

Q: What was it about the Steelers that attracted you to them?

A: “Definitely the fans, the coaching staff. I got real close with Coach (Mike) Tomlin, we had a good conversation. Just the whole organization.”

Q: Can you describe the scene at your house last night?

A: “It was amazing. To have all the fans and friends come by and say ‘Congratulations’ and having everybody there experience what I experienced (Thursday) night.”

Q: How do you think you’re going to fit in here?

A: “I think I’m going to fit in very well. We’ve got a great group of guys here and I can’t wait to meet all of the guys.”

Q: What do you think about the transition of moving from center to guard?

A: “I’m ready for the challenge. I know that I’ve got a lot of work to do and I’ve first got to get in here and learn the playbook.”

Q: Did you enter the draft thinking you might be a guard?

A: “I came into the draft as an interior linemen. That’s always been the thought from Day One and I’m ready for it.”

Q: If you had your choice, center or guard, which would you prefer to play?

A: “Whatever the team needs.”

Q: According to the statistics you only allowed one sack in three seasons. Is that true? Do you remember who got the sack?

A: “I don’t remember. I wish it was none.”

Q: Can you talk a little bit about being a twin? How close are you with your brother, Mike?

A: “I love my twin to death, man. It’s the first time in our life that we’re separated. We’re grown men. We’ve got to go on about our lives.”

Q: Coming out of high school were you guys going to college together no matter what?

A: “Most definitely.”

Q: Can you talk about your decision to turn pro to give your brother a chance to showcase himself at center next season?

A: “I think my situation was a lot better than Mike’s. A lot of teams had never seen Mike actually play center in a game and they had seen me play guard my whole freshman year. I think he made the smart decision to come back for another year. He’ll probably be a top (draft pick) I hope.”

Q: Did you guys talk about that plan?

A: “Mike's decision was a lot easier than mine. Mine came down to the last day and I guess he kind of sat down with the coaching staff and felt like he needed to come back and play two positions.”

Q: When did you know you were going to be a Steeler?

A: “In my heart since Day One.”

Q: What was phone call like from Mike Tomlin?

A: “I wanted to cry but my brother told me ‘Keep it real, man. Don’t cry on TV.’ So I didn’t cry but it was amazing. I wish everyone could experience that feeling when somebody calls and tells you you’re their first overall pick. It hasn’t hit yet. I can’t wait until it does.”

Q: Were you close to returning to Florida for your senior season?

A: “Most definitely.”

Q: What made you leave for the draft?

A: “I called my coach and sat down with my family and I kind of just said ‘I feel like it’s right for me.’ I slept on it, talked with them and they kind of felt comfortable with it and I feel comfortable with my decision.”

Q: Can you talk about your personality?

A: “I never have a down day. I always come in smiling no matter what happened. I guess I’m the kind of guy everybody likes to be around. I guess it kind of started with my dad. He’s always been hard on us about being good people to everybody else. I guess I just took it and ran with it.”

Q: Can you talk about your stepdad, who lost part of his leg in a workplace accident in November of 2008? What did that do for you and your brother?

A: “It was so amazing. The accident happened on a Monday and he woke up (on a Wednesday), he could of wanted us to be there but in his heart he knew we needed to go play in that game against Florida State. He forced us to go back to school. I have so much respect for him. I love that guy to death.”

Q: What went through your mind when you got the call from your mother about the accident?

A: “I thought she was playing. We call each other a lot and we’re real close, she had us at a young age. We always joke around about stuff. When we knew that she was serious, the first thing we did was get in our car and drive to Lakeland.”

Q: Did the tattoo that is a tribute to him come before or after that?

A: “I can’t even tell you. I have so many of them.”

Q: You do have one of your father, right? What was the inspiration behind that?

A: “Me and my brother just kind of got tattoo crazy and it didn’t stop.”

Q: Have you thought about the tradition here?

A: “Heck yeah. I’ve got a lot to live up to. I’ve been reading about the great guys that played in a Pittsburgh uniform.”

Q: What do you think of the city?

A: “It’s amazing. Some people already knew me at the airport. It’s crazy how people already know you. I’m just so happy I’m here. I see the fans on TV and it’s just amazing.”

Q: How do people tell you and your brother apart?

A: “Most of them don’t. They just call us Pounce.”

Q: Have you talked to Florida coach (Urban) Meyer yet?

A: “I talked to him on draft day. He just said ‘Congratulation, wish I could be there’ but he can’t come to one person’s and not someone else’s.”

Q: Are you friends with any guys on the team?

A: “Max Starks. He went to Florida.”

Q: After your father’s injury you played in the national championship game a month later. What did that mean to you?

A: “It was so exciting. We wanted him to come to the SEC (title) game but he couldn’t make it and when he came to that it was so exciting. Coahc Meyer brought him (into the locker room) and everybody cheered for him and it brought tears to me man after everything he went through and how he handled it.”

Q: What are your chances of getting No. 56 from LaMarr Woodley?

A: “That ain’t happening.”

Q: Did you and your brother used to ride a scooter together at Florida?

A: “Hey, you’ve got no money in college, you’ve got to make it to school somehow.”

Q: You used to ride on the scooter together?

A: “We’ve got another lineman, Carl Johnson, he weighs around 365 and he and our right tackle, Marcus Gilbert, were on the same scooter at one time. It was worse than me and my brother.”

04-23-2010, 11:42 PM
I actually had a picture on my cell phone of those two rollin around gainesville last May on the scooter.

04-23-2010, 11:46 PM
I actually had a picture on my cell phone of those two rollin around gainesville last May on the scooter.

40% of our starting OL may now be Gators! :tt2

04-23-2010, 11:48 PM
I actually had a picture on my cell phone of those two rollin around gainesville last May on the scooter.

40% of our starting OL may now be Gators! :tt2
I wouldn't mind taking his bro next year.

04-24-2010, 12:24 AM
I actually had a picture on my cell phone of those two rollin around gainesville last May on the scooter.

I hope he was wearing a helmet on that scooter (and avoiding old ladies driving Chysler New Yorkers).