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fordfixer
08-29-2010, 01:40 AM
Pouncey Center of Attention for Pittsburgh
LHS graduate could become the first center to start for Steelers since 1960s.

By WALTER VILLA
LEDGER CORRESPONDENT
http://www.theledger.com/article/201008 ... Pittsburgh (http://www.theledger.com/article/20100828/NEWS/8285056/1254?Title=Pouncey-Center-of-Attention-for-Pittsburgh)
Published: Saturday, August 28, 2010 at 11:50 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 28, 2010 at 11:50 p.m.



PITTSBURGH | Lakeland's Maurkice Pouncey and Fort Meade's Andrew McCutchen were strangers until recently.

"I was looking for a place to live, and we bumped into each other," said Pouncey, who at 22 is one year younger than McCutchen. "We told each other good luck."

The chance meeting was fitting because the two have a lot in common.

Both were first-round picks.

Both play for Pittsburgh pro teams.

And both are in the middle of their teams' plans - literally.

McCutchen is an established standout in center field for the Pirates, and Pouncey is a rookie center who appears to be closing in on the Steelers' starting job.

In the Steelers' first exhibition game of the season, Pouncey played all but 15 snaps, most of them at center. On Aug. 16, Pouncey started splitting first-team snaps at center. And on Wednesday, Pouncey took all the first-team work for the first time.

"Pouncey has proven to be mature beyond his years," said Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin, who has yet to make an official announcement on who will start the team's Sept. 12 opener against the Falcons.

Still, the clearest indication of how well Pouncey has performed in the preseason came when Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger asked for more work with the newcomer in practice.

"If you watch the film, (Pouncey) has been throwing people around, being very physical," Roethlisberger told the media after the Steelers' second exhibition game. "He's been hustling."

FINDING A PLACE

Pouncey, the only center the Steelers have ever drafted in the first round, may accomplish more firsts this fall.

"I was looking for a place to live, and we bumped into each other," said Pouncey, who at 22 is one year younger than McCutchen. "We told each other good luck."

The chance meeting was fitting because the two have a lot in common.

Both were first-round picks.

Both play for Pittsburgh pro teams.

And both are in the middle of their teams' plans - literally.

McCutchen is an established standout in center field for the Pirates, and Pouncey is a rookie center who appears to be closing in on the Steelers' starting job.

In the Steelers' first exhibition game of the season, Pouncey played all but 15 snaps, most of them at center. On Aug. 16, Pouncey started splitting first-team snaps at center. And on Wednesday, Pouncey took all the first-team work for the first time.

"Pouncey has proven to be mature beyond his years," said Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin, who has yet to make an official announcement on who will start the team's Sept. 12 opener against the Falcons.

Still, the clearest indication of how well Pouncey has performed in the preseason came when Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger asked for more work with the newcomer in practice.

"If you watch the film, (Pouncey) has been throwing people around, being very physical," Roethlisberger told the media after the Steelers' second exhibition game. "He's been hustling."

FINDING A PLACE

Pouncey, the only center the Steelers have ever drafted in the first round, may accomplish more firsts this fall.

If he beats out ninth-year veteran Justin Hartwig, he would become the first Steelers rookie to become a regular starter since Tomlin was hired in 2007.

He also would become the team's first rookie starting center since their amazing run at the position began in the 1960s.

From 1963 to 2000, they had only three starting centers - Ray Mansfield (1963-1975, two Super Bowl wins as a starter), Hall of Famer Mike Webster (1976-1988, two Super Bowl wins as a starter) and Dermontti Dawson (1989-2000, NFL All-Decade team).

Pouncey said he is well aware of the Steelers' tradition at center.

"I walk past their pictures every day (at the Steelers' facility)," Pouncey said. "It's an honor to play center here."

Pouncey, who would have been a senior this season at the University of Florida had he not made himself available for the 2010 Draft, said he thinks about the Gators often. His twin brother, Mike, decided to stay for his senior year and is taking over the center position. He's on the preseason watch list for the Rimington Trophy, given each year to college football's best center.

"It's a little different," Pouncey said of playing without Mike. "But we're grown up now, and we can go our separate ways. We still talk, though.

"I'm glad I made the decision to turn pro. It was the right move for me."

STEELERS' PLANS

It certainly set him up financially. The 18th overall pick in the draft, Pouncey signed a five-year, $18 million contract.

The Steelers' plan at the time was to play the 6-4, 305-pounder at guard for a season before moving him to center, similar to how Dawson broke in.

"It's easier to play guard because it's more about receiving information than giving it," Tomlin said in April.


"I was looking for a place to live, and we bumped into each other," said Pouncey, who at 22 is one year younger than McCutchen. "We told each other good luck."

The chance meeting was fitting because the two have a lot in common.

Both were first-round picks.

Both play for Pittsburgh pro teams.

And both are in the middle of their teams' plans - literally.

McCutchen is an established standout in center field for the Pirates, and Pouncey is a rookie center who appears to be closing in on the Steelers' starting job.

In the Steelers' first exhibition game of the season, Pouncey played all but 15 snaps, most of them at center. On Aug. 16, Pouncey started splitting first-team snaps at center. And on Wednesday, Pouncey took all the first-team work for the first time.

"Pouncey has proven to be mature beyond his years," said Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin, who has yet to make an official announcement on who will start the team's Sept. 12 opener against the Falcons.

Still, the clearest indication of how well Pouncey has performed in the preseason came when Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger asked for more work with the newcomer in practice.

"If you watch the film, (Pouncey) has been throwing people around, being very physical," Roethlisberger told the media after the Steelers' second exhibition game. "He's been hustling."

FINDING A PLACE

Pouncey, the only center the Steelers have ever drafted in the first round, may accomplish more firsts this fall.

If he beats out ninth-year veteran Justin Hartwig, he would become the first Steelers rookie to become a regular starter since Tomlin was hired in 2007.

He also would become the team's first rookie starting center since their amazing run at the position began in the 1960s.

From 1963 to 2000, they had only three starting centers - Ray Mansfield (1963-1975, two Super Bowl wins as a starter), Hall of Famer Mike Webster (1976-1988, two Super Bowl wins as a starter) and Dermontti Dawson (1989-2000, NFL All-Decade team).

Pouncey said he is well aware of the Steelers' tradition at center.

"I walk past their pictures every day (at the Steelers' facility)," Pouncey said. "It's an honor to play center here."

Pouncey, who would have been a senior this season at the University of Florida had he not made himself available for the 2010 Draft, said he thinks about the Gators often. His twin brother, Mike, decided to stay for his senior year and is taking over the center position. He's on the preseason watch list for the Rimington Trophy, given each year to college football's best center.

"It's a little different," Pouncey said of playing without Mike. "But we're grown up now, and we can go our separate ways. We still talk, though.

"I'm glad I made the decision to turn pro. It was the right move for me."

STEELERS' PLANS

It certainly set him up financially. The 18th overall pick in the draft, Pouncey signed a five-year, $18 million contract.

The Steelers' plan at the time was to play the 6-4, 305-pounder at guard for a season before moving him to center, similar to how Dawson broke in.

"It's easier to play guard because it's more about receiving information than giving it," Tomlin said in April.

Pouncey, though, had other plans, impressing his teammates immediately - and vice versa.

"They took me in real well," he said. "It's a team that's all about winning. They don't do all that silly stuff (hazing rookies)."

Perhaps acceptance had a lot to do with the Steelers' needs on the offensive line, which gave up 50 sacks last season, second-most in the NFL. The run game also failed to live up to the Steelers' standards, averaging 112 yards, 19th-best in the league.

Pouncey said his biggest adjustment has been reading defenses. An NFL center is expected to identify potential blitzers and alert his teammates about the complicated defensive fronts he sees at the line of scrimmage. That's a lot to ask of a rookie.

But Pouncey, who was a starter his last two years at Lakeland High and all three at Florida, said he is more comfortable at center than guard.

"I like center because I know what's going on," he said. "Reading defenses at Florida was a lot more basic than this, but I like making the calls."

If Pouncey wins the job at center, it's the Steelers who face a tough call. They could cut Hartwig, who has started 100 games in the NFL, including 35 in a row for the Steelers. That move would save the team $2 million in salary.

Tomlin will only say that Pouncey has "proven me wrong" about his ability to play center.

One of Pouncey's most spectacular efforts came in the second exhibition, against the Giants. Pouncey cleared the way for Isaac Redman's 31-yard run by knocking down a linebacker and then hustling 35 yards downfield, looking for another defender to abuse.

The only question remaining is this: Has Pouncey done enough to earn the starting job?


"I was looking for a place to live, and we bumped into each other," said Pouncey, who at 22 is one year younger than McCutchen. "We told each other good luck."

The chance meeting was fitting because the two have a lot in common.

Both were first-round picks.

Both play for Pittsburgh pro teams.

And both are in the middle of their teams' plans - literally.

McCutchen is an established standout in center field for the Pirates, and Pouncey is a rookie center who appears to be closing in on the Steelers' starting job.

In the Steelers' first exhibition game of the season, Pouncey played all but 15 snaps, most of them at center. On Aug. 16, Pouncey started splitting first-team snaps at center. And on Wednesday, Pouncey took all the first-team work for the first time.

"Pouncey has proven to be mature beyond his years," said Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin, who has yet to make an official announcement on who will start the team's Sept. 12 opener against the Falcons.

Still, the clearest indication of how well Pouncey has performed in the preseason came when Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger asked for more work with the newcomer in practice.

"If you watch the film, (Pouncey) has been throwing people around, being very physical," Roethlisberger told the media after the Steelers' second exhibition game. "He's been hustling."

FINDING A PLACE

Pouncey, the only center the Steelers have ever drafted in the first round, may accomplish more firsts this fall.

If he beats out ninth-year veteran Justin Hartwig, he would become the first Steelers rookie to become a regular starter since Tomlin was hired in 2007.

He also would become the team's first rookie starting center since their amazing run at the position began in the 1960s.

From 1963 to 2000, they had only three starting centers - Ray Mansfield (1963-1975, two Super Bowl wins as a starter), Hall of Famer Mike Webster (1976-1988, two Super Bowl wins as a starter) and Dermontti Dawson (1989-2000, NFL All-Decade team).

Pouncey said he is well aware of the Steelers' tradition at center.

"I walk past their pictures every day (at the Steelers' facility)," Pouncey said. "It's an honor to play center here."

Pouncey, who would have been a senior this season at the University of Florida had he not made himself available for the 2010 Draft, said he thinks about the Gators often. His twin brother, Mike, decided to stay for his senior year and is taking over the center position. He's on the preseason watch list for the Rimington Trophy, given each year to college football's best center.

"It's a little different," Pouncey said of playing without Mike. "But we're grown up now, and we can go our separate ways. We still talk, though.

"I'm glad I made the decision to turn pro. It was the right move for me."

STEELERS' PLANS

It certainly set him up financially. The 18th overall pick in the draft, Pouncey signed a five-year, $18 million contract.

The Steelers' plan at the time was to play the 6-4, 305-pounder at guard for a season before moving him to center, similar to how Dawson broke in.

"It's easier to play guard because it's more about receiving information than giving it," Tomlin said in April.

Pouncey, though, had other plans, impressing his teammates immediately - and vice versa.

"They took me in real well," he said. "It's a team that's all about winning. They don't do all that silly stuff (hazing rookies)."

Perhaps acceptance had a lot to do with the Steelers' needs on the offensive line, which gave up 50 sacks last season, second-most in the NFL. The run game also failed to live up to the Steelers' standards, averaging 112 yards, 19th-best in the league.

Pouncey said his biggest adjustment has been reading defenses. An NFL center is expected to identify potential blitzers and alert his teammates about the complicated defensive fronts he sees at the line of scrimmage. That's a lot to ask of a rookie.

But Pouncey, who was a starter his last two years at Lakeland High and all three at Florida, said he is more comfortable at center than guard.

"I like center because I know what's going on," he said. "Reading defenses at Florida was a lot more basic than this, but I like making the calls."

If Pouncey wins the job at center, it's the Steelers who face a tough call. They could cut Hartwig, who has started 100 games in the NFL, including 35 in a row for the Steelers. That move would save the team $2 million in salary.

Tomlin will only say that Pouncey has "proven me wrong" about his ability to play center.

One of Pouncey's most spectacular efforts came in the second exhibition, against the Giants. Pouncey cleared the way for Isaac Redman's 31-yard run by knocking down a linebacker and then hustling 35 yards downfield, looking for another defender to abuse.

The only question remaining is this: Has Pouncey done enough to earn the starting job?

"I've got practice today," said Pouncey, who wanted no part of the question, probably out of respect for Hartwig. "I'm going to go out and get better and go from there."

Discipline of Steel
08-29-2010, 06:43 AM
That article was so good, I read it four times. :mrgreen:

ANPSTEEL
08-29-2010, 07:40 AM
Groundhog Day.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
08-29-2010, 10:29 AM
Groundhog Day.

Groundhog Day.

RuthlessBurgher
08-29-2010, 10:45 AM
I think Pouncey bumped into Andrew McCutchen more times than he will bump into Jamal Williams tonight. :lol:

fordfixer
08-29-2010, 03:15 PM
Maybe I should read the stuff I post :lol: :lol: Sorry about that

Discipline of Steel
08-29-2010, 04:20 PM
Maybe I should read the stuff I post :lol: :lol: Sorry about that

No sweat...because of you, i get most of my Steeler news right here.

fordfixer
08-29-2010, 05:01 PM
Maybe I should read the stuff I post :lol: :lol: Sorry about that

No sweat...because of you, i get most of my Steeler news right here.
several times over apparently

StarSpangledSteeler
08-29-2010, 05:07 PM
That article was so good, I read it four times. :mrgreen:

Bahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

fordfixer
08-29-2010, 05:18 PM
Here's the way it should read

.................................................. .................................................. ...................

By WALTER VILLA
LEDGER CORRESPONDENT

Published: Saturday, August 28, 2010 at 11:50 p.m.


PITTSBURGH | Lakeland's Maurkice Pouncey and Fort Meade's Andrew McCutchen were strangers until recently.

"I was looking for a place to live, and we bumped into each other," said Pouncey, who at 22 is one year younger than McCutchen. "We told each other good luck."

The chance meeting was fitting because the two have a lot in common.

Both were first-round picks.

Both play for Pittsburgh pro teams.

And both are in the middle of their teams' plans - literally.

McCutchen is an established standout in center field for the Pirates, and Pouncey is a rookie center who appears to be closing in on the Steelers' starting job.

In the Steelers' first exhibition game of the season, Pouncey played all but 15 snaps, most of them at center. On Aug. 16, Pouncey started splitting first-team snaps at center. And on Wednesday, Pouncey took all the first-team work for the first time.

"Pouncey has proven to be mature beyond his years," said Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin, who has yet to make an official announcement on who will start the team's Sept. 12 opener against the Falcons.

Still, the clearest indication of how well Pouncey has performed in the preseason came when Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger asked for more work with the newcomer in practice.

"If you watch the film, (Pouncey) has been throwing people around, being very physical," Roethlisberger told the media after the Steelers' second exhibition game. "He's been hustling."

FINDING A PLACE

Pouncey, the only center the Steelers have ever drafted in the first round, may accomplish more firsts this fall.

If he beats out ninth-year veteran Justin Hartwig, he would become the first Steelers rookie to become a regular starter since Tomlin was hired in 2007.

He also would become the team's first rookie starting center since their amazing run at the position began in the 1960s.

From 1963 to 2000, they had only three starting centers - Ray Mansfield (1963-1975, two Super Bowl wins as a starter), Hall of Famer Mike Webster (1976-1988, two Super Bowl wins as a starter) and Dermontti Dawson (1989-2000, NFL All-Decade team).

Pouncey said he is well aware of the Steelers' tradition at center.

"I walk past their pictures every day (at the Steelers' facility)," Pouncey said. "It's an honor to play center here."

Pouncey, who would have been a senior this season at the University of Florida had he not made himself available for the 2010 Draft, said he thinks about the Gators often. His twin brother, Mike, decided to stay for his senior year and is taking over the center position. He's on the preseason watch list for the Rimington Trophy, given each year to college football's best center.

"It's a little different," Pouncey said of playing without Mike. "But we're grown up now, and we can go our separate ways. We still talk, though.

"I'm glad I made the decision to turn pro. It was the right move for me."

STEELERS' PLANS

It certainly set him up financially. The 18th overall pick in the draft, Pouncey signed a five-year, $18 million contract.

The Steelers' plan at the time was to play the 6-4, 305-pounder at guard for a season before moving him to center, similar to how Dawson broke in.

"It's easier to play guard because it's more about receiving information than giving it," Tomlin said in April.

Pouncey, though, had other plans, impressing his teammates immediately - and vice versa.

"They took me in real well," he said. "It's a team that's all about winning. They don't do all that silly stuff (hazing rookies)."

Perhaps acceptance had a lot to do with the Steelers' needs on the offensive line, which gave up 50 sacks last season, second-most in the NFL. The run game also failed to live up to the Steelers' standards, averaging 112 yards, 19th-best in the league.

Pouncey said his biggest adjustment has been reading defenses. An NFL center is expected to identify potential blitzers and alert his teammates about the complicated defensive fronts he sees at the line of scrimmage. That's a lot to ask of a rookie.

But Pouncey, who was a starter his last two years at Lakeland High and all three at Florida, said he is more comfortable at center than guard.

"I like center because I know what's going on," he said. "Reading defenses at Florida was a lot more basic than this, but I like making the calls."

If Pouncey wins the job at center, it's the Steelers who face a tough call. They could cut Hartwig, who has started 100 games in the NFL, including 35 in a row for the Steelers. That move would save the team $2 million in salary.

Tomlin will only say that Pouncey has "proven me wrong" about his ability to play center.

One of Pouncey's most spectacular efforts came in the second exhibition, against the Giants. Pouncey cleared the way for Isaac Redman's 31-yard run by knocking down a linebacker and then hustling 35 yards downfield, looking for another defender to abuse.

The only question remaining is this: Has Pouncey done enough to earn the starting job?

"I've got practice today," said Pouncey, who wanted no part of the question, probably out of respect for Hartwig. "I'm going to go out and get better and go from there."

RuthlessBurgher
08-29-2010, 08:33 PM
Now I've read it 5 times! :wink:

fordfixer
08-29-2010, 11:51 PM
Now I've read it 5 times! :wink:


But do you understand it yet?

RuthlessBurgher
08-30-2010, 12:18 AM
Now I've read it 5 times! :wink:


But do you understand it yet?

Do I understand anything I read? Obviously not. :P

Djfan
08-30-2010, 09:29 AM
There's one advantage to ADD. I didn't know I read it that many times.

ramblinjim
08-30-2010, 09:36 AM
Maybe I should read the stuff I post :lol: :lol: Sorry about that

No sweat...because of you, i get most of my Steeler news right here.


Same here, thanks FF!

fordfixer
08-30-2010, 09:36 AM
There's one advantage to ADD. I didn't know I read it that many times.


Well then feel free to read it again :lol: :lol: