View Full Version : Pouncey becomes only 3rd Steeler rookie OL to start opener

09-14-2010, 06:19 PM
Steelers notes: Reed sets record but misses kick

By: Andrew Chiappazzi Beaver County Times
Sunday September 12, 2010 10:32 PM

REED’S RECORD AND REGRET Jeff Reed’s day started with a record. It ended with his teammates bailing him out in overtime.

Reed missed a 40-yard field goal with seconds remaining in the fourth quarter that could have given the Steelers’ a win in regulation.

“I hit it perfect,” Reed said. “I couldn’t hit it any better. … It happens, I guess. It’s a tough feeling, though. But at least we won.”

Reed also missed a 55-yard field goal in the second quarter when it bounced off the right upright. That kick would have broken the record Reed set on the opening drive, when he booted a Heinz Field record 52-yard field goal.

He also made kicks from 34 yards and 36 yards.

SANDERS THE RETURNER After Stefan Logan was cut in training camp, it appeared rookie wide receiver Antonio Brown would be the primary return specialist. He was listed first on the Steelers’ depth chart and received the bulk of the work in practice and in exhibition games. But Brown didn’t dress on Sunday, leaving fellow rookie Emmanuel Sanders and veteran Antwaan Randle El to handle return duties.

HAMPTON’S HAMMY Nose tackle Casey Hampton left the game in the second quarter with a hamstring injury and did not return. Hampton was visibly frustrated as he walked off following the injury, slamming his helmet down by the Steelers bench as he walked off with trainers in tow.

“It’s very disappointing,” Hampton said. “I’ve been in this game long enough to know that this sort of thing will happen and you just have to go with it.”

Head coach Mike Tomlin said the team would reevaluate Hampton’s status in the next couple of days.

WARD’S MILESTONES Hines Ward’s six-catch, 108-yard performance made him the first player in team history to pass 11,000 yards receiving.

“It’s like Forrest Gump. I can’t explain it,” he said. “I’m 34 years old and every year, regardless of what people say, it’s my mindset that I have to go in and prove everybody wrong.”

Ward also had this 26th 100-yard receiving game, breaking the Steelers’ all-time record held by John Stallworth, and now has 901 career receptions, the first player in Steelers’ history to break that barrier.


Maurkice Pouncey became the first offensive lineman to start opening game of his rookie season since Marvel Smith started at right tackle in 2000. He is just the third lineman ever to start as a rookie, along with Smith and guard Tom Ricketts (1989).

Jeff Reed’s 52-yarder in the first quarter is second longest of career and the longest field goal in Heinz Field history ... LaMarr Woodley has registered at least half a sack in a club-record nine straight games, dating back to last season. He has 12.5 sacks (including today) in that span ... Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez caught his 1,000th career pass, becoming the first tight end in NFL history to reach that mark.

INACTIVES Along with Brown, the other inactive players for the Steelers on Sunday were QB Byron Leftwich (knee), RB Jonathan Dwyer, OG Ramon Foster, OT Tony Hills, LB Thaddeus Gibson, DB Keenan Lewis, and DB Crezdon Butler.

http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... -kick.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1424/2010/september/12/steelers-notes-reed-sets-record-but-misses-kick.html)

09-14-2010, 10:35 PM
Wow, I thought the first two would have been good ones, instead Ricketts who was a bust and Smith who was okay. I'm betting Pouncey will be better than both..

09-15-2010, 03:39 PM
Wow, I thought the first two would have been good ones, instead Ricketts who was a bust and Smith who was okay. I'm betting Pouncey will be better than both..

I knew Marvel "Pothead" Smith started his rookie season, but i would never have guessed a washout like Tom Ricketts either as being the only other rookie to start on the OL.

September 14, 2010

Pouncey makes big first impression with Steelers

Eric Knopsnyder

PITTSBURGH — Maurkice Pouncey is only 21 years old.

That bears repeating: Maurkice Pouncey is ONLY?21 years old.

The Steelers’ first-round pick, Pouncey became just the third Steelers rookie offensive lineman to start a season opener, but he certainly didn’t look like a rookie in Sunday’s 15-9 victory over Atlanta.

When Pouncey was taken with the 18th overall pick in April, there was little doubt about his physical abilities. At 6-foot-4 and 304 pounds, Pouncey had the raw talent to play at a high level, possibly even from the start of the season. The biggest question was if he could handle all of the pre-snap responsibilities that go along with being the center, as the position has the difficult task of calling out all of the blocking assignments depending on what the defense is showing.

It wasn’t a problem for Pouncey in the preseason, he showed enough to beat out incumbent Justin Hartwig, who was subsequently released. And it wasn’t a problem on Sunday.

The new guy even impressed his most important critic:?Coach Mike Tomlin.

“I?thought he did a nice job,”?said Tomlin, who almost always waits to view film footage before assessing a performance. “I thought he had a great demeanor. I don’t think he miscalled a thing all night. You saw those guys move around quite a bit. They’re very multiple in terms of what they do. The quality of his work, the physical quality of his work, we’ll leave that to the video. In terms of his demeanor, in terms of his pre-snap declaration and things, he played like a veteran football player. And really, that’s why he’s in there, because he’s not playing like a rookie.”

Pouncey was pleased with himself as well.

“I felt real comfortable today,”?he said. “I had a real good game, and I’m trying to build from there.”

While joining Tom Ricketts (1989)?and Marvel Smith (2000) as the only Steelers rookies to start the season opener, Pouncey also had to help break in an inexperienced quarterback. With Ben Roethlisberger serving a four-game suspension and Byron Leftwich out with a knee injury, Dennis Dixon made his second career start.

When it comes to the offensive line, playing center for the Steelers – a position previously manned by legends such as Ray Mansfield, Mike Webster and Dermontti Dawson – is about as high-profile as it gets.

Pouncey does rely on Trai Essex for any help he needs.

“Trai’s my right guard, so he’s always right next to me,”?Pouncey said. “He helps me out so much. I’m so happy to have him there. He’s a real smart football player.”

Essex, who prides himself on knowing the assignments for all of the offensive line positions, said Pouncey needs very little help.

“He’s like playing against a vet,”?said Essex, who is in his sixth season. “He’s a rookie. He’s wise beyond his years in a football sense just cause he knows what to do. He’s a football player in every sense of the word. It’s natural for him. There was no rookie jitters. He didn’t make any rookie mistakes. He played a hell of a game. And props to him, because he worked hard this offseason because he wanted to play, he wanted to start. He took a good man out of there in order for that to happen, so he had to be that good. There’s no time for him to be a rookie, and he definitely deserves everything that’s coming to him.”

The Steelers offensive line wasn’t overpowering by any means – nearly half of Rashard Mendenhall’s 120 rushing yards came on his 50-yard touchdown run in overtime – but it also wasn’t the glaring weakness that it has been in the recent past, even though Dixon was sacked three times.

Considering that the Steelers lost tackle Willie Colon before the start of training camp to a torn Achilles’ tendon and left tackle Max Starks to an ankle injury near the end of the third quarter on Sunday, the performance of the offensive line was admirable.

Essex said that new offensive line coach Sean Kugler and Pouncey deserve a lot of credit for that.

“He came in naturally and just took control of the situation,” Essex said of the rookie center. “Coach Kugs did a great job of coaching him up. It was just a matter of going out there and putting it all together, and that’s what we did.”

That could be a great sign of things to come for the Steelers.

http://tribune-democrat.com/sports/x120 ... h-Steelers (http://tribune-democrat.com/sports/x1209409665/Eric-Knopsnyder-Pouncey-makes-big-first-impression-with-Steelers)