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fordfixer
11-27-2010, 03:26 AM
Steelers' Pouncey putting it all on line
By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, November 27, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 11182.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_711182.html)

Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey heard the horror stories about NFL rookies wearing down physically late in their first season. Entering Sunday's game at Buffalo his 11th as a starter Pouncey said he's never felt better.

"My body feels good,'' Pouncey said. "I hope I don't hit that rookie wall.''

Chances are, Pouncey probably won't. If anything, he appears to be getting stronger with each game.

Pouncey credits an intense conditioning program with Florida-based coach Tom Shaw, who trained Pouncey prior to his first NFL season.

"The offseason plays a big part,'' Pouncey said. "You really have to get after it. That's what I did. I worked with coach Shaw. He took such good care of me. He really trained me hard, but at the same time, he looked after me. I think the training played a big part, and now it's paying off. Hopefully, it keeps paying off.''

Shaw, who trains several other Steelers, including defensive captain James Farrior and cornerback Ike Taylor, said Pouncey's work ethic combined with his physical talent is what has separated him from other young players so early in his pro career.

"He's in great shape,'' Shaw said. "He's always going to be a guy that works out. The guys that have problems are the ones that want to take time off. Those are the guys that don't last long.

"Maurkice still lifts (weights) during the season. That's a big thing that (conditioning coordinator) Garrett (Giemont) really pushes from those guys. When you're strong and you're still lifting you're still running and conditioning that's what puts you ahead of the class.''

Said Pouncey: "In college, you're kind of forced to do it. After you leave college, it's on you to do it. You don't have a coach telling you, 'you gotta do this, you gotta do that.' You've got to get up in the morning and decide, 'I've got to get out there today.' ''

Shaw created an offseason program for Pouncey that concentrated on building his upper-body strength. Pouncey had no trouble blocking college defensive linemen, but being able to hold his own against NFL defensive linemen on a consistent basis meant he had to increase strength in his arms and shoulders.

"The big thing with him was upper-body strength. He really worked hard on that,'' Shaw said. "He didn't have to work on it as much in college. Technically, he's above his age, offensive-line wise. Strength-wise, he had to get a lot better. Upper body, he really had to work on that. Incline bench, shoulders he had to work on all of that stuff.''

So far, the results have been outstanding.

The first center drafted in the first round by the Steelers since 1937, Pouncey is considered a top candidate for rookie of the year honors.

Pouncey had no idea he'd make this big of an impact so quickly.

"When I first came here, I just wanted to earn the respect of my teammates,'' Pouncey said. " I never once thought about starting. I just wanted all the guys to like me.''

RuthlessBurgher
11-27-2010, 05:27 PM
I always thought of Tom Shaw as a "speed guru" but if a big ol' fella like Pouncey benefits from working out with Shaw in the offseason as well, then I guess Shaw could be considered to be a jack of all trades.