View Full Version : Major honors for Ben and Pouncey
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12-29-2010, 08:33 PM
"The Chief Award”
12-29-2010, 10:15 PM
Roethlisberger, Pouncey proud of honors
By Teresa Varley - Steelers.com
Two Steelers earned team honors as center Maurkice Pouncey was named the winner of the ‘Joe Greene Great Performance Award,’ given annually to the team’s outstanding rookie, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger won ‘The Chief” Award for his cooperation with the media. Both awards were presented by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America.
Pouncey, the team’s first-round draft pick out of Florida, has started all 15 games at center and has been the anchor of the offensive line.
“The Joe Greene Award is a great honor, especially named after a guy like that,” said Pouncey.
Pouncey attended the annual rookie luncheon this year, which honors the previous year’s top rookie. As Mike Wallace was accepting his award, offensive line coach Sean Kugler put the pressure on Pouncey.
“We all sat down at the same table talking it up, and he [Sean Kugler] looked me dead in my face and he was like, ‘You better win that award.’ So that’s all I was thinking about the whole season was getting that award for him. It means a lot.”
Pouncey was also voted in to the 2011 Pro Bowl, enjoying a successful week.
“Man it’s going great,” said Pouncey. “I can’t complain at all. It is really a proud moment for me right now, but if I could, I would give it all away for the Super Bowl.”
He credits his teammates and coaches, especially his fellow offensive linemen, for helping him have such a successful rookie season.
“They’ve been there every step,” said Pouncey. “Anything I have ever needed they are there for me. They always bring me up, giving me small pointers to work out there in practice. I give a lot of things to Coach Kugler. He’s been great to me. I come in on Tuesdays and I meet with him about the game plan, what we are going to run, the pass protections. He’s just always been there for me, teaching me how to be a professional football player.”
Pouncey became just the third Steelers’ offensive lineman to start the first game of his rookie season since the mid-1960s and has a chance to be the first offensive rookie to start all regular-season games for the Steelers since wide receiver Ron Shanklin started all 14 games in 1970. He is also part of an impressive lineage at center that includes Ray Mansfield, Mike Webster and Dermontti Dawson.
“Those guys are great,” said Pouncey. “I am nowhere near where those guys are. I am just trying to play up to their level. Like I said those guys are great players and I love them. I text Dermonnti Dawson back and forth. He gives me little things to think about. I watched a little bit of film on him. And he was a heck of a player.”
* * *
Roethlisberger stood at the podium accepting the Chief Award and talked about apologizing to some in the media during the spring for not being cooperative with them in the past.
He has made a huge turnaround and that is why he was voted the recipient of the award, which is presented to a member of the Steelers’ organization who best exemplifies the spirit of cooperation with the media, established in honor of Steelers’ founder, Arthur J. Rooney, Sr.
“I wanted to be genuine and tell all of you guys, who I have been dealing with for a long time, that I did apologize for not being the most cooperative in the world,” said Roethlisberger. “Anyway I think this is an awesome award. I appreciate it so much. Anything named after ‘The Chief’ or the Rooney family is an honor. So it is an honor.
“You guys know me. Any award I get I try to direct a lot of the attention to my teammates. I am not sure if I can direct it to my teammates, but I would if I could.”
Roethlisberger, who is the first quarterback to win the award, said he has a greater understanding of the job the media has to do.
“I see you guys every day,” said Roethlisberger. “It’s easy to get frustrated with you guys as it is for you guys to get with us. Not every article, story or news report is always positive. So it’s easy to get negative and get down on someone. But that’s not what this is about. We understand that you guys have a job as we do. And it’s probably just as grueling and as hard as sometimes we are out there. So we appreciate and understand the hard work and time you guys put in.”
Roethlisberger, who was suspended four games by the NFL at the start of the season, made an effort to make changes in his life and his dealings with the media were one of those things.
“The same point I said I need to be more cooperative with people, be a better person,” said Roethlisberger. “You guys are, as much as people like to joke, you guys are people. And we treat you guys that way. It’s just a change I wanted to make in my life and it’s towards you guys as well.”
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12-29-2010, 10:36 PM
Pouncey Unanimous Choice as Top Rookie
By Jim Wexell
Posted Dec 29, 2010
Maurkice Pouncey was pleased and proud to be named Steelers Rookie of the Year, but he made it clear that he's more interested in the Cleveland Browns.
PITTSBURGH – Rookie Maurkice Pouncey acquitted himself so well in his first preseason game with the Steelers that he began splitting snaps with first-team center Justin Hartwig at the next practice.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was skeptical.
“It depends on how good the guards are,” said Roethlisberger when asked if a rookie could start at center. “They’d have to help a lot.”
But within two weeks, Pouncey wrested the job from Hartwig and never looked back.
The first true freshman to ever start on the offensive line in a University of Florida opener became the first rookie center in 54 years to start a Steelers opener, and now he’s receiving the accolades of a job well done.
On Tuesday, he was named to the Pro Bowl. On Wednesday, he was named winner of the Joe Greene Great Performance Award, which honors the Steelers’ top rookie. Pouncey won by a unanimous vote of Pittsburgh sportswriters.
“There were stages,” explained Roethlisberger. “After Week 1, or even in training camp, you could see that he was doing it. In the preseason, you were like, ‘Wow. He’s going to be good.’ But, still, who knew how long he could keep doing it? Then, halfway through the year: ‘Wow. He’s gotten better. I know he can do this, but he’s going to hit a wall at some point.’ Game 15, he hasn’t hit a wall yet. This is amazing, and he’s still getting better. That’s why I just think it speaks volumes for his preparation, for the time and effort he puts in – not just his body to be healthy and focused and ready, but the preparation for his mind, knowing the game plan, knowing the defenses. He’s here on Tuesdays by himself going over film. For a rookie, that’s good.”
Pouncey recalled the day last spring when Mike Wallace was given his 2009 rookie award at a dinner. He was sitting with just-hired line coach Sean Kugler.
“He looked me dead in the face and he said, ‘Now you better win that award,’ Pouncey said. “So that’s all I was thinking about the whole season, getting that award for him.”
Pouncey credited his teammates first for his success, but hung most of it on Kugler.
“He’s been great to me,” Pouncey said. “I come in on Tuesdays and meet with him about the game plan, what we’re going to run, what pass protections. He’s always been there for me. He taught me how to be a professional football player.”
Only 21 with accolades piling up, Pouncey continues to say all the right things. He mentioned he’d “give it all away for the Super Bowl” and of the first six questions put to him during the lunch-time open locker room, five times Pouncey included a mention of the importance of Sunday’s game in Cleveland.
“All of these awards are coming fast,” he said finally. “I’m not worried about it. I’m worried about Cleveland.”
“I don’t know him that well as a person,” said Browns coach Eric Mangini, “but just from the outside looking in, he’s got to have a great work ethic. There’s no doubt about that in my mind because you don’t make those strides without that. He’s not doing that on talent alone. He’s got to have a lot of the intangibles that are going to make him a special player for a long time.”
12-30-2010, 08:29 AM
Kugler might have been the best pick up of the off season. I don't think he gets enough credit.
12-30-2010, 01:02 PM
Nice find/post siss, thanks!
... I wonder who our Steeler Rook of the Year will be??
12-30-2010, 01:15 PM
Is Pouncey rookie of the year for the Steelers or the entire NFL ?
Pouncey is our rookie. They haven't announced the league ROY.
12-30-2010, 02:25 PM
Thank You. Offensive line is not a sexy pick so I doubt he gets it but, I do feel if any offensive lineman would ever get it, Pouncey would or should have stood the best chance.
I would give much credit to those that would pick him. To actually know those people could look at the meat and potatoes of the game would be nice for a change.
12-30-2010, 04:12 PM
I'm pretty sure that Sam Bradford will win NFL OROY and Ndamukong Suh will win NFL DROY. But Pouncey should garner some votes for NFL OROY, for sure. Centers simply aren't sexy picks (especially when there is a rookie QB who transformed his team from the worst in the league to a playoff berth if the Rams win in Seattle on Sunday night).
12-30-2010, 11:37 PM
Roethlisberger now a Pittsburgh media favorite
Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on December 30, 2010
Much of the backlash against Ben Roethlisberger following his sexual assault allegations had little to do with his troubling behavior towards women.
Stories floated around of Roethlisberger simply being a jerk: To fans, to waitresses, to women, to men, to fellow players, and to the media. (Many of these stories were published; many weren’t. His reputation was in place well before the investigation in Georgia.)
When Roethlisberger returned to the Steelers, he promised a different approach. And it appears he has mended fences with one subset of people he may have previously offended: The Pittsburgh media.
On Wednesday, the Pro Football Writers chapter in Pittsburgh gave Roethlisberger “The Chief Award.” The award is given annually to someone in the Steelers organization that exemplified “the spirit of cooperation” with the media shown by franchise founder Art Rooney. Roethlisberger is the first quarterback to win the award.
Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted the accomplishment in an article titled: “Roethlisberger a changed man.”
“I said I need to be more cooperative with people, be a better person,” Roethlisberger said. “As much as people like to joke, you [in the media] are people. And we treat you guys that way. It’s just a change I wanted to make in my life and it’s towards you guys as well.”
Real change is lasting, so it will be interesting to watch Roethlisberger over the next few years. For now, those who cover Roethlisberger the closest wanted to show their appreciation for the changes he’s made.
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