Pouncey, Rainey on same team again
Pouncey, Rainey on same team again
June 15, 2012 12:13 am
By Douglas Farmer / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey first paved a path for running back Chris Rainey in their junior year at Lakeland High School in Florida. He continued to do so their senior year and for the majority of three seasons at the University of Florida.
Now, thanks to the Steelers selecting Rainey in fifth round of the recent draft, Pouncey likely will have the opportunity to keep blocking for the 5-foot-9 speedster.
"I love it," Pouncey said during the Steelers minicamp this week. "I've been doing that for him ever since he was little."
The three-year veteran lineman is familiar with Rainey's explosiveness.
Rainey rushed for nearly 2,500 yards and 32 touchdowns in his senior year of high school and amassed 920 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns as a redshirt sophomore for the Gators, all with Pouncey blocking for him.
Rainey's favorite bulldozer left for the Steelers in 2010.
But, after one April phone call, the two were back on the same side of the line of scrimmage.
"I wanted to get picked by the Steelers," Rainey said. "I know people here and I love to run behind Pouncey. "I've been running around with him my whole life."
Rainey not only loves to run behind Pouncey, he has also been running with him for just as long. Rainey lived with Pouncey's family most of high school. It's no surprise that they give each other a hard time as only brothers are allowed to do.
At first, Pouncey only laughs and shakes his head at the thought of paying Rainey a compliment.
Then, he remembers they have been playing football together for the majority of the past eight years.
"I think about it now, looking back at it, we have some awesome memories together, and I'm hoping we can build more," Pouncey said.
"Just for the opportunity to play at the high school level together, the college level together, and now in the NFL together, it's an awesome experience for us."
Rainey had insisted Pouncey would only say good things about him.
How would he respond to the initial sarcastic laugh?
"I forgot he does trash talk a little bit," Rainey said.
"It's weird, but it's a blessing.
"It's great to have that same person who you know will do the right thing every time."
At some point, Rainey hopes he can pay Pouncey back for all his heavy lifting in the trenches.
"Most times, he wants me to flip [the ball] back so he can score a touchdown," Rainey said.
"One of these days, if I ever get a chance, 10 years from now, I'd do it for him."
In the meantime, Rainey will focus on making an impact with the Steelers this season.
While he could dream of serving as a change-of-pace option, Rainey instead talks extensively of special-teams success.
"It always starts with special teams," he said.
"That's the No. 1 thing in my book.
"Special teams always comes first because that's a big part of a football game."
Rainey is no stranger to success on special teams. He racked up a conference-record six blocked punts as well as two punt returns for touchdowns at Florida.
"As soon as I make a difference, they'll know I contributed to the team," Rainey said.
"I'll do anything for the team. Maybe then, I'll deserve to play on the offense.
"I'm just making plays, doing my job, and, hopefully, I get a chance to run."
If that chance comes, it will likely be with a familiar friend leading the way.
Would be cool if we could eventually reunite the whole Pouncey family.
Hopefully not with the Dolphins.
Originally Posted by flippy
Did Maurkice lose weight? He was never a big beefy guy to begin with, but look at how big he is compared the other linemen in the picture...Chris Scott, Kyle Jolly, and Marcus Gilbert are widebodies, while Pouncey's body looks more like a sleek OLB. Seriously, it looks like Clark Haggans in his old #53 jersey trying pass rush moves against the linemen.
Hall of Famer
Lean, mean blocking machine!
Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher
Looking at the picture of Decastro and Adams there too, they fit in with the slim athletic mold.
Maybe we're going back to the old days of fast athletic Olinemen.
And as mentioned above, the only missing piece now may be Mike Pouncey.
Adams-Pouncey - Pouncey - Decastro - Gilbert...................Wow that would be crazy if they all worked out.
Ray: Pouncey says ankle feels ‘awesome’
THURSDAY, 14 JUNE 2012
WRITTEN BY RAY FITTIPALDO
Maurkice Pouncey’s first two seasons in the NFL have been cut short by left ankle injuries, but the anchor to the Steelers’ offensive line is confident those problems are over as the team breaks mini camp today.
Pouncey, who had offseason surgery to repair his left ankle, has completed four weeks’ worth of spring practices and said the ankle feels “awesome.”
“It’s doing great so far,” Pouncey said Wednesday. “It feels awesome – the best that it’s ever felt.”
Pouncey first injured the ankle in the AFC Championship Game against the Jets at the end of his rookie season. He had to miss Super Bowl XLV against the Packers because of it. The ankle did not fully heal during last offseason, and Pouncey played through discomfort all last season. He then reinjured it late in the season and missed the AFC wild card loss at Denver.
“I came back and it wasn’t healthy,” he said. “I played through it. At the end of the season last year it got too weak and I needed the surgery.”
Pouncey said the ankle is stronger than ever, and the team’s training staff tells him he is less likely to suffer sprained ankles now because of the surgery.
Some offensive linemen develop chronic knee and ankle problems because they carry so much extra weight, but Pouncey said his ankle injuries were never caused by weighing 300 pounds. He said it was just the freak accident in the Jets game when a defender crashed into the side of his ankle and the fact that it never healed properly.
Maurkice Pouncey is about to take the next step to Elite
June 18th, 2012
Maurkice Pouncey is about to enter the third year of his career for the Steelers. He has been everything everyone could have wanted in a first round pick and more. Pouncey almost instantly came in and made his presence felt. He did not waste any time impressing his coaches and his teammates.
Pouncey was named the starter before the regular season even began his rookie year. That is a big thing for a rookie to do in the Steelers organization. He beat out Justin Hartwig to become the Steelers new center for the future. Pouncey held down the position for the entire season.
He was extremely impressive. Pouncey earned All Pro and Pro Bowl honors. That is definitely something that does not happen with a rookie offensive linemen. Especially not in the Pro Bowl. The Pro Bowl is normally a popularity contest and offensive linemen tend to stay in the spot until they can’t play anymore whether they deserve it or not. For Pouncey to be voted in is a big deal.
In the playoffs Pouncey injured his ankle. That injury held him out of the Super Bowl that season. Pouncey continued to suffer through the injury all last season as well. He still earned All Pro and Pro Bowl honors again. During this offseason Pouncey decided to have surgery on that ankle. He is now 100% and feels better than ever.
Pouncey is about to break into a new level in this league. He is about to go from great to elite. He is finally healthy. He can play on two good legs instead of one. It will show off his athleticism and his strength. That is something that seemed to be lacking with Pouncey due to the injuries.
Another thing on Pouncey’s side is that he will be better surrounded by talent. Pouncey has played in the past 2 seasons with guys who were not drafted or injured on either side of him. He has had to overcome their weaknesses and help them while still covering his own area. That is a lot to ask of one guy.
He has been with guys like Chris Kemoeatu who can barely walk anymore and has not been picked up by any NFL team since his release by the Steelers. After Kemo went down with an injury in jumped Doug Legursky and Ramon Foster. Both of these guys were undrafted free agents when they got to the team. Both are skilled but not the caliber of linemen that you usually see in the NFL. They both are good swing back ups and can make an impact but not a full season impact. They are just not at that level.
The Steelers changed that this offseason. Pouncey now has First Round Pick David DeCastro to his right and Willie Colon to his left. DeCastro is expected to be the next Alan Faneca or Steve Hutchinson. Pick one, it does not matter to me which one, they were both out of this world. Since DeCastro is expected to be a top guard in the NFL Pouncey will have some protection on his right side.
Willie Colon will also be an upgrade at guard. He was expected to play guard coming out of college. He was expected to be a good guard but due to need at first and stubborness of Bruce Arians second Colon remained at tackle. Colon will just be getting his feet wet at the position but should be good to go by the time the regular season starts.
Pouncey will be able to do his job and take care of himself. He won’t have to be turning his head in a circle wandering which guy he has to make up for on every play. He should be able to go out and play. This line is now solid and as it gels it could become one of the better offensive lines in the league.
Since Pouncey is healthy and will be able to do what he can do we will see a whole new guy this year. He can take his talent and use it like he is supposed to. He can take his guy out and bounce to the next guy in the way. It will open up more running holes and a create a better pocket for Ben Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger will not be the only player to benefit from the drafting of DeCastro and Mike Adams. Pouncey will benefit just as much. It will take him from great to Elite and nothing should stand in his way.