7 greatest Pittsburgh Steelers of the Ben Roethlisberger era
By Scott Long
6. Maurkice Pouncey
Maurkice Pouncey was the Steelers center since 2010 and has been one of the league’s best for nearly his entire career. Despite slowing down the last two seasons, Pouncey was arguably the best center in the league nearly every other season in his career, as he, Alex Mack, Travis Frederick, and Nick Mangold were typically among the best at the position.
Pouncey is a nine-time Pro Bowler and was named to the All-Pro team in 2011 and 2014. While anchoring the middle of one of the NFL’s best offensive lines, Pouncey helped protect Roethlisberger and pave the way for Le’Veon Bell’s two All-Pro seasons.
Pouncey was extremely athletic for a center, and the team used that to their advantage in the running game, frequently allowing Pouncey or DeCastro to pull and play the lead blocker on running plays. This is why Bell got so much praise for his patient running style, as he would let one of his two athletic interior offensive linemen get out in front of him and clear the running lane.
Pouncey also served as a leader on the offensive side of the ball, along with Roethlisberger throughout his career. He also became one of Roethlisberger’s closest friends, which is why Roethlisberger was so emotional after their Wild Card Round loss to the Cleveland Browns, knowing that Pouncey would retire after this season.
Pouncey continued the tradition of dominant play from the center position in the Pittsburgh Steelers offense, following in the footsteps of Mike Webster and Dermontti Dawson.