Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey only had a chance to play alongside guard David DeCastro in three regular season games last season due to the 2012 first-round draft pick tearing up his knee in the preseason; however, he said last week he\’s expecting “big things” out of the Stanford product in 2013.
“He\’s going to be great,” said Pouncey. “A guy that can really move around and get outside on the edge and block guys and really move if we got to run power football. So it\’s excellent to have him right next to me.”
The Steelers offensive line was snake bitten in 2012 as Pouncey, DeCastro, Marcus Gilbert, Mike Adams and Willie Colon all missed games due to injuries. Pouncey, however, has a positive outlook when it comes to the unit staying healthy in 2013.
“That\’s the key for any team,” said the Steelers 2010 first-round draft pick. “Hopefully this is our year for that to happen, and I think it pretty much will.”
During the offseason Pouncey said that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin asked him to become more of a team leader in 2013. When asked if he\’s already assumed that role with some of the younger players, Pouncey said that he has.
“Most definitely, especially (Kelvin) Beachum,” said Pouncey. “They\’re moving him to center right now and its going to be tough moving over to that position, but I\’m sticking right by him.”
Beachum admitted last week that learning the center position wasn\’t going smooth for him, and Pouncey was asked what type of things needed to be learned to adjust to the position.
“Just getting the snaps down is basically the number one key thing and ID\’ing for the other guys, and just being more confident with it,” said Pouncey.