While the annual OTA practices aren’t mandatory to attend, it appears as though Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey not only enjoys participating in them this year, he also doesn’t want to miss any.
After the Steelers first OTA practice on Tuesday, Pouncey, who missed the entire 2015 season with a broken fibula that he had suffered during the team’s second preseason game, made it clear that he has no intentions of taking any days off in the coming weeks.
“I’m full-go. I’m not missing anything. I’m just ready to come out here and take each day at a time,” Pouncey said, according Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times. “…I’m 26 years-old. I’m doing everything. I don’t need time off. I’m (mad) that I missed a lot, so I’m ready to go.”
So far, Pouncey has held true to his word and even though the Steelers reportedly offered him a day off on Thursday, the All-Pro declined the opportunity to close out this first week as a sideline spectator, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.
Several other media reports throughout the week have suggested that Pouncey is already very aggressive during the team’s first set of OTA practices and being as he hasn’t taken any reps since injuring himself last August, you can probably understand why.
While many have already labeled as Pouncey as being injury prone due to him already having missed 35 regular season games during his first six years of his career, I tend to view him as being unlucky more than anything else. Besides, Pouncey’s above-average athleticism is probably partly to blame for his injuries as he’s able to get down the field quickly which tends to always have him around the ending actions of several plays. Such was the case last year during the preseason when he broke his fibula.
With all of the above said and me tipping my cap to Pouncey’s current desire to not miss any practices during the offseason, I hope he ultimately reconsiders as the summer progresses as there’s no need for him to prove his durability or love for the game at this point. Having him 100 percent healthy for all 16 games and expected deep playoff run is far more important than offseason perfect practice attendance.