Injury history hasn’t been kind to Maurkice Pouncey, missing two of the last three seasons with serious leg injuries. Last year’s journey was the most difficult, a total of seven surgeries to fix and repair complications from his broken fibula.
Now fully healthy, he’s playing with a chip on his shoulder, eager to be on the football field again. Even if it’s just in shorts, as it was during the spring.
“I go home now and I call my brother on the phone like, ‘bro, man, I missed it,'” he told Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews in a one-on-one interview. I really did. I love this sport. We sit back and have small conversations. It’s just great to be back out there with the guys.”
He, of course, is referring to his twin brother Mike Pouncey, a member of the Miami Dolphins.
It’s given him a bit of new energy to attack this season with.
“I’m always 100 percent, [effort in practice] but I think it’s just a little more chip on my shoulder. Sitting back and watching other guys play your position and not being able to go out there an help your organization. It’s tough. Being a strong person though, you get through everything.”
He credits his teammates, specifically, his fellow linemen for keeping his spirits high during some of those dark days. It’s not unusual for a player out for the season to be left out, the rest of the team moving forward and focusing on their task. But the usual tradition of Thursdays at Pouncey’s continued.
“The guys come over, we have a big dinner. We usually cater something. The doctor come over, we get chiropractors and stretch, the laser treatment. We watch film and then we try to watch the Thursday Night football game.”
It’s certainly a tight-knit group and an experienced one last year. Kelvin Beachum, Ramon Foster, Marcus Gilbert, Cody Wallace, and David DeCastro have all been with the team since at least 2013 with Foster the eldest, in Pittsburgh since 2009.