It’s been nearly one full year now since Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey has been able to hit another player on a football field in full pads and with the team’s first training camp practice scheduled to take place on Friday, if allowed to do so, you can bet he’ll be ready and willing to mix it up with the team’s defensive players.
“I’m ready,” Pouncey said Thursday upon arriving at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, according to Daniel Scifo. “This is the best I’ve felt in a long time. I sat on the couch last year. I’m ready to hit anything that’s walking by me.”
Pouncey, who was lost last year to a broken fibula in the team’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, ultimately had to undergo several surgeries throughout the season due to an infection that developed in his ankle. While backup center Cody Wallace did admirable job in his attempt to replace the Steelers four-time Pro Bowler, his play certainly wasn’t on the same level of Pouncey’s past work.
“For me, I just want to get back out there and enjoy the moment,” Pouncey said, according to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’m going to go out there and bust my butt and hopefully everyone follows. I have the [highest] expectations in the world. I hold myself accountable for everything. I’m pushing for a strong year this year.”
Assuming Pouncey can return to his All-Pro form this season and stay on the field the entire year, the Steelers could quite possibly wind up having one of the best offensive line units in the entire league. Additionally, their depth figures to greatly improved this season thanks to the addition of veteran tackle Ryan Harris during the free agent signing period.
While Pouncey will more than likely want to participate in every one of the team’s 14 training camp practices this year, hopefully head coach Mike Tomlin forces him to take a day or two off during the next several weeks and especially during strings of consecutive sessions. There will be plenty of time for Pouncey to hit everything that walks past him once the regular season gets underway.