Yesterday, we mentioned Ben Roethlisberger’s comments on Heath Miller. It was no secret Miller was one of Roethlisberger’s closest friends. But Miller, like Brett Keisel or Willie Colon, are long gone, making it fair to say Roethlisberger is closest with Maurkice Pouncey. Pouncey sat down with Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews on a variety of topics, including the relationship between center and quarterback.
“Ben’s a really close friend of mine,” Pouncey told Matthews. “Obviously, the quarterback and center relationship is really really close. He’s just done a great job of my whole entire career of keeping me right, keeping me focused, making sure I’m a leader and accountable to my guys. I couldn’t ask for a better quarterback.”
Pouncey came into the league as a first round pick in 2010 and immediately became the starter. He went on to say it didn’t take long for him and Roethlisberger to forge a relationship, that it “clicked” right away and they’ve been friends ever since. Roethlisberger called Pouncey a “comfort blanket,” a term he’s only used in the past for Miller, putting Pouncey in some great company.
While Roethlisberger has always had Pouncey’s back, the reverse was true following Big Ben’s five interception game two weeks ago in a loss to Jacksonville. Pouncey says there was never any doubt that Ben would rebound.
“It’s funny to me because you know how the media is. If you watch the interview with Ben, he kinda laughed like, ‘maybe I don’t have it anymore.’ Now the headline is ‘Ben doesn’t have it anymore.’ I mean, come on. Ben is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Everybody has bad games. You think I’m going to question Big Ben if he can come back and have a great game? That’s crazy.”
Roethlisberger certainly did bounce back, not with his best game ever but arguably the best of the season.
Pouncey’s success, especially post seven knee surgeries, has been absolutely remarkable. By our charting, he hasn’t allowed a regular season sack since October of 2014. He’s one of the most athletic and consistent pivots in the game and that was on display in Sunday’s win over the Chiefs, helping to lead Le’Veon Bell to his best game of the season.