Antonio Brown was the easy choice for Pittsburgh Steelers’ MVP. But we know it wasn’t a unanimous decision. Talking with the media earlier Wednesday, Ben Roethlisberger revealed he voted for Maurkice Pouncey.
“I was a guy who voted a lot of years for Heath Miller,” Roethlisberger said via the teamsite. “To me, MVP is the most valuable payer on the team, the guy you just can’t do without. And for me, it’s him. I could probably pick any of the linemen but he’s the anchor of the group. He means a lot to me not just as a friend but for this team. He definitely deserves my vote. I put a big “5-3″ on my [ballot] and circled it.”
Pouncey was elected to his his second straight Pro Bowl and sixth one overall and is in the middle of another excellent season. He hasn’t missed a game, allowed just one sack, and been penalized only three times, all some of the top numbers in the league.
Roethlisberger and Pouncey forged a close relationship from nearly the moment Pouncey was drafted in 2010. One that is similar to the friendship Ben has had with guys like Max Starks and Willie Colon throughout his career. Pouncey has gone as far as to claim that he’s going to retire whenever Roethlisberger does.
Beyond that, the line and Ben have a tight-knit relationship. It’s mostly a group of guys who have been together for years. Across the starting five, Alejandro Villanueva was the last piece added, all the way back in 2014. They’ve done a great job keeping Roethlisberger upright and he returned the favor at Christmas, buying each linemen a custom suit with photos of the group lining the inside of the jacket.
Assuming Roethlisberger returns in 2018, it’s a group that’ll be unchanged too, with all five linemen under contract to return. Guys of the future are being groomed too. B.J. Finney still looks like the heir to take over for Ramon Foster and Jerald Hawkins has gotten some valuable playtime, which will help ease the presumed loss of Chris Hubbard in the offseason.