Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey has known quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown dating back to 2010. Because of those long relationships he has and with him believing he knows both teammates well, Pouncey believes whatever differences Brown and Roethlisberger might now have with each other stemming from whatever happened during the final Wednesday practice of the season will ultimately get resolved and that the wide receiver will be back with the team in 2019.
“When you look at the bigger picture, man, there has been so much accomplished by everyone there, you can’t tell me a good phone conversation, or a sit-down, can’t get things right, man,” Pouncey said on Wednesday while attending Pro Bowl practice in Orlando, FL. “Hopefully it comes to that, because things have been very memorable there. I’ve had a lot of great memories with a lot of guys and for that to end so dramatically, and the way that people are printing it right now, it don’t sit well. But I think they can get it right.”
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 23, 2019
Initial reports following that Week 17 Wednesday walk-through practice indicated that a football was thrown by one of Brown or Roethlisberger during that session. Pouncey, however, indicated on Wednesday that people shouldn’t believe any of that.
“That the things that were reported didn’t happen,” Pouncey said when asked if he could clarify what went down during that infamous Wednesday walk-through.
When reminded on Wednesday that Brown has still yet to sit down with anyone from the Steelers coaching staff to team president Art Rooney II as of last week to explain his side of things and why he chose to go AWOL during the final week of the regular season, Pouncey just pointed to not enough time passing yet for the wide receiver to be able to move forward as the likely reason.
“For my opinion, I think it’s more of a time thing,” Pouncey said. “Time heals everything.”
Pouncey was also asked on Wednesday if he’s every viewed Brown as being a distraction to the team.
“Never a distraction,” Pouncey said of Brown. “I’ve been around a lot of great players. I used to tell guys all the time, when you have great players, no matter what anyone says, and no matter how anyone thinks, they always have a little “it” factor to them. They just have. I played with Percy [Harvin] and [Tim] Tebow, the two greatest players in the world, obviously, some times maybe sometimes they didn’t agree with some of the things, but trust me, when we went out there on game day, they loved it. They wanted to go out there and win, they wanted to be able to perform their best for each other.
“That’s just how things is. You guys know, you guys have been watching superstars your whole entire life. If it was a guy, a younger guy that has no credibility behind it, we wouldn’t be talking about it. The simple fact is, it’s two Hall of Fame players is the reasons it’s getting brought up so much.”
Pouncey was asked if he expects Brown and Roethlisberger to soon talk and thus work out their differences with each other.
“They’re the best duo in Steeler history,” Pouncey said. “I mean, you don’t want to talk? Two Hall of Famers that have done played with each other and did so much together, I just don’t understand what football and team is anymore.”
Does Pouncey think he can be the one to help make peace between the two because he knows both so well?
“For me, and I know AB and I know Ben, we’re all older, man. When you get older you understand things,” Pouncey said. “Now, sometimes it might take a minute to call somebody. I know I’ve done argued with my brother before and I was so mad at him that I didn’t talk to him for two weeks. But then I’m sitting there the whole time, like, damn, I lost two weeks of talking to my brother and some of the good things that we could have did together.”
Pouncey ended his interview with once again stating that he believes Brown and Roethlisberger will ultimately get things worked out with each other
“But at the end of the day, things can get worked out,” Pouncey said. “And I honestly, truthfully feel that from both guys. From talking to Ben and personally knowing AB, being in a draft class with him. And being here a long time playing football, I know this football team and I know that you get over things. It wasn’t like anyone said anything bad about a family member, it’s just football arguments.”
It will be interesting to see if Pouncey winds up being right. His beliefs aside, Brown not only likely needs to make peace with Roethlisberger, but the rest of the Steelers organization as well. He has roughly seven weeks left to do that as he’s due a $2.5 million roster bonus just after the start of the new league year in March. If Brown’s not traded a few days after the start of the new league year then he’ll likely remain with the Steelers in 2019.
If Pouncey’s predicted reconciliation happens, it will be interesting to see if the other prediction he made on Wednesday winds up coming to fruition as well.
“Ah, man, the stories you see right now, man, it’s all funny, because they’ll never get brought back up when everything gets right,” Pouncey said.