Now that training camp is underway, and the roster for the offseason is close to finalized—though always fluid—it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past few months.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we move forward.
Player: C Maurkice Pouncey
Stock Value: Down
I would argue that the 2018 season was the best in Maurkice Pouncey’s career since his career-threatening leg fracture several years ago. It is mere coincidence that it also happened to be the only season since then that he has been honored with distinction on the All-Pro team.
Even though he once again made the Pro Bowl this year as a starter, however, it’s a virtual guarantee that he will not be honored with an All-Pro nod, as this has been far from Pouncey at his best, and yes, a lot of that does have to do with his extensive issues in delivering snaps this season.
Contrasting against the message that Mike Tomlin attempted to convey, the issues in his snaps were not limited to simply not working with Ben Roethlisberger, with whom he had built such a rapport over the course of the past decade. He simply botched a whole bunch of snaps this year, and it’s really quite baffling.
And now he likely finishes the season injured, suffering a knee injury in the middle of the Steelers’ loss on Sunday against the New York Jets. While it may prove to be less severe than it initially appeared it could potentially be—watching his knee buckle as he walked off the field was a scary sight—chances are he’s not going to be taking any more snaps this year, even if Pittsburgh manages to slip into the playoffs.
Still, rumors of Pouncey’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, namely by Pro Football Focus, who has been pretty consistently down on him over the course of his entire career. Off the top of my head, I’m not certain he has ever been rated among their top 10 centers in any one season.