The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: Maurkice Pouncey will one day be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Explanation: There aren’t a lot of centers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Two of them have already come from the Pittsburgh Steelers—Mike Webster and Dermontti Dawson. Both of them are certainly deserving. Neither of them have gone to more Pro Bowls than has Maurkice Pouncey.
I’m not sure there is any other lineman in history who has gone to the Pro Bowl in every year for which they were healthy, and done so at least nine times. Now, I’m sure there are—I just can’t think of one off the top of my head. But if there is a list of them, it’s a short one, and I guarantee they’re all in the Hall of Fame.
He might not get in on the first ballot, but Pouncey will certainly make it into the Hall of Fame, eventually. Whether you agree with or not, there is no denying that he has been viewed as the greatest, or one of the greatest, at his position for virtually his entire career. And while there might have been some falling off toward the end of his career, he certainly was very good for a very long time, and even dominant. The injuries that he came back from only make his career more remarkable.
Without statistics, it’s always difficult for offensive linemen to get into the Hall of Fame. The have to stand out, and their tape has to tell the truth of their greatness. Pouncey has stood out since his rookie season, and was always a ‘name’ guy, which is why he made it to nine Pro Bowls even though he may have only merited a slightly more than half or two thirds of them.
I have no doubt that there will be a push to get Pouncey into the Hall of Fame, but he may went up in the ‘Hall of Very Good’—and that might not be a bad place for him. Where he’ll join some former teammates like Hines Ward and James Harrison.
All you have to do is look at how hard Alan Faneca had it to get in, really, and there was never any ambiguity as to whether or not he was deserving. Dawson himself had to wait some time before getting in, and he was recognized as somebody who changed the way the position was played while also being among the best to ever do it.
On top of that, it’s just not easy to make it. There are only a handful of centers in the Hall of Fame. The most recent one to make it retired before Pouncey was even in the league.