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Success That Pays: Steelers’ Pouncey becomes highest-paid center in NFL History

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Maurkice Pouncey recently signed a blockbuster deal. But, with money comes potential and critics. Pouncey’s past success is great. He will need more success in the future to prove why he deserves to be the highest-paid center in NFL history.

Pouncey signed a five year 44 million dollar contract this week. Due to Pouncey’s past injury history,  many critics feel he does not deserve to be the highest paid center.   Pouncey, though,  has proven his value since his first day as a Steelers player. Teammates quickly saw how special Pouncey was his first day at mini camp. After battling in one-on- one drills with former Steelers great NT Casey Hampton, teammates saw Pouncey had a rare blend of size, strength and athleticism.

“He is gonna be a star,” Hampton said.

Pouncey has been a starter since day one for the Steelers. Over the past four seasons Pouncey started at the center and guard positions while the offensive line dealt with injuries. Pouncey, on many occasions, has shown his athleticism by getting to the second level of defenses to block linebackers and sometimes corners and safeties.

While playing for the University of Florida, Pouncey played in a zone blocking system along with college teammates and standouts, twin brother Mike Pouncey and Marcus Gilbert (who also plays for the Steelers).   Florida was one of the top offensive teams in the nation at that time. The zone blocking system clearly made Pouncey an intriguing prospect.

There is no doubt Pouncey will have to remain healthy. But, with the work Pouncey has already put in during minicamps and OTAs in 2014, it is clear he is one of the top centers in the NFL. With a proven offensive line coach, Mike Munchak, to coach Pouncey this year there is little doubt Pouncey will improve. It is also safe to say Pouncey will have more improved offensive line teammates to play with also.

Over the last seven games last season the Steelers’ offensive line only allowed seven sacks.  Pouncey will be paid the big bucks. But with his talent, a wise coaching staff and talented and improved players, Pouncey will show very quickly why he is the highest paid center in NFL history.

 

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