Maurkice Pouncey is off the crutches and hoofing around the hotel in a ski-boot like contraption to support his ankle. Whether he will or won’t lock n load on Super Bowl sunday is still officially up in the air. But i believe that the center position is in good hands if Pouncey can’t go and i give you three words why.
The Big Legursky.
If Maurkice Pouncey wasn’t Maurkice Pouncey (A Pro Bowl and All-Pro center in his first year), then Doug Legursky would be the starting center of the Pittsburgh Steelers and most likely Maurkice would be lining up next to Doug at guard (the original plan if you remember). Doug could start for other teams in this league. He is the equivalent of Chris Hoke playing behind Casey Hampton.
I know Bronko Legursky is not as athletic and able to track down and dominate second tier linebackers like Maurkice, but he brings his own particular skill set to the big shooting match (this isn’t CNN and remember, we are in Texas).
Though not as athletically gifted as Maurkice, Doug played goalline FB and TE as well as guard and of course center. Remember that Doug was chosen to play those positions because he demonstrated the quicks to make the physical adjustments required of TE’s and banging FB’s. That takes athleticism.
Bronko is smart, lnows the offense better than Maurkice, and directs traffic very well. In the blitz-happy defensive schemes of Dom Capers, he is well-versed in anti-sack schematics.
Doug is a very powerful dude who plays well in keeping positive levels with both guards on pass pro. Meaning he stays on the same plane giving very little in allowing the opponent to hit gaps between them. His strength is also very noticeable when a NT tries to bull rush and drive him back to create penetration for others. He gives very little ground in that department.
Doug plays with a low pad level and with his great hamhock strength and sporting shoulders that you normally find on one of the rodeo bulls that bust up cowboys down here in Fort Worth, he is a tough hombre in his own right when it comes to roadgrading on run blocking. Doug likes to throw guys down and gore them like Donald Trump likes to fire people.
Yes i know people are screaming platitudes about BJ Raji, the huge NT of the Packers. Yes, he is a very good player. Yes he will be a handfull. But i am confident that Legursky can match up with Raji.
Don’t forget, for the last 2 years Bronko has been the practice squad center. For the last 2 years, week in and week out, training camp in and training camp out, Bronko has been playing against Casey Hampton and holding his own. Big Snack is a pretty good player in his own right.
No doubt the preference would be to have a healthy Maurkice Pouncey take the center position come kickoff. But the snappers position is in good hands if he’s not.