What would you say was your biggest suprise of the Steelers 2010 season? It could be a player’s performance, a play or game. A ruling from the league maybe. The fact that the Steelers went to the Super Bowl?
Mine is easy (push the Staples “easy” button here). The biggest suprise for me was the outstanding play of Steelers rookie center Maurkice Pouncey.
Sure, everybody expected a lot from him. Absolutely knew he would, over time, be a player. Most thought that he would break into this season playing guard and then next year move one spot over.
But no one could have predicted that this young man would step in and have a meteoric upwards learning curve that would result in Prow Bowl and All-Pro honors. No one knew that Maurkice would be the Hines Ward of the offensive lineman.
At the start of the season could anyone have forecasted that Pouncey would set the tone for the O Line playing with a gritty toughness and desire that fleshed itself out in “blocking to the echo of the whistle” that lifted the effort of the entire line to a new level?
Or that Maurkice could agitate the opponent every bit as much or more than Hines? That Pouncey would handle all the x’s and o’s and direct traffic like a champ? And do it all with a smile on his face?
Furthermore, could it be that the drafting of Maurkice Pouncey signals a new standard in drafting offensive lineman, that being a return to more athleticism being demanded than sheer “Jurrassic Park” critters of enormous size?
One thing for sure, given that he remains healthy, Maurkice will join that heralded lineage of great Steelers centers for sure. But that might not be the only lineage he joins though.
Who knows, Pouncey might eventually be one of those guys like Joe Green, Hines, James Harrison and Mel Blount who were so dominant they had to change the rules of the game for them.
Now that wouldn’t suprise me.