Dermontti Dawson redefined the way center is played in the National Football League, and that is one of the reasons he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was the first at the position who was able to pull, and it's something others have emulated.
Dawson, who played his entire career with the Steelers, is a fan of the team these days and enjoys watching them play. Dawson recently shared his thoughts on the 2016 Steelers, including giving his take on center Maurkice Pouncey.
On center Maurkice Pouncey bringing stability to the position:
"At the center position it's key. Continuity, you have to have the continuity. Maurkice is the keystone of the offensive line. He is making all the calls. He is a phenomenal athlete. He has the makings of being a great center as well. Hopefully if he stays healthy it will be unlimited what he can do and the team as well as a whole."
On the importance of Pouncey's leadership:
"I learned from Mike Webster and I attribute a lot of my success to Mike and watching him and how he prepared as a professional. I tried to emulate what Mike did. For Maurkice that is paramount. He is a leader. Guys follow guys who are accountable and play up to a certain level. That is what he is doing. That is bringing up all of the other guys play as well. He is a key for the success of the offensive line."
On continuity on the offensive line:
"It's everything for offensive line play. Sometimes when you have guys who are injured and somebody new comes in to play, it's not the same. You get used to the guy playing next to you. The longer you get used to the guy playing next to you it's almost like an unsaid thing. You know what he is thinking."
On the 2016 offense:
"I think if one of the other receivers becomes a threat and gives Antonio (Brown) more freedom, and there is consistency in the running game, it's going to open it up for Ben (Roethlisberger). We have to protect Ben as well, protect his blind side. I think those guys will be decent this year. They have all of the components, they just have to put them together and be a cohesive group. Consistency is the key."
On quarterback Ben Roethlisberger:
"Ben is one of the best. I love seeing him play. Ben just don't run as much. Slow it down a little bit. He is a phenomenal quarterback when it comes to running the offense and throwing the ball."