As the Steelers embark on their three-day minicamp offensive line coach Mike Munchak has two big things going for him – center Maurkice Pouncey is healthy and there is good competition at the tackle position.
Munchak shared his thoughts on both topics.
- On center Maurkice Pouncey and what he brings:
"He's a natural leader. These guys really rally around him. They really are encouraged by watching the way he worked out after being hurt in the opener. How he's come back and all the time he's put in this building to get the chance to be part of these workouts again. Really excited where he's at. I'm really excited as a line coach (when) you know you have a guy like him locked up for a long term. Center is one of the building blocks and he's the leader so it's a lot of plusses and I think so far so good for him."
On how ready Pouncey is**:
"For him he's got to be careful not to be too anxious. We don't play until September. He's definitely ready. He not limited at all. He can pretty much do everything, so now it's just getting rust off, getting comfortable. This is the first phase with helmets and assignments and confidence and those things. Then training camp is the next one and then preseason games and each step along the way. But he looks great and we just have to be smart of how much work we give him to do."
Photos of the Steelers Offensive Tackles during the 2013 season.
On the tackle position, with the competition there:**"I think the best thing an offensive coach can have is competition and I think we have that. We have (Kelvin) Beachum working at left tackle and Mike (Adams) and Marcus (Gilbert). I think you got some guys that can really do some good things and again I'm asking them to do different things than they've done in the past. They've had three line coaches in three years so everything is not going to change overnight in what we want to do. I'm kind of watching to see what they're good at, trying to hopefully improve their game as we go forward.
"I think it's creating good competition. They're going to be battled tested and ready to go. Mike has been playing both sides. He's been the one pushing on both sides. Guy Whimper has been obviously the fourth guy. We've got four veteran tackles. We're going to have some good football players and some tough decisions."