Pouncey not looking for credit


Last season the Steelers offense set records in both the passing and running game, with Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell all earning praise for their efforts.

Those three, though, are the first to say it all starts up front with the offensive line. They never hesitate to give the big guys the credit.

Just don't share those words of praise with center Maurkice Pouncey, as the Pro Bowler isn't looking for compliments or a pat on the back.

"Offensive linemen don't need that much credit," quipped Pouncey on Tuesday, the first day of the team's minicamp. "Ben, Le'Veon and AB can get it."

But it took a strong, consistent, healthy offensive line last year to open the holes for Bell and give Roethlisberger the protection he needed. That has to be something for Pouncey to hang his hat on, right?

"We look back on it and we look at the things we could have done a lot better," said Pouncey. "It could have been a lot more productive, but we are glad about last year and hopefully we can build on it."

The line has been working on building on their performance from last season from the minute offseason workouts began. And Pouncey has led the way, from the weight room to the field, making sure everybody is doing their job while functioning as one.

"We just have to keep working, attacking the day the right way," said Pouncey. "Having our mindset on the right things and not having many mistakes. You can look bad when you are messing up. I think all the guys are on the right track and we are looking positive now."

One of the key factors in the way the line is looking is the input from offensive line coach Mike Munchak. Now in his second year on the job, his impact is felt even more, as is his tough approach, and they love it.

"He is a lot harder on us now," said Pouncey. "He knows us, he knows what he can say to us, and he knows how to push us in the right way. He has enhanced all of our careers. I wouldn't want anybody else, I am glad to have him here. He has been a great role model and a great person to me."

The Steelers still have two more days of minicamp before they take a little over a month off before reporting to Saint Vincent College for training camp on July 25. For Pouncey and his teammates, though, there really is no such thing as a 'month off.'

"You have to focus in," said Pouncey. "You have to go to training hard and get in really good shape. Training camp is going to be hard, hot and a lot of hitting. Get the body ready, prepared and workout all of the time and see how things turn out."

Pouncey encourages the young offensive linemen to listen up and be prepared too, because once camp starts things move 100 miles an hour and there is no margin for error.

"They just have to come in and work hard, get in the playbook and don't go out there and make mistakes," said Pouncey. "That would be the worst thing to happen to you in camp. That's how you get yourself cut. I think all of the guys are smart and doing a good job with things and we'll see how they roll out."

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