Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey Considered To Be ‘Indispensable’ By Adam Schein

In his latest “Schein Nine” offering on NFL.com, analyst Adam Schein has attempted to define the nine most indispensable offensive players around the league.

Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey comes in at No. 3 on Schein’s list.

The Steelers’ star center suffered a season-ending injury on Pittsburgh’s eighth offensive snap of the 2013 campaign, when teammate David DeCastro accidentally barreled into his leg while attempting to block a Tennessee Titans defender. In a related story, Pittsburgh missed the playoffs. As offensive coordinator Todd Haley told my colleague Michael Silver in the aftermath of the injury, it left the Steelers “shell-shocked.” Pittsburgh, of course, dropped its first four games of the year — creating a hole the Steelers just couldn’t dig themselves out of, despite a valiant effort down the stretch.

Pouncey’s a great player, the glue of a line that was suspect a year ago. The 27th-ranked run game missed Pouncey. So did Ben Roethlisberger. The fifth-year pro is vital to Pittsburgh’s success.

It’s a pretty vanilla explanation by Schein, but it’s hard to argue with him having Pouncey on his list.

If the Steelers do indeed intend on running the outside-zone in 2014 in order to take advantage of what second-year running back Le’Veon Bell did best in college, Pouncey’s mobility certainly will play a big part in that being successful. The center is back practicing again during OTA practices and that’s probably earlier than several thought.

When Pouncey went down last year in the season-opener, Fernando Velasco was plucked off of the street to take over at center. While the Georgia product did hold his own when pressed quickly into service as the starter, he never was mistaken for Pouncey when it came to his mobility.

Velasco’s season eventually came to an end thanks to a torn Achilles’ suffered Thanksgiving night in Baltimore and at that point the Steelers had no choice but to turn to Cody Wallace. Like Velasco, Wallace was able to hold his own in the Steelers final four games and he parlayed that performance into a new three-year contract this offseason. Even so, the Steelers running game would likely suffer in 2014 if Wallace were to have start for an extended amount of games.

In reality, Schein could have probably listed about 10 other centers on his list that one would could easily deem as being indispensable to their team’s offense. With 2014 being a contract-year for Pouncey, the Steelers now have the ultimate task of deciding just how indispensable their former first-round draft pick really is.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Big White

    Anyone who wears a “Free Aaron Hernandez” hat as a joke after a murder is most definitely indispensable.
    .

  • Jeff

    I’d like to see Pouncey put just one complete season together without getting hurt, then I’ll think about the word “indispensable”. I could think of a few other guys the steelers have now that I’d consider more indispensable than Pouncey.

  • kev4heels

    Schein is not a very good guy to get football insight from. Oh, and he hates the Steelers. I listened to him for a while on Sirius and the guy is simply unbearable.

  • 804Stiller

    Agreed, I think the potential of his athleticism in a zone scheme is exciting but he did miss arguably the two biggest games of his career. The SB and the playoff game against Denver with the ankle. I know he had that procedure to prevent continued ankle issues. To his defense, it was nothing he could do about DeCastro’s friendly fire to the knee last year. I wonder if he has any issues with the ankle since the surgery………….

  • BigSnack

    if the money is right. keep him. i just want our Oline to play a full! season together. id really like to see that.

  • Alejandro Caballero

    I think A Brown is much more indispensable

  • pittsburghjoe

    Especially when the “anyone” is overrated to begin with.

  • http://pittsburghsportsinat.blogspot.com/ bgsteelfan

    This both explains why Schein is so low on Decastro, and further explains why he is an idiot.