Steelers rookie Pouncey makes Pro Bowl


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Maurkice Pouncey has been compared to two of the great centers in Steelers history, and now he has accomplished something neither Dermontti Dawson nor Hall of Famer Mike Webster achieved.

Pouncey made the Pro Bowl as a rookie.

He is one of three Steelers voted to the NFL's all-star game, joining two multiple Pro Bowlers, linebacker James Harrison and safety Troy Polamalu. Harrison will start for the fourth consecutive time, and Polamalu, a six-time selection, will make his fifth start. Pouncey made it as the No. 2 center for the AFC team that will play Jan. 30 in Honolulu.

The Steelers, though, hope none of their players plays in the Pro Bowl because those from the two Super Bowl teams, which play Feb. 6, will not participate.

Pouncey became the first Steelers rookie to make the Pro Bowl since linebacker Kendrell Bell made it for the 2001 season and the first Steelers rookie offensive linemen to do so since tackle Frank Varrichione for the 1955 season. Pouncey is the first rookie to start every game since Bell.

He also continues a grand tradition at the center position for the Steelers. Starting in the 1978 season, when Webster made his first of nine Pro Bowls, the Steelers have placed centers in 19 Pro Bowls. Dawson made seven, Jeff Hartings two and Pouncey one.

If no Steelers are added to the Pro Bowl as alternates, it will tie their fewest selections in a decade or since they had one for the 2000 season. Four Steelers were Pro Bowlers last season, but only Harrison repeated. The others from last year were Casey Hampton, Heath Miller and LaMarr Woodley.

The disappointments for the Steelers will be for those they feel were deserving and did not make the Pro Bowl.

Despite having the NFL's No. 2 overall defense and by far its best defense against the run, the Steelers' top two tacklers did not make it -- Lawrence Timmons and James Farrior, who also has six sacks. And even though he leads the conference with an average of 20.2 yards per catch, ranks fourth with 1,152 yards and is tied for fourth with nine touchdown catches, Mike Wallace did not make the Pro Bowl.


Ed Bouchette: ebouchette@post-gazette.com .


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