Can Florida's Pouncey walk in brother's shoes?
Former Florida center Mike Pouncey, the identical twin brother of Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, has impressed scouts.
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Mike Pouncey looks exactly like his brother. Talks like him, walks like him, even smiles like him. And, like his brother a year earlier, he even drew the same plays on a grease board for offensive line coach Sean Kugler in a meeting Thursday night with the Steelers.
"Great," Pouncey said, when asked how he did. "They were very impressed."
OK, Mike Pouncey has more tattoos than his brother, or so he says. But telling them apart is almost impossible.
Not surprising, though, because Mike and his brother, Maurkice, are identical twins.
The trick now is determining if Mike Pouncey is identical to his brother on an NFL playing field.
If he is, if the pedigree is the same as Maurkice Pouncey, some NFL team will have another star on their hands. Maybe it will be the Steelers.
"I'm not X-ing them out," Mike Pouncey said. "I hope they do [take me]."
There is one drawback if they do, though.
Always in competition with his twin, Mike Pouncey said he wants to be drafted higher than his brother, who was selected by the Steelers with the 18th overall pick in the 2010 draft.
And the Steelers have the 31st pick in the 2011 draft.
"I got to be drafted higher than Maurkice -- 18th or better," Mike said.
Asked why, he said, "I'd never hear the end of it."
After playing right guard alongside his brother for three seasons, Mike Pouncey moved to center for his final season at the University of Florida. Now he has arrived at the NFL Scouting Combine as probably the highest-rated interior lineman in the 2011 draft.
It remains to be seen, though, if he will be drafted higher than his brother, who was the highest center drafted since the New England Patriots took Damien Woody (now a tackle) with the 17th overall pick in the 1999 draft
And it remains to be seen if Mike Pouncey can match the rookie season turned in by his brother, who started every game but Super Bowl XLV for the Steelers, quickly emerged as their best offensive lineman and was named to the AFC Pro Bowl team.
"He really did the same thing he did in college," Mike Pouncey said Friday on the second day of the Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. "He was dominant in college and he played great in the NFL."
"It only shows what both of us can do. I think it can only help, but they're not going to draft me because he played good."
No, teams are going to draft Mike Pouncey because he exhibits many of the same playing characteristics as his brother, including his ability to get to the second tier and block in the open field.
"I think I block in the open field better," Mike Pouncey said. "We're the same player, but I had an extra year to show my versatility and it helped me out tremendously.
"Some of the teams even said I look better."
Mike Pouncey said he is prepared to work at guard and center for NFL coaches and general managers at the combine, but his preference is to play center, like his brother.
But he said he is also aware the Steelers might be searching for a guard after having three different starters at right guard in the 2010 season. They finally settled on Ramon Foster, a former rookie free agent who started the final 10 games, including postseason.
The turnover has fostered speculation that Mike Pouncey would make a good running mate with his brother on the Steelers offensive line, even though the Steelers do not expect him to be available when they pick at No. 31.
That would be just wonderful for both Pounceys, who were college roommates and took the same classes at Florida and who were never separated until Maurkice opted to enter the NFL draft last year after his junior season.
"It would be nice," Mike Pouncey said. "But I'm not hoping for anything because when you hope for stuff, it never happens.
"We talked about the chances [of playing together again], but it's not looking too good. But, there's free agency in the NFL, so you never know."
Then he added, "But, like I said, they got the 31st pick and I got to go before 18."
First Published February 26, 2011 12:00 am