Steelers' Pouncey Showing Maturity Beyond Years

Mike Tomlin: Rookie Center's Maturity 'Pleasant Surprise'

Maurkice Pouncey has yet to play a snap in the NFL, but it appears the Steelers rookie already has the jump on some of his first-round predecessors.

Head coach Mike Tomlin said Thursday that Pouncey, the 18th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, is more mature football-wise than either running back Rashard Mendenhall or linebacker Lawrence Timmons were as rookies drafted in the first round.

"I think he has proven to be mature beyond his years," Tomlin said of Pouncey, who turns 21 next month. "His level of football of maturity probably exceeds that of some 20-year-old first round picks we've had in recent years, like Lawrence Timmons and Rashard Mendenhall."

The Steelers drafted Mendenhall at No. 23 in 2008 and took Timmons at No. 15 in 2007.

Pouncey, who Tomlin called a "pleasant surprise," will get the chance to start on the Steelers offensive line this season, most likely at right guard, but possibly at center.

Pouncey played right guard at the University of Florida before moving to center for the Gators.

He was awarded the Rimington Trophy in 2009, which is given to the player considered to be the best center in college football. ... etail.html