Maurkice Pouncey Rooting for Reunion

There may not have been a more interested observer at Florida's Pro Scout Day than former Gator lineman Maurkice Pouncey. The Pittsburgh Steelers standout was on hand to watch his brother Mike perform in front of NFL scouts and in a perfect scenario end up joining him in Pittsburgh.

While some draft projections have that happening, most have Mike going higher, perhaps to the New York Giants at No. 18.

Pouncey probably helped his brother's draft status as well as that of other Gator linemen with his superb rookie year. Maurkice Pouncey, who was chosen No. 18 in last year's NFL draft stepped right into the starting lineup and helped the Steelers reach the Super Bowl. However an ankle injury kept the Lakeland High School product from playing in the NFL's ultimate game. Still he made the NFL All-Rookie team and was chosen to the Pro Bowl. Some already consider him to be one of the best centers in the league.

I had a chance to speak with Maurkice after Tuesday's activities.

LV: What's it like standing out here watching your brother go through the same NFL workout you went through last year?

"They've got us cordoned off out here, man I don't know what's going on in there but I'm excited for him and all the other linemen. We all played together so I've got a lot of love for all the guys and hope they do great.

LV: How have you been able to help them prepare for this?

"They asked a lot of questions about what all the meetings would be like. I told them that everything they need to know you've got to be on top of your game.

LV: Word was Marcus Gilbert had a really good combine. Does that surprise you at all?

"Heck no. I knew Marcus was training real hard. He was actually down there with Mike and I knew he was focused in and would do a great job there and he did."

LV: Mike was saying not too long ago that he wanted to go one spot higher in the draft than you did.

"I want him to go 19 (laughing). He'd never gonna let that go. I know how Mike is and he's always telling everybody he was born first and he's gonna be drafted before me."

LV: Is there a part of you that hopes he slides to the Steelers at 31?

"There's a part of me that hopes he slides to us or they trade up or do anything possible to get him, but if it doesn't happen I'm going to be happy for him to start his career somewhere else.

LV: You've gotta understand I'm a New York Giants fan and I've got him pegged to us at No. 19.

"I won't argue with that. I love New York."

LV: Tell me about your rookie year. It turned out almost as well as you could have possibly hoped it would.

"It was awesome. I had a large group of guys that really cared about me and took be under their wings and showed me a great time up in Pittsburgh. I have no regrets. I was one of the best experienced of my life and all I have to do now is build on it."

LV: How tough was is to be injured and have to watch the Super Bowl from the sidelines?

"Everybody asks that and it was probably the hardest thing I ever had to deal with. The fact that we didn't come out with the victory made it even harder. Hopefully we'll be back in a year or so."

LV: I won't ask you to dissect the negotiations, but how much to you want the players and owners to reach an agreement?

"I want it to happen so bad. I just want to play football and as long as everyone's happy, I'm happy. I hope they get a deal and as soon as they do I'll be ready to go."

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