INDIANAPOLIS – Ever see an offensive lineman with an entourage?
Meet Mike Pouncey, the guy walking away from his press conference with the gaggle of reporters, broadcasters, combine officials, and admirers in tow.
Pouncey has become something of a rock star of the OL-prospect set after his younger brother Maurkice made the Pro Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers last season.
Older by two minutes, Mike Pouncey arrived at the combine a year after his twin brother and showed the identical mannerisms and confidence that was so often displayed this past season by the Steelers’ Rookie of the Year.
Mike Pouncey told a throng of reporters from the podium Friday that he met with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and “had a real good meeting with the Steelers yesterday.” But Pouncey doesn’t think he’ll last until the Steelers pick 31st in the first round on April 28th.
“It’s not looking too good,” said Pouncey. “But there’s free agency in the NFL, so you never know.”
Getting to Pittsburgh down the road might be Mike Pouncey’s ideal, but it’s not what he wants now because, as a competitor, “I got to be drafted higher than Maurkice, 18 or better,” Mike said. “I’d never hear the end of it.”
The Steelers of course chose Maurkice 18th last year after he spent his junior season as the center at the University of Florida. Mike was the right guard that season, a year after they’d teamed up to help the Gators win a national championship. The pair led their prep team, Lakeland (Fla.) High, to three consecutive Class 5A state championships as well.
Clearly, the Pounceys understand winning and it’s reflected in their confident natures. Mike’s was on display Friday afternoon.
* “They basically said we look the same on film. Some of the teams even said I look better,” Mike said of the scouting comparisons of the brothers.
* “I’m fluid with it now and confident with it. To this day, I’ll never take it for granted again,” he said of his oft-errant shotgun snapping.
* “There’s nothing negative about either one of us. On the field we play hard; off the field we’re lovable guys and people love being around us. We’re the total package,” he said when asked if scouts see any negatives.
Speaking of which, Mike was asked to name the most difficult aspect of the combine, and his confidence erupted once again.
“Getting up and meeting with coaches,” he said. “I’ve been very impressive to them, showing them I can get on the board and draw the defenses.”
To that end, Pouncey was asked if Steelers O-line coach Sean Kugler, in their meeting the previous day, did what he’d done with his brother on the grease board: draw plays, erase them, and have him re-draw them.
“He did the exact same thing,” Pouncey said.
And, how’d he do?
“Great,” Mike said with that unmistakable Pouncey smirk.
“They were very impressed. Every coach I met with was very impressed with what I did.”
The Steelers were probably impressed, but director of operations Kevin Colbert agrees with the senior Florida center that there’s little chance of him lasting until the 31st pick.
“I really can’t see it,” said Colbert, who believes Pouncey can play either guard or center in the NFL.
“I just got to get drafted first,” Mike Pouncey said. “I want to beat him at everything. We compete with each other with anything we do. I have to get into camp and I have to earn a starting spot and I have to play great, like he did.”