Steelers’ center Maurkice Pouncey and long snapper Greg Warren were named to the USA Football All-Fundamentals Team. The team honors 26 NFL players, 11 each on offense and defense and four on special teams, who exhibit the fundamentals and techniques of football that provide proper examples for youth football players.
Pouncey, who was just voted to his third Pro Bowl, has continued to grow in all areas since his rookie season, something that hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“He’s a football player,” said offensive coordinator Todd Haley. “I mean that in a way – when he came out of college, if you just relied on his timing, speed and his combine numbers, he’d be just another guy. But when the pads are on, he’s special. His football playing ability at his position doesn’t add up to the measurables, so to speak. It comes down to, when you are evaluating these guys, they better be good football players. He is just that. I didn’t know that about him. That’s even more impressive.
“We see it every day. You just don’t want to take it for granted, because he is special. He is a really smart player. He helps a bunch of other guys. He is very athletic. When his pads are on, he allows you to do things you wouldn’t be able to with other players at his position.”
Warren, in his eighth season out of North Carolina, has been a stabilizing force on the Steelers’ special teams unit, working with several different place kickers and punters during his time with the Steelers.
Pouncey and Warren will receive a $1,500 grant from USA Football to donate to the youth or high school program of their choice.
The two are also eligible to win the All-Fundamentals Team Captain award, which will be determined by a fan vote. Fans can vote for one captain on offense, defense and special teams and each of the three winners will receive a $3,000 equipment grant for them to donate. Fans can vote now through Jan. 21 at www.facebook.com/usafootball.
Tight end Heath Miller, safety Troy Polamalu and linebacker LaMarr Woodley have all been named to the All-Fundamentals team over the last three years.