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Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey reminds how young players sometimes need time to mature

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Maurkice Pouncey knows what it is like to have off-the-field issues pop up, and it is why he says sometimes players need time to mature. When it comes to the team's Pro Bowl RB Le'Veon Bell, he would be wise to listen up.

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Take a second and imagine yourself as a 21-year old. Whether this is in the distant past, or maybe in the immediate future, think about being 21-years old and someone giving you millions of dollars to play a game. Not only would your bank account sky rocket form what it was, but your ego would likely get a bit larger as well.

Welcome to the life of many NFL players in the early years of their career. Many attribute the money and the immaturity to off-field issues, similar to the one Le'Veon Bell found himself in the 2014 preseason as he was arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana, but when you ask center Maurkice Pouncey what might cause the issues, it simply could be a need to grow.

"As the years come on, everybody is going to learn and grow," Pouncey told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. "You come into this league as a kid, you're going to understand that. They expect as soon as you get drafted that you have to act like you're 40-year-old person and that doesn't happen."

Because of Bell's careless behavior last August, the team will now be without their All-Pro running back for the first three games of the 2015 NFL season. Despite an appeal pending on the reduction of Bell's suspension, Pouncey believes Bell when he says he has changed, and the Steelers organization, his teammates and his fans won't have to worry about him getting into any other off-the-field issues anymore.

Pouncey not only believes Bell's words, but believes Bell is the type of running back who can elevate the team to bigger and better things in 2015 and beyond. "Sky's the limit for him," Pouncey said. "He has all the talent in the world and all the ability to do everything. We'll see how things shake out for him."

How things shake out for Bell will follow a rocky start for a team very dependent on No. 26 to help the offense function the way it should, but if Bell can return and help drive the Steelers offense the way he did in 2014 the Steelers could be primed for another postseason berth and hopefully another Super Bowl appearance.