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At the center of the Steelers Universe is a long lineage of amazing centers

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Maurkice Pouncey is carrying on the Steelers unparalleled excellence at the center position.

NFL: New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers believe in building on a solid foundation. The franchise is nothing if not stable. Evidence of this stability would be hard to believe if not so well documented. The Rooney family continues to be a steadying influence in both the NFL league office and the Pittsburgh community. They have worked hard to cultivate a family-like atmosphere throughout the organization by adhering to an unwavering value system. It’s a place where a man’s handshake still means something and a man’s word is his bond.

Two groups inevitably come up when discussing the Steelers legendary stability. Head coaches and starting centers on the offensive line.

We all know the number of head coaches employed by the Pittsburgh Steelers since 1969. That unbelievable number is 3. All three enjoyed great success and failure, and at one time or another had groups of fans calling for their heads on a platter. Many fans feared the game had passed them by, or they were under achieving considering the talent at their disposal. Often times, these fans were both right and wrong, but that is another story for another day. Even through these troubling times of outside pressure, the Steelers always held the course. The front office resists making knee jerk reactions and instead chooses to proceed with caution. They try to make educated decisions at the appointed time and place.

Their track record speaks for itself.

Many young members of Steelers Nation are unaware of the sustained excellence achieved by the starting centers of the team over the last 50 years. The position has been manned for the most part by five players during that time. Ray ‘Ranger’ Mansfield, ‘Iron’ Mike Webster, Dermontti ‘Dirt’ Dawson, Jeff Hartings, and Maurkice Pouncey. The individual accolades for these men, two of which are Hall of Famers, are too numerous to mention. The best example of their dominance is made evident in Webster being named to both the 1970’s and 1980’s All-Decade teams and Dawson being named to the 1990’s All-Decade team. No other NFL franchise can claim such sustained dominance at any position.

This leads us to Maurkice Pouncey.

Maurkice is arguably the best center in the game today. His athleticism at the center position has only been matched in history by Dawson himself. He has continued the Steelers’ legacy of superior play since being drafted in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He is a true Steeler and has developed a strong friendship and bond with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger - So much so that he claims he will walk away from the game when Roethlisberger decides to hang up his cleats. Hopefully that won’t be a problem for at least a couple of years.

Pouncey is a six-time Pro Bowl performer who has only improved since 2014 under the tutelage of offensive line coach Mike Munchak. If he maintains his current level of play over the next few years, and is blessed with the health to do so, he may one day find himself getting fitted for a gold jacket. But first there is work to be done.

Pouncey wants to achieve the one thing that has eluded him so far in his career, a Super Bowl title. Sadly, Dawson never was able to win one. He played on some really talented teams, and even reached the big game in 1995 in Super Bowl 30. Every team Dawson played on had a huge weakness at a critical position — quarterback. This undeniable predicament doomed many of the great Steeler players from the 80’s and 90’s to never win a Super Bowl.

Thankfully that is one thing that Maurkice Pouncey doesn’t have to worry about. Now on the other hand there is the defense...but that is a discussion for another day.