Updated: Feb 12, 2021
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
With the recent news that Maurkice Pouncey is expected to retire soon, it's got many Steelers fans thinking whether Pouncey belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In 11 seasons with the Steelers, Pouncey has been one of the best centers in the league for the majority of those years. Pouncey is a nine-time Pro Bowler and has been named first-team All-Pro three times in his career (2011, 2012 and 2014). He's also been selected as second-team All-Pro two times (2010-2018). In addition, Pouncey was named to the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team.
Pouncey has made the Pro Bowl in nine of 11 seasons. The two times that he didn't make it was when he suffered season-ending injuries -- in 2013 where he started just one game before tearing his ACL and MCL when David DeCastro accidentally dove into his right leg when attempting a cut block on Titans' defensive tackle Sammie Lee Hill, and in 2015 when he suffered a broken fibula in a preseason game when Packers' safety HaHa Clinton-Dix rolled onto the back of Pouncey's ankle. Pouncey has started in 134 of 134 career games with the Steelers.
Pouncey certainly has a case to land in Canton someday with the amount of Pro Bowls and first-team All-Pro honors he made in his career. Being named to the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team is also pretty significant. It shows that he was one of the best at his position during an era.
With offensive lineman not having stats, Pro Bowls, first-team All-Pros, All-Decade, longevity and Super Bowl titles are really all you have to judge off of. However, it's not easy to make the HOF being a center.
There have only been seven post-merger centers inducted into the HOF and two of them were Steelers -- Mike Webster and Dermontti Dawson. The rest are Jim Otto, Jim Langer, Dwight Stephenson, Mick Tingelhoff and Kevin Mawae, who was the most recent center to make the HOF in 2019.
Mawae was an eight-time Pro Bowler and was first-team All-Pro seven times, and played in 241 career games and started 238. He was also named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.