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Saunders: Maurkice Pouncey Building Hall of Fame Credentials

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Is Maurkice Pouncey a future Hall of Famer?

It’s not really fair to judge a player’s career through such a lens until it’s over, but as he enters his 11th season with the Steelers, Pouncey’s career is far closer to its end than its beginning. It’s natural at this stage to wonder what’s left for the decorated leader of Pittsburgh’s offensive line to prove.

Pouncey has made eight Pro Bowls in his 10 years with the Steelers, and five times has been selected as an NFL All-Pro. It’s hard to do much better than that, especially with him missing all but one game of the 2013 season.

Outside of that, Pouncey, has been durable, averaging over 15 starts per season for the remaining nine years of his career.

On Monday, Pouncey was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2010s, joining Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons center Alex Mack.

That honor alone, bestowed upon by a committee organized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, shows that Pouncey could be on the doorstep of enshrinement.

Of the 10 offensive linemen named to the 2000s all-decade team, only Alan Faneca and Chicago Bears center Olin Kreutz have not made it to the hall, and Faneca has been a five-time finalist that will likely make it eventually.

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Three other centers have recently been added to the Hall of Fame’s ranks, with Kevin Mawae inducted in 2019, Vikings legend Mick Tingelhoff getting the call in 2015 and Pouncey’s spiritual Steelers predecessor Dermontti Dawson going to Canton, Ohio in 2012.

Without any real statistics, those voted-upon honorifics are the only tangible things we have to evaluate offensive linemen empirically.

In that way, Pouncey eight Pro Bowls, five All-Pros and all-decade team selection hold up well.

Dawson had seven Pro Bowls, six All-Pros and was on the 1990’s all-decade team. Mawae had eight Pro Bowls, seven All-Pros and was on the 2000s all-decade team. Tingelhof had six Pro-Bowls, seven All-Pros. Interestingly, none of those players owns a Super Bowl ring, though Tingelhof won an NFL title with the Vikings in 1969 and played in four Super Bowls.

When considering the fact that Pouncey has more time to add to his legacy — his recently restructured contract runs through the end of the 2021 season — it seems that he should have a fairly good argument when the time for voting comes.

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