Mike and twin brother, Maurkice, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ All-Pro center, sat down with Jesse Agler to talk about their sibling rivalry and what it will be like when they play their first NFL game against each other.
When Maurkice left the University of Florida to enter the draft in 2010, Mike decided to stay for his senior season. They spoke every week about the drastic differences in the professional game. Mike was able to take things away from his conversations with Maurkice that helped ease his transition to the NFL.
“Like Maurkice just said, he was in the NFL before me, so when I came in I didn’t feel like a rookie,” Mike said. “I knew everything that was going to happen. I knew how the players were going to play, so it was a big advantage for me and I think that’s where all my success came from, having a brother that came in the league before me.”
Because of the way the NFL scheduling system works, it’s not a matter of if, but when, the Pouncey brothers will play against each other. In fact, Maurkice has already played the Dolphins once, a 23-22 Steelers victory at Sun Life Stadium on Oct. 24, 2010. When the game does pop up on the schedule, it should be a surreal moment for the twins. In fact, prior to reaching the NFL, the duo were teammates at Lakeland High School and the University of Florida, typically lining up right next to each other.
“There’s definitely going to be a lot of friends and family at that game to come and get that opportunity to get that experience for us to play each other at the top level of the game of football,” Maurkice said. “It would be an awesome moment for us to get to that. I can’t wait until that moment comes. We’ll see what it’s like when it gets here. Hopefully we get the win.”
If the brothers are to circumvent the NFL scheduling system and lead their teams to a potential playoff matchup this season–a “Pouncey Bowl”–the journey begins now as both the Dolphins and Steelers open training camp this week. While the Dolphins will stay at their training facility in Davie, the Steelers make the hour trek to Latrobe, Pa., where they’ve held its training camp since 1967.
“I don’t mind it at all,” Maurkice said. “It gives us a way to have the team bond a little bit more. You’re always out there seeing the guys, stuck with them every day. So it’s probably kind of an advantage on our side to get away and get that environment.”
For Mike, though, there’s nothing quite like the comfort of home.
“Definitely nice to stay home,” Mike said. “He said they don’t even have a cold tub out there. Now I feel like we’re spoiled.”
This summer, the Pounceys have had the opportunity to prove their friendly competition extends beyond the football field. They’ve partnered with Duracell in an effort to support American athlete that are competing in the London Olympics. When fans upload a “shout-out” video on Duracell’s Facebook page, they must align themselves with either Team Mike or Team Maurkice. The brothers, in typical fashion, have set some pretty high stakes.
“The loser definitely has to perform a hit solo, “Call Me Maybe,” Mike said, “so Maurkice has been taking singing lessons.”
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