AFC North Q&A: Maurkice Pouncey

PITTSBURGH -- Former University of Florida center/guard Maurkice Pouncey comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers with quality credentials. A three-year starter, Pouncey is already showing flashes of good skills and athleticism during Pittsburgh's mandatory minicamp.

On Saturday the rookie first-round pick checked in with the AFC North blog to share his thoughts on various topics.

Maurkice, how is the early adjustment going from being the big man on campus at Florida to just another rookie with Pittsburgh?

Pouncey: The first couple of days and the first couple of practices are tough. But I'm getting more used to it now. I feel more comfortable. It's exciting being out here with guys that you look up to and definitely watched all the games. Now you're out there with them, seeing how they do things and how they conduct themselves.

You left Florida early and your brother, Mike, didn't. Why?

Pouncey: Well, my decision was a lot [easier] than Mike's. He wanted to go back and play center, and I had already proven myself that I can play both center and guard positions. So he wanted to come back and do that. He can look more versatile at the next level. So at next year's draft he'll be reassessed.

Many project you as a starter but you began veteran minicamp on the second team. What's your reaction?

Pouncey: I think it's a lot better to earn the job than having it just given to you, because you work a lot harder. So I'm definitely out there just trying to compete. I know I got a lot to learn, and I got time.

Your former quarterback, Tim Tebow, is garnering a lot of press. How will he do at the next level?

Pouncey: Man, I'm so happy he got drafted in the first round. I'm excited and I hope all the best for him. We'll talk soon after minicamps. I'll probably give him a call or he will give me a call. He will do fine. He's a great leader, he has great passion for the game, he loves to learn, and he's always at the facility.