Steelers Maurkice Pouncey 'Deserving' of Walter Payton Nomination

Noah Strackbein

PITTSBURGH -- Before Thursday, December 12, Maurkice Pouncey's headlines were centered around an incident leaving him working out in an LA Fitness for two weeks. But in a roller coaster of a season, the Steelers center is being acknowledged for what he's done outside of the last 8 seconds in Cleveland. 

"I know Maurkice Pouncey and he's deserving of the Walter Payton Man of the year," Cameron Heyward said. "Not just the nomination but to be a finalist and to win the award because he gives everything he can. He plays with his heart, he wants to be involved with his community and he wants to make a lasting impact." 

Pouncey's impact is felt in the city of Pittsburgh. For the last three years, the center has donated home game tickets to Pittsburgh Police in order for them to take kids from city neighborhoods to Heinz Field. 

And that's not all. Pouncey hosts an annual Thanksgiving giveaway with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, providing Thanksgiving dinners to hundreds of local families. He's recently donated horses to the Pittsburgh police department, all while working with his brother to provide for disadvantaged youth. 

Pouncey and his brother Mike started the Team Pouncey Foundation to help disadvantaged youth promote a stronger future by providing different opportunities for underprivileged kids. They've donated over $10 million to different programs assassinating in that area and host their yearly Pouncey Twins Youth Football & Cheerleading Camp in their hometown of Lakeland, Florida. 

To Pouncey, he's never been a player to seek attention. He admits he and his brother do the things they're "supposed to" when talking about their awards and contributions. To him, he's thankful the Steelers do their part to help him and the community as well.

"I just think it's cool for the team and the acknowledgement," Pouncey said. "They do a lot of things with trying to put guys in the community and I think this organization cares about the community, especially in Pittsburgh. So, to get this award, to have this acknowledgement, it feels pretty good."

The winner of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award will be announced will be announced on the eve of the Super Bowl LIV during the NFL Honors. 

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