Senior center Mike Pouncey has demonstrated over the past few days just what a leader he is on this Florida football team.
After rolling three snaps back to John Brantley (and having several other snaps drift off target) in Saturday’s messy Florida victory, Pouncey showed up for interviews following the game and made no excuses. Like a true leader, Pouncey accepted responsibility and said he would work to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Pouncey could have easily declined to meet the media Saturday, and many would not have blamed him (even some in the media). But that would have sent a bad message, he said. On Tuesday, Pouncey showed up for interviews again, and again he was gracious and took the time to answer any and all questions about those errant snaps.
“If I came in and ran from you, there would be more and more stuff said,” Pouncey said in explaining his post-game appearance Saturday. “I came in and faced the consequences. I took full ownership for it and we just have to move forward from it. I’m the leader of the offense. When your leader is messing up, it makes everything look bad.
“I’ve been busting my tail. I haven’t been able to sleep all week, ever since the game. I’m just trying to get it right. It’s going to be right this week.”
Pouncey said he has changed his grip on the ball (putting his hand on the very top) and now feels comfortable with it. He promised there will be no bad snaps Saturday against South Florida.
“It’s not going to happen,” he said. “I’ve been working hard ever since the game. I’m going to go out and play my best on Saturday.”
Pouncey said he’s had a chance to talk about his snapping issues with twin brother Maurkice, who is now the starting center for the Pittsburgh Steelers in his rookie season. Like Mike, Maurkice also made the move from offensive guard to center during his UF career.
“He told me when he first started (playing center) two years ago that he did the same thing, although his (problem) wasn’t as bad,” Pouncey said. “He had high snaps. His snaps were everywhere (at first). He said just get back to work, and that’s what I’m doing.”
Pouncey, THE leader of this football team, said his teammates have been supportive.
“They respect me so much,” he said. “Even when I was messing up the snaps Saturday, nobody said anything to me. They know I’m going to get it right. I love my teammates. No one turned their back on me. That just makes us a strong team.”
And Pouncey an even stronger leader than he was before Saturday’s game.