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Two months earlier at
« : 06 Aralık 2019, 04:02 »
PITTSBURGH -- As he lay on the Heinz Field turf last September, his right knee in tatters, Maurkice Pouncey admits there was a small part of him that feared his football career might be in jeopardy. The Pittsburgh Steelers never doubted. They signed him to a five-year contract extension Thursday that averages $8.8 million per season, making Pouncey the highest-paid centre in the NFL. Words cant explain it," Pouncey said while fighting back tears, barely nine months removed from a torn ACL that ended his 2013 season moments after it began. The only centre in league history to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons is nearly all the way back from surgery to repair the knee after teammate David DeCastro fell on it eight plays into last falls season opener against Tennessee. The 24-year-old Pouncey insists hes "totally fine." The new financial deal puts him just ahead of the agreement signed by Clevelands Alex Mack in April. However, getting paid was the least of Pounceys concerns. Entering the final year of the contract he signed after the Steelers took him with the 18th overall selection in the 2010 draft, Pouncey simply ordered agent Jason Segal to get to work. "I didnt have much role in it," Pouncey said. "I told my agent to get it done as soon as possible so we could move on to other things." Namely getting the Steelers back into the post-season. Considered one of the most athletic linemen at any position in the NFL, Pouncey provides Pittsburgh with a gifted anchor to protect quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. "That group up front is a special group as it is," Roethlisberger said. "Hes the glue that holds them all together." Even if the glue comes at a significant price. Pouncey has only played a full 16-game schedule once in his first four seasons and was forced to sit out Pittsburghs loss to Green Bay in the 2011 Super Bowl with a sprained ankle. Though he wont turn 25 until August, he finds himself as the linchpin of a unit whose oldest player is 28-year-old guard Ramon Foster. "Hes worked his butt off man," Foster said of Pouncey. "Its good to see his hard work is coming around to him. Were glad to have him back and the team commit to him like that." Its a commitment that never wavered as Pouncey underwent surgery and a grueling rehab last fall. Although Roethlisberger maintains Pouncey could have returned before the end of the 2013 season, the arduous recovery process isnt quite over. While Pouncey was a full participant in organized team activities that wrapped up on Thursday, he remains involved in near daily rehab work. The goal is to be 100 per cent by training camp in July. The contract means Pouncey wont have to deal with any potential distractions about his future. Besides, he never planned on leaving anyway. Free agency didnt appeal to him, particularly after the loyalty shown by the Steelers from the moment they chose him to follow in a line of great centres that includes Hall of Famers Mike Webster and Dermontti Dawson. Pounceys career arc is trending in that direction. Having the game taken away from him last September makes him eager to get back to work. "Ill do anything for this team," Pouncey said. "Theres true love here." Air Max Tn Black .  Nikolaos Kounenakis has been hired as an assistant coach, the team announced on Monday. Vapormax Plus Womens Sale . No surprise there. Kershaw, who also earned the title after throwing his first career no-hitter in June, had a 1. http://www.airmaxplusstoresale.com/air-max-plus-tn-cheap/tns-black-discount.html . Price was hurt at the start of Wednesdays practice after facing just one shot as the team worked on their power play. He left the ice in discomfort and appeared to be favouring his leg. A Habs source told TSNs John Lu that Price suffered the injury in Sochi and not before the Olympics. Air Max Plus Tn Blue . -- Adrian Peterson takes a look around the league and sees big money flying everywhere. Vapormax Plus Store . Called on from the college ranks to replace Andy Reid, Kelly implemented a whole new atmosphere in the City of Brotherly Love and now has the Eagles in the playoffs for the first time since 2010.Perhaps no one is happier that the UFC is introducing a 115-pound strawweight division for women than bantamweight champion (Rowdy) Ronda Rousey. Rousey (9-0) is the undisputed queen of 135-pounders, with three successful UFC title defences already. Eight of her nine wins have come in the first round, lasting a combined 13 minutes 34 seconds. Next up for the Olympic judo bronze medallist is Canadian Alexis Davis (16-5) at UFC 175 on July 5 in Las Vegas. Rousey has plenty of respect for Davis, a native of Port Colborne, Ont., who trains out of San Diego and is ranked No. 2 among UFC bantamweight contenders. But Rousey is also keenly aware of the need for competition to keep her division interesting. "Its no fun having just one person crushing everyone," she told The Canadian Press in a recent interview. "I really do feel my fights are still exciting. They can be one-sided, people still enjoy watching them." The addition of the 115-pound division means "not all of womens MMA is dependent on how my division is doing," she added. "There was a while that (former middleweight champion) Anderson Silva was just crushing everyone. No one was crying about how that division was doing because there were so many other divisions going on that were ultra-competitive at the time." Rousey believes the 115-pound division is thick with talent, will be ultra-competitive and that it will take a while before one champion takes charge. "Maybe by the time that happens, Ill already be moved on with my life and going on to the next chapter and then the womens bantamweight division will be the competitive one again," said the 27-year-old champion. "I really feel like the two (divisions) could really help each other out a lot. "And its not good to have champions being turned over all the time either, and not to have anyone to be dominant at all. So you really just have to find that balance. And I think that having two divisions in different states is a way that we can find that balance. " The UFC turnedd to the Invicta FC womens MMA organization to help populate the strawweight division with Invicta assigning 11 contracts to the UFC.dddddddddddd. Those fighters, plus five others, will report to Las Vegas in May to take part in Season 20 of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality TV show. The winner will be crowned the inaugural UFC womens strawweight champion. Rousey has branched off into movie work recently but says she has no time frame for moving on from MMA. "Me and my coach talked about this and we agreed that the day that I dont feel like training anymore is that is the day Im going to quit," she said. "If I dont want to come to the gym and train, then I dont deserve to be, dont belong in the ring fighting any more." There is no fear of that happening imminently. "I still park my car and literally jog from the parking lot into the gym because I cant wait to get in there. As soon as Im dragging ass into the gym, then Im going to quit," she added with a laugh. Last time out, Rousey crumpled Sara McMann -- an Olympic wrestling silver medallist -- with a nasty knee to the body for a 66-second TKO at UFC 170 in February. Two months earlier at UFC 168, she stopped Miesha (Cupcake) Tate 58 seconds into the third round in a rematch of the two rivals. It marked her eighth straight win by armbar. Rousey took some time off after the McMann fight, spending a few days in Big Bear, Calif., and Costa Rica. But she likes to keep busy. "I dont do that well doing nothing," she said. "After the (2008) Olympics, I took a year just to do nothing and bartend and drink and party and it didnt make me happy. So I really dont revert back to then when I have free time. I usually end up back in the gym just the same, except for Im probably am a little bit less laser-focused and more focused on helping other people and just being in there." "I guess that just comes with having a job that you love," she added. "That even when you can take time off, you dont want to leave it." ' ' '