That happened in April, as the Steelers took Florida’s Maurkice Pouncey in round one, and it sounds more and more like the Steelers are already in the changing of the guard at the center spot.
Hartwig has been splitting time the past two days at center with Pouncey, both sharing time with the first team. The vet says even knowing his job is not a sure thing, he won’t change the way he goes about playing the game.
“I’ve been playing football for a long time and I work my butt off and do my job every day,” said Hartwig. “That’s not going to change based on someone pushing me for my starting spot. I will continue to do what I’ve been doing and everything will play itself out.”
Don’t get the vet wrong, he’s not thrilled about having to share time with a rookie, more so since he has owned the center spot every game the past two seasons without missing a game.
“It’s hard to ignore. The media is in your face. It’s very much a part of the NFL,” Hartwig said.
When asked if he be willing to play guard if and when Pouncey takes over at center, Hartwig said: “I don’t want to talk about hypotheticals,” he said.
For now, Hartwig will keep helping the rookie, and he knows that the team overall is only going to be better and have a better shot to go deep into January if he helps out Pouncey.
“Maurkice and I will continue to work hard, just like everyone else on our line,” Hartwig said. “We’re going to continue to push each other. It’s not just about Maurkice and myself.