How Aaron Hernandez’s death affected Mike Pouncey

Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey at training camp. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

DAVIE — Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey said it was difficult to deal with the death of Aaron Hernandez, who he was close with from their days together at Florida.

“It was tough,” Pouncey said. “Obviously, I don’t condone any of the things that he was accused of, but just to have a friend I was so close with, that I felt like was my brother and I know that he felt the same way, it’s tough. It’s tough for anyone to have a loss in their family, but that one right there hit my and my brother really hard.”

Hernandez took his own life on April 19, at the correctional center he was serving a life sentence after being found guilty of murdering Odin Lloyd.

Pouncey recalled his last conversation with Hernandez, who had just been found not guilty in a separate murder case.

“Just, you know, about the case that he had just won,” Pouncey said. “He was excited, ready to fight the first one again. Just a lot of different stuff. Happy for him.”

Pouncey paused.

“It was just tough, man,” he said.

Pouncey finds Hernandez’s death hard to believe.

“He was in great spirits in our conversation,” Pouncey said. “We’re still shocked to this day that we’re even at this point.”

Pouncey said Hernandez’s wife and daughter spent time with his family in Florida this off-season.

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