Offensive Line Must Maintain ‘Attitude’ For the Steelers
Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
"We did the little things right, … The O-Line had an attitude. I had an attitude. The whole offense had an attitude, really wanted to get downhill and wear those guys out.-Le’Veon Bell (via Steelers.com)"
As Bell alluded to after Pittsburgh’s 19-16 win over Baltimore yesterday, the Steelers and their offensive line really played with an “attitude” against their biggest rivals in the most important game of the 2013 regular season.
Was the pass-protection and run-blocking pretty on every play? No, and to expect perfection from this make-shift unit is a ridiculous stretch.
Yet what this group did extremely well during their last game was the way they managed to win more than they lost at the point of attack, especially on runningplays, as they displayed the type of “attitude” which Bell referred to for the first time in years.
The Steelers found a large measure of success on the ground against the Ravens, and they did so for the first time against any opponent this fall. 141 total rushing yards plus 93 by Bell alone allowed Pittsburgh’s offense to move the ball consistently and set up 2nd and 3rd and manageable situations.
Although the offense failed to finish all but one of their drives with a touchdown, it was evident that Fernando Velasco, David DeCastro, Kelvin Beachum, Ramon Foster, Guy Whimper, and even Mike Adams in a swing-tackle role, wanted to dominate at the point of attack at all costs.
If Pittsburgh’s offensive line can help to make the running game a threat, it will only serve to help them as pass-protectors and the rest of their offense as well.
Any sort of competency on the ground makes Ben Roethlisberger an even more dangerous quarterback, and makes his pass-catchers even more potent weapons. Fearing a ground game led by Bell and a hungry offensive line only exposes Pittsburgh’s opposition to big plays via the air, and chunks of yardage could exist for Big Ben & co. as long as he receives the necessary time to throw.
Teams will be less likely to throw “everything and the kitchen sink” at “Big Ben” when they are forced to account for the running game. Plus, the less that opposing defenses can pin their ears back and attack a one-dimensional passing offense the better. In turn, Pittsburgh’s inexperienced offensive line will be less exposed to the continued onslaughts of opposing pass rushers.
Developing and maintaining a nasty attitude is what the Steelers’ offensive line sorely needs at the moment. Thankfully, if their performance in yesterday’s game was any indication, then Pittsburgh’s offense will reap the rewards of some confidence in the trenches.
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