Steelers: Can the offensive line rebound?
The last time the Steelers lost center Maurkice Pouncey to injury they never fully recovered the entire season. Pouncey was rolled up on by guard David DeCastro trying to do a cut-block and he was out for the season with a torn ACL eight minutes into the season.
The Steelers signed Doug Legursky this week to partner with Cody Wallace for center duties while Pouncey rehabs but I think the big difference maker this time around is Mike Munchak.
The Steelers would go on to have their worst start since 1934, losing their first four games. They ended up finishing the season at 8-8 and fired then-offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr.
Now the Steelers will start the 2015 season after having all the confidence in the world that Ben Roethlisberger would have his first season with all-returning-starters offensive line in his career with their All-Pro center on the sidelines for at least two months.
Are things going to be different this time?
There is no denying that the play of the offensive line last season, led by Pouncey, played a huge role in the record-breaking performances of not just Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell, but Antonio Brown and the offense as a whole.
With all of Steeler Nation salivating at the idea of watching this offense picking up right where they left off can we be confident that the loss of Pouncey won’t derail the whole train?
The Steelers signed Doug Legursky this week to partner with Cody Wallace for center duties while Pouncey rehabs but I think the big difference maker this time around is Mike Munchak. The Steelers hired Munchak in January of 2014 after firing Bicknell and he’s one of the biggest reasons there was so much confidence on this offensive line going into this season to begin with.
Marcus Gilbert told Steelers’ Teresa Varley this week that it’s up to everyone to step up in Pouncey’s absence.
"“You have to rally around everyone and everyone has to step it up a notch. The next man up mentality comes into effect. We will rally around Cody and take charge.” – Marcus Gilbert"
These guys have been impressed with Munchak since the moment he stepped on the field with him and I feel like he’ll be the reason why they won’t miss a beat. Sure, there’s no replacing a talented player like Maurkice Pouncey, but with the ‘next man up’ mentality this Munchak-led offensive line can reintroduce the confidence level fans need for this season.
What do you think Steeler Nation? How big of a blow to the Steelers offense and offensive line is losing Pouncey?
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