With plenty of excitement occurring throughout Pittsburgh’s offseason coupled with the anticipated return of the amazing Le’Veon Bell, people have overlooked the importance of center Maurkice Pouncey coming back from injury.
In the sport of football, the offensive line never quite receives the attention or credit it deserves. While flashy stars are great, the offensive line stands as the foundation of any great offense, and has one of, if not the most important job of any group of players on the field, protecting the quarterback.
Without the offensive line, how would Le’Veon Bell have the space to run? How would Roethlisberger have the time to throw a beautiful pass downfield to Antonio Brown? With a quarterback who tends to stay in the pocket and wait for the perfect opportunity, the offensive line is insanely important.
Having Le’Veon Bell back in the lineup is a huge plus, but his return might be overshadowing a return that could very well be just as important; that of center Maurkice Pouncey.
Pouncey has had a couple seasons riddled with injuries, and it was quite unfortunate to see him go down again last year. Cody Wallace replaced him, and did a fine job holding the position for a substitute, but the presence of Pouncey is much greater.
In a way, Pouncey is the leader of the offensive line. Holding the middle ground, he has been one of the most consistent, and strongest offensive linemen when on the field.
Since 2010, he’s qualified for 4 pro bowls and has been named a first team all-pro center twice. In only 4 years old true play, that’s insanely impressive, and at only 26 years old, he’s got plenty more gas left in him.
In his entire career, he’s allowed just over 10 sacks, and has always played at a great level of consistency. There is simply no better player on the offensive line, but will that remain the same?
There have been plenty of cases of players unable to return to form following a major injury. Pouncey has dealt with a couple big injuries now, so it’s fair to wonder if he’ll be the same. If he can return to his all-pro form, it’ll be a huge boost to an offense that now lacks Martavis Bryant.
The return of Pouncey could allow the run game to add to its success, and give Roethlisberger that extra second he needs to find a receiver. With Pouncey on the field, the Steelers boast one of the most underrated offensive lines in the league, and should be a huge reason the Steelers offense is a huge success next year.
The Steelers offense might be the best in the league already, and is definitely one of the most exciting and explosive. Factoring in Pouncey might not seem like a huge difference, but it’s nothing less than adding another star to a star studded squad.