The Steelers offensive line has been in flux for what seems like the better part of forever. New tackle here, injured guard there, a few new draft picks, but many of the same problems.
A game ball could have been given to each of the Steelers' five linemen who were standing at the end of the Steelers' 19-16 win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 7, though. The most noticable combination of domination was the play of center Fernando Velasco and right guard David DeCastro.
Odd, considering not just the infrequency of time each have had with each other, but neither was a consistent starter with the team in 2012. DeCastro started the final three games of the year, and Velasco was in Tennessee.
They unified and led by example Sunday, paving through Ravens defensive linemen, racking up a season-high 143 rushing yards. The cohesion developing between the two may have taken a hit, in wake of DeCastro's ankle injury suffered in a Week 8 loss to Oakland.
Velasco replaced injured Maurkice Pouncey and in four days from signing to kickoff, he managed to learn enough to make his first start against Cincinnati in Week 2. But even that was a lesson in teamwork.
"I won’t give myself any credit," Velasco told ESPN's Scott Brown. "It’s just the guys around me who really made me feel more comfortable. They helped me more than people realize. Nothing is easy, but they really made the transition easier."
Brown also spoke with DeCastro, who seemed in flat disagreement with Velasco's praise-deflection tactics. "He’s done amazing. It’s a credit to him and his intelligence."
DeCastro is scheduled to undergo an MRI in Pittsburgh Monday, and while Steeler Nation waits with bated breath on the results, the hope is the pair of interior blockers can continue to build the bond they have so far this season.
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