Ray Lewis says Steelers are a different team

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Hearing criticism from the face of the franchise's enemy should be used as motivation for a Steelers offensive line that's in the crosshairs of pundits around the league.

Speaking on ESPN's Mike & Mike in the Morning, former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said the Steelers are "a totally different team," implying the franchise has moved away from the tough and physical characteristics for which the team is known.

Offensively in particular, Lewis noted the selection of the fast and quick receivers, and the lack of a similarly-physical receiver like Hines Ward, one of Lewis's adversaries throughout his career.

Lewis suggested their recent problems running the football are directly tied to this supposed direction of draft picks. He also said things could get worse in Pittsburgh (in terms of the running game) if they continue down that path.

The Steelers haven't had a running back top 100 yards in a game since Isaac Redman went off for 147 in a win over the New York Giants in Week 9 of the 2012 season. It was the last of three consecutive games having hit that mark - Jonathan Dwyer having did it in Weeks 7 and 8.

Whether it's an issue of toughness, as Lewis appeared to suggest, the reality is the team isn't a particularly productive offensive team.

Hearing that from Lewis, of all people, should at least spark a flame under the hindparts of every Steelers offensive lineman.

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