2014 Steelers season scenarios: Steelers surrender 35 sacks

Jared Wickerham

Ben Roethlisberger is known for a few things, and one of those is the constant abuse the quarterback receives on a yearly basis. The OLine looks to improve that mark in 2014

Scenario: The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line allows 35 sacks of the quarterback.

Why it will happen: Last season the Steelers gave up 43 sacks as a team, and that was with a tremendous second half of the season where the offensive line only gave up 7 sacks. That sack total should be trimmed this year with a year of experience under a lot of players' belts, and the addition of some key components.

Mike Munchak will certainly help a unit that has been porous at times in the last few years, but more important than anything Munchak can say or do is the health of the line itself. Losing Maurkice Pouncey last season revealed the lack of depth along the line, and showed a gaping hole left for the remainder of the season. Nagging injuries seemed to be the trend as well when Cody Wallace, Guy Whimper and Mike Adams were all used in one way or another.

On top of the coaching and the health of the offensive line, the Steelers using more no huddle will pay huge dividends in keeping Ben Roethlisberger upright and clean. Not only can Roethlisberger call plays as he sees fit at the line of scrimmage, but he also is capable of keeping the tempo of the play upbeat to not allow defensive substitutions, as well as wearing down the defense and their pass rush capabilities.

Why it won't happen: The health of the line is always a talking point among fans and experts, but regardless of what is said and done, injuries always seem to plague this group. The Steelers didn't do much of anything in the offseason other than signing their own and a player or two in the draft to address the lack of depth along the line. If the injury bug hits this unit, fans could be hoping for a 43 sack season as that number could increase dramatically.

Also, the overall success of the no huddle will gauge whether or not the offense can wear down opponents as previously mentioned. The no huddle offense is only as good as the players on the field, and although Roethlisberger has shown the potential to make the correct calls at the line of scrimmage, he has a lot of new skill position players on the field that could alter those plans.

Keys: This offensive line is thriving with potential, but that means very little with the fan base until they go out and play as a cohesive unit. The offensive line has been maligned throughout the media, even when winning a Super Bowl in 2009, and the only way to silence the critics is to increase their production on the field. This unit staying intact from last year, the addition of Mike Munchak as offensive line coach and the more frequent use of the no huddle will make this scenario of allowing only 35 sacks in a full season a very reasonable one.

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