Many find the lack of return of investment from the Steelers' offensive line disturbing.
Two first round draft picks, two second round draft picks, a seventh round pick and an undrafted free agent make up the core of the Steelers' offensive line. That is a high price tag for a unit that has under performed the past two seasons. With all of those picks spent to secure the line, open up holes in the running game and protect the franchise quarterback, its time for the unit to finally start to put the pieces together.
If there has been one consistency within the offensive line the past few years it is injury. Whether it was Maurkice Pouncey tearing up his knee last year, David DeCastro being put on short-term injured reserve as a rookie or even Mike Adams being stabbed in June last year that surely left him behind the 8-ball in terms of training, this unit has never spent an entire season together.
This year, the unit is as healthy as ever and the Steelers have pulled all the stops in facilitating this unit by bringing in arguably the best offensive line coach in the league, Mike Munchak. The newest Steelers position coach, the third offensive line coach in three seasons, has already been the talk of OTAs among the linemen as they are impressed with his pedigree, but more impressed with his attention to detail.
Ramon Foster told Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "He's really big on technique," "He keeps saying, ‘Technique is what's going to get you there.' Sometimes as pros, coaches may not do the small things, like working on feet separation or the hands, but he's big on that."
Munchak is a very important part of this process, but a small part when it comes to the success of the line. The challenges on the line will be centered around different schemes and concepts associated with zone blocking and the traditional gap blocking schemes.
Newly acquired running backs LeGarrett Blount will add to the stable of players carrying the football alonside Le'Veon Bell, but with that comes an adjustment from the line depending on the ball carrier. When it comes down to it, it is time for the offensive line to start performing at a high level.
"We should succeed with it [the new schemes], but it's all dependent on us," Foster said.