The Pittsburgh Steelers need to run the football in 2014, and they brought in Mike Munchak as the offensive line coach to get that job done. One thing that has certainly changed along the offensive front is the simple fact that the level of expectation has been raised for each and every member of the line.
With the starting lineup on the field, the Steelers' first offensive play from scrimmage against the New York Giants was a tough nine yard run by starting running back Le'Veon Bell. Bell had to side step a tackler and was able to work his way for a nine yard gain. That would-be tackler was let into the backfield due to a missed block by guard Ramon Foster.
What Foster did after the play is what is most telling about the change along the offensive line.
"Ramon came up to me and apologized. Seriously, right up to me and says, 'I'm sorry. My bad, bro. My bad.' He told me he didn't feel like he did well enough on that play, that he had more in him. I'm looking over at the yard marker, and it's second-and-1, and I'm like, 'What happened?' That's something you love as a teammate. Because that makes me feel like I could have done better, too. I could have gotten more than the nine yards they gave me." Le'Veon Bell told Dejan Kovacevic of DKonpittsburghsports.com.
That scene that Bell described is the perfect example of the Steelers offensive line realizing their potential, as well as their responsibilities on every play to make the difference, whether the play is run to their side or not.
If the Steelers can not just hold each other accountable for their respective jobs on the line, but also turn that accountability into production, their running game and offense will be just fine in 2014.