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Steelers offensive line now a strength, but for how long?

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have a dynamic offense, and the main reason is the stellar play by the team's offensive line, but how long will the line stay together?

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

What is the underlying cause for the Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive success? Look no further than the hogs in the trenches for the answer to that question. Sure, having a Pro Bowl quarterback and dynamic play makers helps, but if Ben Roethlisberger doesn't have time to pass, Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant won't be able to catch the football. Le'Veon Bell is dynamic, but without running lanes, he becomes just another running back.

The Steelers have built an offensive line which could be considered the best of the Roethlisberger era. David DeCastro, Maurkice Pouncey, Marcus Gilbert, Kelvin Beachum and Ramon Foster make up a group which has gelled and become a strong unit under the tutelage of Mike Munchak. With the line finally a strength after years of sub par play, how long will they stay together as a group? Many decisions will need to be made regarding this group, in terms of contracts, at the conclusion of the 2015 season, if not earlier.

"Is it the last year? Dave and I were just talking about that," Ramon Foster told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I don't know. There are so many dynamics that go into it. Everybody knows I'm in the last year of my contract. Other guys have to be paid, there's a draft coming up. Beach is in his last year, Mike is in his last year.

"I think there are ways to do it. Who is to say who is going to be where or what may be. We'll see. I honestly have no answer for it. I guess my play is going to determine what happens with me here or if they just want to go in a different direction."

Such is life in the NFL. Even the best teams have to see talented players leave via free agency for a multitude of reasons, but looking at the Steelers' offensive line, the organization would be wise to do whatever it takes to keep this young (Foster the elder statesman at age 29) group together as long as possible.

With Pouncey and Gilbert under new contracts and DeCastro's 5th year option being exercised, it leaves Foster, Beachum and back up tackle Mike Adams wondering what, and where, their future will be.

"We reached out," Beachum said. "It's a wait-and-see type of thing. We would love to at least get the talks seriously going. Right now, everything is still. You know how this organization works, waiting for the right time, I guess."

"It's not even on my mind, not on my radar. Right now, it's about getting my body ready for the season."

The 2015 season might be the last time the group is together as a unit, and it seems to be all they are focused on at the moment.

"We're trying to build off last year," DeCastro said. "If it's the last year together, then it is. We're going to have fun and not even think about it. Just keep playing and having fun. We have a great group. It would be unfortunate [to see it break up], but we're going to enjoy it right now."

With Munchak leading the way, the players see no reason for anything but even better play in 2015, something which would make an already lethal offense even more dangerous. The future might be muddy for this group, but with all eyes on 2015 the players seem at ease with letting the proverbial chips fall where they may.

"We need to press for something better," Beachum said, and hopefully that 'better' is another championship being brought back to Pittsburgh.