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Size matters: Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line among the largest in size and production

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the better offensive lines in the NFL, a recent study shows that it's also one of the largest; we explore if there is a correlation.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I have always been a firm believer of the old adage, "it's not about the size of the dog in the fight, it's about the size of the fight in the dog." It was my motivation to become a good lineman in high school and work to be able to take on players that weighed 50 lbs. heavier than me and stood anywhere from 3-6 inches taller.

In the NFL however, that sentiment loses its luster when everyone who is a linemen weighs over 300 lbs., stands at 6'4" and are among the top technicians as offensive linemen in the world. In today's NFL, size does matter when it comes to offensive linemen, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have invested into players that fit the mold of large linemen.

Back in 2010, Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin drafted Maurkice Pouncey at center for their first pick and he became the anchor to Pittsburgh's new generation of offensive linemen. The Steelers had one of the worst offensive lines in the late 2000's and made a considerable amount of high-end investments to change that in the early 2010's. Pouncey was selected in the first round of 2010, Marcus Gilbert was added in the second round of 2011 and David DeCastro was selected in the first round of 2012. Add two undrafted players in Ramon Foster and Alejandro Villanueva and you have today's starting offensive line for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As far as weight goes, they have the sixth largest offensive line averaging at 319.6 lbs., only behind the units of the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders, according to a study done by SBNation's Adam Stites.

When it comes to better offensive lines in the NFL, the Steelers' unit is widely considered to be part of that group, even with Pouncey missing all of last season.

The largest of the Steelers' linemen is Marcus Gilbert who stands at 6'6" 330 lbs. and is one of the better unsung right tackles in the NFL. But the two best linemen on the Steelers' starting roster are also the smallest in DeCastro and Pouncey at 316 lbs. and 304 lbs. respectively. The linemen who are the lesser talented make up for it in their size, and especially with the departure of Kelvin Beachum, the starting linemen have fit the mold of big and bad.

Despite the adjustment to today's NFL that has created an increased focus on the passing game, football is still a sport which begins at the line of scrimmage and a strong offensive line makes for a more fluid offense. While size does not correlate to performance, as the Raiders' line is the largest and not one of the more effective, but Pittsburgh has found a way to make their front one of the NFL's biggest while being one of the NFL's best.