The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line took a big hit Sunday in the preseason game against the Green Bay Packers as center Maurkice Pouncey will now likely be sidelined at least half the season due to a broken left fibula that he suffered in the first quarter.
On Tuesday, the Steelers signed a familiar face in offensive lineman Doug Legursky to likely serve as the back-up to Cody Wallace moving forward. Tuesday, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was asked about both players and if it helps that both have starting experience.
“That always helps,” said Roethlisberger. “Those shoes that they’re trying to fill are really big shoes and it’s not easy to do and they know that. They’re not going to go out and try to be Maurkice Pouncey, they’re going to try to be the best Cody or Doug that they can be. We have confidence that those guys are going to step up and play good football and help carry the load.”
While Wallace and Legursky certainly aren’t inexperienced, neither of them can do some of the things that Pouncey can do and that includes getting down the field and making blocks at the second and third levels on a consistent basis. Roethlisberger noted that on Tuesday while talking to the media.
“Pouncey’s down field every single play and that’s what makes him special,” said Roethlisberger. “And people talk about is he injury prone, no, he’s just in the play. He’s always around the ball because of his intensity and you don’t find too many linemen that are 10, 15 yards down field trying to block safeties for the running back and that speaks for his toughness and his tenacity and his desire to be the best.”
Even without Pouncey in the lineup, Roethlisberger doesn’t think that the offense will have to change a lot offensively.
“We hope not, but we’ll see as we go,” said Roethlisberger. “We have to count on whoever it’s going to be, Doug or Cody, to step up their game to match the level of intensity.”
Even though Legursky hasn’t played a single snap since tearing the ACL in his left knee last year, one would think that he’s currently in good shape and ready for action. The Steelers will play their next preseason game Saturday night on the road against the Buffalo Bills and one would think that he’ll follow Wallace into that contest.
“They’ll be fine,” said Roethlisberger of Wallace and Legursky. “Like I said, those are huge shoes to fill and they’re not going to try to be Pounce. They’re going to be the best that they can be.”