With Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey now back healthy again after missing the entire 2015 season with a broken fibula, the team might very well have the best offensive line currently in the league. Because of that, head coach Mike Tomlin certainly has some lofty goals for the 2016 season when it comes to that unit and especially when it comes to the running the football.
“Coach Tomlin has been yelling since day-one, he wants 5.0 yards a rush,” said Steelers guard Ramon Foster during a Friday interview on NFL No Huddle. “That’s a tall task to carry but it’s something to shoot for, something we’re going to take pride in and especially with the backs that we have with Le’Veon [Bell] and DeAngelo [Williams] in the backfield.”
Being as the Steelers managed to average 4.4 yards a rush in 2015 without having Pouncey for the entire season and running back Le’Veon Bell for only half the season, you really have to like their chances in 2016 of making a strong run at meeting Tomlin’s lofty goal. It’s also worth noting that Bell averaged 4.9 yards last season before going down injured.
This season, the Steelers offensive line will once again be coached by Mike Munchak and Foster talked extensively about what he brings to the table and how he helps each and every lineman on the team.
“For one, he brings something special about him,” said Foster of Munchak. “You can’t really describe it, but when you’re getting coached by Munch, he’s going to teach you exactly how you need to be coached-up. He doesn’t coach me the same way he does Maurkice [Pouncey], or the same way he does with Marcus Gilbert, or [David] DeCastro. Everybody has their own lane and he’s found a way of how to perfect that. He’s not a yeller and I appreciate that about him.”
In case you’re curious, the one and only time the Steelers averaged 5 or more yards rushing in a single-season was way back in 1972 when they registered 5.1 yards on 497 total rushes.