Will 2016 be the year that the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line stays healthy and establishes themselves as the best unit in the league? While time will only tell, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Friday morning that the Steelers current offensive line is the best one he has had and he credited the unit’s coach Mike Munchak for part of it.
“With no disrespect to anybody else, I think, as a unit, they’re something special,” Roethlisberger told Bouchette. “Once again, no disrespect to any coaches, either. Munch is as part of that as anything.”
Munchak certainly is excellent at his job and offensive coordinator Todd Haley is excited to have him coaching the unit.
“It’s kind of like the perfect storm, we had a lot of high-pick guys that had good pedigrees, or great pedigrees, in a lot of instances that were young early on, learning, and then Coach Munch came in and he’s the best there is at what he does,” Haley said during a Friday interview on 93.7 The Fan. “To be in shorts in the offseason and OTAs and you gravitate to watching that group work in shorts, which really isn’t what they do, it just pumped you up.
“It’s a very tight-knit group. There’s great continuity, there’s great communication, I think they all really like each other. There’s different dynamics within the group and I think everything came together really in the last couple of years the way you’d hope and I just expect them to be a big leadership group and a competitive group for us going forward.”
Currently, the Steelers starting offensive line from left to right at the start of training camp is Alejandro Villanueva, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro and Marcus Gilbert. Additionally, the team added veteran tackle Ryan Harris during free agency and he’ll join center Cody Wallace and this year’s fourth-round draft pick Jerald Hawkins as depth behind the starters. The only real spot on the unit that’s seemingly up for grabs right now is the interior swing one with Chris Hubbard and B.J. Finney more than likely battling for it over the course of the next several weeks.
Will this offensive line unit go down as one of the best Pittsburgh has ever had, or at least the best that Roethlisberger has ever had? It could and if it does, Munchak will receive his fair share of credit for that, as he should.