Many times when you hear the names of the offensive linemen it’s because they have done something wrong. These guys don’t often get to do their favorite dance in the end zone to celebrate making a touchdown. If you hear one of their names, it’s because they let the defense get to the quarterback or didn’t block effectively for the run. It’s the kind of job that if no one mentions your name, you are doing a good job. After the number injuries during the game against the Tennessee Titans on Oct 11th, I was concerned the offensive line would start having trouble protecting Roethlisberger. It looks like my concern might be unfounded.
The offensive line does their job with little fanfare. Right now, the running backs are getting some deserved attention. The offensive line is making it easier for the running backs to do what they need to do. This is Willie Colon’s first year after two straight years of season ending injuries and he is a stand-out player on the offense. He was a beast during the Bengals game and it was good to see him having a great couple of series. Kareem Copeland wrote on the NFL.com’s Around the League that Willie Colon had some of his hair pulled out during that game. Copeland said Colon lost whole braids, not just a few strands of hair. I guess that means you are getting to your opponent if they are ripping your hair out. I would love to see Colon continue to have a strong season. He must feel great after two years of injury to be on the field and contributing.
Maurkice Pouncey is back and even though there is higher chance of reinjury to his knee, it’s good to have him back and starting the games. It’s also good that Legursky came into the game and played well. Even though some of the players are playing after being a banged up in previous games, they are playing like a cohesive unit. There was only one offensive line penalty on Ramon Foster during the game against Washington and that was declined. That’s an offensive line doing their job without getting called out.
Washington only sacked Roethlisberger once and you can give a good portion of the credit to the offensive line. Roethlisberger seems to be playing at a more mature level and the team has put a lot of effort toward protecting him. In 2011, he averaged nearly three sacks a game with 40 sacks in the 15 games he played. So far, he has 13 sacks in 7 games and while it may not be perfect, Roethlisberger is staying upright more.
The Steelers have strung two wins together. This latest win saw the Steelers control the game and gave fans more to cheer about. When I looked at the injury list from Tomlin’s post-game press conference, there were no new offensive line injuries. That’s two games in a row and it’s got to be some kind of record for the Steelers in recent years. Dwyer has a “tight quad” and may put the Steelers in a tough position with 3 injured running backs. However, for today, I prefer to do a little celebration dance that the offensive line players didn’t get mentioned a lot during the game or in the injury report. What an awesome job.