While the Pittsburgh Steelers made marginal improvements around the field during free agency and the NFL Draft, some may argue that the newcomer who could have the greatest impact will not suit up a single game during the 2014 season.
That would be new offensive line coach Mike Munchak.
Given Munchak’s pedigree, you can understand why expectations are very high for this Steelers offensive line.
But despite his Hall of Fame background, one has to ask how much difference Munchak will really make this season for a Steelers offensive line that experiences more highs and lows than a roller coaster ride.
If anything, Munchak seems very excited about the challenge ahead of him.
“I think we can have a special group here,” he told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently.
Munchak may be setting the bar very high by those comments, but if the Steelers line can stay healthy for a change, you have to think they will be a little bit better, especially since they started coming together nicely by the end of last season.
“People don’t know how hard it is to just get plugged in and how much that affects the chemistry of the offensive line,” Munchak said. “I’ve followed them through college and know what type of players they are. I’m excited to work with them.”
While speaking of injuries, all eyes must turn to All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey, who if healthy (and that’s a big if) can be the anchor of the line and bring some stability to what tends to be a revolving door at center.
If Pouncey is healthy and David DeCastro can continue to take the next step into becoming one of the more dominant guards in the NFL, Munchak will have a lot to work with on the interior.
If he does and the Steelers can run the ball effectively and keep quarterback Ben Roethlisberger standing, it will be exciting to see what this offense could be capable of in 2014.