But as they headed into the offseason the Steelers’ offensive line did so with confidence.
You’ll get that when an offense scores at least 20 points for nine consecutive games, as the Steelers did from their 55-31 loss on Nov. 3 at New England through their regular season ending 20-7 victory over Cleveland.
You’ll have that when an offensive line allows seven sacks over the final seven games, as the Steelers did.
You’ll develop that when a running back rumbles for 214 yards and averages 4.7 yards per carry over the final two games, as Le’Veon Bell did.
And you’ll believe that because of the way guys such as Velasco and
“We’ve seen it, we’ve shown everybody. Now, everybody’s going to be asking for more. We have to work at it, that’s going to be the biggest thing. We can’t just expect we’re going to do this. We have to make it happen.”
Foster, a fifth-year pro, is the veteran of the group, and he maintains the pieces are now in place up front. Once Pouncey returns next season, the former All-Pro would rejoin a group that became battle-tested over the course of the 2013 campaign.
Foster assessed the progress made by the Steelers’ youngsters:
* Foster (15 starts at left guard in 2013, 42 starts previously) even did a little self-scouting: “Same old game, I just try to stay consistent, be the glue to this group and keep everybody sane.”
Perhaps the number that best sums up what the offensive line contributed this season is: 16, which is the number of starts made by quarterback
“I thought we’ve always been solid in years past,” Foster said. “That’s just the way I feel about this O-line. I don’t think we get enough credit for the work that we do around here, but it’s up to us to change the whole mentality. It’s up to us to carry the offense. We can’t be middle-of-the-road guys. We have to lead the entire length of the season.”