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Bell: 'It’s the best line in the world'

Posted Dec 3, 2017

Experience is paying dividends for the offensive line.

Before the regular season even began, Ben Roethlisberger was singing the praises of his offensive line.

“They are the best line in the league,” said Roethlisberger. “They really are the reason I stay upright and healthy. They are the most important part of this team because as they go, we go.”

With that being said, and the Steelers are sitting at 9-2 and ready for the final stretch of the season, the offensive line has definitely been a huge part of that success.

Le’Veon Bell is the NFL’s leading rusher with 981 yards on 252 carries through 10 games. And while Bell brings a lot to the table, he doesn’t do it alone.

“Those guys always get the job done,” said Bell. “You see the way they work in practice. They are always striving to get the job done. When one guy goes down, the next guy steps up. That shows the brotherhood of the offensive line and how much they understand the game because they always keep it going.

“I wouldn’t want to run behind any other offensive line. I wouldn’t want to run behind anybody else. I see how hard those guys work. I couldn’t imagine anybody else working that hard. I am happy with my guys.

“It’s the best offensive line in the world.”

You won’t get much argument from Mike Munchak, the team’s offensive line coach who molded the line into what they are today.

“They all have a passion for what they do,” said Munchak. “They really enjoy playing the game. They have real good chemistry. They have been together for a while, which is helpful for them. They don’t want to let each other down, they want to be at their best. The more they play together, the better they play.”

There is definitely something to be said for playing together. Yes, the line has been without Marcus Gilbert at different points due to injuries and his current suspension, but this is a group that has been together for several years now, and it shows.

“In loud stadiums, and sometimes ours, you have to have a good feel for nonverbal communication,” said Munchak. “The more they play together, the more they understand what they are trying to say to each other and react in a short period of time. It’s the little things you have to do to adjust to the guys you are playing next to. We have stayed together, even with Chris Hubbard coming in. Our guys have comfort with each other. We can adjust to schemes because we are more comfortable with each other.

“Each week we do things better. We are growing, but we know we have a lot of work ahead of us. They work hard. They are good workers. Most offensive linemen are. We always like to think we are the strength of a team. We like to selfishly think we are the guys who are going to make this happen. All offensive lines are like that. We all have a lot of pride and want the same things. It’s a matter of who can go get it. We have the great players around us to do it. I am excited about it. I know they are.

“They have confidence in what they do. They believe in what they do. They really trust each other. They enjoy playing as a group. They hold each other accountable. Each week is a different challenge. They understand they are developing still and we are getting better. They are continuing to establish themselves. They are learning how to win, no matter what it takes. They are a good group because they have been together, have had success together. That means they have an opportunity to win every Sunday. You give Ben time, big things can happen. You open a lane for Le’Veon and big things can happen. That is our role, to allow those things to happen and be a part of it when it does.”

And when you talk to anyone on offense, the line is definitely a part of everything the Steelers accomplish on offense. And for Munchak, that is what it’s all about.  

“For me to coach them is fun,” said Munchak. “Heck, they coach themselves. That is what good lines do. We put them in position and watch them grow.”

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Steelers fans, you can send the offensive line, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Alejandro Villanueva and Chris Hubbard, to the 2018 Pro Bowl by voting below.