Pouncey: 'It's time to get the season rolling'

During minicamp, training camp and the preseason, Steelers offensive linemen sang the praises of new offensive line coach Mike Munchak and what he has brought to the team with his expertise.

Now, with the regular season ready to get rolling against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, it's time to put what they have learned to work. It's time to show that what he taught them has made a difference.

"He holds us to a high standard and there are a lot of expectations on his end for us," said guard Ramon Foster. "As good as a coach as he is, we have to be on top of our game, point blank, period. He is very insightful in what the other team's defense is doing as far as the linebackers and defensive line and we have to show improvement. We spoke highly of him, now we have to reflect his coaching.

"It's time to go to work. We just have to put it on tape now. We have to start from snap one all the way to the Super Bowl. That is our goal, to be together, work through some things. It might not be perfect, but our goal is to dominate each and every week."

The Steelers have made a huge investment in the offensive line as of late, signing center Maurkice Pouncey and tackle Marcus Gilbert to contracts that will keep them in black and gold through the 2019 season. The expectations are high all around.

"Over the years they have put a lot into the offensive line room money-wise and they expect us to do big things," said Pouncey. "Bringing in Coach Munch was a big time plus for us and he's been helping us tremendously so hopefully we can stay on a steady slope with him.

"We're excited. It's time to get the season rolling. All of the guys are ready for that, anxious and Sunday at 1 o'clock will be fun. I am probably more excited than anybody just to be back out there. I missed the whole entire year and it's a blessing to be back and I can't wait to get out there with my guys."

During his weekly press conference Coach Mike Tomlin said running back Le'Veon Bell could handle 20-25 carries a game, stating "I think we drafted him with that in mind."

And Bell doesn't mind carrying the load, no matter what the load is.

"Whatever it comes down to, how many carries I get, I just want to get enough to where I can make enough plays for us to win the game," said Bell, the second year back out of Michigan State. "For me that is the biggest thing. If I have to get it 40 times to win the game, I want it 40 times. If I get it six times in a game, so be it.

"The main thing is I want to get wins. Whatever it takes I just want to get out there and get wins."

The Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for the game against the Cleveland Browns.

Bell is anxious to get on the field on Sunday, his first NFL opening day having missed the first three games of 2013 with a foot injury. And he knows how important it will be to get off to a good start.

"I am looking forward to being able to open the season with these guys this year," said Bell. "I am glad to be healthy. I am ready for the Cleveland Browns week one.

"The key at the beginning of the season is not making many mistakes. Teams are still trying to get better at a lot of things and it's early, but we have to be minimal with turnovers and cause them on the other side. We just have to minimize mistakes and we should be fine."

Bell is especially looking forward to running behind the Steelers' strong offensive line, one that continues to improve.

"Those guys keep getting better each and every day," said Bell. "As a runner that is something I notice. Coach Munch is doing a great job with those guys. I am excited to be able to run behind those guys, fully healthy and ready to go."

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