To say that the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line has been a weakness in recent years would be a vast understatement. Since 2006, Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked more than any other quarterback in the NFL.
The hits haven't been limited to the past six seasons. In his eight-year career, Roethlisberger has been sacked 314 times, not to mention all of the hits he has taken. They have taken a toll on Roethlisberger's body.
Over the years, Roethlisberger has suffered from many injuries, including concussions, a broken nose and sprained ankles, just to name a few. He is a tough player, but he is a much better player when healthy than when banged up.
While Roethlisberger's playground style of football contributes to the hits and sacks that he takes, so do starting undrafted free agents Doug Legursky and Ramon Foster at guard. Or how about starting Jonathan Scott at left tackle?
Let that sink it—Scott at left tackle.
If you just shuddered a little, imagine how Roethlisberger feels every time he takes a snap.
But the times have changed, and the past three years the Steelers have invested a lot in the offensive line via the draft.
Pittsburgh selected Maurkice Pouncey in the first round of the 2010 draft and Marcus Gilbert in the second round in 2011. The Steelers made a big splash in the draft this year by taking David DeCastro in the first round and Mike Adams in the second round.
In addition to the high draft choices spent on offensive linemen, the Steelers also moved Willie Colon from tackle to guard, meaning that the line will have quite a makeover this year.
The development of the offensive line will be one of the most intriguing areas to watch in training camp this year. Here is a preview of the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line.