I know, I know, it's only supposed to be one player. But the truth is, I really think the entire unit will step its game up in 2011.
Injuries decimated the offensive line last season, and the offense paid drastically for it, allowing 43 sacks (eighth-most in league). The season-ending injuries of both tackles, Willie Colon and blind-side protector Max Starks, forced Pittsburgh to start former Cowboy and five-time Pro Bowler Flozell Adams, who has clearly seen better days.
The biggest positive on the O-line in 2010 was, without a doubt, center Maurkice Pouncey, who made the AFC Pro Bowl squad and received votes for Offensive Rookie of the Year (though he did not win the honor). Pittsburgh was planning on taking his brother in the draft this year, but Miami beat it to the punch, taking guard Mike Pouncey with the 15th overall pick.
With the return of Starks and Colon (Pittsburgh will likely re-sign him), who started 50 consecutive games at right tackle for Pittsburgh at one point, Pittsburgh's offensive line will be back to its 2009 form.
Though guard Trai Essex will also hit the free agent market, I would expect Pittsburgh to bring him back as well, as the third-round draft pick has started 25 games for the Steelers since 2005. If Pittsburgh can keep all the pieces together and stay healthy, I would expect a stellar season from the offensive line in their run for No. 7.