Heading into the 2013 regular season opener, the Pittsburgh Steelers had legitimate questions to answer on the offensive side of the ball. Perhaps the biggest question for the team was how would the offensive line fare? As Steeler’s fans know, the team has struggled along their offensive line for some time now.
Ben Roethlisberger has been among the most sacked quarterbacks in the NFL throughout his Steeler’s tenure. That is not a recipe for success for either the Steelers or Roethlisberger. With that being the case, there has been one bright spot on the offensive line in recent years: Maurkice Pouncey.
Unfortunately, he was carted off the field in the season opener today with a potentially serious knee injury. According to Scott Brown of ESPN, although an MRI is needed to confirm the injury, Pouncey apparently sustained both an ACL and MCL tear in the game.
Pouncey, a first-round draft pick out of the University of Florida in 2010, is considered to be an elite center in the league, and losing him for the season would be a major blow for the Steelers.
Pouncey’s main job on the line is to block up-the-middle pressure. As many NFL fans know, pressure up front is meddling to a quarterback, and it is imperative that it be sniffed out as much as possible.
It is even more crucial for the Steelers to bottle it up given the deficiencies at the other spots on their line. It serves just as much importance in the running game, as the center takes on the defenders up the middle in those short-yardage runs as well.
The loss of Pouncey could be a major blow to an offensive line core that has struggled for some time now.