Steelers can't automatically assume rising offense will be better in 2015

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers offense broke out in 2014, finishing second in the NFL with 411.1 total yards per game and establishing a new franchise record for points (436) in a season.

The Steelers control the contract rights of every starter through next season and young wide receivers Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton could come into their own in 2015. An offensive line that made significant progress has enough youth to it to think that will continue to improve, especially with position coach Mike Munchak back for a second season.

The danger for the Steelers’ offensive players is thinking that just because so many pieces are in place that everything will fall into place next season.

“You think we had a good season, it’s going to happen every year. That’s not the case,” left guard Ramon Foster said. “It’s going to be the leaders that have to let them understand that they can’t get complacent. We have to work to get better.

“A lot of guys grew up this year, and I’m happy to see that. We’ve got coaches in place, we don’t have to go searching for certain guys and worry about that so as far as the offense as a whole we should be better.”

Coach Mike Tomlin is counting on that, which is why he did not try to lower expectations when asked if the Steelers’ offense can be better in 2015.

“Why can’t we get better in all areas? Not only offensively but defensively and special teams,” Tomlin said. “It’s amazing how we as humans are capable of limiting ... just simply because we set parameters on our own expectations. I try to consciously not do that. What areas can we not get better in? That needs to be our mentality and hopefully it will be.”