Marcus Gilbert Conference Call
Hey, how are you doing? Thank you very much.
Did you know that the Steelers were this interested in you, and that this was a place that you might end up?
It was a high possibility. There were a couple of teams that had a lot of interest in me. But, really I felt, and I was hoping for the Steelers. They have a great organization. The Pittsburgh Steelers, year-in-and-year-out, they compete for a championship. And that’s what I want to do. I want to come in and I want to help them win championships by doing anything I can do.
How does it feel to be reunited with former teammate Maurkice Pouncey on the line?
It’s great. It’s a blessing. Just to go to a team with a former Gator and a former offensive lineman that I played next to is a blessing. I can learn a lot from him. He can teach me a lot and I can follow his lead. He came in and did a heck of a job. I’m just ready to help lead, to help us get to the top. I’m looking forward to playing for Coach Kugler.
What has he told you about playing for the Steelers so far?
It’s a winning tradition. When you come in, you better bring your lunch pale. You have to come in and work hard every day. You have to bring it, week-in, week-out, no days off. The reason they drafted me is they have a lot of faith in me. It all starts with God. I’m just out of words to say right now.
What is your position? What is your preferred position on the line?
With me, I feel that Offensive Line Coach, Steve Addazio, at the University of Florida has done a great job of training us, all of the linemen to play all different positions. I just think I’m blessed to have a coach like that. And it’s going to help me out in this whole draft process right now. I’m very happy to get this opportunity. I’ll come in and play any position that they need me to play.
It was a little bit of an adjustment for Maurkice to get used to the cold weather here in Pittsburgh. Do you think you can handle that?
Yeah, I can handle it. It’s football. Your adrenaline is going to kick in. Whenever my number is called, anything I can do I’m going to come in and I’m going to handle business. I’m just looking forward to the opportunity to play at a great organization. I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to taking full advantage of it.
Have you heard from Maurkice yet?
I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls. He’s probably called me and texted me, but as soon as I get off of here, I’m going to reach out to him. I’m going to connect with him. I know he’s very happy to have me on his side. I’m just very proud to be a Pittsburgh Steeler.
What did you think of him wearing that Dolphins hat with his brother last night?
Those guys are clowns. They are like best friends. All of us are like best friends. We just pull for each other. We try for each other to get to the top. But you know, Mike would have been that high. I guess I was the second guy in line and they gave me this opportunity.
Maurkice is actually kind of quiet around us. Are you saying he is more of a clown than we would know?
When you get the twins together, it’s like a comedy show. But they bring it every day, so you can’t ever knock them. They are two of the hungriest players I’ve been around. If you want to win games, you want to be around guys like that to be on your team. And obviously, the Pittsburgh Steelers made that decision last year. It worked out really well for them. Maurkice, he’s serious. He’s serious, especially around the Steeler Nation when he’s on the field. But off the field, those guys like to have a good time. But he knows when it’s time to turn it on and off.
Were you ever able to tag along with your dad [Jeffrey Gilbert, recent retiree from the Secret Service]? Are there any famous people you’ve run across? Have you met any Presidents?
Yes I met Bill Clinton and I met President Obama. I know I had a better relationship with President Obama. He keeps in touch with my dad. So I know he was thrilled for me. It was a great experience too, having somebody like my dad to grow up around with the Presidents and watching the elections, just enjoying it. That was another humbling experience. Without my dad, I wouldn’t have made it this far. He taught me a lot.
Did you ever want to do the same thing he did, or was football always your thing?
I thought about it very hard. But football is something I always wanted to do. I grew up as a little kid watching the draft. It was my dream come true to be selected one day. And it’s here.
The offensive line coach for the Steelers said you could play all four positions on the line. Of your 30 career starts at Florida, how many were at tackle and how many were at guard?
I started three games at guard and 27 games at tackle.\’
Curtis Brown Conference Call
How do you feel?
I can’t explain. It’s just, I can’t explain. I really can’t.
Re: Fitting in for the Steelers:
When I went up there I felt a family atmosphere. I am a real country dude and a family-type person. When I went up there I felt welcomed. I felt at home when I went up there. I just feel like I am not a part of a great and wonderful organization. I couldn’t be happier.
Re: Sitting and waiting all day for your name to be called:
I was getting real nervous because I have so much family up here. We have a big crawfish little thing. I just feel like I was going to slip all the way down.
Re: Visit in Pittsburgh leading to Steelers calling your name:
I felt they treated me so well that I just felt like they clicked with me and I clicked with them. They had one of the last picks and I felt you all would pick me just because the coaching staff and I clicked so good. It felt right. It’s just a blessing.
Re: Intercepting Colt McCoy at Texas:
I got him plenty of times.
Can you do that in the AFC North?
You know it. I am going to prove. I am just ready to step in and do whatever I can to get on the field, special teams and gain trust with the coaches. And when I am able to get out there and get to be a starter, then I will be a player.
Re: What you do best and your room for improvement:
Just growing as a player, techniques, film studies and I feel like I can cover real well. I feel like I have good speed. With the coaching staff up there I will just keep learning different techniques and going and getting the ball and just learn to be a complete player. I will learn step-by-step.
Did teams shy away from throwing in your direction?
I didn’t see too many balls. I didn’t get a ball until my sixth game in the season. I just really didn’t get thrown at. I didn’t have too many opportunities.
Re: You made a catch in the NFL combine that Deion Sanders raved about. I’m surprised you only had two picks.
At Texas we’re a real man team and we didn’t play that much zone, so I was never really in. It was always man coverage, so I didn’t get that many opportunities from a zone standpoint. But I did get plenty of opportunities there; I just didn’t get as many picks as I could have. I didn’t get called on either, so I think I need to work on going to get the ball. That’s my next step and that’s what I’m going to keep working on.
How different will what you’re asked to do here be from what you were asked to do in college?
I’m a student, I’m going to learn. I know there will be veterans in there that will teach me different techniques for the zones and things. I’m not worried. I feel like I learn real well. I’m ready for any challenge that comes my way. I’ll learn it.
Do you know Limas Sweed and Casey Hampton?
I know Limas, I played with Limas. Casey Hampton was a little older than me so I didn’t really get to mingle with him as much. Me and Limas, with all the freshman, I was guarding him a lot.
How did you do against him?
We had our battles. We have a couple stories with each other. He helped me a lot.
You say you are a country boy. Where are you from?
East Texas. It’s right under Street Point, Louisiana, and right on the other side of Arkansas. We’re two hours from Dallas. That’s the closest city.
Lake said you are the best cover corner out of Texas. Are you better than Aaron Williams?
We have our talents. I’m better at some things just as he’s better than me at some things. Covering wise, I’m going to take that and say I was the best covering corner at Texas.
Did you debate on which Texas corners would be drafted?
We push each other. We haven’t even really talked much in the last couple days. It’s never been like that though.
What is your best 40 time?
4.37, and my average at college was a 4.45.
There’s a YouTube clip of you picking off a pass going about 70, but getting caught from behind. What was that about?
I don’t like making excuses, so I don’t want to say because it will make me look like I make excuses, but it was a 12-play drive and I had lower back problems. Either way, he’s a fast tailback. I’m going to give him his props.
Do you know who he is?
No, but I actually met him in Pittsburgh and I didn’t know who he was, but he was in the opposite room as me, so we got to meet.
When you visited Pittsburgh?
Yes, he was one of the visitors. I got to meet him, he’s really cool. But I don’t like him because he caught me.