Steelers T Marcus Gilbert Has Been Focusing On Left Tackle All Offseason
Heading into the Pittsburgh Steelers first few OTA sessions of the 2013 season, there was some uncertainty as to whether or not Marcus Gilbert or Mike Adams would be playing the left tackle position now that Max Starks is gone, but with only four OTA practices now in the books, it appears that Gilbert has the job and that was the plan all along.
Gilbert talked with 105.9 The X Radio about the current offensive lineup following Tuesday\’s OTA practice.
“It\’s going to be fine,” said Gilbert about playing on the left side. “We have young talented guys, fresh legs and I think that with the group of guys that we have now, I think that the coaches have been visioning this line for a long time. Bringing in that different scheme, outside zone scheme, implementing it with our inside zone, I think that we\’ll be a hell of a team to beat. If all five guys stay healthy, nobody can touch us up front.”
Several of the Steelers offensive linemen have been asked to give their thoughts on the outside zone scheme this offseason and on Tuesday, it was Gilbert\’s turn to talk about it.
“The outside zone scheme is a hard concept to deal with because you\’re having linebackers trying to fit through a hole, especially playing a two-gap team, it\’s hard for them to fill into that gap or whatever,” said Gilbert, who had most of his second season in the league wiped out by an ankle injury last year. “It\’s just going to take an urgency – highly conditioned guys up front, and healthy guys, all working as one unit to be successful.
“I think with that and them not knowing if we\’re going to run inside zone – throwing out of different formations – now its going to be tough on a defense this year because they know us as a power gap scheme – inside zone scheme, so I think us changing up is definitely going to help us out a lot.”
Gilbert has talked about wanting to play on the left side for quite some time now, and it is a position that he obviously knew all offseason that he would play this year.
“Obviously the left side is more important,” said Gilbert. “The quarterback has to have high trust in you, but I think everything will sort out for itself. I\’ve been focusing myself on the left side this whole offseason – feeling myself getting more and more comfortable.
“I think whoever starts off at either side this season; I think will do great things. Right now, I\’m feeling really confident with what I have to bring on the left side, protecting Ben\’s (quarterback Ben Roethlisberger) blind side, and I know he\’s highly confident in me too.”
As Gilbert mentioned previously, the starting five has to stay healthy this season if they are going to be a force to be reckoned with, and he was asked if the group is doing anything different this season to help that cause.
“We\’re just showing the guys that any nicks; any bangs, take it to the training room and get constant treatment on it,” said Gilbert. “Hop into the cold tub after practice, get massages, you know, doing the extra things that the norm doesn\’t normally do.
“I think we\’ve taken a different approach, and I\’m feeling a hell of a lot better out there, especially coming off my ankle injury. I think so far everybody\’s doing a hell of a job on that side.”