Even though the all-22 view of the Pittsburgh Steelers game against the Chicago Bears won’t be available until Wednesday, I went back through the game a third time Monday night and focused in on right tackle Marcus Gilbert being as Pro Football Focus scored him so well. After doing that, it is clear that Gilbert was unfairly put on the post game losers list by me.
Outside of a pressure allowed on third and five with just over seven minutes left to go in the half, Gilbert really played a good game and he most definitely deserved the good grade that PFF gave him. In fact, it was probably his best game since late in his rookie season.
So, with that out of the way, let me publicly apologize to Gilbert.
Knowing now that Gilbert indeed played well Sunday night, it does make you wonder why head coach Mike Tomlin decided to replace Gilbert with Kelvin Beachum for 13 plays. Tomlin’s comments after the game certainly made it seem like he was unhappy with the play of both of his tackles Sunday night.
“They hadn’t played well enough to justify otherwise,” Tomlin said about subbing Beachum in for both Gilbert and Mike Adams during the game. “We’re going to look at viable guys. We’re going to turn the stones over in an effort to find a winning formula, and we’re not going to be bashful about that. Kelvin Beachum has earned an opportunity to play in the rotation. He did tonight because of it.”
So if Beachum earned the opportunity, why didn’t he start? If anyone deserved to be yanked in that game for 13 plays it was Adams, not Gilbert. A rotation? Really? Was Gilbert late for a meeting? Did Beachum bring Tomlin an apple prior to kickoff? Besides, isn’t Beachum the backup center right now being as Cody Wallace isn’t dressing for games? This decision really made no sense.
I doubt Tomlin will be pressed further about this during his Tuesday press conference, because in the grand scheme of things it’s really insignificant and not the reason the team is 0-3 right now. I am curious, however, to know what the real reason was behind this decision and I wonder if Gilbert even knows.