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Marcus Gilbert Expects Steelers To Use Outside-Zone Blocking Scheme Against Bears


The Pittsburgh Steelers worked all offseason on the outside-zone run blocking scheme, but through their first two games of the 2013, they have hardly used it. Right tackle Marcus Gilbert, however, said Wednesday that’s about to change Sunday night against the Chicago Bears.

“We’re going to use that a lot more,” Gilbert said Wednesday after practice, according to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We barely used it in first two games. That will really help us out. Teams saw we were a gap, downhill team. Now we can throw different stuff at them and change it up.”

The Steelers have run for an all-time franchise low 75 yards through their first two games of the season, so any change made at this point with an eye towards improving the running game will be a welcomed one.

Running back Felix Jones, who was acquired via a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles midway through the preseason, is expected to start Sunday night against the Bears. Until rookie Le’Veon Bell is ready to return from his foot injury, Jones is best suited to run the outside-zone because of his ability to one-cut and read the running the lanes.

“I was encouraged by some of the things that Felix did, specifically – knowing when to bounce the ball to the perimeter, knowing when to stick his foot in the ground and get vertical and take what’s there, and when to challenge people,” head coach Mike Tomlin said about Jones’ performance in the loss Monday night to the Cincinnati Bengals. “I thought he showed some natural run instincts and some things that are exciting and we can build from.”

The Steelers will face a Bears team Sunday night that has allowed an average of 93 yards rushing through the first two weeks of the season and should the Steelers equal that amount, history says they have an 80% chance of winning the game.

In the 86 games that the Steelers have rushed for 93 or more yards that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has played in over the course of his career, they have won 69 of them.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Gary Thomas

    uNCLE tOMLIN IS IMPRESSED……I FEEL THERE IS NOW NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT….THE GUY CUT HIS MOST RELIAABLE RUNNING BACK AND TRADED AWAY HIS FIRST ROUND PICK…….iM GETTING THE IDEA THAT MIKE DOESN’T HAVE A CLUE…..bUT HE IS ONE OF THE GUYS YOU KNOW…….JUST LIKE NOLL WAS ONE OF THE GUYS LOL

  • Mike Carroll

    I’ll take this as promising news. Hopefully, the only reason they didn’t run it sooner was due to the Pouncey injury and the time necessary to get Velasco acclimated.

  • T R

    did you think about what u said before u said it.. you ignant … make no sense what so ever.. go to bed

  • SteelersDepot

    Don’t drink and comment, Gary.

  • Bell Cow

    I suppose it makes sense to actually use what you have been practicing all offseason.

  • Jason

    Wow, and you even put your full name and picture with that post. Did you realize your CAPS lock was on during this ignorant rant? Beer and keyboards are a bad mix.

  • NW86

    That’s probably true…but why would Gilbert say this to the media? It’s not like it is a big shock or anything, but why inform your opponent of any of your game planning? The coaching staff can’t be too pleased.

  • Chad H

    Oh Marcus running the mouth. Why don’t you do your job and block? Your days are numbered with the Steelers they will look for your replacement in the draft.

  • HopalongCassidy

    The only problem with this blocking scheme is that Gilbert and company are the blockers. Otherwise, it’s all good.

  • srdan

    Why don’t we email them the plays?

  • Jason

    If we are indeed planning on using this scheme more is it best to let the Bears know it or just shut up and do it?

  • TheBlitz

    Saying to the media the team intends to use more of the ZB scheme they’ve practiced all preseason with a new OL coach known for ZB isn’t really a secret, is it ?

    He didn’t reveal any info about specific ZB scheme plays nor how they intend to use those plays, did he ?

    It’s like Ben saying Wheaton will start seeing more snaps beginning Sunday night. Does that tell the Bears to watch for Wheaton when he’s on the field ? Yes. Do they know what plays he’ll get the ball ? No.

    If you don’t have a problem with Ben’s comments you shouldn’t have one with Gilbert’s either. In fact as he pointed out hopefully it will confuse the opponent and keep them off-balance because they won’t know what’s coming at them. Believe it or not, they might actually run more power then ZB Sunday night.

  • Starbuck63

    YeS.,. I wAS GOIng tu CoMMEnt THat II RmUmMBER MY FIRst BEer to

    BUT THat woulD MAKE ME ONe of THOSE GUyS LIKE KnoLL…WHatEvER THAT mEANS :)

  • charles

    The Bear D will be the stoutest that we have faced. Marcus was just trying to express what he believes his best value will be. Lets hope that he is right and that Felix or Dryer gets 100yds to the right side.

  • Callentown

    After reading this article, I just don’t know what to say. Is this team and its leadership really this far out of touch?? Yikes!

    On another note, I’m more concerned than ever that this line is not going to cut it, even in the future. Pretty sure our best O-lineman just joined the team last week.

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