When Pittsburgh Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert left the game Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens after just seven offensive snaps with a quad injury, everyone held their breath when Guy Whimper replaced him. Whimper, however, played extremely well and played a big role in the team rushing for a season-high 141 yards. As far as his pass protection went, Whimper only allowed one quarterback sack and one hurry in 24 pass blocking opportunities and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger praised him Wednesday for his efforts.
“The thing I notice is pressure and where it’s coming from,” Roethlisberger said, according to Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I didn’t notice it coming from his side. It definitely wasn’t too big for him. He stepped into a sticky situation and did really well. I’m happy for him.”
Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, the Steelers could again be in another sticky situation if Gilbert is unable to shake his quad injury that forced him to be limited Wednesday in practice. Should he not be ready to go, the Steelers will have no choice but to turn to Whimper once again with the hopes that he can repeat his week seven performance.
Up until last Sunday, Whimper hadn’t taken snap in regular season game with the Steelers, but you wouldn’t have known it. He looked nothing like the player we watched during the preseason.
The resurgence of the Steelers running game is perhaps the main reason why the entire offensive line played so well against the Ravens when it came to protecting Roethlisberger and that will have to contune Sunday against the Raiders. If it doesn’t, we will see just how good Whimper really is if forced to play and you can bet that Roethlisberger will notice which side the pressure is coming from if under duress for most of the afternoon.