Foster Says Gilbert Played With A Leg That Was Two Different Sizes In 2013

The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line finished the 2013 season out on a positive note and the starters were able to play every snap in three of the final four games. However, during a recent interview on the teams’ official website, left guard Ramon Foster said right tackle Marcus Gilbert battled through a leg injury of some sorts to close out the season.

“He played through a lot this year,” said Foster of Gilbert’s play in 2013. “I was proud to see him finish out the season healthy. His leg was two different sizes and he never moaned about it, complained about it. He just finished. My hat’s off to him.”

Gilbert, who started all 16 games this past season at right tackle for the Steelers, showed up on the injury report seven times in 2013 with quadricep and ankle injuries, but managed to play all but 96 snaps in total. He missed 51 of those snaps way back in the week 7 win over the Baltimore Ravens as his quad injury was just too much for him to play through.

In 2012, Gilbert had his season cut short after just five games because of a right ankle injury that ultimately required surgery, so it will be interesting to hear him comment on the ankle and leg problems that he fought through this past season when he is ultimately asked about it over the course of the offseason.

2014 will be a contract year for the Steelers former second-round draft pick out of Florida, who was very inconsistent this past season. For now, Gilbert will likely enter training camp as the starter at right tackle, but in order to keep the job, he will likely have to hold off Mike Adams, who will be looking to earn back a starting spot after losing the left tackle job to Kelvin Beachum after the loss in London to the Minnesota Vikings.

  • srdan

    This is great to hear. I think its a true sign of a players character if htey play through pain. Woodley, take notes.

    I know that we don’t have elite tackles, but we have competition heading into the offseason and stability of some sort.

    I’m pumped abou tthis team!

  • WilliamSekinger

    If Ben continues buying in to Haley’s offense, tackles are a lot less critical in the passing game. As we saw this year, take the short stuff when it’s given, run the ball effectively and he will have plenty of chances to go over the top even without elite tackles.

  • Ahmad

    Gilbert may have been inconsistent this year, but I did recognize improvement in his game. Hopefully he can work hard on his conditioning this offseason so he doesn’t come into camp wheezing like he did last year.

  • srdan

    Good point.

    Crazy to think that BB may go a whole career without having an above average LT.

  • Luke Shabro

    Marvel Smith was above average for about the first two years of Ben’s career. Then it’s been a nightmare

  • srdan

    Great point. I never saw him as a great tackle because we were in a division at the time with Ogden. But thinking back on it, he was really good.

  • steeltown

    As it stands I love DeCastro, Foster and Beachum in this group, getting Pouncey back with either Velasco or Cody Wallace providing depth is another plus. Hopefully Gilbert and Adams can push eachother and make eachother better next season because regardless of whether or not Beachum is the answer at LT we sure need the RT position to be solved as well

  • srdan

    I just don’t see the mean streak in DeCastro that he was tagged with coming out of Stanford. It was evident with Wallace when he was out there. I like mean-nasty linemen, offense or defense (see cam hayward lol).

  • steeltown

    That’s ok though, I’ll take intelligence, athleticism and technique as well… look at Colon he was a nasty sob but he had poor technique and not much athleticism. We need a mix of all intangibles, we have some athletic guys, we have some nastiness and we have intelligence

  • SteelersDepot

    It’s because he’s mostly been regarded as a technician more than anything else.

  • srdan

    I fully agree that there are other attributes to great players, but a group of players needs some heat. We don’t have anyone on our Oline who has a mean streak.

  • Intropy

    He’s certainly a technician. He isn’t a super strong guy who you will see manhandle people constantly – though he can make you look silly winning the leverage battle. He has maybe a bit more than his fair share of “play to the whistle” type of plays, but I don’t see him taking cheap shots often like Kemo did or mixing it up after the whistle like we saw with Wallace. Where all that puts him on the “mean streak” continuum I don’t know.

  • joed32

    He has the ability to make his block at the LOS and then move to the second level and block another defender. He’s an excellent guard and not a player to complain about. He was never considered a physical mauler.

  • Jeff

    Yeah, it’s easy to overlook how spoiled we were with the ’05 offensive line

  • Jollyrob68

    Max Starks was very good. Every time they tried to shut him down he showed he was the man.

  • Jollyrob68

    When Adams was the right tackle his first year we ran with power to that side.

  • Jollyrob68

    DeCastro is nasty when he pulls. He has a quiet demeanor and that’s why people think he’s not nasty.
    I want Cody Wallace signed.

  • cp72

    All this time I would have guessed Mike Adams had a two different size leg that would explain his pass blocking….

  • Dale

    One leg was different sizes at different times, or his two legs were different sizes?

  • treeher

    I had suggested Gil’s inconsistency was due to injury and I think this article might confirm that thinking.

  • mem359

    Thanks for the article.
    Some people were complaining that Gilbert was playing lazy. I was about to ask if he had some nagging injury which would hinder his play. Hopefully, Gilbert and Adams can have an injury-free (and stab-free) offseason, so the team can find out exactly what they are capable of doing when healthy.

  • Callentown

    OR – they could draft a LT and move Beachem to RT. Then we would actually have TWO GOOD TACKLES. Imagine that 🙂

  • Callentown

    Keep in mind that many of those short screens – the Steelers lead the league in these plays – were put in BECAUSE the team couldn’t block at Left Tackle. True story.

  • Callentown

    He’ll have to take off the skates first!

  • Callentown

    Yeah, he hasn’t found his way yet. Hopefully, he can get better in 2014.

  • Callentown

    Ha, ask Pouncey about DeCastro’s technique..

  • Callentown

    This was at the end of the year. Gilbert came in in poor shape, failed the endurance run and played poorly all season, well before this.

  • mem359

    He was on injured reserve at the end of the last season. Easier to get out of shape (and be unable to get in pro shape) if there is a bad leg injury to limit mobility. Think about how long it took Harrison to get into prime game shape after his back surgery last year.

    That’s why I’m hoping he stays healthy in the off-season. Maybe a few months will get him stronger and faster. Or If he still shows up in poor shape, then the team can try something else.

  • Callentown

    Be honest though. If the Steelers suddenly added a good tackle (FA for instance), so we wouldn’t need either Gilbert or Adams, wouldn’t we all feel a little better??

  • Virdin Barzey

    I don’t know about mean streak but DeCastro plays the most physical on the line. You may need to watch him on the run plays. This kid might turn out to be our best lineman so as much as I like mean nasty linemen as well on our team, I’ll take DeCastro every time if he continues to play the way he has been playing.

    Gilbert seems way to passive for me. Now if you we’re talking about that guy, I’m with you.

  • srdan

    That is an open ended question. I certainly wasn’t tickled when we signed Levi Brown.

    I don’t like to make up excuses for guys, but I always do it for our young tackles especially Adams. He has not had a full offseason since becoming a pro. It’s hard to teach technique throughout the season, youre learning the gameplan every week. Plus we have had some coaching turnover that directly impacts our oline. I promise to change this tune next year if we get the same.

    Gilbert has shown steady improvement. His ceiling is lower than adams’, but that does not make him an inadequate RT. I guess what I’m saying is give them one more year. Gilbert in his contract year, and Adams with a full offseason.

    The coaching stability and player stability showed towards the end of the season. If the oline can play at that level next year for 16 games, it may end up being a lot more than 16 meaningful games.

  • Callentown

    I feel the same way and I guess I got tired of making excuses for these guys.

    We have another couple of years with Ben playing high-caliber football. It feels like a waste to keep waiting on these two tackles instead of getting someone who can start and not be a liability.

    The window is beginning to close..

  • srdan

    I went back and read some of his scouting reports. You guys are right. He was touted as a technician and not a mean streak type of player. That was my mistake.

    But I do stand behind my statement that losing colon’s fiery nature has left me desiring some of that back. Of course it comes at a cost of a few 15 yearders a year. I liked our line with Wallace better than Velasco, even though perhaps V. is a better player. Just my opinion on the type of team I like to see.

    I also have ot admit that decastro is a perfect player for the zone blocking scheme we are transitioning to.

    I never said I disliked him or thought he was a bad pick. I love building a team from teh trenches out.

  • Glenn Gilbert

    He doesn’t Gilbert does.

  • wickedgoodboy

    you are exactly right it has been a free pass to the qb since marvel hurt his back . what is sad beachum may be best player there since

  • Steve

    Keep dreaming with the budget we got.

  • Richard Edlin

    Well, he *tried* to take one cheap shot in Game 1. I don’t think the team could afford a second effort …

  • Callentown

    I’m saying DRAFT a LT. That’s affordable with the rookie wage cap.

    Also, don’t you think we may be ‘working’ on Ike and Troy’s contract in the off-season to help that out?