Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – T Marcus Gilbert

By Matthew Marczi

End-of-season player exit meetings are not something that we are often privy to as outsiders of the football world. Generally, we only get a glimpse into that world when a player is asked by a reporter how the meeting went, if the player is willing to discuss it.

Still, it’s not generally a hard concept to grasp, and we have a pretty good feel by now of how Mike Tomlin and his staff likes to operate, and we see all the game film, so it’s not an overly difficult project to simulate. If we were to administer the end-of-season player exit meetings, it might go something like this.

Player: Marcus Gilbert

Position: Right Tackle

Experience: 3 Years

Although 2013 was the first year in Marcus Gilbert’s career in which he didn’t miss a game due to injury, it certainly can’t be said that he was free from injury. On the contrary, he simply suffered more injuries this season that he was able to play through, and it would be fair to say that the injuries did have some impact on his performance.

Of note is the first game against the Baltimore Ravens, during which Gilbert was forced to leave early in the game. Guy Whimper filled in admirably at right tackle after Gilbert managed to play just eight snaps. He also missed some snaps in two other games due to the Steelers rotating their tackles, but otherwise was generally out there on the field.

According to Pro Football Focus’ data, Gilbert was responsible for surrendering 11 sacks on the year, but his overall Pass Blocking Efficiency Rating was 93.6. He is also marked down for allowing five hits and 30 hurries.

I’m not convinced that those totals are entirely reliable, but there’s no question that Gilbert had some rough outings in pass protection. The first week of the season comes to mind, as well as a few down the stretch, such as the snowy game against the Miami Dolphins.

Gilbert isn’t particularly quick-footed, and at times it takes him a few steps to be able to anchor against a bull rush. The Detroit Lions game comes to mind. He is also able to be beaten around the edge at times and can be caught lunging rather than mirroring.

His run blocking is more of a mystery, because he shows the aptitude for it at times, as he did down the stretch this past season. He and the rest of the offensive line finished the year helping Le’Veon Bell average over four yards per carry in four of the last five games of the season, so that’s progress.

One thing to worry about is that Gilbert has a tendency to take his share of penalties, more of the false start than the holding variety. This year he was marked down for eight penalties, which is obviously a number you’d like to see cut down some.

With all that said, there’s still a lot of potential in Gilbert if he manages to put it all together. One factor that might be overlooked is the fact that he lost his best friend from the lineup in the season opener. Maurkice Pouncey was tasked to keep Gilbert focused in his rookie season, and I imagine that assignment has continued.

Aside from a healthy season, what can really help Gilbert in 2014 is having a new offensive line coach in Mike Munchak. As a technician, he should be able to help Gilbert and some of the other offensive linemen clean up some of their details. The fourth-year tackle has displayed some mobility and second-level awareness, so I expect him to be a good fit for more zone blocking next season.

Previous Articles In This Series
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – QB Ben Roethlisberger
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – WR Antonio Brown
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – WR Emmanuel Sanders
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – TE Heath Miller

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Rob H

    Maybe this is a spot where Munchak works his magic, but as it stands right now, I see Gilbert as the weak link on our line. If your going to have a LT like Beachum (who I think Munchak will love, and help greatly) who is stronger in pass pro, then you need the other tackle to be a monster in the run game, and that’s Adams. If Munchak can help Adams with all of his footwork and other technical problems, then he would be a major upgrade over Gilbert. He can spend the last year of his contract as one of your game day back-ups.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Matthew a thought came to mind and wanted your opinion of it. The flaws in both Gilbert and Adams game I assume aren’t new so I’m just curious if the Steelers saw these flaws but figured they could coach both these guys up? or do they look at other positives in their play such as both can get to the second level and figure the good outweighs the bad when they draft these guys in the 2nd round. I’m not sure how to evaluate both because I see a lot of good but then there is a lot of bad that hopefully Munchak can help with. Thanks for the breakdown

  • Callentown

    ‘Skates’!! That’s what I call Gilbert. He seems to always be getting pushed back like he’s wearing them.

    I know fans want to see high round players be successful and don’t care for those who point out when they are not. But both of these tackles were misses – especially where they were selected.

    Yes, it’s hit or miss, but we saw rookie tackles this year starting for teams by year’s end and doing well. That is far from the case with both Gilbert and Adams.

    Neither have shown signs that they can be a legit starter. If Munchak can do something to improve them to that level, he should be called the Bill Walsh (genius) of O-lines!!

  • steeltown

    I sort of agree with you there, we’ll have both guys this year, Gilbert being UFA in 2015 and something tells me by that time, they might let him walk, with Adams then possibly taking over at RT

    Also, before this hire I didn’t see the Steelers drafting OL at all, now I could see them targeting a mid-late Rd guy that Munchak likes

  • Madi

    Gilbert was doing well. He had some bad games, but he also had some great ones. He’s streaky – which, don’t get me wrong, is terrible for an OT – but he’s underrated. It seems to me people are judging all of him based on his few bad games. If we’re going to do that, I don’t know how anyone could like Beachum, because he was absolutely horribile at times this year.

  • Rob H

    Beachum was taking over LT “in season”, and should be expected to have some bad moments, but by all accounts he got better and better, rarely ever making the same mistakes continuously. Gilbert on the other hand has had three seasons, and still displays the same inconsistency and mistakes. You don’t expect or need to have 5 pro bowlers, but you do need consistency and to at least show some improvement as you gain experience.

  • Callentown

    I appreciate your point.

    I agree with Rob H’s comment regarding seeing the same things for three years.

    His game is not strong in any one area. He struggles as a pass-blocker, getting man-handled often and causing Ben to have to slide out of harm’s way often, also can’t run block well – all of this while leading the line in penalties = trouble.

    Personally, I have not seen any ‘great’ games from Gilbert.

  • SteelersDepot

    You must have missed the final 7 games of the season to say that about Beachum, who was outstanding at left tackle during that span of games.

  • Callentown

    Dave what are your thoughts on RT? Do you believe Gilbert of Adams will work out eventually?

    Curious to know your thoughts here.

  • Virdin Barzey

    Yup. Gilbert is a backup at best. He doesn’t seem like a guy who loves the game.That will be tested with Munchak since he won’t be getting by because of his size. The fact that you need another guy to keep him focused was pretty much all I needed to know especially on this level.

    He doesn’t do anything particularly or at least consistently well. Adams run blocks well but his pass pro leaves a lot to be desired. I think Munchak can really help him now that he can’t use the excuse of being stabbed. We may need to find a gem in the later rounds and Munch can spot him.

    I have high expectations for this OL unit now. Time to get rid of the dead weight whoever that may be. My guess, Gilbert may be the first. Hopefully he turn it around but I just don’t see the desire or passion.

  • dgh57

    To me among other things Gilbert needs to develop a mean streak in himself as he plays with to much finesse. Maybe Munchak somehow can instill some nastiness and lite a fire under his a** in him but I’m not to hopeful of that happening and therefore don’t see Gilbert getting a second contract with the Steelers.

  • Josh Knepshield

    Thank god for our interior line. DeCastro, Foster, and Pouncey are all very solid players.

  • Madi

    I said he was horrible at times this season, and he was. I’m not here to bash Beachum, but I do think people tended to look the other way a bit when he struggled, compared to the way they treated Adams.

  • Madi

    Rob, you’re right that Gilbert has had more time in the league. He was also a bigger investment and has more natural talent to work with. I just think he’s underrated.

  • Madi

    I’ve seen them. I think that he has great potential as a pass blocker. I’m excited to see what he can do once he has a decent coach. And he was apparently playing through injury for most of the year, too.

  • Milliken Steeler

    Then you aren’t going to like this Madi. lol I think Adams is your starting right tackle and if they put him back there to compete, I think Gilbert is the odd man out.

    I still remember Gilbert coming off our 8-8 season and CBA by collapsing just trying to complete a standard conditioning test in camp.

  • Callentown

    I’m guessing you’re talking about his first games at LT.

    He had not worked there in preseason, nor were there any plans for him to be there. He came in to replace Pouncey at C when he went down.

    So, if you mean that when he started at LT without any real prep for that position, the first few games, I still wouldn’t use the word ‘horrible’, but yes, he struggled at times.

    Now Adams was horrible at LT.

    By comparison, Gilbert has had three years and still looks like a marginal player who at best will be a backup in this league.