Steelers Marcus Gilbert, Nick Williams Receive Top Marks From Pro Football Focus

The grading system that Pro Football Focus uses is very subjective but it’s always fun to look at nonetheless. They have now finished their initial grading of the Pittsburgh Steelers preseason opener against the New York Giants and here are a few of the grades that they currently have for players on both sides of the ball.

In his limited playing time, starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert (1.1) received the best grade on offense. The Steelers ran seven times and passed seven times while he was in the game.

Curiously, backup left tackle Mike Adams, who played every snap after starter Kelvin Beachum exited, received the second highest grade (.06) from PFF and they have them as the team’s best pass protector (1.2) in addition. This is worth disputing and I will take a closer look at him as the week progresses as I don’t believe his sheet was that clean.

Second-year left guard Chris Hubbard not only graded out as the worst Steelers lineman against the Giants (-4.0), he also had the lowest grade of all Steelers offensive players. PFF charged him with three total quarterback hurries.

Quarterback Landry Jones (-3.3) and wide receiver Martavis Bryant (-3.4) both round out the bottom end of the PFF offensive ratings.

On defense, second-year defensive end Nick Williams tops PFF’s ratings with a 2.0 overall score. Williams, who entered the game late, was credited with two tackles by PFF in the game with being scored as stops.

Two other young Steelers defensive ends, Brian Arnfelt (-2.5) and Josh Mauro (-2.0), both sit on the bottom of the Steelers defensive ratings. Personally, I felt Mauro had a good showing, so this is another player that I intend on watching closely the next time I run through the game.

Cornerback Isaiah Green (-1.8), also sits near the bottom of PFF’s rankings for his play against the Giants. According to them, he was targeted eight times and gave up seven receptions for 65 yards and a late touchdown.

  • cp72

    I have been justifiably hard on Mike Adams. If he truly graded out as the best pass protector I must know nothing about football after playing, coaching, and watching it for over 30 years.

    The Mauro evaluation was shocking to me. I thought he flashed and had a nice game.

  • steeltown

    I’m not particularly found of PFF, they’ve had some strange ‘grades’ in the past

  • I watched the game live online one time, so I didn’t really evaluate one player. Just kind of watched it as a whole and seen who stuck out to me. Surprised about the grade for Mauro as well he stood out on a few plays. Mike Adams didn’t seem as much like a human turnstile, but he didn’t look like our second best lineman, I’m pretty sure of that. I’m interested in hearing more about Mike Adam’s performance after a second look though. I honestly think out of all the player’s, Mike Adams development has to be one of the most important because it would do so much for our O-line as a whole.

  • SteelCitysFinest

    I don’t care for PFF in general. My eyeballs are usually a more accurate assement.

  • Jacque Strappe

    I agree.

  • Virdin Barzey

    PFF is a joke. I’m a numbers guy and numbers can lie or better put, they don’t tell the whole picture. You can make things look much better than they really are.

  • charles

    You are right, but it may be wishful thinking. It seems Adams has all the tools, without too much instinct or meanness. Like you said SD can take another look and I am sure Munchak will have his opinion on the matter.

  • SteelersDepot

    Just went back through Adams’ snaps and overall it really wasn’t a bad showing at all.

  • steeltown

    I was pleasantly surprised when I went back and watched with a closer eye on him, he played much better than I first thought. Whimper looked pretty bad at times and Hubbard struggled

  • SteelersDepot

    yeah, not a great night for Hubbard and Whimper is Whimper.

  • Steelers12328882

    What about Mauro? Just wondering since you had him as one of your winners. I’d thought he played well too, but really that’s just cause the announcers zoomed in on him when he made a play.

  • Baz Jams

    Test test test did i get moded

  • Baz Jams

    Did I violate some kind of form decorum

  • steeltown

    IMO I thought he played well for his first outing. I noticed a few stunts with him rushing around Cam Thomas which was intersting and he had that one QB hit

  • SteelersDepot

    Getting to him.

  • Milliken Steeler

    He didnt have a clean game and Im a Mike Adams supporter. While he wasnt horrible he was blown past and pushed back a few times.

    I like big Mike and I think he needs to be on the right side and continue to work but…that rating for big Mike is a little to generous.

    Mauro did have a good game and I watched him push an O lineman into the QB and grab the QB with the O lineman still between them; which forced the QB to just chuck the football real quick.

    Arnfeldt didn’t splash but he was around the football. He moved the pocket a few times and didn’t get blown off the line.

    I watched the game on my lap top and honestly, It was a competitive game and I saw quite a few positives. Shamarko and Williams were popping people. Zumwalt rocked the ball carrier once also.

  • keth Naab

    agreed regarding Mauro, although I think Adams was ok, not great, but not nearly as bad this time as he seems to constantly get criticized for

  • keth Naab

    agreed thoroughly. I wonder how often people got Adams mixed up with somebody else. I also wonder if people simply don’t parrot what they’ve heard others say, and merely go along with the ‘meme’, so to speak. Adams won’t be mistaken for anyone great, but he didn’t stink, and I’ll take it

  • MC

    I don’t know why everyone has been complaining about Adams. I watched him pretty closely and he seemed to do quite well in pass protection. Granted, it was against a lot of second and third teamers but man some peoples expectations skew their perceptions on here..

    Someone who i was pleasantly suprised with was Zumwalt. I thought his lack of athleticism would really stand out but he did manage to make it around the ball and give a couple good hits.
    Thomas played well. Spence looked very naturally in diagnosing the play and getting to the ball.

  • MC

    completely agree. I’ve read some harsh evaluations of his game agains the giants but i really think its just people going with the masses on what they expect out of him.

  • Matt Manzo

    That’s good to hear about Adams! I still haven’t seen the game yet! And Zumwalt, too! I’m really hoping he helps unseat Carter.

  • zbluez1

    There will be a difference between what PFF will grade as positive and what, we who have a smidgen of an idea of what Coach Mitch and LeBeau want a D-Lineman to do, will look for as a positive, for example “gap integrity” carries different meanings between PFF and the #Steelers coaching staff, so I am not surprised at PFF’s low score on Mauro. IMHO, for whatever it is worth, he seemed to have a pretty solid game all in all and appears to be headed onto the 53 and into the D-line rotation this season as long as he continues to progress and has not yet hit his ceiling. We all will see as the next few games are played.

  • cp72

    Okay I will be a man about it…..SORRY MIKE ADAMS. Here’s hoping you are starting to turn the corner. If you do it makes us a better team.

    I promise I will refrain from any Mike Adams bashing for at least a week.

  • Burgh Ball

    PFF = Pro Football Farce – Not too often do I agree with their evaluation. Adams can run block – but He and Whimper are a liability in pass protection – period. There is a lack of depth once you get beyond the starter 5 along the Oline.

  • michael young

    My dog covers his eyes with his paws when Whimper goes onto the field. Smart dog, bad lineman. Let’s just hope W Johnson picks it up and beats him out.

  • Steelers12328882

    Hard for me to tell. On vacation so stuck watching a bad quality internet feed of the game and no way of seeing any replays.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Interesting. Everyone will probably be praying for Beachum to play every snap of the season. In a pinch Gilbert on the left and Adams on the right might be a better short term solution if Beach misses any time. Let’s just hope Munch can bring out a little mean streak in Adams, and the whole line can continue to improve.

  • Paddy

    PFF is just a guessing game, they missed Adams completely losing a DE a couple of times. I mean he went right by him. I say that as an observer who mostly thought they could make something of Adams. Bit he is so stiff in the waist that I might be wrong

  • BFB

    Adams picked his guy up on every pass play. When you saw a DE blowing in it was the TE, G, or RB who missed their guy/block. Adams was not perfect but he kept his QB clean for 3/4’s of football. I was even pleased to see him use some wingspan to recover and push a DE back with a left hand after getting off balance on a play. He would have been beat on that last season. For the most part he walked his guy into an arc and out of the play. The pressures and sacks all came up the middle or from the right side while Adams was in. As one commenter says, on plays that someone got through people assumed Adams was at fault but left guard and RB blocking were the problems. TE blocking on that side was bad. Go watch again and you will see it is Hubbard and Whimpy who got beat. Not saying Adams is perfect but it looks like he is being coached to use his span/reach to compensate for heavy boots and he looked much improved over a long body of work. Let’s stay positive as we could use this second rounder and hopefully he is on a comeback trail. Don’t forget he was healing from a stab wound last year as well. Some folks seem only too eager to have him end up a bust. Why?

  • BFB

    Funny I watched again and did not see any plays where Adams was pushed back into the QB or DE’s running by him. He liked a bit heavy booted and his waist bend is still a work in progress, but he absorbed bull rushes, hand fighting, and spin/swim moves and in each case walked his man around in the counter clockwise arc as he was coached and did not give the QB any reason to flee for his life or throw a ball away due to his missed or sloppy blocks. Hubbard/Whimper were bad. TE’s missed blocks several times when lined up on Adams left and that is where you think he let DE’s “blow by”. Not the case. Adams had his guy. TE whiffs can’t be blamed on him and whiffs by RB’s on blitz pickups also contributed to any pressure on that side. Adams had a solid game. I still have had no one speck of any specific plays, just generalities that seem to come with an anti Adams flavoring. Yoi, yoi, yoi…

  • BFB

    correction…”looked a bit heavy booted”.