Film Room: Marcus Gilbert Steady At Right Tackle

I don’t know whether or not Pittsburgh Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert is going to be able to suit up on Sunday to play against the Bears, but it will be unfortunate if he does not, because he has been playing at a high level. According to Pro Football Focus, for example, he is one of just a few tackles who have yet to surrender a pressure this season.

The seventh-year lineman suffered a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter of the team’s victory over the Vikings, but up to that point, he was having a strong game, both in pass protection and in the running game, even getting himself out on the move.

Late in the first quarter, for example, the Steelers asked him to pull on a dart scheme, looping around left guard, picking off the outside linebacker and helping to open a hole for an 11-yard gain for Le’Veon Bell.

About midway through the second quarter, Gilbert was able to draw the left defensive end deep around the pocket, and it was fortunate that he did, because center Maurkice Pouncey was driven virtually into Bell’s lap. Had it not been for the wide berth the right tackle afforded, he probably would not have found a hole for a nine-yard gain here.

A few plays later comes an excellent example of the rapport that he and David DeCastro have built over the years. Facing a third and 10, the Vikings tried a tackle-end stunt that the two executed perfectly. Unfortunately, the pass sailed high and incomplete, but not because of the protection.

On one rep in pass protection late in the first half, he did an excellent job of countering the defensive end’s spin move, keeping his feet set and not overcommitting his hands, re-establishing his base once the defensive lineman was facing forward again.

Much later in the game, however, I did see him get caught once, and by the same player. This time, fearing an inside rush, Gilbert overcommitted in that direction. Once that happened, he lost his hand positioning and the defensive end was able to spin completely around him with a path to the quarterback.

I suppose it could be debated as to whether or not that constitutes pressure, as the pass did get out cleanly without the quarterback moving. Regardless, it was a strong game overall for the right tackle, and his absence will be felt if he is not out there Sunday.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

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

  • falconsaftey43

    Good game, their pass rushers are no joke. Also, look at Bell in that 2nd GIF, certainly looks like the Bell of old on that play.

  • Nathanael Dory

    Call me weird but Gilbert is the first guy I watch when Offense is on the field. Seriously the guy is super impressive to see

  • RMSteeler

    In these GIF’s it looks like Bell is making the right reads on blocking, and that led to north leading runs for more yardage. Run blocking appears to me to be much better than game one.

  • CountryClub

    man, the way Gilbert and DeCastro passed off that twist was beautiful. Textbook stuff.

  • falconsaftey43

    Much better for sure. The runs to the outside had some blocking issues still, but way better. Let’s hope it keeps going in that direction.

  • Chris92021

    That 3rd gif, my goodness, you are not kidding about rapport. There is no price for that type of trust and efficiency.

  • Kevin78

    On the second play, was that Pouncey’s fault? It looked like the guy on Decastro’s inside shoulder rushed so far inside that Decastro let him go and Pouncey was stuck trying to pick him up a yard in the back field. Seems it would have worked better if Decastro downblocked and Pouncey pulled around (which I can’t tell if Pouncey was trying to do)

  • razaard2

    Depends on the block rules, but that’s an incredibly difficult block for Pouncey, especially without DeCastro even chipping. Remember Pouncey is half a body in front of DeCastro at the snap. That’s a lot of mobility for our center. It looks like he is getting beat, but he is actually making a block that not many centers in the league are able to do.
    Also, Bell looks shifty

  • SfSteeler

    its about timing…and the Gilbert signing in 14′ really started to turn around the FO player contract signing timing…whereas, we where held back a little in that we signed our stars, especially on D, at the backend of there careers and that hurt us as there skills diminished…

    Ben has been a huge value contract at $18M per and then the AB signing early in his career…now we have Gilbert, Foster, and VW on solid value contracts…its set the stage for the $$ given to Hayward, DeCastro, and Tuitt…

  • razaard2

    Gilbert should be an all pro, for real. Now they actually give all pros for RT, not simply “tackle” as it used to be. He really deserved last season, he is the best pass protector of the bunch, but they gave it to the rookie in Tennessee (who had tremendous stats but wasn’t so perfect in tape)
    He did lose three games to injury tho. But hes all pro worthy

  • nutty32

    Good stuff. He’s come a long way.