Recently, Pittsburgh Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert sat down with steelers.com reporter Missi Mathews to discuss the bye week and upcoming rematch against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Gilbert noted that last week almost didn’t feel like a bye week at all.
“A lot of the guys were still so energetic running around like it was a normal game week. You could just see the demeanor on a lot of these guy’s faces and knowing that, we’re just a game away, and a step closer”, said Gilbert.
It was an important week off for the Steelers as wide receiver Antonio Brown is readying himself for a return to action this weekend after almost a month’s layoff due to a partially torn calf muscle. Gilbert said the bye week was good to get healthy as a team. He also talked about how Brown making his way back was exciting.
“Him being out there at practice, you saw everybody was just excited to see him moving around and to see the work he put in”, said Gilbert.
Gilbert acknowledged the importance of having Brown back and healthy for the playoffs.
“I’m excited to have him. He’s a valuable piece to our offense and to this team.”
Gilbert, who didn’t play against the Jaguars in week 5 due to a hamstring injury, said the game on Sunday is a great opportunity for redemption.
“It’s a little redemption, we got to play better than we did the first game in… You play a team and can possibly see them again. The second go around you can’t have the same mistakes as you did in the first time around”, said Gilbert.
One of those mistakes the first time around was the constant pressure that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was under. The Jaguars dominant defense front will be a tough matchup this weekend for the Steelers offensive line, but Gilbert believes they are ready.
“We are the hardest working core group out there… We’re gonna follow behind [Maurkice Pouncey’s] lead and get this train rolling.”
Gilbert also touched on Roethlisberger’s five interception performance against the Jaguars back in October. He said that it is the job of the offensive line to provide Ben with time to be Ben.
“We know if we get our job done, all bets are off, he’s going to light it up. But, we have to do our job. It starts with the guys up front”, said Gilbert.