During his Tuesday press conference, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said he’s not concerned about right tackle Marcus Gilbert, who has given up four sacks so far in the first two games. On Wednesday, it was quarterback Ben Roethlisberger‘s turn to express his confidence in Gilbert.
“You don’t have to say too much to him. I know the person he is and the competitor he is,” said Roethlisberger of Gilbert. “He’s going to come out and be ready to play.”
On one of the sacks that Gilbert allowed Thursday night in the Steelers loss to the Baltimore Ravens, outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil embarrassed him by reverse-pancaking into the feet of Roethlisberger. While the quarterback said it might be fun to laugh at it several days after it happened, he thinks Gilbert was humbled by it.
“To be a big, strong guy that just got a new deal, and to have someone, and Elvis isn’t just some bum off the street either, he is a good pass rusher. But whatever the technique was and whatever happened, he got up underneath Marcus and knocked him into me, and we all went down together,” said Roethlisberger.
While Gilbert doesn’t have to worry about facing Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy Sunday night due to him being placed on the Commissioner’s exemption list Wednesday afternoon, he still will have his hands full. In their Sunday win over the Detroit Lions, the Panthers did a great job of rotating Charles Johnson, Kony Ealy, Wes Horton and Mario Addison into the game at left defensive end.
In addition to always having fresh, capable bodies on the field, the Panthers front four likes to stunt quite a bit, so Gilbert will likely get a chance to go against several different Panthers defensive linemen in the game.
“It’s hard to find a weakness in their defense in general,” Roethlisberger said Wednesday. “As I talked to the Carolina media, to give them credit, they don’t do a lot of things crazy. It’s not a lot of exotic blitzes (and) moving guys around doing things. Because they count on their guys just to whoop you and that’s their front four, which is kind of a front-seven, eight or nine because they rotate so many guys.
“(They are a defense) that always stays fresh and always goes hard so it’s definitely going to be a challenge for our offensive line but I know they’re excited for that challenge.”
We can only hope that Gilbert challenges back instead of being driven back again into Roethlisberger.