Marcus Gilbert looks like the man next in line to make big money. This will be money that is well earned. Usually the Pittsburgh Steelers don’t make a lot of contract deals during the preseason. But it seems the Steelers will make an exception.
Gilbert has started for the Pittsburgh Steelers since his rookie season in 2011. When drafted, Gilbert was an offensive lineman who flourished in a zone blocking system out of the University of Florida. Gilbert over the years has blocked superb pass rushers such as Robert Mathis, Michael Johnson and J.J. Watt. Gilbert has shown improvement in his run-blocking since coming into the NFL. Many of the Steelers’ best runs have come with Gilbert playing right tackle. Gilbert has shown much improvement in training camp, one of the leading factors in his potential contract extension. Over the past couple of seasons, Gilbert has played well enough that no one has played at a higher level to unseat him as a starter
The one major thing Gilbert must do is stay healthy. Gilbert has been injured in games and he has showed toughness in returning. Gilbert has also missed multiple games due to different injuries. A contract extension means Gilbert must improve his durability. Gilbert will also be counted on more as a leader along the offensive line. With more money, Gilbert will likely be counted on to do more, such as pulling, receiving less help on double team blocking and blocking linebackers as well as getting downfield on screens. Gilbert has shown he can play in the NFL on a good level. Now he must show he can take his game to another level that matches the amount the Steelers are willing to pay him.
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