The Steelers current offensive line is made up of three former Florida Gators in Max Starks, Maurkice Pouncey and Marcus Gilbert, a former Tennessee Volunteer in Ramon Foster and Hofstra’s Willie Colon.
When asked about the line this week Foster couldn’t help but take note of that.
“That is a great SEC line right there,” said Foster. “You have some good guys up front you know are going to fight for you. You don’t have to worry about the man next door to you knowing his job. It’s going to get done. “
When asked about Colon being the only non-SEC player, Foster was quick to bring him into the group.
“Willie doesn’t have a football program right now, so he is definitely going to take the SEC,” said Foster of Hofstra dropping their program. “We have adopted him.”
Tags: Marcus Gilbert, Maurkice Pouncey, Max Starks, Ramon Foster, Willie Colon
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A year ago Marcus Gilbert didn’t know exactly what to expect at training camp, simply knowing he had to show the coaches a lot after not having OTAs or mini-camp because of the NFL lockout.
In his second season things are a lot easier for the Steelers right tackle.
“The advantage is getting with the players, getting with the coaches and getting extra reps,” said Gilbert. “Last year, our first day in pads, coaches wanted to see how we did. The coaches wanted to see how tough we were, how fast we could play and what mistakes we made.
“Now it’s more about just getting better at the position and working on the areas that you need to improve on from last year. I think this second year is really a big step for me, and especially for our offensive line.”
Gilbert saw action right off the bat last year when Willie Colon was injured in the season-opener at Baltimore, taking over the starting right tackle spot in week two despite mainly working on the left side in training camp and the preseason.
“With the injuries that go on you have to be prepared,” said Gilbert. “Last year when I came in I was mainly working on the left side and when Willie went down I stepped into the right side without playing it in the preseason. I think all linemen need to learn both sides. You don’t know when you will be thrown in the fire. I will be prepared on both sides, but I won’t count myself out on the left side.
“At left tackle you go against the best athletes, that is the quarterback’s blind side. The best tackle on the team plays that left tackle position. I feel like I am that type of guy, but wherever the coaches put me, whatever helps the team, I am willing to do anything to help the team win.”
Tags: Marcus Gilbert
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As expected Ben Roethlisberger missed practice on Thursday with an ankle sprain. Also missing practice were: LB Chris Carter (hamstring), T Marcus Gilbert (illness), S Troy Polamalu (hamstring), C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle), and WR Emmanuel Sanders (foot).
Two players were limited in practice – WR Arnaz Battle (hamstring) and CB Curtis Brown (knee
Tags: Ben Roethlisberger, Chris Carter, Emmanuel Sanders, Marcus Gilbert, Maurkice Pouncey, Troy Polamalu
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Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians talked to the media after practice on Thursday. Here are a few of his comments.
How much motivation comes from the last game with Baltimore?
You just turn on the tape and it speaks for itself. It was that bad. We had turnovers. We moved the ball okay but we just kept turning it over. It could be good for you, and it could be bad for you. We haven’t spent much time talking about it, other than the things they did. We both are a little bit different. Hopefully we are a little bit better now. They are a little bit better also. Every time we play it’s a different kind of a chess match.
Is there something different from Ben Roethlisberger in the first four games than in the last four games?
We have been throwing the ball more in the last few ballgames. Obviously that will increase that (Ben’s numbers). We’ve had a little better protection. The offensive line has had some continuity for two games in a row. Everybody is growing a little bit, and knowing their roles. A couple of those games, we thought we could come out and run the ball very well. We didn’t need to throw it that much. Each game is different, but he’s had a nice little four-game stretch.
How have your offensive tackles been playing?
They’ve played extremely well. I think one of the most impressive things is how they have played, especially Max (Starks) coming off the couch. We knew Marcus Gilbert had a chance. He kept injuring that shoulder. He’s fairly healthy now. They’ve made a big difference in their protection. You’re missing it if you say that they haven’t.
Tags: Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Arians, Marcus Gilbert, Max Starks
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