September 16, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Marcus Gilbert (77) pass blocks at the line of scrimmage as New York Jets linebacker Garrett McIntyre (50) rushes the line during the second quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Marcus Gilbert was shelved for the season three weeks ago when he was finally placed on the IR due to a nagging ankle injury. Gilbert, who started thirteen games as a rookie lineman last season is part of the trend going on in Pittsburgh of starting rookie lineman. Maurkice Pouncey started in his rookie season back in 2010. David DeCastro, who was the Steelers’ number one pick in the draft this season was to start at guard until a knee injury in the final preseason game left him out until last week against Dallas.
Gilbert sat down with Lindsay McCormick of TDDaily.com and talked about this season. What I find most interesting about his thoughts are the ones on fellow players Rashard Mendenhall and Mike Wallace. Gilbert talks about Wallace’s struggles this season and pretty much eludes that if a bigger contract comes from another team when he becomes an UFA, he’s going to sign that offer.
The other interesting nugget is his take on Mendenhall. Mendenhall has struggled from the time he’s returned from a season ending knee injury at the end of last season. He was suspended last week due to poor conduct with the team. Gilbert compared Mendenhall to Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno. Moreno returned for the first time since his injury and has blown up the stat sheet since. Gilbert thinks that Mendenhall will have the same results soon.
"All the guys on the Broncos spoke very highly about what a positive person [Moreno] was in their locker room and once he finally got a chance, he shined. I can see the same thing playing out here [for Mendenhall]."
One problem, Marcus – from what I can tell Mendenhall isn’t really your feel good happy go lucky guy in the locker room. In fact, after returning from suspension this week, Mendenhall didn’t even address his teammates for being such a jagoff.
Catch the whole interview here.