What To Expect From Pittsburgh Steelers: 2014: Tackles

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Training camp begins in just a few short weeks, and the start of the season is less than two months away.  The Steelers have undergone quite a bit of change over the last five months.  What can we expect from the team and the players on an individual basis?  Let’s break’em down.

Offensive Tackles

For the last several seasons, this has been a position of controversy – from Max Starks, to Mike Adams, to now Kelvin Beachum.  What does 2014 have in store for the outside edge?

Nov 24, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) passes behind the blocking of tackle Marcus Gilbert (77) against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

55. Marcus Gilbert is entering his fourth year as the starting right tackle.  The unassuming rookie filled in for an injured Willie Colon in Week 2 of 2011, and has not looked back since.  Gilbert has been quietly consistent for the last three seasons with one little blip on his record as far as performance goes.  During his rookie season in Week 16, Coach Tomlin benched Gilbert for ‘lack of preparation’ for the game.  Seems like that was just the kick in the pants Gilbert needed, as he has been a solid starter without question since.  The 2011 team Rookie of the Year, suffered an ankle injury in Week 6 of 2012 forcing him out for the season, but he bounced back nicely in 2013 starting 16 of 16 games.  While the rest of the line seemed to be falling faster than a front line on the battlefield, he stayed healthy and helped turn the Steelers season around after going a dismal 2-6 during the first half of the season.  The expectations in 2014 only go up from there.  Gilbert is entering the final year of his rookie contract with the Steelers and will need to have a healthy and productive season if he wants to receive an offer at the end of 2014.  His payday could be a rather profitable one if he can continue to stay consistent and anchor the right edge for Le’Veon Bell and keep pass rushers at bay from Ben Roethlisberger.  If that happens, expect the Steelers line to improve and expect Gilbert to be around for another four to five years.  . RT. Exp. 3yrs.. Marcus Gilbert. 77. player