Over the past two seasons, Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been sidelined due to serious injuries. In 2011, Roethlisberger suffered a high-ankle sprain; the following season, Big Ben severely injured his ribs.
Roethlisberger is hands down the Steelers’ most valuable player, and the team’s success depends upon his presence on the field. In order to increase Pittsburgh’s chances of reclaiming the AFC North, moving Marcus Gilbert from right tackle to left tackle to protect Roethlisberger’s blindside is essential.
Gilbert has already practiced on the left side of the offensive line during the Steelers’ minicamp, while fellow offensive lineman Mike Adams filled in at the right tackle position. Last year, Adams struggled at left tackle as a rookie during the preseason, and later briefly took over on the right side prior to injuring his ankle.
In my opinion, Gilbert is the better of the two tackles. Although the 2011 second-round draft pick has done a great job on the right side, moving him to left tackle will give Roethlisberger a much better security blanket in passing situations. Besides, Adams did a significantly better job while at the right-tackle position.
Gilbert’s presence on the left side puts him in position to keep the opposing teams’ best pass rushers at bay. I’m sure Roethlisberger will appreciate Gilbert’s services when facing the Cincinnati Bengals and former Steeler James Harrison.
Having Gilbert and Adams as the bookends of the offensive line, along with last year’s first-round draft pick David DeCastro at right guard, Pro Bowler Maurkice Pouncey at center and Ramon Foster at left guard, Pittsburgh’s O-line will definitely have stability for years to come.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google