2. Pass Protection
For having average athleticism, Gilbert gets off the ball fairly quick in his pass pro. Once he goes into his pass pro, for what he lacks in speed, he makes up in intelligence. Marcus Gilbert is not some “dominant pass protector” but his technique is fairly sound. His footwork is very solid, as well as clean and crisp. One issue that young offensive tackles can struggle with is opening up too quickly. Gilbert does a good job of staying square for the first few seconds, and not opening up until necessary. Along with decent hand placement, he also keeps a decent base and is not often found off balance. His one knock may be that he can tend to be found a bit high often, and can be beat by a speed rush. He could afford to become stronger when handling bigger defensive ends. Overall, his clean technique gives him an advantage since he lacks the speed to keep up with the quicker outside linebackers and defensive ends. Below is a pass play against the Jets in Week 2 in 2012.
Marcus Gilbert is in his two-point stance as the Jets defensive end looks to come around the corner. Running back Baron Batch is on the opposite side, so Gilbert will be one-on-one with the defender
Gilbert comes off well as he is ready to keep the defender away from his body if the defender comes in his punch zone. The only thing that I would critique about Gilbert’s start is he is a bit high when he comes off the ball.
Gilbert had stayed square until necessary, but he is in the point now where he opens up to where he will begin to run with the defender. He is in good position in case the defender would cut inside (which he doesn’t) but Gilbert has the necessary separation.
Gilbert now is running with his man as Ben Roethlisberger steps up into the pocket. This point in the pass pro is called by offensive line coaches as “the point of no return.” Gilbert keeps doing his job which is staying between the defender and his quarterback.