I hate to be a “Negative Nancy,” but I almost wet my pants from laughing after I read this tweet from Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Asked Bicknell and Tomlin about Gilbert being an option at LT. Both refused to answer. Bicknell said to ask Tomlin. Tomlin wouldn't answer.
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly_Trib) October 2, 2013
My amusement had nothing to do with Kaboly or his question, especially since it was completely relevant and important. What I found to be the most hilarious about the tweet itself was the fact that Pittsburgh’s coaching staff refused to answer it.
I understand that Pittsburgh’s coaching staff will probably want to evaluate whether or not Brown can step up at the left tackle position. Yet I am not sure why Tomlin and Bicknell, Jr. were so adamantly mum on their decision, especially since either choice they make between the newly acquired Levi Brown and Marcus Gilbert will ultimately be an incorrect one.
Brown has consistently graded out as one of the worst left tackles in professional football over the last few seasons, and his pass-blocking is an enormous cause for concern. How the Cardinals actually got something in return for an expensive player who they were willing to cut just baffles me.
If Brown is not the “answer” at left tackle though, then Marcus Gilbert probably will not be as well. Keep in mind that Gilbert was unable to unseat “human beaded curtain” Mike Adams this offseason at left tackle.
While the thought of the former Florida Gator on the left side intrigues me, especially since he was scheduled to move there last fall, his inability to pass-block consistently makes him a liability as a blind-side protector.
Neither Brown nor Gilbert have illustrated that they can emerge as the long-term “answer” at the most important position along the offensive line, and the front office would have saved their franchise valuable time, effort, and salary cap space had they inked someone like Max Starks to be the team’s stop-gap solution instead.
Regardless of what the two aforementioned masterminds eventually decide, opposing defenses will mercilessly attack the C and B gaps on the left side of the Steelers’ offensive line until the team can employ somebody halfway competent at the left tackle position.
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