The Arizona Cardinals had a lot of holes on the offensive line last year and made the group a focus this offseason. Former Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert can help set a foundation to help repair an area on need.
Last year the Arizona Cardinals saw both Sam Bradford and Josh Rosen on the ground instead of making plays, due to the lowly production of the offensive line. But, they gained a valuable offensive lineman from one of the better o-lines in the league as they traded for former Steelers tackle Marcus Gilbert for a sixth-round pick.
Gilbert was one of the dominant offensive linemen in the steel city pushing forward for Pro-Bowl running backs Le’Veon Bell and James Connor, as well as keeping up veteran quarterback Ben Rothlisberger. He comes from a culture of ground-and-pound football that can help improve both the run and pass game in Arizona.
It is evident that Gilbert was brought in for a need at offensive line, but he will also serve a particular purpose that won’t be seen in the public eye. He brings a veteran presence to a locker room with a rookie quarterback and other young talents. He’s simply another veteran alongside Larry Fitzgerald, Terrell Suggs, and Patrick Peterson.
Blocking for the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, James Conner, and Le’Veon Bell, Gilbert helped set up his former teammates to success. He’s well-rounded in his pass sets and is a physical mauler in the run game. Standing at 6-foot-6 and 330-pounds, his size won’t be in question either.
Both Kyler Murray and David Johnson will love playing behind Gilbert. For the quarterback, Gilbert will bring consistent play on the right side of the line. As for Johnson, you can bet that the right tackle will open up lanes in the run game and set up blocks done the field with unrelenting play.
Gilbert brings a lot to the table in Arizona will be used to his full potential in Kingsbury’s offense. But, he does need to shake the injury bug. He’s played in just 88 out of 128 eligible regular season games, and played in only five last year — his absence didn’t go unnoticed.
Couple Gilbert’s extensive injury history with his age (31), and it’s fair to see why the Steelers traded him. In Arizona, Gilbert will have a lot to prove. If he ends up staying healthy and plays up to his high-standard, the Cardinals may have their starting right tackle for the foreseeable future.