Pittsburgh Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert is coming off the best season of his career by most accounts. The five-year veteran chalks it up to the best offseason of his career.
Gilbert yielded just one sack all season according to Pro Football Focus via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. That's a huge jump from the 17 he allowed over the previous two seasons. Additionally, the Steelers rushed for 4.58 yards per attempt behind Gilbert, the second best average of any offensive lineman on the team. His newest training method may surprise you. Heck, it even surprised him.
"I've really improved in getting my body fat down and am doing yoga and working on my flexibility ... It's the work that you put in in the offseason that makes you what you want to become. And I knew what I wanted to become."
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With a healthier lifestyle, Gilbert plans to play 12, maybe 15 years total. He credits teammate Antonio Brown with giving him a new mindset into training, even if it involves something he never saw himself doing like yoga.
"Not at all," Gilbert said with a chuckle when asked if ever thought yoga would be a part of his routine. "But I see what it takes to stay in the league for a long time, and I watch these guys that are the greats on our team and how they work. Antonio Brown, nobody works as hard as him, and I try to take what he does and I try to apply it to my offseason program to help better myself."
The work is obviously paying off from a health and performance perspective. Gilbert played all 16 games for the second time in his career. His effort was a far cry from 2014, when he drew the ire of many fans in Pittsburgh just months after signing a $30 contract extension.