PITTSBURGH -- Marcus Gilbert and Von Miller are friends from their days going at it in the 2011 Senior Bowl. Nearly five years later, both are accomplished starters on good teams.
"It's going to be fun going against each other, talking a little trash," said Gilbert, the Steelers' right tackle.
Here's a look at this matchup.
Why it matters: This is one-on-one football, no filters. Miller is mostly an edge rusher who doesn't bounce inside much. Gilbert is playing better than anyone on the Steelers' line. Man with the best leverage and footwork wins.
Why Miller might have the edge: His quickness off the edge gives him an advantage nearly every week. Miller has averaged nearly 12 sacks per year since 2011. He's still the same freak athlete that garnered a top-10 overall selection in the 2011 draft.
Why Gilbert is up to the task: Now at a lean 330 pounds and moving well, the 6-foot-6 Gilbert just gave up his first sack last week to Bengals edge-rusher Carlos Dunlap, and that came off a mistimed snap count. He's found a home at right tackle and is validating his $30-million contract.
What they are saying: "He’s playing at a high level, one of the best in the league. He’s leaner, he’s moving really well, and experience [helps]." -- Steelers guard David DeCastro on Gilbert.
My take: Miller is coming on with four sacks in his last three games. Asking Gilbert to completely shut him down is asking a lot. But if Gilbert held Justin Houston to no sacks, he has a chance to do it against Miller, who will undoubtedly get at least some pressure on Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers could provide chip help on Miller, too. Overall, I'd take Miller based on his track record -- after all, Gilbert calls Miller the league's best raw rusher -- but Gilbert is really coming on as a marquee player.