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Gilbert: 'This rivalry is everything'

Steelers-Ravens * Saturday, January 3 * Heinz Field
AFC Wild Card Round
Gates open at 6:15 pm * Kickoff at 8:15 pm

Tackle Marcus Gilbert has been a part of the Steelers-Ravens rivalry for four years now. He knows what it's like, he understands the physical battle. He has been a part of some epic battles in the trenches in the past, and will be part of another one on Saturday night.

It's Steelers-Ravens. It's the playoffs. It's all on the line, and Gilbert provides a little insight into what it's all about.

The Steelers-Ravens rivalry, what is it like?
"It was built on physicality. There is always great defensive play. This rivalry is everything. It means something to put on the black and gold and go up against the Ravens. It's special. The guys before us, what they did, it's just one of those matchups that you just embrace, especially in the postseason. We are going to give them our best shot and they are going to give us their best shot. It's going to be a physical game. It could be a game that comes down to the last second. Those are the type of games when you come here you love to be a part of. Hopefully we can keep this rolling."


ou mentioned the players in the past, the history of the game. Is that something you guys embrace?**
"You know the guys before us expect it from us. The guys who played here, how they carried themselves and the approach to this special game. It's meaningful. You saw how guys laid it on the line in the past. It's a five-star matchup. You have to buckle your chin strap, put your mouth piece in and really get after things."

What is it like in the trenches, where the battles are being fought?
"The trenches, it gets very ugly. It's pretty much a battle every play, especially with the Steelers-Ravens. It's nasty, physical, guys finishing after the play is dead. It's going to be one of those games. You expect that from this game. It comes with playing in a Steelers-Ravens game."

Three of the six AFC playoff teams are from the AFC North. What does that say about the division?
"It's hard. We beat each other up during the season, but it hardens us for the journey. I feel like with our play, especially in our division, I think we can match up with anybody."

How good a feeling is it to have a home playoff game?
"That's a lot to have our fans behind us, the loud atmosphere. To have a home game in the postseason means everything to us and our fans. I know we will have their support and I am glad we are playing at Heinz Field on Saturday."

With the AFC North title you got a shirt and hat. That isn't enough, is it?
"That is definitely not enough. This is just a step in the direction we want to go. A shirt and hat can never compare to a ring. That is what we are striving for. The great ones play great this time of year."

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