Hubbard: 'I am always hard on myself'

Chris Hubbard knows the routine. He knows what is expected of him. This is nothing new to him, stepping in and starting at right tackle for Marcus Gilbert.

But, there is something a little different this time around.

Hubbard started five games this season for Gilbert while he was out with injuries. It was a week-to-week thing, all based on Gilbert's health. Hubbard will now start the next four games while Gilbert serves an NFL suspension for using a performance-enhancing substance. And for him, knowing his role for the next few weeks, which starts Sunday against Green Bay at Heinz Field, is something that can only benefit him.

"That helps out a lot, especially for me, my mindset, not going week-to-week," said Hubbard. "It helps tremendously.

"It's a great opportunity to help this team out, continue to do what we need to do on this streak. It's going to be fun."

Hubbard, who said he was sad when he learned the news about Gilbert, has drawn praise from teammates and coaches throughout the season for the way he has stepped up without the offense missing a beat.

"Right tackle is nothing new for me, I played it in college," said Hubbard. "It's something I am comfortable playing and I love that position.

"I've felt pretty good. I go back and look at the game tape and evaluate myself. I am always hard on myself. Coach (Mike) Munchak said you did a good job here. It makes me feel better. I am always hard on myself."

One of those players singing his praises is David DeCastro, the player who likely knows best what he can do as he lines up next to him at right guard.

"He has played quite a bit," said DeCastro. "There is some comfort in that. He is amazing. He is like a Swiss army knife. He has settled in real nicely at right tackle. He has gotten a lot of good reps. He has been in the league five years. He is not a normal young guy. He has a lot of experience."

Hubbard is one of three starting offensive linemen for the Steelers who came into the league as an undrafted rookie free agent, joining Ramon Foster and Alejandro Villanueva with that distinction. In addition, B.J. Finney who has been a spot starter this year, was also undrafted.

"The main thing is trying to stay on the field, staying ahead of the game," said Hubbard. "You have to be the book a lot more and wait on your opportunity."

And that opportunity is front and center for him right now, and he is preparing for it the same as he prepares every week.

"I get prepared like I always do," said Hubbard. "Coach Munchak does a great job of getting us prepared. He coaches each player and that helps us out a lot." 

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