Marcus Gilbert starts at left tackle, Mike Adams at right tackle

Bob Levey

The battle of the Steelers offensive tackles doesn't exactly contain Matt Kalil or Joe Thomas, but Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams will compete all the same. Gilbert began Tuesday's OTA session at left tackle.

Not that it's indicative of any long term assurance, but Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert began OTA sessions on the left side, and Mike Adams was on the right when the team began Organized Team Activities Tuesday.

It's "football in shorts," but still, one of them has to play on the left side. It seems logical both of them will get a shot over there before the real battle begins in training camp for the protector of the back side of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Not coincidentally, Roethlisberger was hit from rushers who came off the left and right sides of the Kansas City Chiefs defense, leaving him injured essentially for the rest of the season. If either Gilbert or Adams have a preference as to which side they feel they'll be better suited to play, then ok. If this is about building one's resume for a stronger money grab in free agency, they should take a look at Cleveland's Joe Thomas or Denver's Ryan Clady or Minnesota's Matt Kalil. If they're able to play like any of those players, there wouldn't be a battle over which of them will play left tackle this

As it is, Gilbert started there, and for what that's worth - likely nothing more than a discussion piece - it at least shows where the Steelers started heading into one of the more intriguing training camp battles in recent memory.

Gilbert was assumed to be the starting left tackle in 2012, after he was told he would be playing after the 2011 season. The Steelers drafted OG David DeCastro in the first round of the 2012 Draft, and Adams in the second round. They moved Willie Colon to left guard, Gilbert to right tackle and brought in Max Starks to compete with Adams for the left tackle spot.

It wasn't much of a competition.

Starks missed half of training camp and still easily defeated the rookie, and Gilbert moved to the right side. Gilbert would eventually suffer an ankle injury that kept him out of the team's final nine games. Adams moved to the right side, and performed well until he was injured in Week 12. Rookie seventh round pick Kelvin Beachum ended up starting the final six games.

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