Let's just hope Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Chris Hubbard doesn't read the comment sections of websites like BTSC, or Facebook or Twitter. If he had prior to the team's Week 5 game against the New York Jets, he likely would have sent in his letter of resignation to head coach Mike Tomlin.
Fans bemoaned the fact Hubbard would be starting at right tackle with Marcus Gilbert injured and Ryan Harris being sent to the injured reserve list. Some suggested the team would have to change their entire offensive approach with Hubbard on the right side, mainly with a tight end permanently being placed on the edge for help.
On the BTSC Twitter feed, after I commented how I have no reason to believe Hubbard won't succeed after so many have stepped up to the plate when their number was called, I was given a laundry list of reasons why he won't. Low and behold, Hubbard simply became the next man up to get the job done.
In fact, he did more than just get the job done, he did a tremendous job on the right side.
There will be those who can't stand Pro Football Focus grades, but you can't ignore the fact Hubbard played an extremely solid game.
With that said, how much help did he actually receive throughout the game?
"Those guys really helped me out," Hubbard admitted to Dale Lolley of the Washington Observer-Reporter. "Being able to chip and that stuff really took off the pressure."
The Steelers were smart, and strategic, with their help of Hubbard in the first half, but in the second half the team left him on an island more than they gave him help, and his linemate David DeCastro certainly noticed.
"I was watching him when they were sliding to his side," said right guard DeCastro,"He was doing a great job. They kept on running games and he did a good job with it."
It should be noted who was going against Hubbard throughout the game. It wasn't just some slouch, but Muhammad Wilkerson, a Pro Bowl pass rusher. When the dust finally settled, Wilkerson finished with three tackles, no sacks and no quarterback hurries or hits. In fact, the Steelers offensive line only surrendered one sack throughout the entire football game.
Did the Steelers help Hubbard? Of course they did. Failing to do so would be the epitome of idiotic, but you have to give credit where credit is due. The Steelers were missing a large piece of their offensive line, held the Jets' stout defensive front to one sack, and tallied 31-points for the contest. Not a bad day at the office for Hubbard and company.
Chris Hubbard now joins the likes of B.J. Finney, Jordan Dangerfield and Vince Williams as players who don't just fill in when they are pressed into duty, instead they excelled.
Next man up.