Gilbert excited about potential move to left

| Friday, May 25, 2012, 12:30 a.m.

The Steelers' plan is to have rookie second-round pick Mike Adams take over the left tackle spot when he arrives for minicamp in three weeks.

Although Marcus Gilbert has been told he's staying at right tackle, the second-year lineman isn't ruling out a move to his natural position of left tackle.

“I am not counting it out 100 percent that they aren't going to move me over to left,” Gilbert said. “That's my dream, my passion.”

Gilbert was told during the offseason that he was going to make the switch from right tackle to left. That changed when the Steelers took Adams in the second round of April's draft.

“Coach told me to spend the majority of the offseason working on the left side,” Gilbert said. “I was kind of bummed about (moving back to right tackle). I can't control what the coaches have in mind. They have a plan.”

Gilbert isn't against the possibility of starting two rookies on the line — Adams and first-round pick David DeCastro.

“If they are two of the five best available, why not put them in?” Gilbert said. “I think these guys are going to do a heck of a job for us. I am anxious for them to get in.”

• Ben Roethlisberger did not take part in the practice session Thursday, instead opting for a “mental reps day.” Wearing a T-shirt and cap and with a play list in hand, Roethlisberger stood next to offensive coordinator Todd Haley during the the two-hour practice. “It was nice having the script on me, and it gave me more time to talk to coach,” Roethlisberger said. “Trying to look at everything and just talk to players and trying to get an understanding of what everyone is doing every play.”

• Defensive end Brett Keisel appeared at offseason practice for the first time. Keisel missed the first two practices because of a family event he had scheduled in Wyoming. It was the first time Keisel was on the field since the Steelers released Aaron Smith and James Farrior. “It's different, but as a veteran, it is different every year,” Keisel said. “Every year you have a new team. There are a lot of great opportunities for some of these young guys to get a grasp of the offense, defense or special teams like I did.”

• Absent or sitting out practice were WR Jerricho Cotchery, WR Emmanuel Sanders, CB Ike Taylor, RB Jonathan Dwyer, LB Jason Worilds, S Troy Polamalu, OL Ramon Foster and LB James Harrison.

• Free agent tackle Max Starks had a follow-up visit Monday with Dr. James Bradley on his surgically repaired knee. Starks rehabbed at the Steelers' facility during workouts before heading back to Arizona last night.

• The Steelers will hold three practices next week, scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday.

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