Characteristically quietly, Matt Feiler has filled Steelers right tackle job with aplomb |

Characteristically quietly, Matt Feiler has filled Steelers right tackle job with aplomb

Chris Adamski
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Matt Feiler, left, joins guard David DeCastro in blocking at the line of scrimmage during the second half of the season opener last month at New England.

Remember the four-way offseason competition to succeed nine-year pro Marcus Gilbert as the Pittsburgh Steelers starting right tackle?

Hardly anyone else does, either. And that’s because Matt Feiler, characteristic of his personality, quietly earned the job and has performed admirably since.

“He really is playing well,” said the All-Pro who lines up next to him, Steelers right guard David DeCastro. “He’s come in and filled in very well for us last year, and this year, it’s just kind of picked up where he left off. There’s been no drop-off at all. He keeps getting better, and I really enjoying playing with him.”

Known to his teammates as “Anchor,” Feiler has anchored one side of an offensive line that has allowed five sacks in five games. Pro Football Focus rates Feiler as the NFL’s sixth-best offensive tackle this season, its fourth-best right tackle, its fourth-best at pass blocking and its best at blocking while on a screen.

Not bad for a player whose scouting report was he was a bull of a run-blocker but perhaps didn’t have the feet for NFL-quality protection.

Top Offensive Linemen Rankings through Week 5

Matt Feiler

So far in 2019 he has allowed a sack, a hit and five hurries on 201 pass-blocking snaps, and hasn’t allowed a single pressure over the past two weeks.

— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) October 10, 2019

“I’ve focused a lot on trying to get better at both (pass and run blocking),” Feiler said, “and I feel like I’ve taken a big step in that direction. But there’s still plenty of work to be done. There always will be.”

Although he first entered the league in 2014 as an undrafted free agent out of Division II Bloomsburg, Feiler officially hit the one-season mark for NFL experience. Last week’s game was his 16th start in the NFL — the equivalent of a full season.

It’s been almost a year since he took over for an injured (and since-traded) Gilbert. Feiler purportedly held off Zach Banner, Jerald Hawkins and Chuks Okorafor to keep the job this season. But in reality, Feiler took first-team reps from the beginning. The only time he didn’t (barring rest) was when the Steelers repped him at other positions — his standing as the first-team right guard was so secure they didn’t even need an extended look at him there.

So, Feiler has become an accepted member among an exclusive club of long-time veterans for the Steelers on the offensive line in DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Alejandro Villanueva and Maurkice Pouncey.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve been accepted now. I feel like I have always been (accepted) and a part of it here,” Feiler said. “No matter how small the role is. But I haven’t really stopped to think about (being a regular starter). There’s a lot of things to focus on other than that, and try to be as unselfish as I can and just do what I can to help out.”

Hey, Steelers Nation, get the latest news about the Pittsburgh Steelers here.

Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Steelers
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.