Reggie Gilbert's domineering preseason tour continues vs. Steelers

-- Reggie Gilbert was a problem for the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday night, and that's something that's becoming nothing short of a weekly occurrence.

The Green Bay Packers' third-year linebacker got the start in the team's second preseason game opposite Clay Matthews, replacing the injured Nick Perry who is still rehabbing from offseason ankle surgery.

The undrafted gem didn't disappoint.

Gilbert accounted for 2.5 of the Packers' three total sacks on the night, and doing so all in one quarter. He also forced a fumble off of Steelers rookie quarterback Mason Rudolph after storming off of the edge unblocked.

"If you’re unblocked, you definitely have to do something extra since you didn’t have to do anything to get the sack in the first place," Gilbert said after the Packers' 51-34 win. "You gotta get that ball out."

Gilbert was just as productive from a film perspective as opposed to a stat sheet last week against the Tennesee Titans, consistently beating whoever was lined up across from him.

"I can’t say enough about Reggie," coach Mike McCarthy said in his post-game presser. "I just love his path, his story, just the way he’s grown in this program. He’s a fine young football player. Very versatile, too."

The Packers kept Gilbert stashed on the practice squad for the past two seasons before activated him in late-December of 2017. In the brief sample size of regular season play he had to hang his hat on, Gilbert showed flashes of unbridled potential at outside linebacker -- the likes of which the Packers hope to tap into this season.

Vince Biegel and Kyler Fackrell are the two other primary edge rushers --  along with Gilbert -- behind the two starters, Matthews and Perry. At the moment, neither one would have much of a case to make for playing time over Gilbert.

Gilbert said he spent the entire first half of Thursday night's game setting up his inside and outside moves, as if playing with his food before devouring it in the third quarter when he tallied the 2.5.

"It’s definitely good anytime you go out there and do good things," Gilbert said. "I look at my opportunities as a player that I want to go out there and do some positive things, but also I want to decrease the things I feel like I didn’t do as well.

"I had a few things I feel like I could’ve been better on tonight, so that’s definitely something I’m going to be focused on more."

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (56)

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

August 17, 2018 at 10:12 am

Gilbert's in. We now have 3 OLB's. I wish Gilbert had more closing burst, but he is dominant at the line.

I'm extremely disappointed in Biegel and Fackrell--especially Biegel, who should be ideal for this defense. Maybe Donnerson can provide the potential we need.

And it's not like the starters are showing anything. Perry is still out, and Matthews pretty much survives on stunts while losing 1-on-1's.

OLB is a mess.

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KenEllis's picture

August 17, 2018 at 03:48 pm

Gilbert looked like the third best outside backer last camp as well, but still got cut. I believe MM has admitted that was a mistake. Really glad Reggie did not take his talents elsewhere after that.

I know Ted invested a 3rd on Fackrell and the first pick of the 4th on Biegel, but there is no way Gilbert gets cut again this season so that these draft picks get playing time in his place, right?

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Demon's picture

August 17, 2018 at 04:43 pm

I cant believe you're disappointed in Biegel. He played for the Badgers. That means he has to be good , right?

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Demon's picture

August 17, 2018 at 04:50 pm

It is still early, but it's beginning to look like passing on T.J Watt in favor of King and Biegel was another one of Uncle Teddy's draft disasters.

Thanks Ted

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KenEllis's picture

August 17, 2018 at 11:45 pm

Tornado I gave you a thumbs up and yes I am biased in favor of Vince because I saw him play well for the Badgers.

It never crossed my mind he might be another Fackrell.

Very disappointing.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 18, 2018 at 07:55 pm

This WI alumnus hated this pick the moment it was made. He is an off the ball LB and should be moved to ILB. He is Fackrell without the muscle.

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TheBigCheeze's picture

August 17, 2018 at 08:55 pm

totally agree about Biegel.....every time he went after the QB, he got burned....he's slow as molasses.....

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J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

August 18, 2018 at 08:40 pm

TJ Watt, a Biegel is not.

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Handsback's picture

August 17, 2018 at 10:13 am

From a fan standpoint, it doesn't matter who steps up, but glad another player has made an impact outside Matthews and Perry. I'm just disappointed that Biegel and Fackman hasn't been able to be playmakers. Fackman, I just don't see it, but have to give more time to Biegel and see if he can turn that corner like Gilbert.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

August 17, 2018 at 10:16 am

Well stated.

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Rak47's picture

August 17, 2018 at 03:48 pm

Been on here beating the drum for Gilbert and Allison from day one, not gonna stop now. :} Don't be surprised if Gilbert leads all OLB's in pressures and or sacks this year.

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dobber's picture

August 17, 2018 at 10:26 am

Glad I saw your post before mine went up. They needed at least one, if not two, of the three-headed Bieg-rell-bert monster to step up. Feeling better that Gilbert is showing that kind of play, but they could use some decent play out of those other guys, too.

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Rak47's picture

August 17, 2018 at 03:50 pm

looks like Gilbert is starting to make some believers of all his nay sayers from before camp started.

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Tundraboy's picture

August 17, 2018 at 10:22 am

"If you’re unblocked, you definitely have to do something extra since you didn’t have to do anything to get the sack in the first place," Gilbert said after the Packers' 51-34 win. "You gotta get that ball out."

Love this.

Happy to have someone with some real promise at this position, and one who has shown real flashes during a game instead of the usual hope candidate.

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Spock's picture

August 17, 2018 at 01:57 pm

And I loved this: "Gilbert said he spent the entire first half of Thursday night's game setting up his inside and outside moves, as if playing with his food before devouring it in the third quarter when he tallied the 2.5." Great line by the author of this piece. The cat and mouse analogy really worked for me. It shows that Gilbert has been working at his craft if he is setting up future moves ahead of time. Seems like he prefers chess over checkers!

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DraftHobbyist's picture

August 17, 2018 at 10:27 am

If Gilbert had played badly this preseason, I think there was a shot he could've been sent to the Practice Squad. With the way he has been playing, however, he seems to have solidified his spot. Not only that, it does now seem like he's our top depth guy, when before there seemed to be more of a battle between Biegel and Gilbert. In one of the podcasts they mentioned that it feels like there are fewer roster battles this preseason and I totally agree with that.

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dobber's picture

August 17, 2018 at 10:32 am

I wouldn't be surprised if Gilbert, who can defend the edge, allows CMIII to move inside on run downs in place of Ryan. The emergence of one of these OLB backups adds a lot of flexibility to this defense.

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Tundraboy's picture

August 17, 2018 at 01:30 pm

Yes it does. Even brings a smile to Bear.

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dobber's picture

August 17, 2018 at 06:56 pm

When Bear smiles, he gets more thumbs-downs...

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

August 17, 2018 at 10:42 am

"neither one would have much of a case to make for playing time over Gilbert."

Vince Biegel and Kyler Fackrell , or Matthews and Perry?

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TarynsEyes's picture

August 17, 2018 at 11:16 am

If this is what we can expect from Matthews, who is healthy and getting paid a ton and likely hoping for an extension, these few snaps speak loud against it...
stone walled, tossed back and down, can't disengage.
Gilbert will become moot, if Matthews and the invisible Perry,who hasn't practiced yet, can't show better.

https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cFjbDhqDY4

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Tundraboy's picture

August 17, 2018 at 01:29 pm

Oh, why not go for it? Think positive, for a week anyway.

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TarynsEyes's picture

August 17, 2018 at 01:42 pm

I'm really not saying anything many aren't thinking. Gilbert played awesome and can allow Matthews to move inside, but unless Perry plays to levels beyond what he has and or another can play to acceptable level, Gilbert will get doubled, washed out quickly. He'll need rest and our depth doesn't offer or at least look to be up to the task.
Can things change,sure. But right now, Gilbert appears to be the only one breathing and he cannot breath life into a dead fish ( OLB group ) himself...he'll be as lifeless as the rest look in short order.

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Malland56's picture

August 17, 2018 at 04:58 pm

Does that surprise you about Matthews? Not me. Been watching and telling you on here that CM is only good on the inside and that he doesn't do that good in there either. I have watched every play he has been in the last 5 years and he is NOT a threat to any QB anymore. He can't beat a one on one anymore against a good lineman. Look what happened last night. He stunk! Gilbert should start. He went against a 2 time pro bowler( I think 2 time) and handled him very easily. Made him look like a rookie OL.

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Malland56's picture

August 17, 2018 at 05:01 pm

Too bad we can't trade CM. Nobody will pay that much for him.

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Demon's picture

August 17, 2018 at 05:06 pm

But you are also talking about the guy who took himself out of the NFC title gave vs Seattle because he needed a breather.

Winners want to be on the field when the game is on the line.

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Tundraboy's picture

August 18, 2018 at 01:09 am

I would add,Winners want to be on the field all the time.

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Barnacle's picture

August 17, 2018 at 11:31 am

With only 21 hours of pre and regular season football game action, why would the TV guys think that I would like to hear about Mike Daniels childhood versus watching the action?

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Cubbygold's picture

August 17, 2018 at 06:12 pm

I was thinking similarly. Halftime had no analysis or replays. Why not highlight some of the good and bad?

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dobber's picture

August 17, 2018 at 06:59 pm

Because it's a preseason game and the announcers had no studio to send it back to for breakdown?

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WKUPackFan's picture

August 17, 2018 at 08:17 pm

Correct - It is a local broadcast picked up by the NFL Network.

I swear, some people will bitch about anything, including free football on TV. It is just like the people constantly complaining about "too many commercials". Without those commercials, you'd be paying to watch the games. And for the complainers, your cable bill does not qualify as "paying for football", because you'd be paying for that bill regardless. If you don't want to pay it, stop watching. Otherwise, find something else to complain about.

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Bert's picture

August 17, 2018 at 09:20 pm

Are you complaining about the complainers?

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WKUPackFan's picture

August 18, 2018 at 07:35 am

Yes, yes I am! :)

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Barnacle's picture

August 18, 2018 at 05:50 pm

WKUPackfan

Cute smiley face, I will refrain from saying to you what you deserve. You
Sound very sensitive.

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Barnacle's picture

August 18, 2018 at 06:36 am

WkUPackerfan,

Who said anything about “commercials”. The game was on and they did not show the play. They showed Mike Daniels talking about his childhood. If they think that is more interesting to most fans than the games most of us wait for, then they are about as dumb as your criticism.

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WKUPackFan's picture

August 18, 2018 at 07:33 am

Learn some nuance. I'm equating someone being bent out of shape about hearing Daniel's story to the people who constantly gripe about too many commercials.

How about being happy about getting to see all of the Packers preseason games, something that did not happen until a few years ago, instead of complaining about what the announcers do for a couple of minutes during the game?

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

August 17, 2018 at 11:43 am

Outside of Gilbert, there are 3 positions showing me virtually nothing so far:

OLB, O-TACKLE, RUNNING BACK.

These 3 areas look utterly lifeless and worthless, when compared to most teams. Seriously. No punch whatsoever.

Thankfully, we have our starting tackles, Perry, Jones, and Mays in the wings. So here's hoping.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 17, 2018 at 12:33 pm

IDK, safety needs to be in the top 3. I'd probably remove RB and insert safety.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

August 17, 2018 at 02:37 pm

Both look awful.

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Demon's picture

August 17, 2018 at 06:54 pm

Add Safety to that list! It appears tha Ha Ha has picked up right where he left off last year.

I'm not sure why everyone got down on Randall last year. It seems all he did was call a spade a spade. Ha Ha did suck last year. So did Josh Jones aside from the Buungles game. There was no accountability anywhere in Packerland.

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WKUPackFan's picture

August 17, 2018 at 08:55 pm

Comments about safety play from amateurs who have no clue what they are talking about (Tgr excluded) are a waste of time. You can't even determine from the television picture where the safeties are originally aligned, and you certainly have no knowledge as to what HHCD's and Brice's responsibilities are on any given play.

Lofton complimented Ha-Ha's play on several occasions. I'll value his opinion over the opinions of people who have no idea as to what they are watching.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 17, 2018 at 10:45 pm

Well, it is difficult to watch safeties play. Too often we only see a handful of plays unless you pay for All-22. So, all opinions based on watching TV are somewhat suspect. Here is a tweet from Aaron Nagler on the safeties

https://twitter.com/i/status/1030464521041838081

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 17, 2018 at 10:59 pm

It is not even entirely whether you like HHCD and Brice or not. Boston and Vacarro signed for peanuts. Most likely Reid will be dirt cheap. They are nice players. Aaron Nagler on signing Eric Reid (for which I've advocated for months): "It’s just pigheaded to think he’s not better than what they have."

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WKUPackFan's picture

August 18, 2018 at 07:19 am

Oh, I totally agree with you regarding Reid. I'm confident that Gute is not paying any attention to the extreme minority of "distraction" people and will sign Reid if Gute believes that Reid is needed.

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Maddygirl1's picture

August 18, 2018 at 07:28 pm

There's gotta be a reason Ried hasn't been signed. I'm with you and have been saying we need to add him for a long time. An experienced pro-bowl talent, better than any of our current sdafeties, probably for cheap. But there's gotta be something. I'm guessing it's similar reason why Kapernick isn't signed. I heard Ried has even made in publically known that he won't protest. I'd sign him tomorrow if he agrees to not be a distraction and to focus 100% on winning football games. But there's no way Vacarro is better than Ried. Saint's must have talked to Ried. I'm guessing anything short of a long term injury to Dix or Brice, I wouldn't expect the Packers to sign Ried. Just like every other team. Like I said there's a reason. Probably black listed.

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porupack's picture

August 17, 2018 at 11:43 am

Well, I'm going to make a bold GM move next week. I'll play Hundley and Kiser, and whichever (and hopefully both) has a good set of numbers, I dangle that QB to another team for one of their rookie or 2nd OLBs (Denver).
Yes, I would rack up some good tape of Kiser, and go trade him now, because; 1) Hundley has improved to some extent and could fill in, 2) the rookie QB has long term potential. So go trade Kiser for another teams OLB, before the 53 cut.
I would sign Reid this week.
Cut Fackerall. that experiment is over.

Pettine, yes....its pre-season....so you still have time. But what we see is not indicative of a good product on Sunday.

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I bleed green more's picture

August 17, 2018 at 12:58 pm

I love this kid he has a motor that does not stop.

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billybobton's picture

August 17, 2018 at 03:04 pm

After two games the RB position looks a disaster, exactly as people who watched football and understood it said it would. We have one running back who gets carries and just one...Jones. the next best runner is RIP who never gets carries.

The FB are truely horrid, on special teams it is a nightmare to watch RIP miss tackles and blocks. As a FB RIP can not find the ground, we had ONE good FB block and the defender got off the ground....as our FB laid on the ground watching and made the tackle

It is almost as if after MM runs his mouth and the terrible packer press say nothing....he doubles down. Brag up BH and despite all the evidence and lack of improvement there he is trotting out while better more hopeful players sit.

Run his mouth about Monty are RB, a really stupid set of comments and despite all this time there is Monty still waving at pass rushers and falling on the ground instead of running.

Worse neither Jones nor RIP can pass block and there is nobody else on the roster who is even near 4 ypc

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MITM's picture

August 17, 2018 at 05:20 pm

Has anyone brought up the meaningless fact that he has just about the best name for a Packers defender in "Reggie Gilbert"?

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Packersfanva's picture

August 17, 2018 at 07:32 pm

Billybobton ...J Williams at RB had 10.5 ypc last year in the regular season (per Pro Football Outsiders). That was the same as R. Cobb (same source).

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Cartwright's picture

August 18, 2018 at 12:32 am

If where not going to sign Mack, and I doubt if we do and Reggie Gilbert has another great game then get him signed up ASAP to a long term deal, like the podcast mentioned we found our OLB. Beigle and Fackrell are Vanilla Fudge.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

August 18, 2018 at 05:30 am

Vanilla Fudge? That's a new one.

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Cartwright's picture

August 18, 2018 at 04:28 pm

Actually Alp that's the name of an ole rock band from back in the 70's that came from around my neck of the woods, ('61 may have heard of them) from what I've seen of those two so far it's a fitting description.

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4thand1's picture

August 18, 2018 at 08:37 am

Remember O'sooto? The hype was hysterical.

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Slim11's picture

August 18, 2018 at 03:03 pm

Jayrone Elliot, too...

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PAPackerbacker's picture

August 19, 2018 at 03:40 am

Gilbert proves he belongs on the team. And so has Kumerow. Both have worked very hard and deserve to be on the 53. Let's hope they stay healthy and contribute all season.

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