DeCastro Set To Make First Career Start Against Cowboys

On Tuesday Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed during his press conference that left guard Willie Colon had surgery on his left knee on Monday. The injury is expected to sideline Colon for the rest of the season.

With Colon now sidelined rookie guard David DeCastro will get the opportunity in practice this week to show that he can play. Tomlin said that the plan right now is to let DeCastro play right guard, the position he played at Stanford, and move Ramon Foster over to the left guard spot that Colon manned.

“Our plan is to work David,” Tomlin said, when asked about the offensive line changes on tap. “David\’s worked his way back to health and has been available to us the last several weeks in a backup capacity and participated on PAT\’s and field goal. We believe that his health is at a level now that we can put him in and watch him prepare during the course of the week, and if we like what we see, he may have an opportunity to play. If he does of course we\’ll swing Ramon (Foster) over to left guard, which he has experience at, and he\’s very capable at, and we\’ll leave Maurkice (Pouncey) at center.”

“Obviously, if a guy like (Jay) Ratliff is playing, it would behoove us to have a guy like Maurkice Pouncey at the center position.”

Tomlin was asked if the decision to move Foster over to the left side was made because he has more familiarity with position than DeCastro does.

“Yeah, he has more position flexibility and more comfort in doing so than DeCastro does at this point. So that\’s the chief reason.”

If things go as planned Foster will make his 7th career start at left guard Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. His last start at the position was last season against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2.

Foster has been very consistent so far this season on the right side, but hasn\’t been asked to trap block to the left much, as it is not a specialty of his. The Steelers are a right handed running team that likes to run the trap to that side several times during a game, so Foster\’s ability to perform that task this week against the Cowboys will be worth paying attention to.

DeCastro, however, was on the move to the left quite a bit during his time at Stanford at right guard. Could we see the Steelers make a conscious effort this week to run more to the left to take advantage of his strength, assuming he is still as mobile and agile as he was before suffering his right knee injury in the preseason? We shall see.

  • Mikey Hoje

    NOTE to MT. since our ST makes negative yardage constantly, give up blocking completely. Field positions improve with this strategy.

  • steeltown

    Hope he’s ready to go!

  • steeltown

    I think after the season they’ll let Legursky go via FA. They can coach up Beachum in training camp next year to be the backup Center.. and he’ll have some position flexibility

  • TJimmy

    I wonder how Dave rated Ramon foster at left guard in the past?

  • Tom

    This is great news. I did not care to see them flopping people out of their normal positions. That seemed like a recipe for disaster…and obviously did not work out all that well.

    As far as the future….I’d like to see Legursky retained as a back-up. I think he has been a valuable back up the last couple years. However, I would like to see him on the sideline rather than playing…..meaning that I’d like to see the starters stay healthy for a change.

  • Garrett Hunt

    Can’t wait to see him play!

  • SteelerDave

    I admit to being skeptical of Foster but also impressed by his
    performance this year. That said, he is indeed more of a true LG or RT
    than a RG. DeCastro brings us rare RG pulling ability to the left and also
    amazing pass protection (he allowed I believe one sack in his college
    career). Beachum is too small to be a starter at RT for long and is best
    suited to become a center if he has the smarts for it which I think he
    does. Line of the future… Gilbert, Foster, Pouncey, DeCastro, Adams.

  • Reader783

    I think that even in just two games, Beachum has proven to be at least a project at tackle as a reputable backup and maybe even a camp threat to Adams and Gilbert.