Nearly one year ago, Pittsburgh Steelers guard David DeCastro suffered a dislocated kneecap, torn MCL, and partially torn patellar tendon in the preseason game against the Buffalo Bills. As a result, the Stanford product was sidelined for most of his rookie season. Saturday night in the 2013 preseason opener against the New York Giants, you could clearly see that DeCastro is exactly the kind of guard the Steelers thought he would be.
DeCastro, along with the three other starters on the Steelers offensive line not named Maurkice Pouncey, played a total of 31 snaps on offense and the team rushed for 4.69 yards per carry during that span. While we saw very little outside zone run throughout the game, we did see quit a bit of inside zone and traditional power plays, and DeCastro was causing Giants defensive tackle Linval Joseph fits on nearly every play.
I have pulled the animated gifs of three plays from the first two offensive series that not only show how powerful DeCastro is, but just how athletic he is now as well. Even on the incomplete screen pass he is down field and attempting to legally cut block.
The real test for DeCastro will come during the second week of the season when he gets his rematch against Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins. In the Week 16 game last season, Atkins clearly got the best of the then-rookie guard, who was still probably trying to get his legs underneath him and adapting to the speed of the game.
As long as DeCastro can stay healthy from here on out, he could get his first of what should be many Pro Bowl nods in 2013.