Pittsburgh Steelers right guard David DeCastro made his ninth career start Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens and it was by far the best game of his young career. Below is a look at five running plays from that game in which DeCastro showed why the Steelers drafted him in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
This first play took place during the Steelers opening possession on second down and nine. DeCastro has linebacker Daryl Smith turned out like he is supposed to and holds the block for nearly four seconds. His ability to hold the block provided running back Le’Veon Bell a cutback lane the culminated in an 8-yard gain.
During the Steelers next possession, they run a misdirection wham play to the right. DeCastro gets his inside Ravens defensive tackle Arthur Jones and carries him way out of the lane as Bell goes for another 11 yards.
This next play took place in the second quarter and it is the old 34 lead draw. At the snap, DeCastro bangs left into the midsection of Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata before releasing to the second level to wall off linebacker Jameel MccLain. DeCastro is not done, however, as he plays through the whistle and gets yet another shot on McLain as Bell is going down. That was a fine piece of blocking.
While this play might not look like much as it only gained three yards, it happened on third down and two from the Steelers own 17 yard-line. The play is a counter trap to the left and DeCastro pulls at the snap of the ball looking for Smith. Smith decides to take on DeCastro by leading with his right shoulder and the Steelers guard makes him pay for it by walling him off and it results in a first down by running back Felix Jones.
This next play was run out of the wildcat and once again DeCastro bangs left on Ngata at the snap. Watch how far he moves him. DeCastro is then off to the second level once again and he squares up perfectly on McLain.
I couldn’t resist putting this fourth quarter play in here as DeCastro drives Jones way outside of the hashmarks and it allows Bell the opportunity to introduce himself to Ravens safety James Ihedigbo. DeCastro plays through the whistle once again in order to make sure the Steelers running back falls forward for the extra half yard or so.
Was DeCastro perfect in this game? Absolutely not, but he looked every bit like a first-round guard and it was easily the best game of his young career.