David DeCastro Earned Some Redemption After Recent Struggles

By Matthew Marczi

Second-year guard David DeCastro was hitting his stride entering the Oakland Raiders game earlier this season when he suffered an ankle injury, forcing him to miss the following game against the New England Patriots.

When he returned to play against the Buffalo Bills, he did not quite look the same, and if anything, his performance against the front four of the Detroit Lions was a step even further in the wrong direction.

As was somewhat of a theme for the Steelers this week, however, DeCastro rediscovered some of that performance against the elixir that is the Cleveland Browns.

He helped open up a crease for running back Le’Veon Bell on just the third play of the game for a nice pickup, blocking two people in the process. He started off on a double team of Ahtyba Rubin and got just enough of him to allow Bell to squeeze around him while he went on the pick up safety T.J. Ward.

Toward the beginning of the second quarter, the Steelers were backed up at their own three-yard line. Last week, in the same situation, the offensive line struggled against the Lions’ front and only managed one yard on two carries before Ben Roethlisberger bailed them out on a pass to Antonio Brown under duress.

This week was different. On first down, DeCastro pushed nose tackle Ishmaa’ily Kitchen all the way down the line, which gave Bell a pathway to hit despite Rubin slowly working his way over to close the gap and Mike Adams spilling to the ground in front of his feet.

After Troy Polamalu forced and recovered a fumble just before halftime, the Steelers got the ball close to midfield and called a run on first down. DeCastro sealed off John Hughes and Bell squeezed between him and Marcus Gilbert to start off the drive with a 12-yard gain.

Later, in the fourth quarter as Pittsburgh switch gears into clock-killing mode by sticking with the ground game, DeCastro—with the help of Fernando Velasco—pushed Phil Taylor about seven yards upfield, and Bell just followed behind in order to gain whatever he could as the perimeter defenders closed in around him.

DeCastro certainly looked more as he did prior to the injury against some stiff competition, such as Rubin and Taylor. Hopefully that means that will continue as long as he stays healthy.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Virdin Barzey

    I know this is about DeCastro but I really like LeVeon’s vision on these GIF. The kids got talent.

  • steeltown

    I read this in an article on Bells maturation.
    Ben: “He’s telling me how much time is on the play clock and things like that,” Roethlisberger said. “I have to tell him, ‘I see it. Don’t worry, bud.’ But that is the awareness that he has and you see the growth and maturation. I think it’s great.”

  • Chad H

    Beachum looks good in these gifs. Gilbert looks like he is not strong enough to man handle his defensive player. Anyone else see that?

  • Virdin Barzey

    Interesting. I think the kid is going to be very good. Look forward to us getting a better line for him.

  • steeltown


    At times Gilbert looks like he plays to tall, needs to get better pad level

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Gentlemen: I just love these GIF’s. Thank you very much for sharing with us. It’s amazing when you look around at all the players.

    You might see Foster doing great work, even though he is seldom mentioned. You might see others doing just enough to get their man turned in the opposite direction of where the play is heading. All the little nuances. All the things the never show on TV. It’s fantastic.

    Another poster mentioned about Beachum on a different post. I think he mentioned that Beach looks good against the faster LB’s he often faces (good footwork). You know those studs that often have gaudy sack numbers. That’s great. Whereas, he, like everyone else in the league, will occasionally get manhandled by a great big DE. That’s to be expected. I think he is quietly coming along.

    Great work. Thanks again, guys.

  • ND_Steel

    These GIFs show DeCastro’s strengths; good on double teams, has good mobility to get to his spot (trap block, second level, pulling, etc.), and good technique. But still feel he struggles with one on one blocking because he doesn’t hold his blocks very long and lacks strength (by comparison, watch Foster).

  • Jay

    I know this article is about decastro but what stood out to me was laveon bell the guy is a baller especially the first gif u can’t arm tackle this guy