David DeCastro Had His Hands Full With Ndamukong Suh

By Matthew Marczi

Following the last game, some were quick to glance at the official stats sheet and draw hasty conclusions about the game based purely on what was reflected in the numbers, and not the tape itself.

The main narrative promoted immediately after the game was the lack of impact of Ndamukong Suh due to the fact that the league does not officially credit him with a tackle or an assist. Accordingly, it was deduced that David DeCastro had controlled him throughout the game.

That is simply not the case. DeCastro in fact had a rather spotty game, alternating between positive and negative plays throughout the day, and when the Steelers held on to the ball, Suh had his share of successes.

As with the defense, the second quarter in particular was a rough stretch for DeCastro. If this play doesn’t count as at least an assisted tackle in the league’s official statistics, something is wrong. Suh got around DeCastro with no problem and dropped Felix Jones for no gain.

That drive ended prematurely thanks to pressure allowed by the right side of the offensive line, but DeCastro’s hands were particularly dirty on this play. Suh completely got past DeCastro again on a passing play, forcing Ben Roethlisberger to bail out of the pocket and toss the ball away to settle for a field goal.

Although DeCastro didn’t allow Suh to make a tackle on this play, he did allow himself to be embarrassed, as the defensive tackle easily blew right past him. This time he even threw him five yards upfield, stumbling to the ground as Le’Veon Bell was tackled for a loss of one in part thanks to Suh’s penetration.

It wasn’t just Suh finding success against the former first-round draft pick though. The All-Pro, of course, was forced to sit out at times during the game, to the tune of 18 snaps, and he also played end on occasion, giving others the opportunity to battle DeCastro.

This time, it was C.J. Mosley, though he looked an awful lot like Suh from the plays highlighted above as he easily swam past the right guard to get into the backfield. Although the play ended up being a success thanks to Roethlisberger keeping his eyes upfield as he stepped up in the pocket, it was Mosley forcing him to move in the first place. DeCastro was really hitting a stride before his injury, but he has not been the same in his two games back yet.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Rob H

    There’s ups and downs with every young player, especially with (as you point out) one coming off an injury. He’ll get even better when he has a stable line around him that isn’t changing every week… It’s been so long since we’ve seen one of those that I’m beginning to forget what it even looks like.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Not a good day for Decastro but what sticks out to me is the play of Gilbert at RT. He’s basically standing straight up no punch no bending at the hips and as a result no leverage and poor anchoring. Gilbert and Adams need to learn to hip bend and add some lower body strength. As far as Decastro i’ll chalk that up to a bad game and playing against Suh. Decastro gonna be a good one no doubt about that.

  • HopalongCassidy

    Who doesn’t have problems with Suh ? He’s a handful for anyone.

  • HopalongCassidy

    Both Gilbert and Adams are below par. The Steelers NEED to sign at least one good tackle that is a serious upgrade over these two by next season.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I wouldn’t go that far. They are both good players with good measurables. What it seems like both lack are good solid technique. Gilbert gets away with sloppy technique playing RT but at LT that sloppy technique gets exposed like we saw earlier in Adams. The good measurables that both guys have seems to help them in the run blocking area when they are able to get there hands on the DL. They are both young players so maybe with another off season they can and should improve.

  • cencalsteeler

    After dealing with Suh, DeCastros life should become easier. He played admirable considering he is just starting his young career. Not taking away from his future matchups, but he just went up against the best. He will only get better now, and Suh’s matchup last week was an excellent learning tool for him.

  • charles

    Thanks Matthew for pointing out the serious deficiencies of the measurable men (or women).

  • AndyR34

    DeCastro has had Velasco and Gilbert beside him for quite some time now…this excuse pales…

  • AndyR34

    Matt – Mostly I agree, but in the third gif, it looks to me like he was supposed to chip Suh…hand him off to Gilbert and go get the linebacker only he tripped over Suh’s foot. But…I have been wrong before…I am sure you have a better look than the gif gives us.

  • george

    why dont we hear any complaints about the ol line coach? if players continue to show poor technique you have to wonder what the hell hes working with them on!

  • Xclewsive

    Its not DD getting beat in these gifs it’s the entire right side. DD is basically in his semi-rookie season, so I expect some uneven games from him. But Marcus Gilbert continually gets manhandled at the LOS by just about any and everybody.

  • alex

    dealing with all pros like Suh, Ngata, and Atkins every sunday will only improve DeCastro!

  • ND_Steel

    Right side gets absolutely no push. At best DeCastro can be a good technician and hold his ground. He’s no road grader like Colon could be. Gilbert is way too inconsistent. Would like to see Adams on the right side, thought he had a few good games there last year and showed some promise.

  • Douglas Andrews