By Matthew Marczi
If there was a good run by the Pittsburgh Steelers last week against the Green Bay Packers it seemed pretty likely that right guard David DeCastro was probably involved in helping get the runner loose.
Quite honestly, there were a lot of plays to choose from in order to put together this recap of DeCastro highlights in the running game, and the plays that I ultimately chose don’t necessarily reflect the absolute best of the best, but more of an overall sampling of his successes in the running game.
DeCastro was a key component of Le’Veon Bell’s 22-yard run late in the first quarter, as his block and seal on Ryan Picket and then Brad Jones is what gave Bell the room to operate in the first place.
DeCastro went on to manhandle defensive end Josh Boyd on consecutive plays early in the second quarter. The rest of the offense, however, let down, as they gained just eight yards on those two plays, and Bell was stopped for no gain on third down, resulting in a three and out and a punt.
Toward the end of the first half, it was defensive end Mike Daniels on the losing end against DeCastro in the running game, as DeCastro was able to draw him in and then wrench him to the left, which allowed Felix Jones to find an easy avenue for a pickup of seven yards without much effort.
DeCastro’s block on Pickett toward the end of the third quarter helped spring Bell for one of the longest gains of his rookie season, a 25-yard carry that came just one run after his first career fumble.
As was the case with much of the offense, DeCastro turned in a strong performance against the Packers as a run blocker, which led to the rookie Bell’s first career 100-yard rushing game. He probably even deserved more credit than Pro Football Focus granted him.
Though he wasn’t nominated to the Pro Bowl, DeCastro’s first full professional season was certainly not a disappointment. He started off a bit slow and had to battle injuries, but the future is bright for Pittsburgh’s right guard.