Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – G David DeCastro

By Matthew Marczi

End-of-season player exit meetings are not something that we are often privy to as outsiders of the football world. Generally, we only get a glimpse into that world when a player is asked by a reporter how the meeting went, if the player is willing to discuss it.

Still, it’s not generally a hard concept to grasp, and we have a pretty good feel by now of how Mike Tomlin and his staff likes to operate, and we see all the game film, so it’s not an overly difficult project to simulate. If we were to administer the end-of-season player exit meetings, it might go something like this.

Player: David DeCastro

Position: Right Guard

Experience: 2 Years

After a torn MCL effectively put his rookie season on ice, former first-round draft pick David DeCastro was for most intents and purposes playing his first NFL season in 2013. It showed up a bit early on, but by the middle of the season, he looked like he was on his way to his first of many Pro Bowl seasons.

DeCastro got off to a slow start, particularly against the pass, in the first couple of weeks, during which it looked like he was being physically overmatched by the interior defensive linemen he was being pitted against.

It wasn’t too long before he began to settle down, however, and after the entire line had a down performance in the run-blocking department against the New York Jets, he began to dominate as the running game ran through him on pulls to the left and up the middle. The first game against the Baltimore Ravens in particular was a true display of dominance and one of his best all-around games of the season.

The problems started again when he suffered an ankle sprain against the Oakland Raiders, which at one point resulted in Cody Wallace, Guy Whimper, and even Kelvin Beachum taking reps at guard due to injuries.

DeCastro missed the following game after the loss in Oakland, and when he returned, he was overmatched by the daunting interior defenses of the Buffalo Bills and the Detroit Lions in consecutive weeks, neither of which are ideal opponents for an interior lineman coming off an ankle injury.

He had his struggles for much of the rest of the season, but by the last few games, he seemed to be regaining some of that impressive mid-season form, dominating a Cincinnati Bengals interior defense that earlier in the season pushed him around—though admittedly it was an interior obviously lacking Geno Atkins.

In fact, at season’s end, DeCastro was recognized as a Pro Bowl alternate, although he was evidently a third alternate, considering both Mike Iupati and Louis Vasquez were selected for the Pro Bowl but could not participate due to an injury and advancing to the Super Bowl, respectively.

Evan Mathis and, surprisingly, rookie Kyle Long replaced those two, though I believe DeCastro was deserving. I fully expect him to be in the Pro Bowl next season if he listens to his new offensive line coach and learns to build off his growth and successes from this year.

Previous Articles In This Series
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – QB Ben Roethlisberger
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – WR Antonio Brown
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – WR Emmanuel Sanders
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – TE Heath Miller
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – T Marcus Gilbert

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

    The hiring of Munchak just cemented the opinion that I already had, that we can look forward to many dominant years from DeCastro. I expect games like the one against Baltimore will become the norm.

  • Callentown

    I guess I don’t understand why DeCastro would be in the Pro Bowl this year based on the assessment above (which I agree with).

    He had good moments, especially by comparison to the rest of the line. But he also struggled regularly throughout the season.

    DeCastro is a smart guy and I have confidence he will work to improve his strength and other weaknesses. I also think it’s tough to grade individual linemen when the line as a whole is struggling, as this does affect an individual’s performance at times.

    All that said, I hope he takes a step in the right direction next season but I’m stopping short of any Pro Bowl considerations until I see more.

  • sean mcmartin

    Im Anxious to see how Munch rates this group after he has worked with them.
    He will be a great judge to help sort out the O-line and see who should be cut.

  • Nolrog

    They should give him a 3 year extension now, nice signing bonus so that they could keep him around. He’s due about 2 million each of the next 2 years, bump that to, say 5 and give him a 3 year 18 mil extension (that would work out to be 3 ears 24 million more than he has now, which is about what he’d get in free agency, but spreads the hit out.)