DeCastro, Pouncey Hope To See Much More Of Each Other On The Field

Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey and right guard David DeCastro are entering their third season together as teammates, yet the pair of first-round draft selections have only played 146 meaningful snaps together in that time.

Since DeCastro was drafted in 2012, the Steelers have played approximately 2150 snaps of offensive football across the past two seasons. The total accumulated playing time of the two together amounts to just 9.3 percent of the team’s total offensive plays.

In 2012, DeCastro tore his MCL during the preseason, which caused him to miss the first 13 games of his rookie season. He came back to start the last three games of the year, but was forced out of the season finale after 11 snaps.

Pouncey, of course, suffered a torn ACL at the hands of DeCastro while the latter was attempting to execute a block just eight snaps into the Steelers’ season opener last year.

So it should be no surprise that the quality offensive line the Steelers have envisioned of late has yet to come to fruition when they’ve struggled to get their two most significant investments on the field at the same time.

In fact, Pouncey has more playing experience with Willie Colon at guard than he does with DeCastro. Likewise, DeCastro is far more used to playing with a center that is no longer on the roster in Fernando Velasco than he is with Pouncey.

Just because they haven’t been on the field together, however, doesn’t mean that they don’t have a bond and chemistry with one another.

In an article by Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DeCastro talked about the significance of the offensive line being intact once again:

“Having Pouncey back, you can’t say enough about that. We get along really well. We know each other so well, we almost don’t need to make (line) calls because we know each other so well”.

This on just 146 accrued snaps over the span of 32 regular season games in the past two seasons.

Of course, a lot more preparation takes place behind the scenes before we reach the regular season. The two interior linemen have actually played together more during the preseason over the past two years than they have in the regular season.

And they’ve also been through a pair of training camps together, lined up side by side, working on blocking schemes, line calls, and technique. Next month will be their third preseason lined up as the starting center and right guard, even if it hasn’t ended up that way once the snaps start to mean something.

So much has gone into nurturing the investment of a strong offensive interior offensive line in recent years, yet the end result keeps getting sidetracked.  But if all goes as smoothly as it has been this offseason, this will be the year that investment begins to pay dividends, and perhaps even earns awards at the end of the season.

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

    So many details coming together and to be excited about.. I really have to calm me down once a week!

  • Jason Brant

    One year with both of these guys being healthy would be incredible.

  • steeltown

    I was just thinking the other day how nice it could be this yr to have Pouncey and DeCastro next to eachother, two young, smart, athletic, potential pro bowl players.. add Beachum coming back with his intelligence, drive and athleticism and it’s hard to not get somewhat excited about this young group

  • dgh57

    It would be interesting to follow these two guys throughout their could be long careers working together because I think they’ll get even better as the years go by. These two are the core of the OL and because of their athleticism they’re going to make this new ZBS tick! Add in Munchak to help clean up any minor details of their game and we could have something special in the middle of our OL for years to come. The only problem is the contract situation of Pouncey as I hope he doesn’t price himself out of town with his contract demands!

  • Lil Smitty

    The Steelers are going to have to rethink the term “core players” in the past they tried to keep everyone. The always put themselves up against the cap. Keeping Pouncey and DeCastro would IMHO be the only core players they would need to keep. Replace the rest when they price themselves out of Pittsburgh.

  • Ike Evans

    God…sounds like the pirates..depressing

  • Lil Smitty

    Actually I was looking at the Patriots method of handling free agency.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Don;t forget Foster. Nobody talks about the guy, yet he has been the most consistent O lineman of the past 3 years. I know, he’s boring and everything, but what a great bargain,signing him.