DeCastro Given Appropriate Credit On Game’s Final Play

Playing on the offensive line isn’t a job most people would willingly sign up for. Go unnoticed when you succeed, picked on when you fail. It’s a blue-collar life. No one is a left guard in Madden’s Be A Pro.

So it’s nice to hear praise dished out to one. And for David DeCastro, it’s well deserved.

Mike Tomlin was asked about his impact on Le’Veon Bell’s touchdown, pulling from right to left to help open a lane for the back to score and win the game. Tomlin credited DeCastro’s athletiicsm and ability to pull but noted it is nothing new to the team.

“He’s a very talented guard and puller and does a lot of things well. But it’s not like he just acquired that skillset. We were very attracted to that element on his game when we looked at him in the draft. He pulled more for Stanford than he does for us, and he pulls a lot for us. That was a big part of his game and their game in college. So he’s just continuing to display the skillset that he’s probably displayed for the greater part of his football life.”

The Steelers used to be a right-handed team, traditionally pulling their left guard. Alan Faneca’s block on Willie Parker’s Super Bowl 40 run will be etched in history. But DeCastro is bringing back a different era, a 1970s team that asked Gerry Mullins to pull right to left to a high degree of success.

Overall, DeCastro’s game has been on the cusp of All-Star worthiness, but his ability to pull and kick out defenders has been consistently excellent over his entire career. When the Steelers’ offense needs a spark, they run their Counter OF – Georgia Counter as they refer to it.

It’s throwback, it’s hard-nosed, it’s physical.

And above all, hard to stop.

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • My thoughts on the game:

    (Keep in mind, during the 4th quarter, after the Chargers kicked that field goal and then kicked-off to the Steelers, there was 2:56 on the game clock. When the ball went out of the back of the end zone, the game clock started winding down. It went down to 2:38 before the Steelers ran their first play of their final drive. The clock wasn’t supposed to be running at all, as the ball went out of the back of the end zone, making it a ‘dead ball’. So there actually should have been 13 seconds on the game clock for the Chargers to work with after Le’Veon Bell scored the final TD of the game. It’s not much time, but it’s a lot more than 0:00. I’m sure someone is going to get chewed-out for that one, and none of the players or anyone on the Chargers’ coaching staff even noticed it. Did anyone on the Steelers notice it either? We may never know the truth about that. Let’s just be glad that this goof worked in our favor.)

    Okay, before we get to that play at the very end of the game, lets remember that it was Heath Miller who caught that pass from Vick down to the one yard line, and the penalty called on the Chargers’ defender for hitting a defenseless player was what stopped the game clock with only 5 seconds remaining allowing the Steelers to try for that go-ahead TD.

    Okay, now we all know how ticked-off all of us were last week when those two pass plays were called and we lost to the Ravens. This time around, we decided to give the ball to Le’Veon Bell with only 5 seconds remaining in regulation. Bell got the ball snapped directly to him in the ‘Wild Cat’ formation, and at first, it didn’t look as if he was going to score, but with a great second effort, and even with David DeCastro being pushed and falling on top of him, he just barely managed to get the ball across the goal line before his knee touched the turf. It was extremely nerve-racking! I, along with the rest of Steelers Nation, were biting our fingernails down to their cuticles as we waited through the commercials for the officials to let us know if it was indeed a TD or not. With all the criticism Tomlin and Haley had gotten over the past week for not getting the ball to Bell at the end of the Ravens game, a game the Steelers should had definitely won, they redeemed their selves in last night’s effort against the Chargers. Was it a smart call to go for it with only 5 seconds on the game clock? We all know the answer to that. If it works, you’re a genius. If it doesn’t, your a jackass for calling such a play that lost the game for you when you could have kicked a chip-shot field goal and sent the game into overtime. (Although, with the new young kid in there kicking to send the game into OT on Monday Night Football, that may have been a tall order.)

    Here’s how I view it; Phillip Rivers and Antonio Gates were gashing our defense for a large portion of the game and they looked like they just couldn’t be stopped against our secondary. So, if we would have tried to kick a field goal (and made it), there was a 50/50 chance that the Chargers would have gotten the ball first in OT, and three or four passes later from Rivers to Gates and the Chargers are either in FG range or scoring another TD. Therefore, I believe it was the right call to go for the game-winning TD with only 5 the seconds remaining. If you make it, you win the game. You don’t make it, and the game is over with the Chargers coming out on top. I guess we made the right decision, huh?

    DeAngelo Williams came into the game a few times to give Le’Veon Bell a break as Bell carried most of the load. Bell rushed for 111 yards on 21 carries and only had the one TD, but it was the most important TD of the entire game.

    With Martavis Bryant still out of the mix, and Antonio Brown being pretty much non-existent for the entire game, Markus Wheaton stepped-up and had a nice grab on Vick’s 72 yard bomb for a TD. Heyward-Bey did a nice job on that high pass from Vick for the first down on that final drive. What happened to this guy? All of a sudden, he’s catching every ball thrown in his direction. Nice!

    Vick had a decent game, although 2 or 3 of his passes should have been intercepted, which would have left him with a total of 3 or 4 interceptions on the night, and the game would have turned out much differently. He was lucky on those passes and needs to stop trying to force the ball into coverage, and needs to work a bit more on his accuracy. He did wind up breaking the 200 yard mark with 203 yards passing. He did have the one INT to go along with the one TD. He was 13 of 26 and he did have that nice run of 24 yards to keep that last drive alive.

    As far as the defense is concerned, yes there were still some missed tackles, but for the most part, I think our defense played together as a unit better than they had in the previous 4 games. For the most part, I really liked what I saw out there. There’s not much you can do to defend against Rivers, as he has a pretty awkward throwing style and a decent release. If you don’t pressure or sack him, he’s going to complete some passes. We did put some pressure on him and we did sack him twice. Antwon Blake had that great pick-six. What a nice return for the TD that was. We also got that take-away on that forced fumble. If we could get those more often we’d be in great shape. Troy Polamalu (when in his prime) is really missed out there in the middle of our defense. We just can’t seem to stop these TEs. Our defensive line looked very good and really played well together. Hats-off to Heyward and Tuitt for another really good game played by both.

    Our special teams did a decent job and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but our kicking game was very good. The new kid, Wallace, made a FG and was good with the extra points. The punting was much better than last week as Jordan Berry did a good job. It looks like, for the time being, our kicking game has gotten back on track.

    (I’m sure I left some stuff out, as I’ve only watched the game once so far.)

    Well, next week it’s back at home to face the high-flying Cardinals. This one looks to be a tough matchup for our secondary. We’ll have to apply major pressure on their QB, Carson Palmer, to get that win at home. You just know from over the years when Palmer was with the Bengals, and that time we knocked him out of that playoff game, he’ll really be hyped for this game. It should be a good one. See you there. Until then, have a great week, and GO STEELERS!

  • Ask Questions Later

    DeCastro is a great lineman. Just wish he could get at least a second team All-Pro vote already and a trip to Hawaii.

  • Michael

    I watched the Bell TD multiple times, if either Decastro and Nix whiffed their blocks, Bell stops anywhere from 8″ to a yard short. Football Gods, thank you!

  • Ask Questions Later

    ? Why thank football gods? Nix is a great find and DeCastro is a great player. No need to thank them haha.

  • Alex Kozora

    And Bell’s half-hop over Nix. If he didn’t do that, he probably gets tripped up over the sea of bodies on the ground. He was, somehow, able to land in front of Nix and plant his left foot back onto the grass, propelling him to dive into the end zone. I don’t know how he did it.

  • Jonathan D Worth

    Alex, did they have Will Johnson in there on that play? I didn’t see him. If not, interesting that Nix was in on it. Or maybe I’m reading into it too much. 🙂

  • John Noh

    David was such a great pick at 24. It sucked that he was hurt to start his career with the team but he’s blossomed into a real stabilizing force in that line. I hope the Steelers lock this guy by extending him next year. He’s UFA as of 2017.

  • Alex Kozora

    He was not. 22 personnel with Nix at FB, Miller/Spaeth at TE, DHB as the lone WR. I wouldn’t read too much though. In a lead block type of situation like that, Nix is better than Johnson.

  • Jones

    um… This article/thread is about David DeCastro. You must have misplaced your own blog, lol.

  • Work Toward

    Miller and Speath sealed the end with Nix kicking out… Get off Decastro nutts he almost caused another injury when he failed back on Bell.

  • PittsburghSports

    lol I was thinking the same thing. C’mon man! Get your own blog.

  • Dave D

    Are you really that stupid? In the course of sealing that edge he was pushed/fell backwards over Bell. If you actually watch the replay, he went out of his way to avoid impeding Bell’s progress towards the goal line. Seriously. Watch the play. Bodies tangle in there and not only did he throw a great block to seal, but then had the presence of mind NOT to get in Bell’s way. Your comment is the epitome of ignorance.

  • gdeuce

    he doesn’t need the accolades for us to know how great he is

  • Michael

    I’m amazed at replays how light footed these 320 lb linemen run and move ( not just on Decastro but in general). They move like 260 instead of 320. Modern day athletes and big buck$$.

  • I wonder if Will Johnson is the guy cut for Bryant later today. Nix was a tremendous find. Very nice lead blocker and very formidable special teams guy. I like Will Johnson also but seems like he may have lost his job.

  • Oops! I called our kicker ‘Wallace’ lol I’l fix it.

  • Matt Manzo

    It’s possible, but after Todmans penalty, it could be him.

  • Um….really? Wow! Thanks for pointing that out to me. I would have never noticed. SMH I posted this comment here purposely so Alex could read it. Also, I don’t think DeCastro is anything special at all. I still think he’s a big dork. Has some talent, but he’s clumsy. Just ask Pouncey.

  • Jones

    Ha. Dude sitting at home hijacking a Steelers Depot thread to use as his own personal blog/email system for Alex calls the pro bowler a clumsy, nothing-special dork. That’s a special kind of stupid, kid.

    Pro-tip: tweet Alex for his email if you want to stay in touch. You get a pen pal, & we get to stay on topic. Everyone wins!

  • Steeler-Drew

    Agree. Without DeCastro doing a great job on that play Bell doesn’t score.

  • NinjaMountie

    Okay, I actually read all that; mostly to see why it needed to be so long. You basically recapped the game. Are you trying to audition to get an article here?
    I don’t agree that the game would have been over in overtime had the Chargers got the ball first. First of all, a TD would have been the only thing that would have ended the game before the Steelers got the ball. Secondly, the defense stopped the Chargers many times that night.
    Thanks for the interesting post but it was a little long.

  • NinjaMountie

    Your other post was too long and this one is too ridiculous. Seriously, DD is nothing but a big dork. I think you just blew your chances of ever writing here.

  • AndyR34

    Epitome of ignorance!!! I love it!

  • pittfan


  • Big Joe

    I suspect the team will reach a long-term contract with him before next season since they’ve already picked up his 5th year option. They’ll be wanting to try to reduce his salary cap hit for next season so they can also focus on Bell, Beachum, Spence, Gay and a few others.

  • Riverstko

    Good play by DeCastro. He pulled, blocked then fell back. That was funny it looked like a wrestling move. The chargers d didnt want any part of that.

  • Back2the50th

    Another injury? I don’t remember him being the cause of one. Might be my memory though…

  • George Kroger

    Thought Bell actually misread the whole – thought it was bigger than it was. If Bell goes outside, DeCastro’s block isn’t needed and he walks into the endzone (instead of given us all a heart attack).

    IMO, DeCastro will go to the Pro Bowl this year.

  • Julius at midfield

    Obstinate, oblivious and unobservant; you should have a career in main stream media.

  • Julius at midfield

    Bell needed a more direct route. The snap and his momentary delay cost about 1.5 seconds, he didn’t have the time to go wider. Bell has football instincts that go beyond once in a generation. Using Williams early in games is imperative for several reasons. Never putting Bell into a route that allowed dirt bag RN to take him out is also imperative. The asinine 3rd down play in Raven game with Bell’s head turned the wrong way could have been a disaster. Haley and Tomlin are theoretical, Bell and Ben’s play call are real world. That’s why Noll gave Moon Mullin’s QB Terry freedom to call plays. In game reference was made to Rivers being a player coach, that’s what we have with Ben. I’ve got this hope that Ben is back for Bengals and offense except MP is intact and the D keeps improving and Dan, Shaz & Boykin contribute. And somebody takes out Nelson and the other 31 owners get a judgment that puts Brady back into compliance during the playoffs unless NS puts him on IR when they play Miami.

  • You are a complete moron. lol

  • SMH

  • I wasn’t ‘hijacking’ anything, moron! lol I said earlier that I had put this here for Alex to read. I really don’t care what any one else, other than the moderators here think. At least I take the time give my review of the game. Not some one paragraph response. It’s how I roll. You don’t like it, don’t read it. SMH

  • You don’t like it, don’t read it.

  • Pro Bowler? What world are you on?

  • No. Just stating my thoughts on the game. I like writing about the team, as you can tell. Rivers were gashing our defense, especially because of the fact that it was so humid out there and our defense was very tired. There was a very good chance that the Chargers would have scored a TD on us in the first drive of OT if they would have gotten the ball first. Not guaranteed, I know, but very well could have happened. Thank you for not being so immature with derogatory comments like a few of the others.

  • Because my previous comment was too long for some to handle, I’ve decided to post it under a more appropriate article. I was getting tired of all the crying going on here. lol & smh

  • Because my previous comment was too long for some to handle, I’ve decided to post it under a more appropriate article written here by Alex Kozora. I was getting tired of all the crying going on here. lol & smh

  • Because my previous comment was too long for some to handle, I’ve decided to post it under a more appropriate article written here by Alex Kozora. I was getting tired of all the crying going on. lol & smh

  • Tip to you: Quit crying. If you don’t like reading something that’s too long for you to handle, just scroll past it.

  • NinjaMountie

    You’re going off on everyone after you call a player a “big dork” and write an extremely long post. You could have probably got away with one of them, but both together was the kicker. C’mon man, you have to know that was a little long. Personally, I didn’t mind, but it’s definitely gonna draw some fire.

  • PittsburghSports

    awww, don’t be so sensitive lol. Stick to the point of the article though. Kinda disrespectful to Steelers Depot. Yinz know?

  • lol The only sensitive ones here are the babies who bothered to complain about it in the first place. ‘Awww’? LMAO

  • I write extremely long comments because I’m passionate about the team. Instead of posting it in a game review thread, I posted it here. OMG! It’s the end of the world! I reposted it in here under an article where it’s more ‘applicable’.

    lol Yes, I think DeCastro is clumsy. So what? Watch the final play of the game. When they show the overhead slow motion view, you’ll see DeCastro being knocked around like a pinball. He really did nothing on that play to help Bell. It looks much different from the side view, but just watch the view I just told you about. DeCastro has gotten better, but he’s far from ‘great’, and I doubt he ever will be. He’s reached his peak, and it’s not a very high one. I’m not going off on anyone here. I’m simply telling the ones who made comments about me, how I feel. I’m not going to sit back while others ridicule me because I made a comment about a guy they clearly want to marry. If these guys love DeCastro that much, have him get in touch with me, and he can tell me what HE thinks of ME. lol

    Also, that ‘Jujius’ guy says I’m obstinate, oblivious and unobservant? There isn’t one thing in that super-duper, extra-long comment I wrote that would describe me as any of those. I made a comment about DeCastro they didn’t like so they went off like a bunch of monthly rag dolls.

    OMG! I’d better stop now. This comment is waaaaaaaaaaaaay too long. Okay, drama queens, give it to me! LMAO (Really, I’m actually laughing my ass off.) HeheheheheheheheheheheheHA! 😀 I’m so done with this childish BS. Yinz can respond to this all you want. A reply from me will not be seen. Not here, anyway. 😉

    G’night, queens.

  • NinjaMountie

    It’s all good. My biggest issue isn’t with the length of the article; it’s the DD thing. I can understand people having different opinions of players when they are newly drafted or in development, I don’t understand the flyer opinions on an established and young player. I mean, it’s almost completely unanimous that DD is a great OG. This is a player with established film of being a pretty good NFL OG. This isn’t an opinion or speculation anymore….he’s done it and is doing it.

  • PittsburghSports

    Hey, don’t let us spoil your passion lol, if you like extremely long posts, then write them. It’s just kinda tacky to post all that on an article having noting to do with your recap, or whatever it was, and post the same recap on multiple articles.

  • Work Toward

    When he negligently took Pouncey out … Remember..?

  • Back2the50th

    Sorry I didn’t pay enough attention to the preseason at the time it happened.