Film Room: David DeCastro Loses Repeatedly To Outside Rush

In terms of overall play, I think it would be fair to say that David DeCastro has been the Pittsburgh Steelers’ best offensive lineman, and one of the top guards in the game this year. But he didn’t help his case with his showing on Sunday against the Jaguars.

Not that it was all bad, but there were enough ugly moments to compile the following lowlight reel. And to be clear, this is a sampling specifically of negative plays, not to be construed as an accurate overview of his entire showing.

The ugliness crept up early on, from the second offensive play of the game. He was beaten to his outside by Malik Jackson, who in winning the matchup ran into Chris Hubbard. With DeCastro trying to recover, that allowed the now free Calais Campbell to loop inside and put pressure on Ben Roethlisberger to influence a negative throw.

Early in the second quarter, it was Sheldon Day who was able to win outside on a similar move, though this time he didn’t get home.

These two plays are important to note, because DeCastro lost too many battles this same way. Ultimately he was called for a hold after being beaten against this method, as seen in the cover image, which negated a touchdown pass that would have made it a one-score game.

Late in the half, it was Jackson again, continuing to exploit DeCastro’s mysteriously susceptible outside shoulder, ripping underneath and pressuring Roethlisberger, pawing at the football as he went by, but the quarterback protected the asset and got off a throw that at least picked up four yards.

Early in the second half, the Steelers attempted to run their staple counter run, but both lead blockers failed to pick up their defenders, which resulted in a very rare five-yard loss for Le’Veon Bell.

At the end of the third quarter, the Jaguars put Campbell over DeCastro, showing a power rush that knocked the guard off his base. That allowed the talented rusher to penetrate inside, flushing Roethlisberger out of the pocket, which allowed Dante Fowler to scrape off of Hubbard’s block for the critical sack on third down.

This was probably DeCastro’s worst game in pass protection since perhaps his rookie season, when he played just three games late in the season after coming back from a torn MCL. It was just ugly too often, and that can’t happen again. The Jaguars clearly won the battle of physicality.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

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

  • lone pistol

    I may be just signaling him out but i hear his number called a lot this year for penalties.

  • Smitty 6788

    I think Pouncey has been the best OL thus far.

  • Iulo

    last year was worse…. at this time of the season many were complaining about his recent contract extension… he was really an issue last year until week8 I think..
    this year was ok, even many said he was very good.
    I hear once, the opinion is not changing, but the news… so If people were satisfied with him it was because he was playing good, but if you think he is an issue right now then he is…

  • Steel Realist PAul

    We’ve definitely seen the line take a step or two backward from even where they were at the start of last year. AV having troubles as well, by comparison.

  • treeher

    His penalties are killing us.

  • Rocksolid20

    The line played so good last year , maybe we expected too much .
    Pouncey has been the one constant .

  • WreckIess

    Yeah. 4 times in 5 games so far. Most of any linemen and tied with Juju and Artie for the most on the team.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Agreed. Foster has been pretty solid too. Just so weird how the NFL is, where no new players in the group but performance changes significantly.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Interesting that DeCastro has been presented in the article as having a good year. Seems to me that he has been the offender in quite a few negative play s this year.

  • Rocksolid20

    He has when he’s in , I just didn’t add him because of lost
    injury time .

  • bob_1

    I agree that this wasn’t DeCastro’s best game, but I don’t think it was that bad. In the first two clips, the fault was more Hubbard’s than DeCastro’s. Calais Campbell totally dominated Hubbard on those plays, thus creating most of the problem. Also worth noting, DeCastro pursued all of the blocks long enough to allow Ben to throw the ball. This game certainly wasn’t DeCastro’s best work, but many of his teammates played much worse. His game will look much better once Gilbert returns.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I couldn’t disagree with your more in assigning the blame to Hubbard on those plays. Especially the second one, which doesn’t seem to make much sense at all. But on the first one, it was clearly DeCastro getting beat and hit man running into Hubbard that allowed the defender Hubbard was trying to block to loop inside of DeCastro. The same thing happened on the Dante Fowler sack.

  • Steve

    Pouncy is our best OL and Hubbard is not doing much in Gilbert’s absence.

  • Woodsworld

    Campbell has a distinct size advantage over Hubbard. DeCatasro, doesn’t keep his feet wide enough, and under his body, then he losses leverage.

  • MC

    Cannot wait to have Gilbert back. I expect a better performance against a good d line in the chiefs this week.

  • Kevin artis

    AV is not having a stellar start either.