A quick and somewhat irreverent look at Guard David DeCastro
by Rebecca Rollett
When David DeCastro fell to the Steelers in the 2012 draft at Pick #24 in the first round, the reaction around Steeler Nation was everything from pleased to seriously ecstatic.
This was probably best expressed by the commentor who said “We got a pony for Christmas!!!!!” I think there may have been some other words in there, too, but that was the gist of it.
While guards do not typically get drafted in the first round, at least by the Steelers, the general feeling was that this was a special case, potentially a once-in-a-generation player. Charged at Stanford with protecting Andrew Luck, with whom he is still close, DeCastro was someone for whom many Steeler fans had pined during the run-up to the draft, but never thought they would see in a Steelers uniform.
DeCastro, perhaps not surprisingly, did not immediately come in and turn a struggling offensive line into an All-Pro unit. After all, there is only one of him. And whatever unreasonable expectations may have devolved on him, an injury in the 2012 preseason to both his ACL and MCL took a lot of the shine off of the pick for the moment.
However, with the limelight gone, (and the limelight doesn’t seem to be a place he seemed comfortable with,) DeCastro has spent the past two seasons quietly becoming a force in the Steelers offense. And this season coach Mike Munchak isn’t quiet about him at all. But we will be writing more on this in the weeks to come.
For the moment I will just share the sentiments I expressed at the time he was drafted. I wasn’t serious, of course. But I thought perhaps it might help to temper the somewhat over-the-top enthusiasm at the time. And so, without further ado, here is my
I know, I know. I keeping hearing about how David DeCastro is the best, most pro-ready guard to be available for at least ten years. Last season we had a revolving door at guard in which the coaching staff kept trying to plug the holes in the dyke with prayer and bubble gum. Ben Roethlisberger is clearly less effective when essentially missing the use of several critical body parts. I get all that. So I’m sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but there are reasons I can’t get excited about this pick. In fact, here are the
Top Ten Reasons I’m Upset About the Steelers’ Choice of David DeCastro
# 10. The guy was a Seahawks fan. Come on. Clearly he isn’t as intelligent as one would like in such a critical position. I thought Stanford guys were supposed to be smart.
#9. And oh, by the way, he’s from Stanford. If he had been really serious about football he would have gone to a real school like Alabama. When’s the last time a decent football player came out of Stanford?
#8. His parents were from South Africa. South Africa is a foreign country. Somewhere a long way away, possibly on a different continent. We don’t like foreigners in Pittsburgh. (Troy Polamalu gets a pass, because Samoa is a lot like Hawaii.)
#7. Have you seen how big he is? This guy is huge! Do you realize that 316 lbs. is the combined weight of Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, and a couple of jumbo sized Thanksgiving turkeys?
#6. He only got 34 reps on the bench press. If you’re going to weigh more than two wide receivers and a couple of large fowl, you should be able to do 100 or so. Everybody knows that.
#5. He gives the Steelers no positional flexibility. He just plays guard. A first round pick should be able to cover more than one spot. I was hoping to get someone to double as the placekicker.
#4. Are any of you who are so excited about this pick aware he didn’t play in a SINGLE GAME as a freshman in college? That brings his experience level into serious question.
#3. He apparently doesn’t know how to “party hearty.” Here’s what Andrew Luck had to say about him: “He is so serious he sometimes thinks a high five after a touchdown is too frivolous because it might break concentration.” And you thought I was a Debbie Downer!
#2. He clearly has anger management issues. Here’s what his coach said: “He arrives angry and focused and expects everybody else to be the same.” Like we want a team where everybody is angry and focused…
And my top reason for being upset about this pick:
#1. I won’t get to see Ben doing that awesome little routine nearly as often anymore. You know, the one in the backfield where he hobbles out of the pocket so he can throw the ball away with about three large guys from the other team hanging on him.
Oh, well, I guess I have to trust the Front Office knew what they were doing here. Kevin Colbert had better be worrying about my next ten-year draft assessment!
I’ll try to make the best of it, though. After all, with the help of the training and coaching staff I expect he can drop some of that excess weight, and with the help of Troy Polamalu he can learn to lighten up and not be so hard on himself. And I’m sure he’ll come to see in time the Steelers are a better team than Seattle, even though he had the disadvantage of a Stanford education.
Oh, and welcome to the Steelers, Mr. DeCastro!
I guess, despite my misgivings, he’s working out okay. Just ask Mike Munchak…