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Old 08-23-2012, 08:50 AM   #1
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Default Steelers rookie DeCastro slowly opens up

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...d-nfl-physical

At some point during nearly every NFL player’s rookie season, there is a moment of realization that ultimately defines a career.

For some, it’s understanding that shutting down that defensive end from East Carolina was infinitesimally easier than containing Terrell Suggs. That the tackles they broke in college are tackles behind the line of scrimmage in the everybody-is-good NFL. That the degree they once considered a nicety but not a necessity might be required after all.

These are the guys that don’t make it.

For the fortunate ones, the game slows down, the hits suddenly don’t seem as hard, the playbook isn’t as indecipherable as it once was. Right about then, they correctly perceive they will have an NFL career that is measured in seasons, not just in weeks.
These are the David DeCastros of the NFL.

DeCastro, the right guard who will become — barring injury — only the fourth rookie lineman to start a Pittsburgh season opener, isn’t about to proclaim he has arrived or that his transition from Stanford to the Steelers is complete. Then again, arguably the quietest player in the locker room doesn’t proclaim much at all.

“When I was playing beside him, I was like, ‘Am I talking too much to you?’ He said, ‘No, no you’re fine, it’s me, I’m just quiet,’ ” Ramon Foster said Wednesday. “That’s just him. You can’t get a bead on him.”

Even if offensive line coach Sean Kugler thinks he has.

“He doesn’t make mistakes, he’s physical and he understands the game,” Kugler said. “He has made drastic improvements, and I think that’s what he is going to be all about.”

DeCastro’s speak-when-spoken-to demeanor was misread early on by some as being confusion, but his play in the first two preseason games has quieted that talk.

“His technique has gotten a lot better, and his double-team blocks (are impressive),” center Maurkice Pouncey said. “He’s finishing, man, you can see it. He’s driving guys to the ground and running down the field whenever we have long runs. It’s exciting to watch.”

Even if the 6-foot-5, 316-pound DeCastro manages to hide any excitement. He is businesslike at all times, even during the sometimes lively position meetings in which his fellow linemen often must coax him to open up.

“It’s a great group of guys,” DeCastro said.

For DeCastro, this is a virtual monologue.

Asked if he feels any more comfortable now than he did when camp opened nearly a month ago, DeCastro replied, “It’s going all right. … It’s just a process getting there. I’m sure I’ll get more comfortable every day.”

Left tackle Max Starks believes DeCastro is close to being there already, even though a truly accurate assessment of the rookie’s progression can’t be made until the regular season arrives in 2½ weeks.

“He’s a very intelligent kid, and he’s also a very physical individual,” Starks said. “Now that everything has slowed down for him, I think he’s starting to play a lot more settled. Therefore, he’s allowed to be more physical because he’s not having to think as much.”

Not that thinking has ever been a problem for a student who had a 4.06 grade-point average in high school and was a management, science and engineering major at Stanford.

“I’ve got to give it to him. He’s been a pro about everything; he knows the book,” Foster said, referring to the playbook. “The physical part will come. It’s a longer season, and I’m sure he’ll handle it well. Most rookies have a wall, but I think he’s a unique guy and I honestly don’t think he’ll hit it.”

What Foster likes is that DeCastro is the kind of “road grader” that all good running backs and quarterbacks seem to have in front of them — a player who, despite his size, possesses good feet, good hands and excellent flexibility.
“He’s going really fast,” Foster said.

And, to Kugler, it’s in the right direction.

“I don’t expect to look back when it comes to David DeCastro,” he said.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:16 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers rookie DeCastro slowly opens up

But what about his 1:1 drills... don't those matter???  What!?!... actual game-play is far more important!?!  

Really though, I watched the kid for two years... waiting... hoping... and the Steelers got him.  I haven't been this excited about a player since BB.

DD is like Troy: once it truly "hits", he is going to be insane!!!  
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers rookie DeCastro slowly opens up

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But what about his 1:1 drills... don't those matter???  What!?!... actual game-play is far more important!?!  

Really though, I watched the kid for two years... waiting... hoping... and the Steelers got him.  I haven't been this excited about a player since BB.

DD is like Troy: once it truly "hits", he is going to be insane!!!  
True, but the majority of fans will just watch the receiver routes and applaud the running backs that can now gain good yardage behind our rebuilt interior line. They will soon forget how DeCastro, Pouncey, Colon make things easier for Ben, the WRs and RBs.

DeCastro is a beast!
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:13 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers rookie DeCastro slowly opens up

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True, but the majority of fans will just watch the receiver routes and applaud the running backs that can now gain good yardage behind our rebuilt interior line. They will soon forget how DeCastro, Pouncey, Colon make things easier for Ben, the WRs and RBs.

DeCastro is a beast!
Very, very true. That said, it is a nice "ignorance" to have.

Furthermore, here is why I like watching games with my brother: he is one fo the few people who "get" that the O-line is the key to EVERYTHING. He watched the first series of the INDY pre-season game. and he commented, "Wow... BB actually has some blocking... this is going to be a good year."

My brother is a beast... a huge, strong beast... with great upside... and tons of potential.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers rookie DeCastro slowly opens up

Ah, the what have you done for me 1 min ago culture of sports. Where players, moron fans and executives in their respected franchises worry about what the (bleep) (bleep)s of BSPN think about and how they can keep bloggers out of their hair.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers rookie DeCastro slowly opens up

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My brother is a beast... a huge, strong beast... with great upside... and tons of potential.
Cool, have to post some film of him so we can overanalyze if he is a heavy legged waist bender, a dancing bear, or looks like Tarzan but plays like Jane.

As a poster..........youre a Beast!!
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers rookie DeCastro slowly opens up

and that, was a beast of a compliment
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers rookie DeCastro slowly opens up

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My brother is a beast... a huge, strong beast... with great upside... and tons of potential.
So is my sister-in-law
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers rookie DeCastro slowly opens up

I cannot figure out if this idea of needing to get DeCastro to "open up" and share his feelings is the vets just hazing the rook or whether they are serious

I have visions of DeCastro needing to break down in tears over his difficulty in mastering the plays and then telling the O-line "you complete me" (followed by a bro hug?) before DeCastro is determined to have properly lowered his emotional barriers
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers rookie DeCastro slowly opens up

Decastro: "So I told her, 'no way, not interested, and besides the funeral looks like a lot more fun . . .'"
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