View Full Version : Steelers DeCastro & Adams Off To Slow Start, No Need To Panic

08-04-2012, 02:56 AM
Steelers DeCastro & Adams Off To Slow Start, No Need To Panic

Aug 3rd, 2012 by CraigSteelers

We’ve been saying over here in not so many words that rookies David DeCastro and Mike Adams will be the saving grace for the Steelers’ offensive line…. like right away. There’s not enough Heinz 57 for me to lather up my hat for consumption if this isn’t the case. From early reports at OTA’s and mini camps, Adams was becoming a fast learner. DeCastro, being the first rounder, has been placed on a rather high pedestal of expectations. But, according to Chris Adamski of cbssports.com, either one has yet to become a ‘done deal’ as the new starters at guard and tackle.

DeCastro has been seen beaten during blocking drills – and not by Troy Polamalu either, but by third year Al Woods. Of course coming in as a rookie is a tough spot to be in. The NFL is a completely different level of intensity and skill. It will take time to adjust and DeCastro recognizes that he has a lot of work to do. And let’s not forget that it’s only the end of the first full week of camp. There’s a long road ahead. The same goes for Adams. Trai Essex has been leading the way at left tackle with Adams following. Max Starks, though listed on the PUP is around to act as mentor for the first year man out of Ohio State.

There’s plenty of time for these two young men to keep learning, refining those skills, and eventually step into starting rolls by the beginning of the season. As one of our readers so strongly put, Steelers’ offensive line coach Sean Kugler is a fantastic coach, and will be great in grooming all of these players to gel together as a cohesive offensive line. I still see some great strides taken by this line over the coming season. The offense will be more effective overall for it, and Big Ben will be a happier little camper with his head in the clouds and not 3 inches deep in the turf.

Hey, not every rookie the Steelers draft can be a Maurkice Pouncey. And even he had some growing pains over his first year. Panic not Steeler Nation – you can still trade in that Wallace jersey for a DeCastro #66.


08-04-2012, 07:14 AM
In other news, after one week of OTAs Rainey has yet to have learned the entire play book. It appears the 2012 draft class is a bust.

08-04-2012, 08:38 AM
And Spence hasn't displaced Foote. Bust #4.

08-04-2012, 06:04 PM
Ed: Adams Promoted to First Team


Mike Adams, the Steelers second-round draft choice, has been promoted to the first team at left tackle. Adams leapfrogged over veteran Trai Essex the past few days. Coach Mike Tomlin said Adams earned that promotion and he will continue to run with the first team.

The question now becomes whether Adams or Max Starks will open the season as the starting left tackle. Starks is on the physically unable to perform list after ACL surgery in January but indications are he will be ready to play for the start of the regular season.

In today's goalline drills, the defense crushed the offense, stopping them short on five of seven plays from the 1 1/2 yardline.


08-04-2012, 08:35 PM
Bustacastro. ;)

08-05-2012, 11:12 PM
Making the Leap: Mike Adams Moves Into the Starting Lineup at Tackle

August 5th, 2012 Matt Loede


The Steelers appear to be on the verge of a changing of the guard. Or in this case, a changing of the tackle.

Mike Adams, the Ohio State tackle the team took in the second round of this past April’s NFL Draft, is moving up the charts, and according to Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette, he’s lining up with the #1′s in camp.

Mike Adams moved up to the starting left tackle job in just one week of his rookie training camp. That’s quicker than even Maurkice Pouncey moved into the top spot at center his rookie season in 2010. There’s still one thing left for Adams to do, however. He must beat out last year’s starter, Max Starks, who is currently on the PUP list but should be ready to go before the season begins. Mike Tomlin said on Saturday that Adams is “far from ready,” yet it looks as though he will start the first preseason game on Ben Roethlisberger’s blind side Thursday night against the Eagles in Philadelphia.

There was some panic due to the fact that both Adams and David DeCastro were not starting right off the bat. All seems calm now, as Adams has moved into his number one role, and while DeCastro hasn’t, the move to having him start on the O-line will soon enough.


08-06-2012, 01:32 PM
Bustacastro. ;)

That's DeBustro to you. :p

Seriously, though...I think the only reason that Adams has been promoted to the starting lineup first is that Ramon Foster is a much more competant NFL RG than Trai Essex is an NFL LT. Plus, DeCastro needs to work on his interviewing skills before being named a starter. ;) The team is giving Foster (who has started 26 out of 41 games in 3 seasons) an opportunity to start at least 1 preseason game before he is replaced. Essex, on the other hand, has been a backup for all but one season of his 7 year NFL career, so it is not surprising that Adams has already passed him for a position like LT that requires a certain degree of athletic ability in order to prevent your QB from getting killed. I'd say if Max Starks were healthy, DeCastro would be starting at RG before Adams would be starting at LT.

08-06-2012, 01:37 PM
I'd be surprised if DeCastro isn't starting by week 1, and shocked if he isn't starting by week 6. Due to their school schedules, these guys missed most of the offseason work, so it doesn't surprise me that it's taken them more than a week of training camp to become entrenched starters.

I think Starks/Adams, as Ruthless pointed out, is a closer call because Starks is a better starter. When he is healthy, it wouldn't surprise me if Starks is inserted with the first team. I think the Steelers will make Adams earn the LT position, and just from looking at the depth chart, veterans are typically viewed as the incumbents, especially at this stage.

08-06-2012, 01:46 PM
I'm surprised how well put together Adams looks in his pics. I usually expect these big guys to be a little sloppy and take a year or 2 in the NFL weight room to turn their body into an NFL body. With the way he looks already, he may turn into the Incredible Hulk next year and throw around a guy like Ngata or Suh like a rag doll - not that he'll ever have to block those guys per se.

08-06-2012, 07:54 PM
DeCastro will be the starter this season. Not that Adams doesn't have a shot at being a starter but, DeCastro will stand more of a chance of being a starter.

08-06-2012, 08:32 PM
Rookie offensive tackle Adams earning Steelers snaps, trust

By F. Dale Lolley
Aug 5, 2012

LATROBE – At 6-7, 323 pounds, offensive tackle Mike Adams cuts an imposing figure.

That hasn’t stopped some teammates from taking a run at the Steelers’ rookie during training camp here at Saint Vincent College.

Adams’ tenacity on the football field has already gotten him into a brief skirmish or two, most often with former Ohio State teammate Cameron Heyward.

The two went at it again Friday night during the Steelers’ practice at Latrobe Stadium, with Heyward taking offense after Adams knocked him to the ground during a team drill.

While they don’t necessarily like teammates fighting, the coaching staff seems to have taken notice of the second-round draft pick’s tenacity. Adams was moved up to the first-team offensive line Saturday, sliding ahead of veteran Trai Essex.

“Mike’s been doing a nice job. He’s earning those snaps,” said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. “But again, he’s far from ready.”

Adams, however, is certainly moving in the right direction, something many wondered would ever happen after his final season at Ohio State.

Adams missed the first five games of the 2011 season for his part in receiving illegal benefits at Ohio State. Then, he tested positive for marijuana at the NFL draft combine.

The Steelers initially took him off of their draft board following his positive drug test. But Adams, a native of Farrell, set an appointment with Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert and Tomlin and begged for a second chance.

Considered by most to have first-round talent, Adams slipped to the second round, where he was selected by the Steelers.

Thus far, he’s been making the most of his second chance.

But lurking in the background is Max Starks, the team’s starter at left tackle for most of 2011.

Starks suffered a torn ACL at the end of last season, but the Steelers re-signed him just prior to the start of training camp. Starks is currently on the physically unable to perform list but has been working out with trainer Marcel Pastoor during Steelers practices. He’s also been helping Adams with the transition to the NFL.

“Having a guy like Max is priceless to my development,” Adams said. “Max is a guy who’s been doing it for a long time at a high level, so just to have him here to help me is something I’m really grateful for.”

Adams wasn’t the only Steelers rookie working with the first-team offense Saturday.

No. 1 draft pick David DeCastro was moved into a starting role at right guard after Ramon Foster shifted over to left guard in place of Willie Colon, who sat out Saturday with a sore ankle.

“He’s been doing a nice job of representing himself, so we’ll see where it goes,” said Tomlin. “I wasn’t watching him specifically. I’ll look at that tonight on tape. Just in general, he’s been representing himself well.”


08-06-2012, 08:38 PM
So your saying Heyward is a bust :D

Eddie Spaghetti
08-06-2012, 08:54 PM
guess ramon foster doesn't read the board and realize he has no business being on an NFL roster.

even money says he is the week 1 starter in denver.

good for him to compete hard for his job.

08-06-2012, 09:07 PM
I think it's great that we have these guys coming into their own finally, fighting for their jobs and trying to improve and trying to be the starter. We are seeing the youth movement here and kind of a rebuilding situation also. No....I take that back about rebuilding because we were never down to need to come back up but, it's nice to see we have young guys taking over now.

08-06-2012, 10:11 PM
Why did DeCastro drop in the draft? I know its early but people were talking like he was the truth. just wondering if he was available because he needs time to get acclimated.

08-06-2012, 10:41 PM
Why did DeCastro drop in the draft? I know its early but people were talking like he was the truth. just wondering if he was available because he needs time to get acclimated.

Probably because teams took 50 year old quarterbacks (dur) and reached for defensive players (Seattle). There are always teams that draft way outside the projections causing guys to fall.

08-07-2012, 09:55 AM
Probably because teams took 50 year old quarterbacks (dur) and reached for defensive players (Seattle). There are always teams that draft way outside the projections causing guys to fall.

lol.. yeah there were a few WTF draft picks this year. Just wondering if we picked up a "sure thing" after hearing how he would be long gone by 24.

08-07-2012, 10:00 AM
I've been hearing a lot of positive reviews about Adams thus far. Even moreso than DeCastro. On the other hand, I've been hearing a lot of good things from Foster. I'm not saying that Foster is terrible but do you really start him over DeCastro week 1 even if he has the slight upper hand?

IMO, you still start DeCastro even if Foster played slightly better in camp.

08-07-2012, 01:46 PM
I've been hearing a lot of positive reviews about Adams thus far. Even moreso than DeCastro. On the other hand, I've been hearing a lot of good things from Foster. I'm not saying that Foster is terrible but do you really start him over DeCastro week 1 even if he has the slight upper hand?

IMO, you still start DeCastro even if Foster played slightly better in camp.

I've been the biggest DeCastro supporter throughout the entire draft process, but if Foster plays even slightly better in camp, then Foster deserves to get the nod. It should be all about what you show on the field, not your pedigree. If DeCastro doesn't start from day one, that doesn't make him a bust or anything. Faneca didn't start from day one, and he turned out pretty okay, I would say.

08-07-2012, 04:20 PM
Mike Adams and David DeCastro will both start Thursday night

Posted by Josh Alper on August 7, 2012


When the Steelers made Mike Adams and David DeCastro their first two picks of the draft, it wasn’t hard to see them stepping right into starting roles on the offensive line.

That’s just what they’ve done. Coach Mike Tomlin said Adams and DeCastro will start at left tackle and right guard, respectively, on Thursday night against the Eagles when the Steelers kick off their preseason schedule.

All reports out of Steelers camp have Adams looking ready for the job of protecting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s blind side. The team’s decision to sign Max Starks strengthens the depth, assuming Starks is able to get off the PUP list and onto the field, but it doesn’t appear his presence will push Adams out of the starting job.

DeCastro’s hold on the job isn’t quite as secure. Reviews of his play haven’t been quite as strong and Ramon Foster has been making every effort to hold onto his job against the rookie. With Willie Colon out this week, Foster will play left guard so the battle should resume. According to a conversation he had with Roethlisberger, DeCastro’s problem is physical.

“I talked to him the other day,” Roethlisberger said, via the Beaver Times Online. “I said, ‘How you doing? Evaluate yourself.’ He said ‘It’s different.’ I said ‘What do you mean?’ He said it’s tough. I said ‘What’s the tough part, the mental or the physical?’ He said, ‘The mental part I got. The physical is a lot tougher. These guys are really good.’”

There’s a lot of camp and preseason left for DeCastro to get a handle on the physical side of things. If he does, there’s not much chance he’s giving up the starting spot.


08-07-2012, 06:30 PM
Posted: Monday, August 6, 2012

by Mike Bires mbires@timesonline.com

** It would be unfair to call David DeCastro the major camp underachiever. But for a guy who came in with so much hype, the former All-American guard from Stanford has not dazzled. Admittedly, his transition to the pro game hasn’t been easy.

But not to worry. Eventually, he’ll be fine.

** Keenan Lewis is holding on to the starting job at the left cornerback spot. But he’s being pushed by second-year pro Cortez Allen, the former Citadel star who seems to improve each day. The Steeler coaches love their three young corners: Lewis, Allen and Curtis Brown, another second-year pro.

** The more I see of Chris Rainey, the more I like this little scatback (who’s only 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds). His speed surely has intrigued offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who’s giving Rainey a lot of reps to show what he can do.

** Drew Butler could be the Steelers’ new punter.

It’s certainly alarming that Jeremy Kapinos is having back problems and coach Mike Tomlin admitting Sunday that he’s ”week to week.”

Butler is an undrafted free agent rookie out of Georgia who was a quality punter in college. He was a two-time All-American (2009 and 2010). In ’09, he won the Ray Guy Award, presented each year to the best punter in college football.

Let's see how Butler fares Thursday in Philly.


08-08-2012, 02:06 AM
Steelers Smart To Start DeCastro and Adams On Thursday?

Aug 7th, 2012 by CraigSteelers


The Steelers Willie Colon’s body must hate football. Seriously, what other explanation is there as to why this guy continually gets hurt and hurt early in the football season. This time his body doesn’t even want to play the first preseason game against the Eagles.

On Tuesday, Mike Tomlin announced that the two rookie lineman – David DeCastro and Mike Adams – would start against the Eagles this Thursday night in the team’s first preseason game. And while that’s a fine option when you have a guy like Colon go down, is it a little early to be starting the two? Is it dicey to be starting them for the first time during the same game? They’ve had some growing pains during camp. If they struggle, will it hurt them more than help them?

On the other side of the coin, this could be the shining moment for these two. Questions about their readiness to play in the NFL with their late starts to OTA’s and mini-camps have been abundant. They could quickly quiet their critics and solidify their spots on the offensive line.

So what will it be Steeler Nation? DeCastro/Adams starting – good or potentially disastrous?

Are Steelers Right In Starting DeCastro And Adams In Same Game?

Yes - Some mistakes will be made but it will be a great lesson for them (77%, 17 Votes)

Yes - DeCastro and Adams are ready and will do just fine (23%, 5 Votes)

No - it could potentially be disastrous for both of them AND Big Ben (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 22


08-09-2012, 02:20 PM
It's showtime for three Steelers rookies

Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2012
By Mike Bires mbires@timesonline.com


First-round draft pick David DeCastro hasn't impressed so far in training camp but the Steelers believe it's only a matter of time before the offensive lineman is a star at the NFL level.

More than anything, tonight’s game is about rookies. Sure, most of the Steelers’ regulars will play a series or two but they’ll be off the field before they hardly break a sweat. All they want to do is knock off some rust. The most exciting thing about the first preseason game is watching high-profile draft picks, and certainly that will be the case this evening when the Steelers play the Eagles in Philadelphia. Times pro football writer Mike Bires takes a look at three rookies to keep a close eye on:


The highly-touted first-round draft pick admittedly has struggled at times during camp. But no one in the organization is alarmed. Even if the former Stanford All-American doesn’t open the regular season as the starting right guard, it’s only a matter of time before he does take over for Ramon Foster.

“He’s doing awesome, we love DeCastro,” said center Maurkice Pouncey, a 2010 first-round pick who’s been starting since the regular-season opener of his rookie season. “He’s a physical player and I’m sure he’ll turn it on in a game. And we can’t wait to see it.”

DeCastro will start tonight at right guard because Foster is replacing the injured Willie Colon (ankle) at left guard. An impressive performance tonight could speed up the inevitable. DeCastro projects as a future star.

DeCastro told quarterback Ben Roethlisberger recently that he’s had some trouble with the physical aspect of his transition from college to pro. But he has the mental part down. He’s an intelligent, no-nonsense young man who knows his assignments.

“I just want to have fun, play the game and enjoy it,” DeCastro said of tonight’s game. “It’s a chance to hit someone other than your teammates. I just want to play physical and with a lot of effort.”


It won’t exactly be a baptism by fire for Adams, the Steelers’ second-round draft pick. Tonight when he starts at left tackle, he won’t have to line up against right defensive end Trent Cole, whose 68 career sacks have him third on the Eagles’ all-time list behind Reggie White (124) and Clyde Simmons (76). Cole, a two-time Pro Bowler, won’t play tonight as he rehabs a shoulder injury.

Still, the Steelers are excited to see how Adams handles himself in a game situation. The former Ohio State star has been a pleasant surprise during camp, but now he’s anxious to see how he fares under game conditions.

“When you get in a real atmosphere, it’s even more of an evaluation," Adams said. “My goal every day is just get better than I was the day before.”

Adams started camp on the second team behind veteran Trai Essex but he was recently moved up to first string. If he holds his own, Adams may keep the starting job even when Max Starks (knee) returns from the physically unable to perform list.


Of all the Steelers draft picks, no one has created such a buzz in camp as the scatback from Florida. At 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds, Rainey may be small but he was an electrifying jitterbug in college and the Steelers are intrigued by his possibilities on the pro level.

Tonight, Rainey, a fifth-round pick, will first be used on punt and kickoff returns. Later in the game, he’ll get reps at running back.

“Everybody loves Chris right now,” said Pouncey, whose parents allowed Rainey to live with the family during his high school years in Lakeland, Fla. “When you have that type of player, a Darren Sproles type player, it’s awesome. I know Chris is excited and I know he’s ready.”

Sproles, who’s 5-6 and 190, plays running back and returns kicks for the New Orleans Saints. He accounted for 2,696 all-purpose yards and 10 TDs last year.

“I feel great,” Rainey said. “If I’m not getting ripped (by my coaches), I know I’m doing something right. I’m ready for anything (tonight). I’ll do everything they ask me to do. I just want to do my job.”