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View Full Version : DeCasto Decison Soon Upon Us



Oviedo
10-30-2012, 01:22 PM
Me personally, I let him ride out the year getting healthy and he makes the Pro Bowl at RG next year. Thoughts?


Steelers brass faces a tough decision on activating rookie David DeCastro




By Neal Coolong on Oct 30, 7:49a




It's not as simple as it appears. Assuming DeCastro is healthy for full practice, activating him likely means tweaking the chemistry of an offensive line playing at a high level for the first time in a while. Keeping him on injured reserve for the rest of the year isn't out of play.

Talk about weirdness.
Roughly six months ago, SteelerNation was abuzz with probably the most popular draft pick in the last four decades when David DeCastro surprisingly fell to the Steelers in the later third of the first round.
It was referred to as a late Christmas present.
As it turns out, it seems like it will be more of a really early Christmas present; one to be opened close to a year after it was given. DeCastro is eligible to begin practice with the team, and the Steelers have three weeks from the day of his first practice to either be activated to the roster or placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.
Maybe we put our pony on layaway, Mr. Homer.
No one would have guessed, particularly after a two preseason games in which the Steelers struggled mightily to run the ball, the team would be best served by using those days wisely, fully considering all options, up to and including placing the prized rookie on the IR.
It's a good problem to have; activate DeCastro, and lose some depth at another position. Activate him and gain potentially the best lineman of the group.
Based on the massive increase of the Steelers' production on the ground, and the fact he would get no more than three days of practice to prepare him for his first regular season game, DeCastro won't be activated this week. The Steelers host Kansas City on Monday Night in Week 10, then a huge showdown with Baltimore in Pittsburgh. Road trips to Cleveland and Baltimore follow in Week 12 and 13, then San Diego at home in Week 14.
Frankly, all are winnable games if Pittsburgh can control the game on the ground. Two wins in three weeks over Baltimore and wins over the struggling Chargers and Chiefs, along with what looks to be a hard-fought battle with the Browns (would you have guessed Brandon Weeden, and not either Messiah Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III would lead rookies in passing touchdowns at the midway point of the season?) would all but give the Steelers the AFC North crown. That's reality.
Knowing that reality, ignoring the obvious improvement the team - especially its offensive line - has seen in winning three of its last four games, would be detrimental. Barring injury, how do the Steelers, in good conscious, plan to start DeCastro over Ramon Foster, who's game has improved quite a bit the last two weeks?
The answer is, "They don't."
Maybe the better question is whether DeCastro is simply the odd man out now.
Assuming the Steelers keep their five starters intact - LT Max Starks, LG Willie Colon, C Maurkice Pouncey, RG Foster, RT Mike Adams - with back-ups Doug Legursky (right and left guard and center) and Marcus Gilbert (either tackle position), it becomes a decision over whether the Steelers want to continue activating seven offensive linemen - a risky strategy but one they've been utilizing all season - or cut Beachum altogether, expose him to waivers while hoping to sign him to the practice squad while he could be signed to another team's active roster at any time.
Is it worth exposing to waivers for the sake of keeping a back-up guard, when you can keep both of them simply by placing DeCastro on the IR?
I will concede it's certainly possible Beachum or any number of Steelers younger players suffers a mysterious injury in practice and is placed on the IR (Internal Redshirt) himself.
It's an interesting question, and one, fortunately, the Steelers don't have to answer for three weeks.
On the flip side, doing the seemingly ridiculous thing in putting DeCastro on ice for the remainder of the year keeps the continuity of the group intact. As the saying goes, "don't fix what ain't broke." While there's little doubt who will have a better career overall, DeCastro over Foster, the chemistry and familiarity of an offensive line is critical. Or, they involve the neighbors in their domestic dispute, and cut a player from another position and keep nine offensive linemen. Certainly a plausible proposition, but one that carries with it the same risk when one doesn't know when or where the injury bug will strike.
It struck DeCastro, and every one of these arguments are created under the assumption DeCastro is 100 percent ready - or will be at the end of his 21-day grace period.
It's a near certainty, at the very least, the Steelers will wait until the very end of the three-week period to make any kind of decision. Whether DeCastro's clock begins ticking by practicing Wednesday (not a certainty) will help steer some of these questions toward resolution. Sometimes teams have to risk collapse in order to be great, and this carries with it the weight of being the biggest decision of the season.

Jigawatts
10-30-2012, 01:30 PM
The way our line is playing right now I agree with you. No need to rush him back unless someone else goes down.

SidSmythe
10-30-2012, 01:41 PM
I'm definately not for rushing him back. But getting him as much experience as possible without throwing him back into the starting lineup is a good thing.
If FOSTER can play at a level to keep him on the bench so be it.

SteelCrazy
10-30-2012, 01:47 PM
Dont need to rush him back, but if he's ready, let him play. If he's better than anyone else on the right or left, you got to play him if he is totally healed.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
10-30-2012, 03:02 PM
If he is fully healthy then he is brought back to sit until he earns his spot back. You do want him practicing with the big boys though, not standing around in his Duce gear watching. I would not disrupt the cohesion that this line is building unless needed, but a trusted backup is a good thing.

flippy
10-30-2012, 03:09 PM
DD is the stuff. If he's healthy, you bring him back and plug him in asap.

Kudos to Foster for the effort, but DD is in another class. He's potentially an All Pro Guard. And we may be best served getting him ready for the playoffs.

Oviedo
10-30-2012, 03:12 PM
DD is the stuff. If he's healthy, you bring him back and plug him in asap.

Kudos to Foster for the effort, but DD is in another class. He's potentially an All Pro Guard. And we may be best served getting him ready for the playoffs.

I agree with your assessemnt of DD but he has to be 100% healthy for me to bring him back. he has a steep learning curve and he doesn't need to be doing that with a nagging injury that may limit him.

Starlifter
10-30-2012, 03:45 PM
it's easy to overthink these things. he's a number one for a reason. if he gets the all clear from the docs - bring him on board. even if we suffer in the short term with more juggling, it will pay off in the long term. That's of course IF he's 100% ready to go. no need to rush at all, but if he's cleared - he's on the team.

lloydroid
10-30-2012, 03:50 PM
I can't say without knowing more details. But considering the amount of injuries we tend to have on the OL, I would activate him even if I didn't put him in the starting line up. I would not put him on IR if he is healthy. And let's not get to crazy and forget how bad this OL has been. Yes, we looked good this week, but let's also not forget that the Skins are missing BOTH of their top pass rushers; had they been at full strength, I think the Oline would look very different. And chances are, someone or two is going to go down on the OL, and we may need DD as we re-shuffle. If either Colon or Foster goes down, we will need DD. And, if it turns out that DD is superior to Foster, you got to plug him back in. A Starks, Colon, Pouncey, DD, Gilbert OL is intriguing.

Ghost
10-30-2012, 04:09 PM
But now that Pope has become a TD producing factory; I don't want to possibly deactivate him!

hawaiiansteel
10-30-2012, 04:15 PM
if DeCastro comes back we have to keep Gilbert as far away from him as possible...

pittpete
10-30-2012, 04:52 PM
This week will be a test for our O-line.
Giants are great up front

Eddie Spaghetti
10-30-2012, 05:35 PM
but Foster still sucks, right?

lol

hawaiiansteel
10-30-2012, 08:49 PM
but Foster still sucks, right?

lol

Ramon Foster is playing very well right now...

Shawn
10-31-2012, 08:17 AM
Haley is the biggest reason this line is playing with some swag. Quick passes have given this OL some confidence...and it has leaked out into a nastiness that has been embraced specifically by Colon.

BradshawsHairdresser
10-31-2012, 08:36 AM
if DeCastro comes back we have to keep Gilbert as far away from him as possible...
At this point, I'm thinking keep Gilbert as far away from ANYONE on this team as possible. I'd be calling Arians or Whiz to see if they'd be interested in dealing for him. Seriously.

Oviedo
10-31-2012, 09:07 AM
At this point, I'm thinking keep Gilbert as far away from ANYONE on this team as possible. I'd be calling Arians or Whiz to see if they'd be interested in dealing for him. Seriously.


Sorry, but I have to disagree. It is way too early to give up on a young lineman who started all of last season for us and did well. It's not like we have a record of success finding these guys.

grotonsteel
10-31-2012, 09:25 AM
Sorry, but I have to disagree. It is way too early to give up on a young lineman who started all of last season for us and did well. It's not like we have a record of success finding these guys.

Agree.

Max Starks is doing a great job but he won't be playing forever. Steelers will need a young OT in near future. I am hoping it will be Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert as future OT for Steelers.

phillyesq
10-31-2012, 09:36 AM
The way that the line as a whole is playing, there is certainly no rush to bring DD back. If he is healthy with no risk of re-injury, then I would activate him but keep him as a backup until Foster loses the job. The offensive line is playing great as a group right now and I would not upset that cohesion.

There is zero doubt in my mind that DeCastro will be a better player than Foster, but I wouldn't bench Foster until it is dictated by performance. Similarly, I would not rush to reinsert Gilbert while Adams is playing well.

steelz09
10-31-2012, 10:04 AM
The way that the line as a whole is playing, there is certainly no rush to bring DD back. If he is healthy with no risk of re-injury, then I would activate him but keep him as a backup until Foster loses the job. The offensive line is playing great as a group right now and I would not upset that cohesion.

There is zero doubt in my mind that DeCastro will be a better player than Foster, but I wouldn't bench Foster until it is dictated by performance. Similarly, I would not rush to reinsert Gilbert while Adams is playing well.

There is always a risk of injury or re-injury.

If he feels confident to come back and play and the doctors/coaches agree then I say bring DD back.

I do agree about with your Foster comment. Until he basically loses the job, keep him in.

flippy
10-31-2012, 12:32 PM
Sorry, but I have to disagree. It is way too early to give up on a young lineman who started all of last season for us and did well. It's not like we have a record of success finding these guys.

I agree. I'd keep Adams at RT. I see him being a better fit there anyway. And Gilbert can be the long term replacement for Max.

I also think Foster could be a long term answer at RT. Just like we had Colon out of position at RT, I think the same of Foster at RG. As much as our line's been banged up, I'm not going to be surprise if DD comes back, something happens to our RT and Foster ends up in that spot next year.

Oviedo
10-31-2012, 01:04 PM
I agree. I'd keep Adams at RT. I see him being a better fit there anyway. And Gilbert can be the long term replacement for Max.

I also think Foster could be a long term answer at RT. Just like we had Colon out of position at RT, I think the same of Foster at RG. As much as our line's been banged up, I'm not going to be surprise if DD comes back, something happens to our RT and Foster ends up in that spot next year.

I think Foster's greatest value is as a jack of all trades back-up. We will know what the Steelers think of him in the upcoming off season when he is a free agent.

RuthlessBurgher
10-31-2012, 01:22 PM
Are the rules for coming off the "injured-reserve/designated-to-return" list the same as coming off the PUP list where the player can get a few weeks of practice in before a roster move has to be made to add him to the 53 man roster?

D Rock
10-31-2012, 01:26 PM
Are the rules for coming off the "injured-reserve/designated-to-return" list the same as coming off the PUP list where the player can get a few weeks of practice in before a roster move has to be made to add him to the 53 man roster?

From what I have read so far, I think he gets 3 weeks of practice before decision time.

BradshawsHairdresser
10-31-2012, 03:00 PM
Sorry, but I have to disagree. It is way too early to give up on a young lineman who started all of last season for us and did well. It's not like we have a record of success finding these guys.
You'll change your tune after he comes back and takes out a couple more of our players...

Besides, he's Charmin SOFFFTTT...

Oviedo
10-31-2012, 03:11 PM
You'll change your tune after he comes back and takes out a couple more of our players...

Besides, he's Charmin SOFFFTTT...

He wasn't soft last year starting 13 games and being named the Steelers Rookie of the Year. I have a feeling he has been nursing a nagging injury that has effected his play.

I remember similar "kicking him while he's down" and negative statements being made about a player named Max Starks who has essentially saved this team two years in a row. If Gilbert is the next Max Starks I'll take that every day of the week and twice on Sunday.