When you have value and need dovetail as they did with DeCastro, that is the best of all possible worlds...but, the way that the Steelers can truly improve over the long haul is by drafting the best available player...
I'd like to see them find a way to bring Foster back, but he may have played himself out of the Steelers price range. He's never counted on to start when the season begins and always seems to end up starting by the end of the year.
I think this is a possibility. The cap is flat for 2013, but it is supposed to go up quite a bit for 2014.Quote:
Q: Does the June 1 rule still exist?
A: If a team cuts a veteran player after June 1, the remaining signing bonus will be spread over two years rather than accelerate into the current year’s cap. For example, John Doe is cut in year 2 of his contract with $2M left on his signing bonus and a base salary of $1M before June 1. His team is hit with dead money ($1M base salary less $2M signing bonus equals $1M in dead cap space).
If John is cut AFTER June 1, only $1M of his remaining $2M signing bonus hits the current cap year with the remaining million being dumped into the next year’s cap. Thus, if you subtract the $1M signing bonus from the $1M scheduled base, John Doe ends up costing his team ZERO against the current year’s cap; however, in the next year’s cap, he’ll end up costing his team $1M against the cap.
DeCastro eager to play
Posted by Teresa Varley on December 12, 2012 – 9:56 pm
Steelers guard David DeCastro doesn’t wear his emotions on his sleeve, but he is definitely eager to get back on the field this week, with the potential to start at right guard against the Dallas Cowboys.
“We believe that his health is at a level now that we can put him in and watch him prepare during the course of the week,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “If we like what we see, he may have an opportunity to play.”
With left guard Willie Colon out after knee surgery, the Steelers could move right guard Ramon Foster into Colon’s spot and start DeCastro on the right side if he has a good week of practice.
“I am extremely eager,” said DeCastro. “That is what I have been working the past couple of months for. I have been injured, doing rehab, and you set a goal like this to get back out there and play.”
DeCastro saw limited action for the first time this season when he was on the extra point and field goal units against San Diego. While it was only a few snaps, for him just playing was a bonus after he has been out all season after suffering an MCL injury in the preseason. Now he is ready to take it to the next level.
“I definitely know the system,” said DeCastro. “It’s just a matter of getting back out there, first game, real live action. It’s a little different than practice. I feel great in practice and have only been out there the last couple of weeks and haven’t taken any steps back.
“It’s one of those things where I was getting comfortable every week. Every week has gotten a lot better, which is positive. It’s gotten better every week so it should keep going upwards.”
DeCastro, who will wear a knee brace on Sunday, said he feels confident and isn’t worried about how his knee will react in game action.
“After the last couple of weeks practicing you get more comfortable with it,” said DeCastro. “I feel confident in it. I am good.
“I might be a little nervous, but that is natural. It would be a problem if I wasn’t.”
* * *
Receiver Mike Wallace heard something at Heinz Field last week that he hasn’t heard since playing with the Steelers – fans booing him.
While Wallace caught two touchdown passes against the Chargers in a 34-24 loss, he also dropped a pass that brought on boos, but said it didn’t get him down.
“It’s not like I am surprised or upset, if I handled my business or did my part nothing would go on,” said Wallace. “There’s not too much to say about it. They have their right, people do whatever they want. Anything I do is going to be magnified. I just have to do what I need to do and don’t give anybody a reason to say anything. Whatever happens I take full responsibility for it.”
Wallace said he needs to “be a better player,” but there isn’t any lack of effort on his part.
“I know that and I work hard at it every single day. I would love to make every play. I just have to keep working at it.”
* * *
Cornerback Ike Taylor missed his first game since 2004 last week when the Steelers hosted the Chargers, something that was tough for him. And while he will miss this week’s game against the Cowboys as well, his hope is to get back on the field this year, but he couldn’t commit to anything.
“Right now it’s going really well,” said Taylor. “The process is going really fast. I wish I had a genie bottle. I wish I could make things happen fast, come back and give you a timetable. The process is going fast.”
Steeler rookie tackle Beachum learning on the fly
UPDATED DEC 13, 2012 6:05 PM ET
Kelvin Beachum and David DeCastro were separated by 224 picks - and an avalanche of expectations - in last April's NFL Draft.
The Steelers considered DeCastro a steal with the 24th overall selection, a plug-and-play talent they could pencil in at right guard for the next decade. Beachum almost wasn't taken at all, a seventh-round flier who arrived in Pittsburgh as the fourth (and last) option at offensive tackle.
On Sunday, with the Steelers (7-6) clinging to their playoff lives in Dallas, the sure thing and the project will line up next to each other on the right side of the line.
And the weird thing is, Beachum will be the seasoned one.
The soft-spoken 23-year-old will make his third straight start against the Cowboys while DeCastro will make his regular-season debut after suffering a right knee injury in August that nearly cost him his rookie year.
If anything, Beachum's steady play has helped quell any butterflies DeCastro may have as his first start looms.
''Seeing how well (Kelvin) has fit in certainly gives me more confidence as well,'' DeCastro said. ''I've waited a long time for this game, but that's life. Adversity comes along, but how well you can deal with it is the key to success. And I think I've dealt with it pretty well so far.''
So has Beachum, who spent four years playing left tackle at SMU but figured there was no chance he'd hear his name called during the draft. He was so certain he would have to take his chances as a rookie free agent Beachum went to a family reunion on the draft's final day.
Driving back to campus, Beachum's phone buzzed and told him to hurry home. A short time later Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert called and urged Beachum to get packing after Pittsburgh took him with the team's final pick, No. 248 overall.
Eight months later, the 6-foot-3, 306-pound kid with the boyish face will line up in Cowboys Stadium - about 90 minutes north of his hometown of Mexia, Texas - and see Dallas defensive end Marcus Spears on the other side of the line of scrimmage.
Pretty heady territory for a kid who grew up in a school of 600 students simply hoping to land an athletic scholarship, though Beachum insists he won't be overcome by the moment.
Yeah, it's the NFL. It's still just football.
''They get paid just like you get paid,'' Beachum said. ''They might get paid a little more, but you need to go out there and perform and put your best foot forward.''
Something Beachum has done since being pressed into service following injuries to Marcus Gilbert, Mike Adams and Willie Colon. Beachum made his first start in Baltimore two weeks ago and helped keep backup quarterback Charlie Batch out of trouble as the Steelers rallied for a season-saving 23-20 victory.
The going was significantly rougher in last week's 34-24 whipping by San Diego, though Beachum was hardly alone as the Steelers struggled to get anything going offensively until the game was well out of reach.
He expects to bounce back this week. Having DeCastro line up next to him won't hurt. Beachum joked the two were ''making history'' though the Steelers will settle for the rookies creating running room for backs Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman.
Offensive coordinator Todd Haley just smiled when asked if he's ever been in a situation where the entire NFL careers of the right side of the line is a combined four games. It's not exactly the lineup Haley envisioned in August.
''We've been in some pretty sticky situations but that's kind of how this year has been for this group,'' Haley said. ''We haven't always performed the way that we'd like or up to our abilities, but I do think that with some of the adversity we've had to face through some of these injuries, it's forced the guys to become extra cohesive and look out for our own.''
DeCastro and Beachum will certainly be looking out for each other on Sunday as the Steelers try to build some momentum heading into a showdown with Cincinnati on Dec. 23 that will likely determine which team plays into January.
''We're great together,'' DeCastro said. ''(Kelvin's) obviously a smart guy, and I think we'll work well together.''
The Steelers need them to if they expect to play into January. All niceties aside, Beachum really is the last option. Gilbert is out for the season with an ankle injury, Adams - the team's second-round pick in April - is out indefinitely with his own ankle problem and Colon is down with a balky knee.
Suddenly, Pittsburgh's Mr. Irrelevant is very relevant. Though Beachum understands he's unlikely to be the starter when everyone gets healthy, even if that's not until next summer, he doesn't try to think about what each snap means in terms of his future.
''You've got to man up, that's pretty much it,'' Beachum said. ''It's simple man. You take it by the horns and you roll with it. You don't have time to think about what can happen, you've just got to block the guy in front of you.''
NOTES: LB LaMarr Woodley practiced again Thursday and appears ready to start in Dallas. Woodley has missed the last two weeks with a sprained ankle ... LB James Harrison missed his second straight practice with an illness ... S Troy Polamalu also skipped practice but it was deemed ''not injury'' related. ... The Cowboys (7-6) are a game behind the Giants in the NFC East.
Steelers' DeCastro gets a delayed trial by fire
Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012
By Mike Bires firstname.lastname@example.org
PITTSBURGH — David DeCastro is a man of few words. Even when among teammates, seldom does he have much to say. That’s fine with the Steelers.
They don’t want their new right guard to talk a great game. They want him to play great. On Sunday, DeCastro (right) will get that chance.
The Steelers’ first-round pick in this year’s draft will make his first pro start in Dallas.
“I am extremely eager,” he said. “That is what I have been working the past couple of months for. I have been injured, doing rehab, and you set a goal like this to get back out there and play.”
DeCastro, a consensus All-American last year at Stanford, was slated to start the minute he arrived in Pittsburgh. But on Aug. 25, in the third preseason game in Buffalo, he suffered multiple knee injuries that put his rookie season in jeopardy.
His season, though, wasn’t over before it began. The NFL had just instituted a “designated to return” rule that allowed one player per team to be re-instated from injured reserve. Before the new rule, any player placed on I.R. was done for the year.
“I’m lucky for the new rule,” DeCastro said.
DeCastro was activated Nov. 26. He wasn’t in uniform for the Dec. 2 game in Baltimore. Last week in the home loss to San Diego, he got a taste of NFL game by playing on the extra point and field goal units.
But due to the latest injury on the offensive line — Willie Colon is out indefinitely with a surgically repaired knee — DeCastro is now a first-stringer. He’ll play the right guard spot he was playing before he got hurt. Ramon Foster, who started the first 13 games at right guard, will move to left guard.
“I definitely know the system,” DeCastro said. “It’s just a matter of getting back out there for real live action. It’s a little different than practice. I’ve felt great in practice. I haven’t taken any steps backward. I’ve been getting more comfortable every week. It’s gotten better every week so it should keep going upwards.”
The Steelers (7-6) hope so because they’ll be starting two rookies on the O-line this week. At right tackle, seventh-round pick Kelvin Beachum will make his third straight start. He’s playing because Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams, second-round picks in the last two drafts, are both out with ankle injuries.
In recent years, it’s not been unusual for a rookie to start on the O-line. Foster (2009), center Maurkice Pouncey (2010), Gilbert (2011) and Adams (2012) have started at some points of their rookie seasons.
But it’s rare that two rookies have started at the same time on the offensive line. In fact, some of the long-time front-office employees don’t know the last time it’s happened with the Steelers.
“Everybody keeps reminding (me) of that,” offensive coordinator Todd Haley said of the challenge of starting rookies at right guard and right tackle. “My answer is that this whole season has been a challenge. It’s all hands on deck. They’re expected to play good football.”
DeCastro, who’ll have to wear a knee brace, said he’s ready to go.
“I might be a little nervous, but that is natural,” he said. “It would be a problem if I wasn’t.”