After little more than a week into Steelers’Training Camp 2012 there has already been some discussion about our first round draft pick David DeCastro. I wish I could tell you it was more positive than it is but I wouldn’t hit the panic button just yet.
DeCastro as you recall was a pipe dream back in April. There was no way the highest rated offensive guard in the draft was going to fall to us at #24. The dream became reality however when the Stanford All-America continued to fall before being snatched up by the Steelers.
I am one of many on that night in April that said, “pencil this kid in as a starter right now.” I still feel that way but I have some concerns as DeCastro continues to struggle with what many believe are just typical ‘rookie issues.’
Maurkice Pouncey, the Steelers’ All-Pro Center, recently called DeCastro “Mr. Personality” and this wasn’t because he was hosting parties in the St. Vincent dorms. DeCastro is very quiet and very serious on the field and off from what we are hearing. The stoic-faced DeCastro has been seemingly transparent so far in camp.
On the field, DeCastro has looked really good at times and at others has looked like a very average rookie free agent. Let’s be fair here and consider this; DeCastro became a millionaire just hours before training camp started. I don’t know about you, but if I became a millionaire in my early 20’s regardless of the reason, I might be a little shell-shocked as well.
I’m giving DeCastro the benefit of the doubt and let’s also remember that Pouncey took a week or two before he started to click in his rookie season and the great Alan Faneca was similar in personality and appearance to DeCastro before getting comfortable on the Steelers.
The other rookie lineman of note of course is Mike Adams and he is suffering a similar fate as DeCastro is at the moment. He’s showing a little more personality but is struggling with some of the blocking and physicality as well.
We as fans have to remember these guys are in fact human and they should be allowed a proper adjustment period. We can’t expect them to be perfect and great right out of the block so have patience. I still believe DeCastro will be a dominant force for years to come for the Steelers whether he is “full of sunshine” or not.