Steelers Finally Sign David DeCastro

 Posted by at 5:09 am  NFL Draft, Offensive Line  Comments Off on Steelers Finally Sign David DeCastro
Jul 242012
 

Look, ma, the Pittsburgh Steelers can negotiate contracts after all!

While the Mike Wallace saga continues to drag on, the Steelers finally completed one successful negotiation. First round draft pick David DeCastro will officially sign with the Black and Gold on Thursday, the final member of the team’s 2012 draft class to reach an agreement. With a wage scale slotting system a part of the last CBA, there wasn’t much for the two sides to quibble about in regards to money. However, there was some hassle over whether his guaranteed contract would run three or four years. When the 25th pick (Dont’a Hightower) and the 23rd pick (Riley Rieff) recently completed their deals with only three years guaranteed, it became readily apparent DeCastro would get three and like it.

The contract, as per the CBA, calls for DeCastro to make $7.8 million over three years, most if not all of which I assume is guaranteed. The Steelers also hold options for a fourth and even a fifth year with some piddling workout and roster bonuses guaranteed in year four. If this kid is as good as advertised, and many draftniks were calling him the best offensive guard prospect in the past several years, he won’t have to worry about those options being picked up. Perhaps the best part of this deal getting done well in advance of training camp is now DeCastro will have the benefit of a full camp which he probably needs after missing almost all of mini-camp finishing up his classes at Stanford.

The Steelers have high hopes for DeCastro, already penciling him in as one of the starting guards for this upcoming season. After cutting useless Chris Kemoeatu, the pickins’ are slim with Doug Legursky and Ramon Foster currently the only players on the roster with starting experience at guard. The team is planning to experiment with moving Willie Colon to guard although who knows if that’s still in the cards. The team has equally high hopes for 2nd round pick Mike Adams but he’s said to be a little raw which is probably why they recently re-signed Max Starks. At this point, the only certainty on the O-line is that Maurkice Pouncey will be the starting center. Besides Pouncer, we’re pretty much assured DeCastro and 2nd year tackle Marcus Gilbert will start although their play and the play of others will determine who starts with them and whether they play the right or left sides.

While this level of uncertainty may sound a bit pessimistic, it actually is not. As anybody who has witnessed Ben Roethlisberger running for his life over the past several years can attest, almost any combination will be better than what we’ve had. And with DeCastro officially in the fold, perhaps we can even dare to hope for so much more.

Know Thy Enemy: Houston Texans

 Posted by at 10:48 am  Face Me Ike, Game Preview, Offensive Line  Comments Off on Know Thy Enemy: Houston Texans
Oct 012011
 

I got a bad feeling about this…

The [intlink id=”20″ type=”category”]Pittsburgh Steelers[/intlink] return to the Lone Star State for the first time since last season’s soul-crushing loss in Super Bowl XLV. However, rather than the team who reside at Jerry Jones’ tribute to his minuscule penis, their opponents are the Cowboys’ slacker younger brothers, the Houston Texans. I’m going to level with my dear readers. I’m very very worried about this game. Between the injuries to the offensive line and the shaky secondary, I can’t help feeling like we’re in the Millennium Falcon getting sucked toward the Death Star.

This week, we’re going to do something a bit different in Know Thy Enemy. The aptly named Pat Starr over at the State of the Texans blog kindly agreed to give us the lowdown on his team. After you’re done reading this, click on over to check out my answers to his questions. In the meantime, I’m going to stick to my regular format but insert Pat’s info when appropriate. So text is me, quote block’s are Pat.
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Notes On Steelers First Preseason Debacle

 Posted by at 1:40 pm  Cameron Heyward, Mike Tomlin, Offensive Line, Preseason, Secondary  Comments Off on Notes On Steelers First Preseason Debacle
Aug 132011
 

Repeat after me:  “It’s only the preseason… It’s only the preseason…”

The[intlink id=”19″ type=”category”] Pittsburgh Steelers[/intlink] played their first preseason (don’t call them exhibitions!) game last night.  I tapped out shortly before half time but thanks to the magic of DVR, I finished the game a few minutes ago.  Even in fast forward, it was like watching a train wreck in slow motion.  To say it was a forgettable performance from the boys in Black and Gold would be an understatement.

“It’s only the preseason… It’s only the preseason…”
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Flozell The Hotel Now Vacant

 Posted by at 10:33 pm  Roster Moves  Comments Off on Flozell The Hotel Now Vacant
Jul 292011
 

Another day, another move along the offensive line.

The Pittsburgh Steelers released veteran Flozell Adams after he refused to renegotiate his contract.  He signed a two year deal last year which was to pay him approximately $5 million for the upcoming campaign.  The Steelers, already feeling a salary cap crunch, wanted him back at a lower number.  This move leaves an already questionable offensive line dangerously thin at almost every position.
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Big Ben Is Gonna Die

 Posted by at 8:40 pm  Roster Moves  Comments Off on Big Ben Is Gonna Die
Jul 282011
 

Post-lockout madness has struck the Pittsburgh Steelers with the majority of the action centering around the team’s much-maligned offensive line.

The Steelers entered the day approximately $10 million over the salary cap.  To get within range, they released Antwaan Randle-El and Max Starks.   ARE is no surprise what with the emergence of rookies Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.  Starks, however, has been the team’s starting left tackle and Franchise player over the past couple seasons.  He did suffer a herniated disc in his neck necessitating season-ending surgery last year so perhaps he has not sufficiently recovered.  Or maybe the Steelers feel they can re-sign him at a lower price with the injury discouraging other teams from showing interest.
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