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.