Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Look Who Is Talking . . . It's Decastro

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Look Who Is Talking . . . It's Decastro

Article excerpt

There is a noticeable difference in guard David DeCastro, the Steelers' No. 1 pick in 2012, and his teammates noticed it right away.

But it is not just the added weight and muscle that have pushed him to a sturdy 317 pounds. Or the confident manner in which he is able to surge off the line of scrimmage on his surgically healed right knee.

The biggest change in DeCastro is the one everyone has heard at training camp.

"He's a lot more talkative than he was the first year," center Maurkice Pouncey said.

"I think everyone appreciates that."

"In the beginning, we could barely get two words out of David," guard Ramon Foster said. "I thought he was going to be a stiff the entire way, but he's opened up. He's definitely more chatty than before."

It's the new David DeCastro.

He rarely had much to say last season, from the time he arrived at training camp through the end of an injury-shortened rookie season. Even his teammates remarked how quiet and serious he was, rarely speaking with them, too.

And it wasn't because DeCastro had little to say. He majored in management, science and engineering at Stanford and is the son of South African parents. His college roommate, Andrew Luck, even said "he's a funny guy when you get to know him"

But DeCastro, who was rated the best guard in the 2012 NFL draft, is all football. He displays a stern-faced, teeth-clenched intensity with absolutely no interest in talking about himself. He does his talking on the field.

But all that is starting to change, and it is hard not to notice.

"I guess he figured, well, I got to be with these guys for a few years I might as well do it," Foster said, smiling.

"He had to open up. He warmed slowly, but David is David. He's a fun dude."

DeCastro was all but handed a starting job at right guard in training camp last season and, with Pouncey, was going to form one of the best and youngest tandem of interior blockers in the league.

But that all changed in the third preseason game in Buffalo when DeCastro sustained multiple ligament tears in his right knee. …

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