David DeCastro played all 39 games he started in three years at Stanford at right guard, and is widely known for his ability to pull.
That won’t change in the pros after the Steelers selected him with their first-round pick (24th overall) last night even though the organization has historically used their left guard to pull much more than their right guard.
A source within the organization confirmed to me that the Steelers will switch Ramon Foster from right guard to left guard to make room for DeCastro with the plan of using last year’s opening-day starting right guard, Doug Legursky, as a game day backup at all three interior line positions.
Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin suggested that DeCastro would remain at right guard last night when he simply stated: “He’s a right guard.”
By putting DeCastro at right guard, it will certainly be an adjustment for Foster.
Foster has 28 career starts, 23 of which came at right guard over the Steelers’ past 26 games. Foster has only five career start at left guard and just one since his rookie year of 2009.
Over the past 14 years, and under five different offensive coordinators, the Steelers has been a heavy left-guard pulling team with the likes of Alan Faneca and Chris Kemoeatu.
With DeCastro’s strength as a pulling guard, and Foster being more of a mauler, it’s interesting that the coaching staff is set on DeCastro at right guard.
However, we don’t know how new offensive coordinator Todd Haley plans to run the offense, either. Who knows if the ‘22 Double’ will even exist in Haley’s offense?
One thing is for sure, the much-maligned offensive line will have a brand new look. Four of the Steelers’ projected five starting offensive lineman this year will be either new or in new positions.
To go along with the addition of DeCastro and the switch of Foster to left guard, Marcus Gilbert will move from right tackle to left tackle and right tackle Willie Colon will be back in the lineup after missing all but one game last year. Center Maurkice Pouncey will be the only holdover from last year’s line.
* By Mark Kaboly
* Posted: 4-27-12 at 2:29 p.m.