It’s been a little while since analyst Adam Schein has taken a shot at the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he is now back on schedule thanks to his most recent piece on NFL.com.
Schein’s latest offering revolves around eight players and one coordinator that he believes must take the next step forward in 2014 and he includes Steelers right guard David DeCastro on that list.
Schein writes of DeCastro:
Everyone once called DeCastro — a steady, sturdy offensive guard from Stanford — one of the safest picks of the 2012 NFL Draft. Well, a knee injury claimed his first season and poor play marred 2013. Pittsburgh hired O-line guru Mike Munchak this offseason. DeCastro must live up to the billing.
Poor play in 2013? While DeCastro certainly didn’t play well enough in 2013 to garner an All-Pro designation, calling his play “poor” is irresponsible on the part of Schein. DeCastro, who missed one game last season, allowed all of two sacks and five quarterback hits in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus and was easily the best run blocker on the team.
Schein could point to DeCastro’s failed cut block attempt against the Tennessee Titans early in the season-opener that put center Maurkice Pouncey out for the rest of the year as a “poor play”, but outside of that single play and his sub-par performance in the Week 11 game against the Detroit Lions, DeCastro more than held his own in 2013.
If Schein really wanted to pick on a 2012 first-round selection that has yet to live up to his billing, he need not look any further than Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick.
If, however, Schein is dead set on having an offensive lineman on his list, why not Detroit Lions tackle Riley Reiff, who was taken one spot ahead of DeCastro? Reiff was average at best in 2013.
All of this is par for the course with Schein, as this is the same person who predicted back in April that the Cleveland Browns will finish ahead of the Steelers in 2014. He’s a known Steelers hater, so such uninformed analysis isn’t going to be ending anytime soon.