The Pittsburgh Steelers have a major set challenges facing them for the offseason of 2019 after they managed to miss the postseason for the first time in five years. The failure has been taken especially grievously because of the fact that the team was in position to control their own fate even for homefield advantage with six games remaining before dropping four games.
And so they find themselves getting the exit meeting process underway at least two weeks earlier than they have had to in years, since they have made it to at least the Divisional Round since 2015. Hopefully they used those extra two weeks with purpose.
While we might not know all the details about what goes on between Head Coach Mike Tomlin and his players during these exit meetings, we do know how we would conduct those meetings if they were let up to us. So here are the Depot’s exit meetings for the Steelers’ roster following the 2018 season.
Player: David DeCastro
Experience: 7 Years
It’s hard to believe that David DeCastro has been with the Steelers for seven seasons already, originally coming into the organization via the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. The Stanford guard was projected to be drafted higher than he was, and Pittsburgh pounced when he was available in their slot.
His career got off to a bit of a slow start—in fact, he missed the first 13 games due to a torn MCL—but he really started rounding into form in his third season in 2014 under Mike Munchak, earning his first Pro Bowl recognition the following year. I’ll note that it was also year four that Alan Faneca received his first individual accolade.
The 2018 season was close to peak DeCastro, though there was a bump in the road with a hand injury that he suffered in the season opener. He would miss the next two games but played the rest of the season with the injury.
Unsurprisingly, he was named to the Pro Bowl once again, but did not participate due to injury. Surprisingly, he missed the All-Pro team, with Cleveland Browns guard Joel Bitonio receiving the final nod instead. Ironically, it was Bitonio who replaced DeCastro in the Pro Bowl.
Simply put, DeCastro is one of the cleanest and most reliable players in the league, the kind of starter that you simply don’t have to spend much time thinking about because he doesn’t make you worry. Yet as an excellent pulling guard, he still draws positive attention to himself all the same.
But his greatest strength is in pass protection, where he has legitimately become one of the best interior linemen in the entire NFL. His contract has been well-deserved and is in fact starting to look like a bargain. Among guards, his APY ranks only tied with two other players for eighth among guards.