Ex-teammates Luck, DeCastro to reunite
David DeCastro needed only three weeks of NFL training camp to understand what made Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, whom he protected at Stanford, an exceptional college player.
Stepping into a huddle with Ben Roethlisberger, DeCastro realized Luck possesses the same leadership and commanding presence as the quarterback who has directed the Steelers to three Super Bowl appearances and a pair of NFL championships.
As DeCastro said, the best leaders don't need to establish their authority; they earn it with the confidence they inspire in their teammates.
“You get in the huddle, everyone listens,” DeCastro said. “They're guys you want to play for and protect.”
DeCastro spent his Saturdays shielding Luck. He hopes to spend his Sundays doing the same for Roethlisberger. Both quarterbacks will be on the field — though not necessarily for long — when Luck, this year's No. 1 pick, brings the Colts to Heinz Field for a preseason game Sunday night.
A week ago, Luck threw for a touchdown on his first play and finished 10 of 16 for 188 yards and two scores as the Colts defeated the Rams, 38-3.
“I wasn't surprised. I was happy for him,” said DeCastro, the 316-pound right guard who has practiced with the Steelers' starters almost since the opening day of camp. “We've both been busy in training camp, so it will be good to catch up with him.”
DeCastro, selected 24th overall, and Luck stay in touch, even though the dynamics of their relationship have changed. In the not-distant future, they will be on opposite sides in a game that counts. Each will be trying to deny the other a valuable win and, conceivably, much more.
Neither would have it any other way.
“He's competitive,” DeCastro said. “You knew that if you gave him time, with that ability, he was going to make the most out of it because he has that talent.”
Sort of like Roethlisberger.
This is the first season since Roethlisberger entered the league in 2004 — as a top-10 pick — that Bruce Arians isn't on the Steelers' offensive staff. The two not only worked well together, but they also were close friends. Arians was the offensive coordinator from 2007-11 but now has the same job in Indianapolis after being eased out in Pittsburgh last winter.
Just like DeCastro, Arians has gone from one franchise quarterback to another. Arians' role is to help develop Luck into the winner Roethlisberger has been.
Pittsburgh, Arians said, is in his rearview mirror.
“All I'm thinking about is practice in Indianapolis,” he said. “I don't think about anything in Pittsburgh, at least not until Sunday night.”
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin plans to play his starters more than he did 10 days ago during a 24-23 loss in Philadelphia, though that might not be possible. The initial Roethlisberger-led possession lasted 16 plays — most of the first quarter.
With running back Isaac Redman (groin) not expected to play, the carries are expected to be spread among Jonathan Dwyer, Baron Batch and Chris Rainey. Outside linebacker Chris Carter gets more audition time as he fills in for the injured James Harrison, who had knee surgery last week. And Luck likely will test cornerback Keenan Lewis, who is attempting to hold off Cortez Allen for a starting job.
Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kang’s 9th-inning home run gives Pirates wild victory over Twins
- Pirates notebook: Prospect Tucker unaware of ‘trade’ frenzy
- Rossi: ‘Hockey guy’ Sutter will be missed
- Pirates’ Liriano unaffected by poor last outing against Twins
- School credit ratings a problem for several in Western Pennsylvania
- Pregnant woman killed by gunfire in Brighton Heights, other shootings reported in city
- New Pens winger Fehr ready for defense-first role
- Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell gets suspension, fine reduced
- Gameday: Pirates at Twins, July 29, 2015
- Steelers’ Wheaton adjusting his game moving to slot receiver
- Penguins trade Sutter to Canucks, sign free agent center Fehr