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Steelers notebook: DeCastro's transition should go smoothly

| Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 8:48 p.m.

Right guard David DeCastro shouldn't have a difficult time picking up the zone-blocking system installed by offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. The linemen will block an area as a group, with an emphasis on double teaming.

“We did it at Stanford, and we were a big gap team like the Steelers are,” DeCastro said. “We've got the guys to do. It just takes practice like anything else. We'll be good.”

Easygoing?

Here's an expression describing offensive coordinator Todd Haley that wasn't used often during his nearly three seasons as the Chiefs' coach: laid-back.

Haley is known for being demanding; he had a sideline flare-up with quarterback Kurt Warner while he was the Cardinals' offensive coordinator.

“He just wants to get it right,” wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said. “Coach Haley has demands. (But) he's not too big on control. He just wants to be on the same page and wants to win.”

Picking up the pace

The Steelers will ramp up offseason work next week, when they will have four practices from Monday-Thursday rather than the three each of this week and last week.

Same as it ever was

Cornerback William Gay returned from one season in Arizona to find the Steelers' defense is pretty much the same one he remembers from 2007-11.

“Yeah, I know the defense. I never left the defense,” said Gay, who is projected to fill the nickel back role that Cortez Allen played last season.

Smooth transition

Free safety Ryan Clark doesn't seem too worried about Allen making the adjustment from nickel back to starter as the replacement for Keenan Lewis. Clark felt Allen, a fourth-round pick in 2011, became an impact player by late last season.

“The more he played and the more he got acclimated to our scheme, the better we were,” Clark said. “When he played more toward the end of the year, he started creating turnovers and making plays.”

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at arobinson@tribweb.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.

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