David DeCastro feels 'more prepared' heading into 2013 season

Rob Carr

The Steelers have their 2012 first round pick starting in his first regular season-opening game Sunday agaisnt the Tennessee Titans. Unlike last season, when he was thrown into the mix in Week 15, he's prepared.

He played three games at the end of the 2012 season, but it seems more like Steelers right guard David DeCastro will be making his first career start when the Steelers host the Titans at 1 p.m. Sunday in the regular season opener.

DeCastro's first three starts were in Weeks 15-17, and it was a part of a hodge-podge line that had been flipped around and turned inside out throughout the year. Sunday, he'll be starting with the same guys who started throughout the preseason.

And, as he told Tribune-Review reporter Alan Robinson, he's ready for it.

“It's a whole different feel this year,” he told Robinson. “(I'm) more prepared and more comfortable.”

In the same article, DeCastro noted the Steelers ran outside zone in approximately half their plays this preseason. An ominous admission, it doesn't address whether the Steelers will use that style of running game more or less against the Titans, or during the regular season.

The fact the Steelers kept running back Felix Jones can be seen as an indication they really want to utilize it frequently this season - Jones has years of experience in a zone scheme and is faster than former Steelers RB Jonathan Dwyer. His kick return experience helped him land a spot, but if the Steelers are able to execute this scheme well, it won't matter who's running the ball as much as perhaps it has in years past.

A fully healthy and fully prepared DeCastro is one of the reasons it's tough to downplay the Steelers this season. His athleticism and technique will make him an outstanding guard, and the overall athleticism the line has suggests they will succeed more often than they'll fail.

Hopefully, it will be obvious on Sunday.

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