Steelers Offensive Line Comes to Roethlisberger’s Defense

DeCastro, Pouncey lead 'calvary" after Reid's dirty hit

Josh Rowntree
November 09, 2018 - 12:00 pm
Players from the Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers push and shove each other after a hit by Carolina safety Eric Reid against Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during the third quarter

Phillip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

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David DeCastro is doing just fine in football. But, perhaps one day, he could find a role on a hockey rink as an enforcer. 

Late in the third quarter of Thursday’s 52-21 win over Carolina, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was hit in the head while sliding by Panthers safety Eric Reid. 

DeCastro ran in, getting in Reid’s face, defending his quarterback. 

“I don’t know, you see it all the time,” DeCastro said. “It’s a hockey kind of thing. You don’t really have a choice, you have to stand up for your guy. You don’t want to get a fine, or anything like that, so it was just kind of harmless. You let him know how you feel, give him a piece of your mind and that’s about it.”

Reid’s hit wasn’t only flagged, but he was also ejected from the game. 

“Ben’s the franchise quarterback,” center Maurkice Pouncey said. “He means a lot to this organization and, obviously, to this football team. I could see if he was running down, putting his shoulder down and trying to and trying to hit guys, but he was giving himself up. But Eric Reid did apologize for it, so I respect him for that.”

Apology or not, intention or not, Roethlisberger — who passed for 328 yards and five touchdowns — was appreciative of DeCastro and Pouncey leading the charge towards Reid.

“Those are my guys,” he said. “When it happened, I kind of popped up and, next thing you know, I saw those two guys running and the calvary right behind them. So I just got out of the way. It just doesn’t surprise me because of how close we are. It makes you feel pretty good though.”

“You’ve got to be there for your guy,” DeCastro said. “The intent was obviously there. He did what he did, so I’m just trying to stand up for him and show him we’ve got his back.”

The closeness of Roethlisberger and the offensive line is obvious. But what’s becoming increasingly apparent is the caliber the line is playing at right now. 

After being sacked nine times in the first four games, Roethlisberger has been taken down just three times in the last five outings. After throwing six interceptions in the first five games, Roethlisberger has just one pick in the last four games. 

“It always starts up front,” Roethlisberger said. “You can say what you want about the skill guys, but we’re nothing without those guys up front and they’ve been playing really good football.”

“It was a good win, honestly,” guard Ramon Foster added. “You hear critiquing about us, that we haven’t played anybody. But we played the No. 1 defense (Baltimore, last week) and one of the best team’s in the NFC. And we had a convincing win on a short week. We just have to continue to keep it going.”