Former Linemate Says Steelers ‘Should Have Traded’ David DeCastro

Ben Roethlisberger

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with offensive linemen Ramon Foster and David DeCastro during a game in 2015.

Much of the NFL world was shocked when the Pittsburgh Steelers released 6-time Pro Bowl guard David DeCastro. But not former linemate Ramon Foster, who retired a year ago and is now co-hosting a morning sports talk radio show on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville.

On Friday, during the first hour of JMart and Ramon, Foster’s broadcast partner, Jason Martin, revealed that the two have had private conversations in recent months in which Foster said he “wouldn’t be surprised if DeCastro walks away from football.”

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David DeCastro ‘Was Going to Have a Hard Re-Set’

“There’s a lot that goes into a guy like Dave,” offered Foster, noting that he played with DeCastro for seven seasons and that they were basically “raised together in that offensive line room.”

Foster says over the course of the past year he became increasingly concerned about how DeCastro was going to soldier on in Pittsburgh, owing to his own retirement, the retirement of longtime center Maurkice Pouncey, and the departure of both Matt Feiler and Alejandro Villanueva in free agency.

“When Matt Feiler went to the Chargers I was like, ‘That [offensive line] room is going to be weird. And when I saw Al go to the Ravens, I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know how Dave is going to survive that.’ Dave, if he was going to be in Pittsburgh, was going to have a hard re-set,” emphasized Foster, noting that he and Villanueva were especially close and actually carpooled to work together every day.

“Dave is a Stanford grad; he is a smart guy,” reminds Foster. “He is a thinker and Al challenged him in those type of ways,” revealing that the pair were always talking about Joe Rogan and Elon Musk. That “mature type of conversation,” as Foster puts it.

DeCastro ‘Wasn’t Going to Work’ in That Offensive Line Room

Foster believes that DeCastro—with 124 career starts to his name—was not going to be happy playing with a group of linemen where the next-most experienced projected stater (Chuks Okorafor) has 19 career starts.

“It’s ain’t his personality” to play Father Figure to young players, said Foster, noting that without Pouncey and Villanueva, among others, there would be nobody for him to “lean on” and talk to.

“I kept saying they should have traded Dave away earlier in the offseason to try to get something for him because he just wasn’t going to work in that room…. You need a lot emotionally to get through a season and you need to be able to lean on someone and talk to guys.”

As for what Foster sees from Pittsburgh’s completely rebuilt offensive line—one that is expected to feature Zach Banner at right tackle, second-year man Kevin Dotson at left guard and perhaps rookie Kendrick Green at center—he says he sees a lot of upside, but many question marks.

“They have got some solid guys, they have some guys with that p-word—potential,” concluded Foster. “But I’m not sure if they are cocked, ready and loaded to go already.”

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