According to a report on NFL.com the Pittsburgh Steelers have decided to give their top 2 rookies, tackle Mike Adams and guard David DeCastro the start in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. I think looking at what’s happened so far at Steelers training camp, there are some interesting things we can draw from this.
First thing is, in the NFL, rookies are becoming more valuable every season. The Steelers are a team that has never bowed to the pressure to play rookies early. In fact they’ve almost been the opposite, requiring rookies to sit at least a year and learn. So to see 2 rookies plugged into the starting lineup for the first preseason game tells me that this team is moving in a different direction.
Also, both DeCastro and Adams have had up and down training camps. They’ve made some really great plays, but have also had some very “rookie” like plays. As a staff they need to see what the future left side of their offensive line and I can’t think of a better way to do that than against the Eagles first string who look to be quite improved this year.
When DeCastro and Adams were drafted last April, I expected DeCastro to end up in the starting lineup right off the bat, but I figured Adams would be more of a project. I realize that the Steelers know what they have in Max Starks on the left side, and will be a solid starter if needed, but I am excited to see what Adams can do against Eagles defensive end Trent Cole. This is a great test and vote of confidence for both players.
My prediction-Both Adams and DeCastro will play several series, and I will be watching closely. I expect to see both guys show some flashes of greatness and probably whiff here and there. But overall I fully expect great performances out of both players and it will go a long way toward gaining the confidence of quarterback Ben Rothlisberger as he enters this career arc for tremendous production. Here we go Steelers!
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