DeCastro: 'You have a lot of respect'

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When David DeCastro was selected to the Pro Bowl, he thought he would have some company with him in Hawaii.

Teammates Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown were also selected to the Pro Bowl, but both had to back out of Sunday night's game at Aloha Stadium (televised on ESPN at 7 p.m.) because of injuries.    

So DeCastro is on his own in Hawaii, and he can handle it.

The best photos of G David DeCastro from the 2015 season.

"I am going to do my best to uphold the Steelers tradition there," said DeCastro. "Going the first time you kind of wish you had someone to hold your hand. There will be great guys out there that I will get to meet and guys you watch on film that it will be fun to talk to. It will be a great time."

DeCastro and his wife Bonnie headed to Hawaii on Tuesday, on a non-stop flight that took over 11 hours. 

"I flew to Africa before, so I was used to it," said DeCastro. "I just put a movie on and fell asleep."

He has been in Hawaii a few days, and the first order of business was the Pro Bowl draft. Guards are among the positions who were preselected, and he will play for Hall of Famer Michael Irvin on Team Irvin, coached by the Green Bay Packers staff. It was also an opportunity for DeCastro to visit with members of the military, as the draft was held at the Army's historic Wheeler Army Airfield.

The teams begin 'practice' today at the ocean front resort where the players are staying, which also serves as a great opportunity to get to know the other players, some he has played against and some he only knows from watching on film.

"I think we practice at the hotel property for about 45 minutes some days," said DeCastro. "There is nothing too intense. I think the key is that nobody gets hurt. That is the number one priority. We have to still play a game. The tempo will be the same, but at the end of the day as long as nobody gets hurt that is a win for everybody.

"It will be cool to work with the other guys, get to know some of them. A lot of the guards you watch. I have a lot of respect for those guys, guys who I have watched on film a lot. You have Marshal Yanda from Baltimore. It will be good to get to know them, pick their brain and get together and talk."

DeCastro has finally had the time to reflect back on the 2015 season, a season where he was more than deserving of a Pro Bowl selection. But even as he reflected, in his typical fashion he didn't focus on himself.

"You are so busy and focused on winning games during the season you can't pay too much attention to it," said DeCastro. "Looking back it was a really fun year. Losing some of the guys was tough, but guys came in and stepped up. We had fun and that makes football easy when you are having fun."

One thing that he knows will be fun while in Hawaii is sightseeing. He has been there before, but his wife wants to see some of the sights, in particular Pearl Harbor.

"That will be something special," said DeCastro. "I have been there before. It never gets old. You have a lot of respect. It's pretty crazy when you see the oil still coming up, the tears of the sailors. I have a lot of respect for the military in general, so it's special to go there."

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