Another in a position-by-position series examining the Steelers roster in advance of the start of free agency on March 10:*
(Free Agent Scorecard: None)
His strengths as a guard seem to be a nice fit with Le'Veon Bell's running style, and those counter plays that were used to batter the Bengals into submission sure are pretty to watch. And the fact DeCastro is so proficient at pulling to his left from his right guard spot allows the Steelers to run those counters in a direction most teams cannot. This offensive line had a nice season as a group, and the same can be said about the individuals making up the group. But in the playoffs, the Ravens defense had the upper hand along the line of scrimmage throughout the whole game. That should be used as fuel throughout this offseason.
Photos of the Steelers Offensive Guards during the 2014 season.
At 29, Foster is the oldest of the five starting offensive linemen and he has one year remaining on the contract extension he signed in 2012. Those facts can be put on paper to describe Foster's professional status, but what he brings to this offensive line unit isn't so easily categorized. There is a genuine love among the linemen for Foster, a guy they have come to respect as both a professional and a person. As long as the object of that affection can play, he has real value to the group as a whole. In this one-year-at-a-time business, Foster can still play.
Because he was the No. 3 guard at the time, Hubbard was kept and rookie Wesley Johnson was waived back on Oct. 11 when the Steelers activated Ross Ventrone from the practice squad on the eve of a game in Cleveland. The Steelers then lost Johnson, who was claimed by the New York Jets. It will be interesting to chart the course of their respective careers moving forward. Hubbard will have to prove he belongs on the roster again this summer.