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Q&A: David DeCastro, Steelers

David DeCastro on the win streak, the routine, sports journalism, his rugby star father, Stanford and more in this Q&A.

David DeCastro, RG, Steelers

Q: This hot streak, eight games in a row, what turned it around and what's sustaining it?

DD: It's a cliche thing, but it's the same as it was during the four-game losing streak. No one's blinked. You stick with every team, being professionals. It's what we've been doing. We treat it the same every week. Give credit to Coach Tomlin about keeping that routine the same and letting guys to just focus on football. Obviously outcomes play a big role in that, and during that stretch it was tough, but at the same time we never really veered off the track or started pointing fingers. In that kind of humbling experience, you just kind of learn a lot from it and kind of appreciate it when you're winning, but at the same time you don't get too excited.

Q: During a winning streak like this, you learn that 'hey, this routine works,' don't you?

DD: I think it has, especially me. Me personally, the longer I play the more I appreciate the routine. I block out all external stuff and just kind of lock in. The good and the bad, you can't listen to it. I mean, I love you guys, respect your job, but you just can't. It's too much, man. It'll drain you. That's why I love football. I love playing it, love playing every team, love going on auto-pilot and treating it as such. It's fun, and to me it makes it go by faster and it makes it easier.

Q: You probably always read the sports page growing up.

DD: Yeah.

Q: Did you stop reading? Or is it sports talk that you turn off?

DD: Everything. It was kind of a gradual decline of reading and SportsCenter. I'll check the front page of ESPN, but other than that, man, it's tough. Everyone's got an opinion. You've got to be true to yourself and be true to your teammates. That's the best and only thing you can do.

Q: Did it get you angry when you hear or read something that's totally wrong?

DD: Yeah. That's the thing, a lot of it -- you know how the world works, people troll. It's better just to stay away from it. In college, obviously at Stanford you're in a little bit of a bubble, but it's crazy. They're a little bit different than they are professionally with the media. It's an adjustment, but at the end of the day I respect what you do and what everyone does, but you kind of learn enjoy playing football.

Q: Wasn't your father a rugby star?

DD: (Chuckles) He played rugby in college.

Q: I thought he was a pro in South Africa or something?

DD: Yeah, he's South African, but he played college level.

Q: Does he help you with any of that?

DD: Not really. That's one of the things you learn how to deal with. It's easy to do. Just keep it simple. The good or bad, you don't look at it. You just worry about playing hard.

Q: Getting ready for Miami had to be easy. If you watched film of the last game you had to get pissed off yourself and the coaches are yelling at you again about the same stuff.

DD: Yep.

Q: Now Kansas City's in the reverse situation.

DD: Exactly. Sometimes it's harder that way. It is.

Q: You mean it's harder being in your situation vs. Kansas City this week?

DD: Oh yeah. It's hard to beat a team twice. It is, because like you said the coaches are yelling at you, you're watching plays where you don't do well. It's tough. But it kind of goes back to the professional thing and guys being mature.

Q: Will you guys watch the win over Kansas City?

DD: Yeah. We'll watch some of it. Kind of what we did with Miami, and you watch the current games, too, because they're a different team, too. Things change over the course of the season.

Q: But you realize there can't be a false sense of superiority, right?

DD: There's never, never, I mean, you can't. Human nature might give you that a little bit, but you've got to subdue that. We've been humbled enough this season enough to know that.


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