Zach Banner: I was really hoping for at least one more year with David DeCastro

The release of right guard David DeCastro on Thursday leaves the Steelers without four starting offensive linemen from last season and it leaves right tackle Zach Banner without a player he was looking forward to playing alongside in 2021.

Banner was a guest on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Friday and said DeCastro “couldn’t have done it better” during his nine years as a member of the Steelers. Banner missed out on playing alongside DeCastro in 2020 after he hurt his knee and said he had some idea that DeCastro would join Maurkice Pouncey and Alejandro Villanueva in moving on this offseason, but hoped that it wouldn’t prove to be the case.

“I’m blessed to call Dave a big brother of mine and a mentor of mine,” Banner said. “I’ve known obviously behind the scenes about Pounce, about Dave, even about Al. In the back of my mind, I was really hoping — not begging, because it’s not my story, my situation, I’m here to support them in all they do — for at least one more year with Dave.”

The Steelers have signed Trai Turner to play inside of Banner this season and creating chemistry across the new-look line will be a priority for Pittsburgh heading into September.