Max Starks will make his fourth start of the preseason against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night and for him it will be a final tune-up before he gets his first official start in an NFL game.
Starks, the second-year player from the University of Florida, started to get playing time as last season wore on. And it was just his size, 6-8, 344 pounds, that got him noticed. It was his play.
Now Starks is starting at right tackle alongside a pretty impressive line that includes Kendall Simmons, Jeff Hartings, Alan Faneca and Marvel Smith.
?I think things are going well,? said Starks. ?The progress I have made is right on par with what I expected. I went into training camp trying to develop a bond with the other four guys on the line. We have been working well together out there.?
While Starks is pleased with the early results, he also knows there is progress to be made before the season opener against the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 11.
?We haven?t gotten in sync as an entire offense yet, but that is starting to come together,? said Starks. ?The line is getting together, and therefore the running is starting to get better, so hopefully we can make it a full team effort. Everything is coming together well.?
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Head Coach Bill Cowher has been pleased with the effort being made by the offensive line through the first three games and sees and feels comfortable that they will continue to progress as the season closes in.
?They have been pretty solid,? said Cowher. ?I have been very pleased with that. I think protection-wise, blocking-wise, we have missed a couple of assignments here and there. We have not truly game planned from that perspective. Some looks have come up that we have had to work through.
?I think part of the preseason is the ability to adjust on the sideline, the ability to adjust to something you have not prepared for because that is going to happen during the season. That to me is also what the preseason is about, to have the ability to do that. I think the line has been pretty solid for the most part, and had a lot of work together and they are getting nothing but better.?