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Old 11-15-2011, 06:16 AM   #1
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Default Starks authoring an award-worthy comeback

http://blog.triblive.com/steel-mill/

Starks authoring an award-worthy comeback
November 14th, 2011

It is never too early to start talking about awards, especially since speculation for them starts before a single game is even played.

Aaron Rodgers has a hammerlock on the MVP award. Cam Newton is the front runner for Rookie of the Year, though Andy Dalton and DeMarco Murray may be among those closing the gap.

And here is one that I will throw out there: Max Starks for Comeback Player of the Year.
It is hard to imagine Starks not at least being in the discussion for that award at this point of the season.

Consider that he missed the final 11 games of 2010, including the postseason, with a neck injury. Consider that he watched the Steelers’ first game of this season at a sports bar in Arizona — a bloated contract and questions about weight having conspired against Starks in late July when the Steelers released him.

But it turns out the Steelers needed Starks as much as he needed them.

And after they threw the mammoth offensive tackle a lifeline in early October, he went from street free agent to starter in less than a week.

The Steelers are 5-1 since Starks reclaimed his old job at left tackle, and the eighth-year veteran has been a leader and a stabilizing force along the offensive line.
Ben Roethlisberger’s comfort with Starks protecting his blind side is obvious with the quarterback’s high level of play over the last six weeks. And Starks has been better than the Steelers could have expected when they signed him to a one-year contract.
He held Steelers-tormentor Terrell Suggs without a sack two weeks ago. He played a solid game in Cincinnati even though Roethlisberger got sacked five times.

One of those, by my count, was a result of Roethlisberger holding onto the ball too long. And the Bengals gave the Steelers trouble when they attacked the interior of the offensive line, not when they rushed Roethlisberger from the edge.

Starks’ teammates voted him the Steelers’ winner of the Ed Block Courage Award last month. The award honors a player that has shown courage in dealing with or overcoming adversity.

If Starks continues to play well, his perseverance could and maybe should earn him national recognition.

And his take on what has transpired over the last six weeks?

“I’m back home,” Starks said after the Steelers’ 24-17 win over the Bengals. “It’s just a blessing, God’s will overrides anyone else’s. All you can do is just follow a path, one step at a time and He leads you in the right direction and so I’m just blessed.”

So are the Steelers.

– Scott Brown
[/B]
November 14th, 2011
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: Starks authoring an award-worthy comeback

The OL has improved a great deal with Max, and some could say he has been our MVP. With him at LT and Gilbert getting better at RT, this may allow us to pay more attention to the interior OL come draft time.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Starks authoring an award-worthy comeback

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick5895 View Post
The OL has improved a great deal with Max, and some could say he has been our MVP. With him at LT and Gilbert getting better at RT, this may allow us to pay more attention to the interior OL come draft time.
absolutely

Him and Gilbert helping to stabilize our OL enough is the big reason why my attitude about this year changed

It might not show in the stats, because Ben still takes the sacks, but we're not being totally overwhelmed like we were at the beginning of the season

Hopefully the good chemistry only continues and gets better
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: Starks authoring an award-worthy comeback

The difference has been night and day.

I was gloating of the fact that our O-line has really turned it around prior to the Bengals game. Then they came out and really had the worst game since Starks arrived. We couldn't run the ball and when Cinci blitzed - Ben was hitting the turf.

I thought the Bengals did a poor job of calling the game on defense. By the 3rd quarter I was wondering why they weren't blitzing more. You knew we were going to throw the ball.... every time they blized Ben was either getting sacked or the play was broken up. I wonder if they had went after Ben a little more aggressively if we win that game. when Ben had time he completed passes. 1 sack was on Ben...the others were on poor protection. How many hurries did Ben have?

Hopefully the O-line can keep it together. A playoff team will do everything they can to take advantage of our below average O-line...and most likely will succeed in doing so. It's a problem that very well could keep us from winning in the playoffs.
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: Starks authoring an award-worthy comeback

Now if the injury bug will kindly depart from our team
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Starks authoring an award-worthy comeback

Max is awesome.

It'll be interesting to see what we do with Colon.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Starks authoring an award-worthy comeback

we'd probably have a losing record right now if not for starks coming back. he's provided enough stability in that o-line for our offense to do its thing
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: Starks authoring an award-worthy comeback

I have been saying this for a couple of week on this forum, Starks is our MVP. Others may have stats but he helped gel our Oline and we started protecting Ben as soon as he came back. We didn't have to help on the left side as much hence Kemo, Heath and David Johnson were able to shift right. It's been awesome! Thank God he's back (and I never thought I would ever say that about him prior to this year!).
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: Starks authoring an award-worthy comeback

We need to extend him- Yes we have Gilbert, and yes we have Colon tied up for a few more years....but I feel Starks has proved himself valuable enough that we need to resign him past this season and not move Gilbert to LT yet. Hopefully by cutting him and no other teams signing him, he realizes he can't ask for pro bowler kind of money. With the above 3 mentioned players, I like our T situation a lot better than I did in week 1.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:03 AM   #10
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Default Re: Starks authoring an award-worthy comeback

I'd go as far to say that Starks is our MVP thus far. Ben is having a helluva season, but it's evident that he's performing the way he is because of the comfort level he's in with Starks back in the lineup.
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