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Old 05-20-2012, 10:01 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Starks awaits another chance in NFL

Starks awaits another chance in NFL
Mark Kaboly
Tribune-Review Sports reporter Mark Kaboly can be reached via e-mail or at
http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...-acl-offensive
Starting off

Here are the Steelers’ current left tackle options:

Player Age Ht Wt G GS

Max Starks* 30 6-8 345 107 79

Jonathan Scott 29 6-6 310 59 29

Trai Essex 29 6-4 324 75 28

Mike Adams 22 6-7 323 0 0

* — Unrestricted free agent

By Mark Kaboly
Tribune-Review

Published: Saturday, May 19, 2012, 12:30 a.m.
Updated: Saturday, May 19, 2012

When the Steelers decided to move Willie Colon to left guard and keep Marcus Gilbert at right tackle, the one person they didn’t have in mind to fill the void at left tackle was Max Starks.

The veteran free agent has yet to be contacted by the Steelers, seemingly further solidifying the team’s intentions of giving rookie second-round pick Mike Adams every opportunity of winning the left tackle job in training camp.

“I have not had contact with management or anybody like that,” Starks said Friday while on his way to rehab his surgically repaired knee in Phoenix. “I guess eventually I will hear something from them … or maybe not.”

The Steelers seem intent on revamping their offensive line, even if that means doing something they rarely do: Start rookie offensive linemen.

The Steelers have started a rookie up front to open the season three times since the 1970 merger — Tom Ricketts in 1989, Marvel Smith in 2000 and Maurkice Pouncey in 2010.

They could have two — Adams and first-round pick David DeCastro — in the starting lineup Week 1 in Denver.

The Steelers plan to have Adams, Jonathan Scott and Trai Essex battle for the starting left tackle spot during camp.

“As for myself, I don’t see (me being a part of that battle) unless there is something I don’t know,” Starks said.

Starks likely won’t be ready for the start of training camp anyway.

It’s been about four months since Dr. James Bradley repaired the ACL Starks tore in his right knee during the wild-card playoff loss to Denver.

“I am pretty good, actually,” Starks said. “I am starting lateral work movement with my ACL, and everything is moving along nicely.”

Starks has a follow-up visit with Bradley soon during which he will get a better grasp on how far along he is. An ACL tear typically carries a nine-month recovery. With that time frame, Starks would be ready close to opening week.

“It would be pushing it to be in training camp,” Starks said. “It is not unfeasible. Athletes push it to be ready in six months, but my mindset is to be ready to play by Week 1. That’s a realistic goal for me.”

If Adams doesn’t catch on quickly, the Steelers could call on Starks like they did last season.

Starks was cut two days before training camp in a salary dump. After struggling up front during the first month, the Steelers signed Starks heading into Week 5. Starks started the remaining nine games at left tackle and played well.

Starks doesn’t know whether, if called upon again, he could replicate last season’s performance, mostly because of having a new offensive coordinator in Todd Haley.

“I would need a week or so to get the plays down and the terminology,” Starks said. “It would be a different situation even coming back to the Steelers. I just want to get healthy and play for somebody. I have the mindset of rehabbing and make sure my knee is in the best possible shape and be ready to go when someone calls.”

As for the Steelers making that call?

“If the situation arises, it is something that I would definitely be interested in,” Starks said.

Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at mkaboly@tribweb.com.
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: Starks awaits another chance in NFL

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
Starks awaits another chance in NFL
Mark Kaboly
Tribune-Review Sports reporter Mark Kaboly can be reached via e-mail or at
http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...-acl-offensive
Starting off

Here are the Steelers’ current left tackle options:

Player Age Ht Wt G GS

Max Starks* 30 6-8 345 107 79

Jonathan Scott 29 6-6 310 59 29

Trai Essex 29 6-4 324 75 28

Mike Adams 22 6-7 323 0 0

* — Unrestricted free agent

By Mark Kaboly
Tribune-Review

Published: Saturday, May 19, 2012, 12:30 a.m.
Updated: Saturday, May 19, 2012

When the Steelers decided to move Willie Colon to left guard and keep Marcus Gilbert at right tackle, the one person they didn’t have in mind to fill the void at left tackle was Max Starks.

The veteran free agent has yet to be contacted by the Steelers, seemingly further solidifying the team’s intentions of giving rookie second-round pick Mike Adams every opportunity of winning the left tackle job in training camp.

“I have not had contact with management or anybody like that,” Starks said Friday while on his way to rehab his surgically repaired knee in Phoenix. “I guess eventually I will hear something from them … or maybe not.”

The Steelers seem intent on revamping their offensive line, even if that means doing something they rarely do: Start rookie offensive linemen.

The Steelers have started a rookie up front to open the season three times since the 1970 merger — Tom Ricketts in 1989, Marvel Smith in 2000 and Maurkice Pouncey in 2010.

They could have two — Adams and first-round pick David DeCastro — in the starting lineup Week 1 in Denver.

The Steelers plan to have Adams, Jonathan Scott and Trai Essex battle for the starting left tackle spot during camp.

“As for myself, I don’t see (me being a part of that battle) unless there is something I don’t know,” Starks said.

Starks likely won’t be ready for the start of training camp anyway.

It’s been about four months since Dr. James Bradley repaired the ACL Starks tore in his right knee during the wild-card playoff loss to Denver.

“I am pretty good, actually,” Starks said. “I am starting lateral work movement with my ACL, and everything is moving along nicely.”

Starks has a follow-up visit with Bradley soon during which he will get a better grasp on how far along he is. An ACL tear typically carries a nine-month recovery. With that time frame, Starks would be ready close to opening week.

“It would be pushing it to be in training camp,” Starks said. “It is not unfeasible. Athletes push it to be ready in six months, but my mindset is to be ready to play by Week 1. That’s a realistic goal for me.”

If Adams doesn’t catch on quickly, the Steelers could call on Starks like they did last season.

Starks was cut two days before training camp in a salary dump. After struggling up front during the first month, the Steelers signed Starks heading into Week 5. Starks started the remaining nine games at left tackle and played well.

Starks doesn’t know whether, if called upon again, he could replicate last season’s performance, mostly because of having a new offensive coordinator in Todd Haley.

“I would need a week or so to get the plays down and the terminology,” Starks said. “It would be a different situation even coming back to the Steelers. I just want to get healthy and play for somebody. I have the mindset of rehabbing and make sure my knee is in the best possible shape and be ready to go when someone calls.”

As for the Steelers making that call?

“If the situation arises, it is something that I would definitely be interested in,” Starks said.

Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at mkaboly@tribweb.com.
The Steelers are lucky to have a guy of Stark's quality out there and probably available should Scott, Essex or Adams not make the grade. Even if one of them stand out, they have an additional back up option at a critical position.
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Old 05-21-2012, 03:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: Starks awaits another chance in NFL

Why on earth would we keep Scott over Starks? The only 2 reasons I can come up with are rate of pay, and Stark's recent surgery - BUT - has Scott shown anything at all worthy of keeping a roster spot? I think not - and to combine that with how Starks solidified our line last season, I feel he should at least be given an invitation to camp to earn a spot if his knee can handle it.
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Starks awaits another chance in NFL

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Originally Posted by truesteelerfan View Post
Why on earth would we keep Scott over Starks? The only 2 reasons I can come up with are rate of pay, and Stark's recent surgery - BUT - has Scott shown anything at all worthy of keeping a roster spot? I think not - and to combine that with how Starks solidified our line last season, I feel he should at least be given an invitation to camp to earn a spot if his knee can handle it.
he said himself the knee doesn't feel ready for camp. what's to lose with keeping scott in camp?

nobody hates scott more than me, but im sure he will be cut before the season starts.
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Starks awaits another chance in NFL

It's not a pay rate issue; Starks will be available at veteran minimum salary if the Steelers become desperate due to injuries or other circumstances. The issues are the recent surgery, the fact that Starks is on the downside of his career, and the ready availability of other players at that talent level. And of course, there's the raising of the bar on the OL, and the youth movement.

Yes, Starks was better than Scott last year, but the Steelers are looking for general improvement in the OL. Neither Starks or Scott are attractive options, but at least we're talking about depth here. We'll have to see what they have in mind; the OT backup situation looks scary.

But the first step was to establish a powerful starting five.
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Starks awaits another chance in NFL

If Starks is healthy by the end of training camp, at veteran minimum, then he absolutely is an "attractive option" as the third tackle. It still remains to be seen what they envision for Ramon Foster. I do hope that they intend to give him some reps at the tackle spots.
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Starks awaits another chance in NFL

VERY risky starting 2 OL that are rookies - especially one being at LT

Desperate times require desperate measures and that is where we find ourselves. To put it another way - "poor planning on your part does not constitue an emergency on mine" - but that is what occurred - poor planning has lead to this drastic move.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:18 AM   #8
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Default Re: Starks awaits another chance in NFL

I say they have him on speed dial for as soon as his knee is 100%! He wants to be here and is getting in decent shape to prove it...
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: Starks awaits another chance in NFL

I dont see the obsession with Starks that many have here. Maybe he gets in shape and agrees to veteran miniumum, but I dont see why a guy is going to come back and make $1million for a season when Jon Scott is making $2mil and Colon around $4mil after his restructure.

People keep talking about Starks as veteran insurance, but I think he would want in the neighbourhood of $2-3million a season at least.
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Starks awaits another chance in NFL

Hopefully they bring him in and get rid of Scott! He's never proved he can handle it and is taking up space on cap...
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