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Old 08-29-2006, 11:42 PM   #1
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Default Starks nursing a knee

This is the first we're hearing of this......

Notebook: Starks nursing knee problem
By The Tribune-Review
Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The starters don't expect to play much -- if any -- Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers. Right tackle Max Starks, however, definitely will sit out the exhibition finale because of a left knee injury that was sustained against the Philadelphia Eagles last week.

"He should be fine, but he will not play or dress," coach Bill Cowher said.

Starks has not practiced the past two days. Rookie Willie Colon is listed as the second-team right tackle, but second-year lineman Trai Essex is expected to start in place of Starks.

? Essex made four starts at left tackle last year when Marvel Smith was injured. He also played left guard this preseason against the Minnesota Vikings. Moving to the right side will be an adjustment, but Essex is confident he handle it.


"I have to be comfortable on the right side," Essex said. "I'm playing against the best, and I don't want to be the weak link in our offensive line."

Essex also thinks playing one more position will increase his chance of getting on the field.

"When the coach has confidence that you can play multiple positions, it definitely helps in the long run," he said. "It helps you dress on Sunday."

? Despite the changes up front and an inconsistent running game, Cowher said he is comfortable with his offensive linemen.

"I don't know if I'm concerned. We've been a little bit inconsistent there," he said. "Those guys have worked with one another, and I know what they can do. I would like to think we'll be fine there."

? Also sitting out the game against the Panthers because of injury will be wide receiver Hines Ward, tight end Jerame Tuman and defensive back Anthony Madison. All three players have hamstring injuries and did not practice again yesterday. Linebacker Joey Porter returned to practice after missing Monday's session because of tonsillitis.

? Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger watched some of Carson Palmer's preseason debut Monday night for the Cincinnati Bengals. In his first action since tearing up his knee eight months ago in a playoff loss to the Steelers, Palmer threw three touchdown passes against the Green Bay Packers.

"That's Carson Palmer, he's one of the best quarterbacks in the game right now," Roethlisberger said. "I know he doesn't like the Steelers, but I don't have a problem with him. I'm glad he's back, glad he's doing well. I hope he continues to do well all year, except when he's playing us."

? With a loss Thursday, the Steelers would finish exhibition play 0-4. The last time they had a winless preseason was 1987. They went 0-5 in 1965.

"I'm not worried about this team from a confidence standpoint if we go through this season 0-4," Cowher said. "If you're coming off a losing season or a couple of losing season and there's a culture you're trying to establish, it may play a factor. I'm not concerned with that with this football team. We've made some progress. Would I like to see us further ahead in some areas? Yes, I would. But we aren't."

Digits

7 - Times the Steelers have played the Carolina Panthers in exhibition play.

6 - Times since 1997 the Steelers have played the Panthers in the exhibition finale.

4 - Wins over the Panthers in exhibition play.

3 - Members of the Panthers who played at Pitt: special teams coach Danny Crossman, defensive line coach Sal Sunseri and running back Nick Goings.
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Old 08-29-2006, 11:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Starks nursing a knee

I think we have 2 very good back-up tackles in Essex and Colon, even if Colon is a little on the short side. Twill be interesting to see what we do with them...
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Old 08-30-2006, 04:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: Starks nursing a knee

Healthy we need this oline healthy
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Old 08-30-2006, 06:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: Starks nursing a knee

I didn't realize Maxie was injured. I'm sure he'll be ready for the opener - don't think Max would miss that one for anything!

You're right, cleve - we definitely need that OL to be healthy this season and we also need Hines back ASAP to help with the blocking.
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Old 08-30-2006, 11:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: Starks nursing a knee

Hopefully Starxs injury is not that severe. Hopefully this is just a precautionary and he is ready to go against Miami. The OL definitley needs to stay healthy.
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Old 08-30-2006, 11:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: Starks nursing a knee

I believe it's more precationary than anything. I know If I had a starter with a slight tweak he wouldn't play with only seven days till the opener. Rest Boys Rest as its about to begin!
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Starks nursing a knee

i like starx, i thing he is a very solid starter for tackle, im glad he won the job during 04. he might be our best tackle.
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