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View Full Version : Marvel undergoes surgery.....Max Starks stepping up



DIESELMAN
12-27-2007, 08:53 PM
In a matter relating to the offensive line, starting left tackle Marvel Smith, the Steelers' best pass protector, but a player who has missed three starts this season, underwent Thursday surgery to address a disk problem that has plagued him all season and affected his play. Pittsburgh will wait to make a determination on whether to place Smith on injured reserve. There is a chance, the Steelers believe, that the eight-year veteran and former Pro Bowl performer might be able to return to the lineup if the team advances to the second round of the playoffs. The Steelers' second-round pick in the 2000 draft, Smith has appeared in 106 games, with 103 starts, during his eight seasons with the club. Fourth-year veteran Max Starks, who has replaced Smith in the lineup for the three games that he missed earlier in the year, will take over at left tackle. Starks was a two-year starter at right tackle before losing that job to Willie Colon in training camp.

BlitzburghRockCity
12-27-2007, 09:30 PM
I would wait to put him on IR if for no other reason than depth. Starks is fine at LT and Colon at RT but after that we have nobody left of any value who can play that position except Essex.

Silverback 92
12-27-2007, 10:16 PM
man I wish these guys werent dropping like flys right now...

Iron City South
12-27-2007, 10:34 PM
IF this was surgery associated with a disk problem, why on earth would the Steelers say something so outragiously stupid like, "we're hopeful he might be able to return to the lineup if the team advances to the second round of the playoffs" ?

Anything associated with disk surgery takes 8 weeks at best .... There's no way in hell Marvel plays another snap of football this season.

NONE ...

Black@Gold Forever32
12-27-2007, 10:43 PM
IF this was surgery associated with a disk problem, why on earth would the Steelers say something so outragiously stupid like, "we're hopeful he might be able to return to the lineup if the team advances to the second round of the playoffs" ?

Anything associated with disk surgery takes 8 weeks at best .... There's no way in hell Marvel plays another snap of football this season.

NONE ...

No doubt usually any disk injury takes more then a couple weeks to heal 100 percent...I would be stunned if Marvel played another down of football this year...Its going to take a miracle from Jesus Christ himself for Smith to play again this year...

BlitzburghRockCity
12-27-2007, 10:45 PM
It might just be exploratory or something to find out the exact cause of what's going on or perhaps some way to just go in there and ease the pain he's been in and then in the offseason he'll have the full surgery :dunno:

Black@Gold Forever32
12-27-2007, 10:46 PM
It might just be exploratory or something to find out the exact cause of what's going on or perhaps some way to just go in there and ease the pain he's been in and then in the offseason he'll have the full surgery :dunno:

I hope so since this team has now OT depth...lol LT and OT in general is such a huge need in the off-season....Plus center and OG....Basically an entire OL.....

K Train
12-27-2007, 10:50 PM
Starks is fine at LT

never thought youd say that huh?

**** football, i hope he gets better soon, back injuries are no joke.....we'll draft a bulk of the oline this year so im not worried about this in the long run....especially now maybe this will persuade them to go LT if they werent thinking about it already

Black@Gold Forever32
12-27-2007, 10:54 PM
never thought youd say that huh?

**** football, i hope he gets better soon, back injuries are no joke.....we'll draft a bulk of the oline this year so im not worried about this in the long run....especially now maybe this will persuade them to go LT if they werent thinking about it already

My mom has had multi disk removed from her back...So I know all about back injuries and pain since seeing her battle a bad back for years....So you're right football isn't the most important thing regarding Marvel right now...I hope he gets better soon....Like you said hopefully this team really goes after a LT in the draft this year....

Iron City South
12-27-2007, 11:49 PM
I've heard a nasty rumor that Smith's back problems are much worse than what the media is being told about. This cat may not play football again.

BlitzburghRockCity
12-28-2007, 09:04 AM
Smith has had back problems for years now, that's why he regularly sits out of practice 1 day a week to get treatment and rest up and why he sometimes sits out of training camp practices, etc.

BlitzburghRockCity
12-29-2007, 07:06 AM
Starks is stepping up to the plate...

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07363/845286-66.stm?cmpid=HBEHTML


Saturday, December 29, 2007
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Max Starks blocks a field goal attempt by the Dolphins' Jay Feely. (11/27/2007)Max Starks is a natural left-hander who mostly played left tackle at the University of Florida, where his nickname was the "Undertaker" because of his family's mortuary business. It wasn't necessarily because Starks, who is 6 feet 8, planted opponents in the ground.

But there was little evidence of any of that during the preseason when Starks, a two-year starter at right tackle, was tried at left tackle as a potential backup for Marvel Smith. Starks looked uneasy and unsure at the position, giving up way too many sacks and feeling like he wanted to crawl in a hole.

"I didn't get a chance to practice at the position in the preseason," Starks said. "They said, 'Go play in the game,' and I was like ... uhhhh, OK."

Four months later, Starks is back at left tackle, getting ready to start his fourth game tomorrow in the regular-season finale against the Baltimore Ravens (4-11) at M&T Bank Stadium tomorrow. He will remain the starter, too, at least for the wild-card round of the playoffs and maybe longer, should the Steelers (10-5) advance.

Surprisingly, and perhaps amazingly, there has been no resemblance to the player who struggled at that position in the preseason. Starks has played so well that the back injury to Smith, along with the perceived dropoff in performance at left tackle, has been minimized, if not eliminated.

"He's picked up right where Marvel has left off," said Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca, who plays next to Starks on the offensive line. "There has been no real drop in play, which is what you need from your sixth or seventh guy on the offensive line because [injuries are] going to happen. You got to keep on moving."

And the Steelers will have to keep on moving without Smith, a seven-year starter who had microscopic back surgery Thursday morning and might not play again this season. The surgery was performed by team neurosurgeon Dr. Joe Maroon.

Smith was already scheduled to sit out against the Ravens, even before his surgery. But he will not play in a wild-card playoff game next weekend at Heinz Field and won't return, in a best-case scenario, unless the Steelers advance to at least the second round.

That has put Starks back at left tackle, the position that is considered the most important on the offensive line because it protects the blind side of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

"There's definitely a certain level of comfort playing the left side and being left-handed," said Smith, a third-round draft choice in 2004. "But there are a lot of left tackles in this league who aren't left-handed. For me, I feel a certain level of comfort going over there and being left-handed."

Smith missed back-to-back games earlier this season against the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals because of a disk problem in his back. He returned for the 34-13 loss in New England and started the following week against Jacksonville.

But Smith allowed four sacks against the Jaguars, an abnormal total for a player who is considered the team's best pass protector. Coach Mike Tomlin said Smith was having back problems again, and this time the problem was even more extreme.

The pain was running down his leg, making it difficult for Smith to plant or push off. He was replaced by Starks for the last series against the Jaguars, and may not play again this season.

Starks has helped ease the loss, something not many thought possible when they saw him perform at left tackle in the preseason.

"You know, things are kind of flying around in training camp," Faneca said. "You're learning plays, you're adding plays, he's bouncing around from practice to practice, he's a left tackle, he's a right tackle, some practices he's both. You kind of lose that comfort value."

But that all changed in the regular season, beginning when Starks had to replace Smith as the starter against in a Nov. 26 game against the Miami Dolphins. Starks played well in his first outing, stuffing defensive end Jason Taylor, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, and holding him without a sack with the help of a sloppy field.

The following week, he was singled out by coach Mike Tomlin for the way he played against the Bengals' best defensive lineman, Justin Smith. Tomlin singled out Starks again this week for the way he played in the 41-24 victory against the Rams.

"Max is a professional," Tomlin said. "He executes some good sound technique. He's lighter than he was in the preseason. I am sure that is factor with agility and mobility. I appreciate Max's efforts. He is always ready to step up and deliver for his team."

Max has really stepped up his game since the preseason when he couldn't seem to get out of his own way. If he keeps this up the team may just rethink the idea of letting him go. He was a 3rd round draft pick remember so the dude should be no slouch but given how bad he played at LT earlier it's good to see him getting a feel for it now. Depending on happens with Marvel and his surgery, Max would be a good guy to have around since he can play both positions just like Smith can.

Black@Gold Forever32
12-29-2007, 01:32 PM
Starks is stepping up to the plate...

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07363/845286-66.stm?cmpid=HBEHTML


Max has really stepped up his game since the preseason when he couldn't seem to get out of his own way. If he keeps this up the team may just rethink the idea of letting him go. He was a 3rd round draft pick remember so the dude should be no slouch but given how bad he played at LT earlier it's good to see him getting a feel for it now. Depending on happens with Marvel and his surgery, Max would be a good guy to have around since he can play both positions just like Smith can.

This game and the play-offs will be further evidence if Max Starks is to be resigned...If he plays well then I say resign him no problem....If he is resigned the Steelers should still draft a LT.....

I hope Marvel has a great recovery......:bigthumb:

BlitzburghRockCity
12-29-2007, 02:28 PM
This game and the play-offs will be further evidence if Max Starks is to be resigned...If he plays well then I say resign him no problem....If he is resigned the Steelers should still draft a LT.....

I hope Marvel has a great recovery......:bigthumb:

This is true, the playoffs are where you meet the best of the best and a LT is so important so the coming weeks will really give us a good indication of just how far he's come. If he does play well he'll want to be compensated for it so we'll have to see how much the Rooney's are willing to dish out for him; if anything.

Either way we still need depth at Tackle on both sides, if we don't take atleast 1 in the draft Im going to drive up to Heinz Field and throw a damn fit ! :greengrin:

Iron City South
12-29-2007, 04:47 PM
Coincidence that Tomlin is now washing the balls of Starks and fellatiating him with praise when just 3 months ago he stripped this man of his starting job and treated him like a 2nd class citizen? Not a chance ....

Tomlin now realizes how important Starks is to the rebuilding process of this line. Tomlin now sees that this organization may have to make him an offer.

BlitzburghRockCity
12-29-2007, 04:53 PM
Starks didn't go **** earlier in the season. He was getting beat left and right and played like he had cement nike's on. Whether or not he had a chance to learn the position or not we really don't know how much of that is true for sure but in any event the dude was a 3rd round pick so I'd like to see him step up to the plate and solidify a position.