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View Full Version : Will Starks crack the starting lineup?



BlitzburghRockCity
06-09-2008, 02:03 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08161/888463-66.stm


Monday, June 09, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana/Post-Gazette
Steelers' Max Starks (78) blocks a field goal against the Dolphins last season.

Normally when a team bestows the kind of money the Steelers did on Max Starks, it comes with much fanfare, usually a news conference.

The Steelers made Starks their second-highest paid player without even a photo op, then told him to go win a job.

Starks has been doing that all spring, trying to win back his old job of starting right tackle. He lost it to Willie Colon last summer, which set off an unusual set of circumstances that culminated when Starks signed a one-year contract for nearly $7 million in April.

Six weeks later, he's taking snaps at right and left tackle but remains the No. 3 tackle on the team behind starters Colon and Marvel Smith. The real competition, if there is one, will occur in training camp at Saint Vincent College.

"He's establishing his role," coach Mike Tomlin said. "It's the same thing I've said, and I mean what I say -- he's a starter-capable offensive lineman. We're able to keep him in the fold. He's working like others are working and they'll establish their roles in Latrobe."

It's normally not difficult to determine who the favored players are in competitions -- look at their contracts. The Steelers did not give Sean Mahan a $4 million signing bonus as part of his five-year, $17 million contract last season to back up Chukky Okobi at center.

Starks' case is different. It would come as little surprise, even to him, if he filled the same role he did last season, when he earned $1.85 million on a one-year contract.

"It doesn't surprise me," Starks said. "It's not like, 'OK, we give you this money, guess what? We're giving you a golden ticket to Willie Wonka's factory, you know, a starting job.' It's going to be something that has to be earned."

the rest of the article can be read via the link; but it does make you wonder if he's going to be able to unseat Willie Colon in camp this year. The team obviously thinks Max has starter potential and being thin at Tackle as it is they kept their options open by signing him. He's taking snaps at both Left and Right Tackle now so they are definitely using him to his capacity at this point in the offseason but Colon won't just roll over and give him the job so it should be fun to watch and see if Max can get the starting job back. I think if Max plays to his potential he'll take that job back from Willie.

Steel58
06-09-2008, 07:51 AM
They should have given the money to Faneca:helmet:

steelcitysfinestXL
06-09-2008, 11:05 AM
They should have given the money to Faneca:helmet:

:banging: who is this Faneca you speak of!?!?

In my very unprofessional opinion, the only people that will tell you Colon played poorly last year are in this forum. I think he played well enough to control his own destiny as the starting RT of this team. Colon played next to the 2 weak links on this line and held his own. Simmons and Mahan were the ones eating shiat all season. Faneca didnt earn his way to a new contract, and Smith was hurt,... who does thaty leave as our most productive OL... as a matter of fact he was dubbed the best player in the league as per "pay vs. performance" I look at this oline like this

LT- Marv Smith
LG- Chris K
C- J Hartwig
RG- Simmons/Colon
RT- Colon/ Starks

The only question marks are Chris K and whether Hartwig can mesh with this group!!! If we stay injury free :crossfingers: i see no reason this oline can be much improved from the last 2 seasons!

BlitzburghRockCity
06-09-2008, 11:57 AM
I don't think Hartwig will have a problem meshing with the line, Im just happy that we have a quality Center again and not a castoff from somebody else who "can" play center but is more suited to Guard like Mahan. Simmons' problem was partially due to the bad play of Mahan as much as it was him not having a good season in general. I don't know if Colon played well enough to control his own destiny in my personal opinion but he is currently listed as the starting RT so Starks is going to have to play well and prove he's ready to step in so we don't have another episode like last year where he gets benched.

steelcityrockers
06-09-2008, 04:38 PM
Colon played ok. He struggled a bi in Pass Prtection though

HUNT4SEVEN
06-10-2008, 12:58 AM
faneca sucked these last 2 years i'm glad he's gone the rooneys was not going 2 overpay 4 him an i'm glad they didn't ,mahan stunk up the joint i think colon should be moved 2 right guard an let starks play right tackle this year,if we go with smith,kemo,hartwig, colon an starks i believe we will b fine.Hartwig will b an hell of an upgrade from that bum mahan, me personally i think colon is an better right/left guard.

Steel58
06-10-2008, 08:34 AM
The money they are giving him , he needs to start

Steel58
06-11-2008, 08:19 AM
Hopefully yes he can

BlitzburghRockCity
06-13-2008, 12:04 PM
faneca sucked these last 2 years i'm glad he's gone the rooneys was not going 2 overpay 4 him an i'm glad they didn't ,mahan stunk up the joint i think colon should be moved 2 right guard an let starks play right tackle this year,if we go with smith,kemo,hartwig, colon an starks i believe we will b fine.Hartwig will b an hell of an upgrade from that bum mahan, me personally i think colon is an better right/left guard.


I agree that Faneca wanted way too much money and the Rooney's just weren't prepared to pay a guard who's been in the league 10 years already that kind of money but his play last year was directly proportionate to the poor play of Mahan. When the Center can't hold his own the entire line just collapses from the middle out and everybody suffers.

I really hope that Starks wins this job outright if he's going to take it and just gets it by default if there is no clear winner. Last year nobody really stepped up at Center so Mahan got it by default and we saw how that worked out. The same thing happened at RT where Max got it but then got benched. It's time for the right side of the line to step up and take the jobs away from their competition. We'll be a better team for it.