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    Starks a priority.....

    PITTSBURGH – Max Starks was an injured player in a bleak locker room, but the Pittsburgh Steelers’ massive offensive tackle couldn’t help but smile when informed that the team had placed a priority on re-signing him this off-season.

    “I would hope I’ve proven my worth to this team,” Starks said. “I hope so because I love it here. It’s the first place – I got drafted here. I love the community here and I do a lot in the community.”

    And he was beginning to do a lot more. After losing his job at right tackle in training camp, Starks effectively replaced injured left tackle Marvel Smith over the final month of the season. It became obvious to the Steelers that Starks is one of their five best linemen and they’ve adjusted their off-season thinking accordingly.

    But it may be too late, since Starks, who turns 26 on Wednesday, would undoubtedly receive several attractive offers on the open market in March.
    Is he anxious to wait until the market opens to test his worth?

    “I’m not really anxious,” he said. “But you have to look at your options, particularly after this year. I sat the bench most of the year.”
    Will that factor into his thinking this spring?

    “It’s got to factor in,” Starks said. “Do they want to sign me and put me in the same situation as it was this past year, where there was competition but no competition at the same time?”


    Obviously, the Steelers plan to re-insert Starks as one of their starting tackles next season. If Smith returns healthy, current tackle Willie Colon could be moved inside to guard. Kendall Simmons could also slide to left guard and Alan Faneca could conceivably move to center.

    Faneca said last week that he’s open to such talk, and the rest of the Steelers believe re-signing Faneca is a must. He and Starks are the team’s most significant free agents-to-be.

    “Some of you guys thought [Faneca] was washed up,” Hines Ward told a group of reporters. “I don’t know what you guys have been looking at. He’s been the consummate pro -- teaching the young guys, playing his heart out and never complaining or griping about anything. It’ll be a loss to our organization if he’s not here next year.”

    Ben Roethlisberger interrupted his post-game response about the team’s defensive effort Saturday to lobby for Faneca.

    “If this was my last game with Alan Faneca, and I hope it isn’t, it truly was an honor and a privilege to be his quarterback,” Roethlisberger said. “I love him to death.”

    Faneca, if paid his market value, would leave behind his lame-duck status of this past season to return to the role of active offensive leader.

    “Yeah, and I think it would say a lot to the players as well,” said Troy Polamalu. “You want to see the guys that have really worked hard get paid off. It would mean a lot to the team and obviously a lot to Alan and his family.”

    Polamalu was asked to describe Faneca as a teammate.

    “A blessing,” Polamalu said. “I’ve never seen anybody show up and work like him every day and never complain. He’s really a leader on this team – whether he wants to admit it or not. I really hope we do something good for him because he really deserves it more than anybody I’ve ever seen in this organization.”

    Faneca’s wife Julie hopes her family can stay in Pittsburgh. Starks, meanwhile, has his own ties to the city.

    “My aunt lives here and she’s lived here since I was born, so I’ve been coming up here since I was a kid,” Starks said. “It’s definitely like my home and I definitely don’t want to leave. It would be a tough situation if I had to, but it’s one of those things where we have to see where I fall into their scheme of things. I hope I am here again.”

    By Jim Wexell
    SteelCityInsider.com
    Posted Jan 6, 2008
    Definitely need to resign Max. I'm wondering what kind of value they'll place on him, with his injury and only starting 4 games this year.


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    The Absolute Truth Koopa's Avatar
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    maybe he should be the LT, and smith be the RT, and then colon at left guard and then draft a right guard and a center.......... ..... i won't mind him coming back, cause i think he'll be cheap
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    SA's #1 Pirates Fan Tetris Champion Black@Gold Forever32's Avatar
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    I don't know if Max is the answer at LT......I want the Steelers to draft a LT......Max said he wants to start and I don't blame him for that.....I think drafting a LT and moving Marvel to RT is the better move....But if Max wants to resign and compete with a rookie OT and Marvel then so be it...I wouldn't mind that at all.....Plus if the price is right then sign Faneca but don't over pay for him.....Its cool Ben and Ward stuck up for Faneca and wanted him to be resigned...At this point Troy can get bent for all I care....I don't care what he has to say...lol He better have at least 5 INTs and 2-3 sacks next year the over paid pansy....

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    The Absolute Truth Koopa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black@Gold Forever32 View Post
    I don't know if Max is the answer at LT......I want the Steelers to draft a LT......Max said he wants to start and I don't blame him for that.....I think drafting a LT and moving Marvel to RT is the better move....But if Max wants to resign and compete with a rookie OT and Marvel then so be it...I wouldn't mind that at all.....Plus if the price is right then sign Faneca but don't over pay for him.....Its cool Ben and Ward stuck up for Faneca and wanted him to be resigned...At this point Troy can get bent for all I care....I don't care what he has to say...lol He better have at least 5 INTs and 2-3 sacks next year the over paid pansy....
    is there a left tackle first round worthy??

    if faneca comes back, i won't mind it, but like you said, he better not be over payed, we still have to lock up ben, and soon holmes lol.....but then what happens to colon?? takes simmons spot?? i wouldn't mind that, but simmons just signed that new deal so i doubt he won't be the starter..........**** i hate mahan lol
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    SA's #1 Pirates Fan Tetris Champion Black@Gold Forever32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koopa View Post
    is there a left tackle first round worthy??

    if faneca comes back, i won't mind it, but like you said, he better not be over payed, we still have to lock up ben, and soon holmes lol.....but then what happens to colon?? takes simmons spot?? i wouldn't mind that, but simmons just signed that new deal so i doubt he won't be the starter..........**** i hate mahan lol
    Dude there are about 5 OTs if all the juniors declare that are worth a first round grade.......

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    The Absolute Truth Koopa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black@Gold Forever32 View Post
    Dude there are about 5 OTs if all the juniors declare that are worth a first round grade.......
    oh, then **** starks lol
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    I'm not so sure moving Alan to center is wise, and I don't really understand how it went from Max "Turnstile" Starx at the beginning of the season--to all of a sudden articles saying how good he is and that he needs re-signed (at a higher rate of pay and as a starter no doubt)...

    IMHO, Max is a decent back-up, but I didn't see anything at the beginning of the year (or any other time) to make him worth paying lots of money for. He played only at what I consider a barely acceptable level--guys a lot smaller than him blows him off blocks--he just doesn't seem to have that "killer" instinct and attitude that I think we need. Heck, all the more Trai has played this year--he came in and replaced Max at LT, and I didn't see any drop off at all. So we could probably get someone who's several years younger, who's hungry to play and show what they can do for a LOT less money.
    Last edited by SteelersWoman; 01-07-2008 at 08:05 AM.

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    If Max resigns the most the team will promise him is an option competition to be the starter at either LT or RT and I think that's all he wants the option to compete for a starting job. It would behoove them start the talks now and try to get him inked before FA starts.

    As far as Faneca, he's said before there will be no hometown discount. He wants what he feels is fair market value and nothing less. Im not saying he won't come back next year but with the team wanting to ink Ben to a long term deal, then you want to resign Alan too? That's going to take some salary cap juggling. Fortunately it shouldn't take all THAT much to get Starks unless somebody like Arizona would way overpay him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Koopa View Post
    is there a left tackle first round worthy??
    Jake Long from UM, but we would def need to trade up to get him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TEEMONT View Post
    Jake Long from UM, but we would def need to trade up to get him.
    I havnt seen Jake play, but heard rumors of glory and epic plays ( ), but if he is as good as ive been reading, i think it would be worth trading a little to get him.
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