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fordfixer
11-06-2009, 04:38 AM
Dependable Starks prepares for next test

By Mark Kaboly, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, November 6, 2009
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 51778.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_651778.html)

Max Starks has stated numerous times over his career that he would hate to face teammate James Harrison in a game.

Well, what about a James Harrison clone?

Denver linebacker Elvis Dumervil, a converted defensive end, is as close as the NFL has to offer as a twin to the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in stature and production.

The 5-foot-11, 248-pound Dumervil is an inch smaller than Harrison and six pounds heavier. This season, Dumervil has two more sacks than Harrison's eight.

To most left tackles in the league, going up against a guy such as Dumervil on Monday Night Football would be overwhelming, but not to Starks.

That's because Starks has one big advantage over Dumervil, and it has nothing to do with the eight inches and nearly 100 pounds he holds over him.

Starks' advantage is Harrison.

Ever since he took over the starting left tackle job six games into last season, Starks has practiced against Harrison every day.

That's every day last year, every day during offseason workouts, every day during a month of training camp this year and every day this season.

Starks has definitely learned tricks on how to deal with a diminutive but powerful guy who likes to get after the quarterback.

"The good news is that I have the opportunity to go up against a James Harrison every day in practice," Starks said. "It is not that big of a difference. If we hadn't had somebody like him and I was going up against a 6-5 guy ... that would be a lot tougher."

What Dumervil does do is use his speed to his advantage. But, according to former Louisville teammate William Gay, you can't ignore his power and strength either.

"Sure he has the speed to get to the outside," Gay said. "What people don't know about him is that he is strong. In college, he used to outlift the offensive linemen."

Dumervil has abused tackles this year. He has multiple sacks in four of Denver's seven games but has been shut out in the other three, including last week against Baltimore tackles Jared Gaither and Michael Oher.

"He is a great pass rusher," Starks said.

But Starks hasn't been a slouch, either. He has been pretty formidable in stopping the opposition's top pass rusher this year.

Starks, who has started at left tackle in the Steelers' past 21 games, including the postseason, has gone up against the likes of Tennessee's Kyle Vanden Bosch, Chicago's Alex Brown, Cincinnati's Antwan Odom, San Diego's Shawne Merriman, Detroit's Julian Peterson and Minnesota's Jared Allen. Starks has been nearly flawless.

"He has done a good job," fellow tackle Willie Colon said. "He has stepped up to the plate against a lot of good guys. Max has kind of had a knack for stepping up to the big challenges."

Dumervil is next up for Starks and might be his stiffest challenge yet. However, Starks sees it as just another day at the office.

"Elvis Dumervil wants to make his stats look good and wants to hurt my quarterback," Starks said. "I will make sure I do my best not to allow that to happen."

Starks has done that fairly well. Yes, he is responsible for 4 1/2 sacks of Ben Roethlisberger this year, but Brown was the only one out of the "Big Six" who recorded one.

The other 3 1/2 sacks came from other defenders, and all were coverage sacks in which Roethlisberger had an average of more than 5 seconds to get rid of the ball.

"I really don't look at personal stats unless I mess up," Starks said. "I look forward to competing. It doesn't matter who the guy is. You want to prove who is better, and that is the main driving force for myself."

RuthlessBurgher
11-06-2009, 05:35 PM
Who woulda thunk it...the words "Dependable" and "Starks" go together in the title of an article...and we all accept it instead of make fun of it. The big fella's come a long way, eh?

By the way, what is all this about Starks going up against Harrison every day in practice? Sure, that happens a whole bunch in training camp, but during the regular season prep work, doesn't the starting offense face a scout team defense that is running the opponent's defensive scheme and the starting defense faces a scout team offense that is running the opponent's offensive scheme? Don't we see ones-vs.-ones in practice only very rarely once the regular season begins?

NKySteeler
11-06-2009, 05:42 PM
"Elvis Dumervil wants to make his stats look good and wants to hurt my quarterback," Starks said. "I will make sure I do my best not to allow that to happen."

When I read this, I couldn't stop thinking about the big guy in "Necessary Roughness" talking to Scott Bacula... "He will not touch you."..... :lol:

birtikidis
11-06-2009, 06:03 PM
Who woulda thunk it...the words "Dependable" and "Starks" go together in the title of an article...and we all accept it instead of make fun of it. The big fella's come a long way, eh?

By the way, what is all this about Starks going up against Harrison every day in practice? Sure, that happens a whole bunch in training camp, but during the regular season prep work, doesn't the starting offense face a scout team defense that is running the opponent's defensive scheme and the starting defense faces a scout team offense that is running the opponent's offensive scheme? Don't we see ones-vs.-ones in practice only very rarely once the regular season begins?
no you see one-vs-ones alot in practice. i mean you only have what, 8 practice squad guys?

RuthlessBurgher
11-06-2009, 07:18 PM
Who woulda thunk it...the words "Dependable" and "Starks" go together in the title of an article...and we all accept it instead of make fun of it. The big fella's come a long way, eh?

By the way, what is all this about Starks going up against Harrison every day in practice? Sure, that happens a whole bunch in training camp, but during the regular season prep work, doesn't the starting offense face a scout team defense that is running the opponent's defensive scheme and the starting defense faces a scout team offense that is running the opponent's offensive scheme? Don't we see ones-vs.-ones in practice only very rarely once the regular season begins?
no you see one-vs-ones alot in practice. i mean you only have what, 8 practice squad guys?

You also have a lot of backup players as well that are on the 53 man roster but don't start who round out your scout team in practice to go against your first team guys.

The scout team offense could look something like this:

LT: Tony Hills
LG: Doug Legursky
C: A.Q. Shipley*
RG: Kraig Urbik
RT: Ramon Foster
WR: Limas Sweed
WR: Tyler Grisham*
TE: Eugene Bright*
RB: Justin Vincent*
RB: Isaac Redman*
QB: Dennis Dixon

The scout team defense could look something like this:

DE: Ziggy Hood
NT: Steve McClendon*
DE: Sonny Harris
OLB: Arnold Harrison
ILB: Patrick Bailey
ILB: Donovan Woods*
OLB: Andre Frazier
CB: Keenan Lewis
SS: Tuff Harris*
FS: Ryan Mundy
CB: Joe Burnett

[* denotes practice squad players]

Uncle Rico
11-07-2009, 07:30 AM
I still find it hard to believe that Dumervil was only a 4th round pick. At Louisville he won the Nagurski Trophy, the Ted Hendricks Award, and he was also Big East player of the year as well as a first-team All-American. The kid's a beast.

Shoe
11-07-2009, 04:27 PM
I still find it hard to believe that Dumervil was only a 4th round pick. At Louisville he won the Nagurski Trophy, the Ted Hendricks Award, and he was also Big East player of the year as well as a first-team All-American. The kid's a beast.

I thought the same thing, and sorta wrote him off at draft time cuz I figured "they" (the experts) knew something I didn't.

But the guy had the credentials obviously. I'm greedy; I wish we had the foresight to draft him.

frankthetank1
11-08-2009, 11:58 AM
I still find it hard to believe that Dumervil was only a 4th round pick. At Louisville he won the Nagurski Trophy, the Ted Hendricks Award, and he was also Big East player of the year as well as a first-team All-American. The kid's a beast.

I thought the same thing, and sorta wrote him off at draft time cuz I figured "they" (the experts) knew something I didn't.

But the guy had the credentials obviously. I'm greedy; I wish we had the foresight to draft him.

draft him to play olb? i dont think he is even close to being the size for a 3-4 de. wasnt his size the main reason why he slipped in the draft? i actually think dummervil's size helps him the same as harrison's. they are a lot shorter than any LT so they get a lot of leverage

NorthCoast
11-11-2009, 10:29 AM
There were a WHOLE LOT of people on the mb ripping the FO and Colbert for the Starks signing 'debacle'. Sometimes we fans really don't see or know the whole story. Look how this has turned out. Given Starks level of play this season he is a bargain at $7M when others with similar stats are making $9-10M. I can't recall but it is a one year deal, correct?

RuthlessBurgher
11-11-2009, 11:30 AM
There were a WHOLE LOT of people on the mb ripping the FO and Colbert for the Starks signing 'debacle'. Sometimes we fans really don't see or know the whole story. Look how this has turned out. Given Starks level of play this season he is a bargain at $7M when others with similar stats are making $9-10M. I can't recall but it is a one year deal, correct?

Nope. On 6/23/2009, we signed him to a four-year, $26.3 million contract with a $10 million signing bonus.