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fordfixer
04-02-2010, 06:36 PM
Steelers LT Max Starks: We'll always be there for Ben Roethlisberger

Dennis Dillon
http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/article ... hlisberger (http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/article/2010-04-02/steelers-lt-max-starks-well-always-be-there-for-ben-roethlisberger)
Friday, Apr. 2, 2010 - 10:22 a.m. ET

When the Steelers opened their offseason program Monday, their left tackle, Max Starks, was 2,000 miles away in Arizona. It had nothing to do with a contract dispute or any other discontent on the part of Starks, who joined his Steelers teammates in Pittsburgh on Thursday. He has been training at the Athletes Performance center in Phoenix since 2004, the year the Steelers drafted him out of Florida.
Max Starks said working out in Phoenix 'makes it easier for me to focus and get myself in the right mindset.'
Max Starks said working out in Phoenix 'makes it easier for me to focus and get myself in the right mindset.'

Starks talked to Sporting News' Dennis Dillon about the advantages of working out at AP, the latest Ben Roethlisberger controversy and Starks' new role.

Q: Roethlisberger has been accused of sexual assault of a woman in Georgia. What are your thoughts on his situation?
A: Ben is our quarterback. He's a friend of mine. I support him in whatever happens. I wasn't there; I haven't talked to him about it. But we'll always be there as teammates and as a team to uplift him. But that's something he has to go through and deal with.

Q: Does he need to stop putting himself in these situations?
A: When you put people on pedestals, you're always looking to knock them off those pedestals. That's just the nature of our society. If it was any regular guy doing this, it wouldn't be an issue. But because it's a professional athlete, a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, the magnitude is that much greater, the scope is that much wider, the margin for error is that much less.

Q: If he gets suspended and you have to start the season without him, how will that affect the team?
A: Ben is a differencemaker and a phenomenal quarterback. Our team will just have to rebound. We have Dennis Dixon and we re-signed Charlie Batch, so we have some good quarterbacks who have stepped in in auxiliary roles before. On any given day, we have 47 guys dressing ready to rock and roll. As long as the core 47 that we put out there is ready to play, we should be OK. And we would anxiously await his arrival.

Q: What do you get from working out here that you don't get in Pittsburgh?
A: It makes it easier for me to focus and get myself in the right mindset I need to be in before going back (to Pittsburgh) to train and get ready for the season. This is kind of that pseudo Zen type of focusing time for me. It gives me a lot better mental clarity.

Q: Are Steelers coaches OK with you being a few days late to the offseason program? A: When I'm out here, it's not like I'm playing around or trying to get a couple extra rounds of golf in. They know how focused, serious and committed I am. So when I do come back, I'm ready to roll and I'm chipping in and putting my hand in the pile to get ready.

Q: Is there one thing specifically you're trying to work on out here?
A: It's always about performance, how to have better core strength. At the position I play, it's key to have a lot of core power because you're going from such a stagnant position— you're crouched and coiled—to exploding out of that position. That generates from your core strength. I'm always working on balance and technique, and I think they do a great job here of making sure everything balances out.

Q: How disappointing was the '09 season after winning the Super Bowl the year before?
A: It's always disappointing when you can't hold your ground or defend your championship. ... This isn't the first time we've done it. It brings us clarity to know that, OK, we can do this, we can get to a Super Bowl. We've done it twice. And we've also had two hangover seasons to complement it. But we have a very veteran group that's motivated.

Q: If there's one thing you want to do differently this year to help the Steelers return to the Super Bowl, what would it be?
A: I've never been one to be the rah-rah guy, the team speaker. But now, having reached this level of veteranhood, I think it's time to put in my 2 cents. I've seen a lot and experienced a lot in this league. I can see when things are starting to turn. I've tried to play harder in the past to hopefully show my teammates that, hey, just keep your nose to the grindstone, your eyes looking forward and move ahead and it will be all right. I see now that I need to be a more vocal leader on this team and not just let performance speak for itself but also actions and my speech be along that same level.

Q: When do you plan to announce your arrival as a vocal leader?
A: The first opportunity when something needs to be said. As far as stepping up to the plate, if it's necessary, and when that opportunity comes — which it will, because there's always adverse times in the season where you're going to have the fork in the road — I'll be prepared.

Dennis Dillon is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at ddillon@sportingnews.com.

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hawaiiansteel
04-02-2010, 07:28 PM
we got your back Ben! next season we'll even try blocking for you when you go back to pass, just don't hold onto the damn ball so long...


http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/08eRc4Qgy8bmt/x350.jpg

_SteeL_CurtaiN_
04-05-2010, 04:39 PM
we got your back Ben! next season we'll even try blocking for you when you go back to pass, just don't hold onto the damn ball so long...


http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/08eRc4Qgy8bmt/x350.jpg



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