I don't think Starks will be back because I believe he will get a nice offer somewhere else that the Steelers won't match. This is a huge offseason for Gilbert and Adams and I would expect to see both improved come July. We have to remember these kids are still pretty young and developing. Tomlin always says the biggest offseason for players is the one between year 1 and 2. For Gilbert it's pretty much offseason two because of the lockout. I expect our starting OL to be.
According to one NFL scout this week, in any given draft there are perhaps only 1 or 2 "can't miss" 3-4 OLBs. It's already been announced that a number of teams are switching to the 3-4 next season. The scout said that there simply isn't enough 3-4 OLB talent emerging from the college ranks. Thus teams using a 3-4 are forced to take DEs and move them. He went on to say that this process of moving from DE to OLB "automatically makes the pick a risk" and can longer be considered a 'can't miss'. The best chance a team has to minimize the risk in switching is a period of learning. He went on to say that picking a conversion project only makes sense for later rounds, not the first or second.
Given where the Steelers have had to draft, it should not be surprising they have 'missed' on some of these picks.
The fact is that the best defenses in the NFL use the scheme that best fit the players...while the 49ers and the Ravens use 3-4 variations, the Seahawks and the Bears used 4-3 variations...
While you may disagree with LeBeau's philosophy, I trust that he will use the scheme that best fits the player on his roster, whether that is the 3-4 or the 4-3...
Running a 4-3 wouldn't have made James Harrison, Troy Polamalu or LaMarr Woodley any healthier this past season...schemes can help prevent scoring and keep yardage totals low, but playmakers need to be healthy to make splash plays, regardless of scheme...
Just a possibility we all are jumping to conclusions on Starks, that if he leaves we're in trouble. We don't know how Gilbert will play or Adams when they compete for that LT spot.
Did any of us see those two play there yet for several games? Yeah, they may not be that good early on but with playing time I would like to think they will get better and who knows, we may end up not regretting Starks leaving.
It would be nice to keep Max but they are going to another direction with the young guys thats why they were drafted, Starks knows his days are numbered he even said it.
The key for that line is staying healthy, then you get some continuity and most likely better O-line play. We have Beachum in the mix too and they still might sign Legs. Legursky can backup both Beachum if he gets the LG spot and Pouncey so he has some value and I thought he plays center decent.
These young guys are trying to get a foothold here and build their position to where they can excel I think they will be hungry for that opportunity and the focus strong.