The issue is not "who is better than Starks"...the issue is, "can Starks be effective in the new blocking scheme?"
Nobody on the coaching staff or front office seems to think so..
This 'new' blocking scheme isn't really anything 'new'. Tired of reading this. All teams zone block and man block. Some terminology could change with a new OL coach, but not all change considering we have the same OC. It's quite easy for a lineman to zone block- so easy, a caveman could do it... as the saying goes. Starks can block in any way a team wants him to block.. There's more to it, and it's probably because he wants to start and they want to move on with younger guys....
Bicknell and Haley prefer and want to use athletically gifted o-lineman that can run and attack in space. This is in no way describes Max Starks or Willie Colon. Go look at KC's o-line. That is what Bicknell is hoping to build here.
Why has Starks been unsigned up to this point? Its because he isn't that good. He can't run block well so he can't "block in any way a team wants him to block." He can try, but he isn't good at it.
I'm on board with Starks supporters. Guy was very good at keeping the Steelers $100M investment intact. I don't see another option that remotely approaches what he did. There might be one, just haven't seen it yet (and based on the write-up on Whimper, I am not optimistic he is the guy to do the job).
Look, I'm an old lineman by trade. Zone blocking is nothing more than coming off your first block in front of you and going to your next man in your zone. (LB) It's quite simple and its taught from pee wee on up. Anyone can do it. In man, when you have good quick athletic Guards, Center you gotta get to your block by pulling and you either you can do it or you you can't. It's tough to explain all this on here via the internet, but I've read this crap about it being different for many years now- like when we had Zierlein at OL coach. Remember him? At the time ppl were saying that he was implementing a ZBS and it essentially was the same they did for years. A mixture of both man and zone.. Nothing new. And 2013 will be the same. A lot of this stuff about it being 'new' comes from the media and those that write this stuff who have never EVER played a down of organized football.. Then all the readers think hey it must be 'new' because that reporter says it is....
Personally, I moved to OT from OG because my feet weren't quick enough to get to the hole fast enough.. I always had the FB hitting me in the back before the RB could hit the hole.. I moved to OT where I excelled. Same thing no matter the league.. They will still run all of those plays just like they did last year. Zone blocking is a hell of a lot easier to do. And even Starks can do it... lol
As far as Starks- he'll play somewhere.. Why sign now? Heck, he might even wait until camp starts.. Why go through that if he doesn't have to? A lot of the vets seem to like avoiding camp.. He's got the big bucks from all the other contracts... Hell, he's in a good place....