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Thread: Max Starks prepared to part ways with Steelers

  1. #1
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Max Starks prepared to part ways with Steelers

    Starks prepared to part ways with Steelers



    Steelers offensive tackle Max Starks during practice on the South Side Sept. 5, 2012.

    By Mark Kaboly
    Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    Max Starks planned on spending a football-free weekend at Churchill Downs with his stylish tan fedora hat perched on top of his head and enjoying his first Kentucky Derby.

    Well, the football-free part of the weekend didn't actually go as planned.

    Starks had a “couple of conversations” over the weekend with a few NFL organizations, including a brief telephone conversation with the Steelers, and is anticipating getting a deal done with a team before organized team activities kick off around the league in two weeks.

    One thing has become clear to Starks over the past couple days: He won't return for a 10th season with the Steelers.

    When the Steelers added veteran tackle Guy Whimper on Monday, it signified the end of Starks' time with the Steelers, or that's how Starks viewed it.

    “Let me say this, (Starks and the Steelers) had a conversation prior (to the Whimper signing), and that decision (to sign Whimper) was made after our conversation,” Starks said.

    “Now it wasn't said directly to me, but you kind of take that as an indication of what they are thinking. It is not so much on my part as more of them wanting to move on.”

    Unlike the two previous times the Steelers appeared to part ways with Starks — right before training camp in 2011 and again following the season that year — this one likely will stick for a couple of reasons.

    • The Steelers are comfortable and feel the need to move forward with recent consecutive-year second-round picks Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams at both tackle spots.

    • Unlike years past, Starks isn't coming off an injury, making him a valuable commodity.

    “(The Steelers) feel that age is the greatest indicator,” Starks said. “Of course, I don't believe that.”

    The best-case scenario for the Steelers always was to sign Starks to provide depth and experience at a position where it is greatly needed.

    After the starting five offensive linemen, the Steelers' 10 backups on the 90-man roster have 27 career starts with 22 of them coming from Whimper. Seven of the 10 backups are either rookies or first-year guys with all of them being undrafted.

    At 31 and feeling “the best I've felt over the past five years,” Starks doesn't view himself as a backup.

    “After playing 100 percent of the snaps the previous year, I don't think I am, at this point, ready to be a backup swing tackle guy just yet,” Starks said. “I have proven over the past couple years that I am still starter-capable.”

    Starks started 96 games since being the third-round pick of the Steelers in 2004. Starks played all 1,086 offensive snaps last year —the only player on the team who did — despite coming off a torn ACL nine months prior.

    “They want Marcus and Mike to start, and I understand that,” Starks said. “Anywhere I go, as long as I have the opportunity to compete for the starting job, I am happy. I don't want to come in and them say that I am just a backup for depth purposes. If you give me the opportunity to compete on an even basis, I am more than happy.”

    Starks visited the Chargers on Wednesday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Starks also didn't rule out coming back to the AFC North. With Cincinnati re-signing Andre Smith to go along with veteran Andrew Whitworth and Baltimore bringing back Bryant McKinnie to pair with Michael Oher, that leaves only Cleveland.

    “There is a lot of interest out of there,” Starks said. “It is definitely heating up.”

    http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz2SoD8SrvU

  2. #2
    Legend RuthlessBurgher's Avatar
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    Starks doesn't view himself as a backup.
    That's it right there. The Steelers want to start their recent 2nd round tackles, so they were likely only offering Starks backup money as insurance in case Adams or Gilbert fail (or get hurt). Starks likely wanted to make starter money once again (after having to settle for minimum deals the last two season because he was coming off injury). I think Starks was more consistent than either Adams or Gilbert, but perhaps he doesn't fit our new zone blocking scheme as well as he fit in our former scheme (then again, I think the same applies to Gilbert). Whimper offers similar veteran experience, but he was willing to sign for backup money to be the gameday swing backup tackle, and his body type might be better suited to our new scheme anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher View Post
    That's it right there. The Steelers want to start their recent 2nd round tackles, so they were likely only offering Starks backup money as insurance in case Adams or Gilbert fail (or get hurt). Starks likely wanted to make starter money once again (after having to settle for minimum deals the last two season because he was coming off injury). I think Starks was more consistent than either Adams or Gilbert, but perhaps he doesn't fit our new zone blocking scheme as well as he fit in our former scheme (then again, I think the same applies to Gilbert). Whimper offers similar veteran experience, but he was willing to sign for backup money to be the gameday swing backup tackle, and his body type might be better suited to our new scheme anyway.
    The Steelers wanted Willie Colon to take over for Max a few years back and that didn't work out either. Something is totally lacking in our ability to evaluate/develop OLinemen for some reason. We've been a bit of a mess upfront ever since Wayne Gandy left. A good LT can really help solidify everything. And I just don't get the Steelers' position here. They talk openly about not handing players a job and saying they have to earn it.

    I have not seen Gilby or Adams earn the LT spot. For some reason, I think Tomlin just flat out hates Max. There's more to this.

  4. #4
    Pro Bowler pfelix73's Avatar
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    "but perhaps he doesn't fit our new zone blocking scheme as well as he fit in our former scheme (then again, I think the same applies to Gilbert). " You guys really need to forget about this 'new' scheme and all these big differences . It won't be all that much different than what they've been running in the past. Maybe some new terminology, but Haley's offense was put in last year. All teams run combos zone and man anyways. Always did, always will. You'll still see this team pull thier guards, etc. in certain formations, etc. I'd like to see Pouncey utilized in more center pulls, frankly. Not to mention utilization of a FB. Like I was saying in another thread, zone blocking is so easy a 'caveman can do it'. Starks, Gilbert, whomever, can play in whatever setting they are put in...no big deal.

    I have no problems with Gilbert playing LT and Adams playing RT.... gotta move on and let the younger guys play...
    Last edited by pfelix73; 05-09-2013 at 02:58 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Out with the old and it with the new...
    Havn't we been frowning on the organization,holding on to older players too long?

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    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Max Starks visiting tackle-needy San Diego Chargers

    By Chris Wesseling
    Around the League Writer
    Updated: May 9, 2013

    The San Diego Chargers are getting desperate in their search for a veteran left tackle after their strong push for Bryant McKinnie came up short.

    Free agent Max Starks is visiting the Chargers on Wednesday, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports.

    Starks has started 51 games for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the past four seasons, but the Chargers showed no interest in bringing him back after he struggled both as a pass-blocker and run-blocker in 2012.

    This is the first NFL team we've seen connected to Starks since the start of free agency, which suggests weight issues, injury concerns and a few lost steps have scared potential suitors off the 31-year-old's trail.

    Should Starks land with the Chargers, he likely would battle King Dunlap for the starting left tackle job, with first-round rookie D.J. Fluker on the right side.

    Although Starks clearly is on the downside of his career, the Bolts have the worst left-tackle situation in the NFL. Kudos to his agent for finding the right match.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap100...diego-chargers

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Wesseling
    but the Chargers showed no interest in bringing him back after he struggled both as a pass-blocker and run-blocker in 2012.
    sometimes i wonder who these editors are...

  8. #8
    Pro Bowler Flasteel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher View Post
    That's it right there. The Steelers want to start their recent 2nd round tackles, so they were likely only offering Starks backup money as insurance in case Adams or Gilbert fail (or get hurt). Starks likely wanted to make starter money once again (after having to settle for minimum deals the last two season because he was coming off injury). I think Starks was more consistent than either Adams or Gilbert, but perhaps he doesn't fit our new zone blocking scheme as well as he fit in our former scheme (then again, I think the same applies to Gilbert). Whimper offers similar veteran experience, but he was willing to sign for backup money to be the gameday swing backup tackle, and his body type might be better suited to our new scheme anyway.
    All Starks wanted was a chance to compete. Even if you think his quote should be translated to mean that he wants starter money; all the Steelers would have to do is offer an incentive-laden deal (NLTBE)...and that chance to compete. It makes no sense do anything but that. Regardless of the blocking scheme or what they need to ask their tackles to do, Starks has proven to be a model teammate, dependable, resilient, and more than serviceable at the position.

    How could you not want him competing with the guy you want to take over the LT?
    How could they think that it's acceptable on any level to just hand Gilbert (or Adams) the job?

    If Starks loses the starting job, then we have ourselves a quality, experienced backup. If he somehow holds-off Gilbert, then it tells us that Max is better than they gave him credit for or Gilbert ain't as ready to start at LT. Either way, the team wins.

    As far as Starks vs. Whimper...I dare anyone to make the argument that the latter's tape is on any level better than the former's. Whimper was by all accounts a far worse tackle than Starks. Remind you that comparison is with Starks playing on the left, while Whimper has only played on the right. He is not a swing tackle and apparently has no body of evidence to suggest he can fill that role. Starks has started a Super Bowl on each side.

    Then there's the name. How can we allow the name Whimper to be stitched on the back of a Steelers jersey. It just ain't right.

    This just makes no sense on any level. I agree with Flip...there is more to this than meets the eye.



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  9. #9
    Legend papillon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flasteel View Post
    All Starks wanted was a chance to compete. Even if you think his quote should be translated to mean that he wants starter money; all the Steelers would have to do is offer an incentive-laden deal (NLTBE)...and that chance to compete. It makes no sense do anything but that. Regardless of the blocking scheme or what they need to ask their tackles to do, Starks has proven to be a model teammate, dependable, resilient, and more than serviceable at the position.

    How could you not want him competing with the guy you want to take over the LT?
    How could they think that it's acceptable on any level to just hand Gilbert (or Adams) the job?

    If Starks loses the starting job, then we have ourselves a quality, experienced backup. If he somehow holds-off Gilbert, then it tells us that Max is better than they gave him credit for or Gilbert ain't as ready to start at LT. Either way, the team wins.

    As far as Starks vs. Whimper...I dare anyone to make the argument that the latter's tape is on any level better than the former's. Whimper was by all accounts a far worse tackle than Starks. Remind you that comparison is with Starks playing on the left, while Whimper has only played on the right. He is not a swing tackle and apparently has no body of evidence to suggest he can fill that role. Starks has started a Super Bowl on each side.

    Then there's the name. How can we allow the name Whimper to be stitched on the back of a Steelers jersey. It just ain't right.

    This just makes no sense on any level. I agree with Flip...there is more to this than meets the eye.
    I agree 100%, it's not like the Steelers are jettisoning veterans right and left, Harrison and now Starks and probably Hampton. The Steelers are still going to be old in general. If for no other reason you try and bring him back because Ben trusts him, well, now that I think about it, maybe that's why they aren't bringing him back.

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  10. #10
    It's way more fun to speculate that there has to be some conspiracy instead of the simple solution: Max just doesn't fit what they want to do on offense this year...

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