Max Starks Says He Has Yet To Hear From Steelers & Will Unlikely Be Ready By Camp

As much as I have been hoping and praying that Max Starks would be back in a Pittsburgh Steelers uniform by week one of the 2012 season, it is seeming more and more unlikely to happen. Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports Saturday that he talked to the Steelers unrestricted free agent on Friday and that Starks told him that he has not had contact with management or anybody like that thus far, and that he does not see himself as being part of the starting left tackle battle that now reportedly consist of Jonathan Scott, Trai Essex and rookie Mike Adams.

While Starks has said over the last few months that the recovery from his surgery to repair a torn ACL that suffered in the Steelers loss in the AFC Wild Card game against the Denver Broncos was going well, he admitted to Kaboly that he would be pushing it to be ready by the time training camp rolls around. His goal is to be ready by week one and he has a follow-up visit with his surgeon soon to see just how far along he actually is. Starks did tell Kaboly that he would definitely be interested should the Steelers call him at some point and has said as much ever since the offseason started and he was out from underneath the knife.

So much for my praying an hoping. I admit it was a bit of a long shot to happen by training camp, but with the improvements that have been made over the years in ACL reconstruction and recovery, it was worth the notion. As it looks right now it will be the rookie Adams or the over payed Scott that will likely start the season in Denver against the Broncos as I just can\’t see Essex, weight loss and all, being a realistic option. Second year tackle Marcus Gilbert seems destined to remain at right tackle now where he best fits alongside rookie David DeCastro. The thought of Scott starting at left tackle makes me want to puke, but when you look at the current roster there are no other realistic options.

I would much rather Adams start if Starks is not going to be in the Steelers plans and let the second round pick out of Ohio State get his baptism by fire. At least he figures to have Willie Colon to his right as he makes the offseason transition now from right tackle to left guard. It would be better than Adams starting beside the jettisoned Chris Kemoeatu in my opinion.

Kaboly confirmed on Friday that both DeCastro and Adams will not be allowed to attend the OTA sessions this summer because of those wacky graduation requirements that Stanford and Ohio State have, so you can likely look forward to the Steelers offensive line from left to right next week to be Scott, Colon, Maurkice Pouncey, Ramon Foster and Gilbert. Should that be the case it would likely cement for sure that Gilbert is staying put on the right side and that Scott will be around all summer long.

Now I hope and pray that Adams can become the left tackle that I think he can become only in a much shorter amount of time. Just in case I will continue to hope and pray that Starks recovery is complete by the time week two or three roll around. I will also hope and pray that Scott has mastered his ass blocking, just in case.

  • Personally, I never thought he would make camp. I figured week one was a possibility though. It seems like that is still possible if nobody emerges in camp?

  • Kingmagyar

    I think I read Luck couldn’t join the Colts until June 7th, so I assume the same is true for Decastro and Adams. Do the Steelers have any OTAs between June 7th and training camp?

  • SteelSpine

    Those are my thoughts too, top to bottom. Including I too have to cross my fingers Adams develops fast enough for LT in NFL.

    Part of that reason is Essex is about as good of prospect for tackle as Jonathan Scott, & that says enough. When Essex was drafted I remember he was drafted to play OT, ideally LT because at that time of drafted he was too light to be any mauler for right OT. After each of the several subsequent years the staff kept Essex on the roster to eventually be ready to play tackle in the pros, I never questioned keeping him on the roster those first few years because surely 3 years might be required to grow & develop any satisfactory LT from anyone who was not a 1st-round draft pick. It wasnt till after about 3 years then, he still was not good enough to compete for any starting tackle spot, that’s when he was about to be cut. His willingness to then back up the guard spots, gave us some value as a versatile backup. Exxex learning center last offseason to decrease the odds of being cut, indicates he’ll do whatever it takes. I dont expect Essex to surprise by now being a satisfactory LT, I think the Steelers staff too had aldready seen him long enough to know what they have. But for the sake of trying to find some optimism here: the staff needs to make sure Mike Adams is motivated enough to want to be NFL-ready right away, & Essex’s knowledge of LT position will hopefully provide competition to push Adams.

  • Eric87

    Adams as a rookie still has to be better than Scott. Scott has horrible speed back stepping. At least Adams has the physical tools and size to play the position

  • Eric87

    I wouldn’t even keep Scott around, but if so I believe him to be better suited to play RG or RT and that is at backup at best. Definitely not a 2+ million

  • Pat

    Fools gold in hoping Starks returns, he is such a big man that his knee will take forever to heal. Then all he needs is a setback and he will be done. They lucked out last season with him but it’s a real shame he got hurt because he’s a really good guy.

  • JayBirdDC

    Yeah, I kind of figured this was the case when the Trib announced Trai Essex would compete at LT as well.

  • Dave L

    Don’t give up on Starks just yet. I see the opening day o-line like this. LT-Starks LG-Legursky C-Pouncey RG-Foster RT-Gilbert. The more things change the more they stay the same.

  • Nineandhalfwks69

    I say put Gilbert at LT and Scott at RT if all else fails. But I hope Adams is ready to take over the LT position. If not we are in a world of trouble

  • SteelIrish33

    Why do you think Foster starts instead of DeCastro at RG? Really? And, Legursky over Colon at LG? If these 2 can’t beat out those 2 you have down, this line will be trouble. Again. Im sure they didnt draft DeCastro in the 1st and Adams in the 2nd to sit on the bench and play patty cake. Probably drafted them with the idea they could start from game 1. Just my thinking.

  • Wow – How did you manage to sleep for an entire year?

  • Dave L

    The o-line’s problem last year was at center and left guard.Pouncey did not play well and Legursky was the best of the bunch at left guard.Right now Starks>Adams Legursky>Colon Foster>Decastro. Fans tend to overestimate rookies and undervalue guys who have played and won. Decastro and Adams may turn out to be very good but handing jobs over to 2 rookies and a guy that hasn’t played for 2 years is not a good idea and the Steelers are smarter than that.

  • LucasY59

    Yeah why would they use the first 2 picks in the draft on the O-Line if they were planning on having the same starters on the line as last year? especially when one of them isnt even on the team and if he was would start the season on PUP

  • Yeah… DeCastro will start day one. Your scenario is not going to happen.

  • Your right. It wasn’t a good idea to allow Pouncey and Gilbert to start as rookies.

    The reason they are including Adams and DeCastro to compete for starting jobs, is because the Steelers are smart enough to realize that they have had success with rookie O-lineman over the past two years.

  • You realize that Starks doesn’t have a contract with the Steelers, right? I’m pretty sure that a player has to be on the team, to be included in the starting line up.

  • Mmck2012

    you talk about butt blocking by scott and everyone dismisses when max looked exactly the same against denver. max has had some ugly games, yet everyone wants him back. i never understood this. no other teams have even attempted to sign starks. there is a reason for that. starks is not a very good LT. he wasen’t even a very good RT. he lost that job too. scott was injured from the start of camp. he had a reason to play bad, starks didn’t. our o-line coach brought scott with him. the steelers thought him good enough to start, yet all i hear is how bad scott was in a game, and now the steelers and their coaches were all wrong and the guy can’t play at all, but max is the do all savior if adams can’t hack it. essex also had some good games for us, but now he has no chance either, even if he dedicated himself to getting thinner and coming to camp in the best shape of his life. i think all 3 are at least as good as starks if not better. now add an injury to him. i don’t get all the hate for the guys we kept.

  • Dave L

    I do realize that Max is not signed and no I dd not nap for a year.I was responding to the above article which refers to Max and his possible effect on the o-line.

  • Andrew

    Thank you for the GIF. I tried to find a video of it on YouTube when I heard that J.Scott was indeed going to provide competition with Adams and Essex.

  • Kpuc

    It wasn’t a good idea to allow Pouncey to start as a rookie? Dude, he went to the Pro-Bowl! How can you say that was a bad idea?

  • It was sarcasm, in response to the previous comment.

  • Frankthebuc

    This is a very good option. Scott can play RT. Let Adams learn from Gilbert, and then put Adams in as the starting RT in 2013. The new OC runs an O-line friendly scheme.

    In fact, you might be on to something with this suggestion.