Kevin Colbert Open To Bringing Back Max Starks When He Is Healthy

The Pittsburgh Steelers wrapped up their mandatory mini-camp on Thursday and General Manager Kevin Colbert joined 105.9 The X afterwards to answer several questions.

One of the questions that Colbert was asked pertained to free agent tackle Max Starks, who continues to rehab his surgically repaired right knee after tearing his ACL in the AFC Wild Card Game against the Denver Broncos. Colbert was specifically asked if Starks was still considered as an option in 2012 as a backup. “Yeah, we\’ve communicated with Max. He was in here about a month ago to get examined by our doctors,” said Colbert. “He knows that it\’s a possibility that we could bring him back, and first and foremost for Max and his career, he has to make sure that he\’s healthy. And that was our message to him is \’Max, there\’s no hurry for you to come back and to do this right away. We can start and see where things go.\’ We\’ll continue to be in touch with him throughout the spring.”

From the sound of things, Colbert and the coaching staff seem dead set on first seeing how things go with second round draft pick Mike Adams early on in training camp. Adams hit the field for the first time since rookie camp this week after missing all of the OTA sessions because of NFL rules that prevented him practicing until his school obligations were completed. The Steelers hope that the Ohio State product can win the starting left tackle spot outright.

Marcus Gilbert also had his share of reps with the first team over the course of the last four weeks just in case Adams does not pan out early on. Also receiving reps at left tackle the last month were Jonathan Scott and Trai Essex, but neither of the two would figure to be an option to be left side starters. At this point it continues to seem like it will be either Adams or Gilbert that will man the blindside of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Starks could possibly be an option to be signed a couple weeks into camp if he is healthy and cleared by the doctors. The former third round draft pick updated his status on Twitter Thursday to say that today was his first day working on cutting drills in cleats. He claims that he getting closer to being game ready. Will he be ready for the start of camp? Hard to say right now, but even if he was close, he could be signed and placed on the ACTIVE PUP list if he is on the roster before the start of camp. That scenario would at least allow him to learn the offense initially. The only problem with that idea is that players are not normally signed unless they are first cleared medically. Tight end Jake Ballard was an exception to the norm after being signed off waivers by the New England Patriots this past week despite having a long recovery ahead him.

Roethlisberger broke out the No. 78 jersey last Thursday in honor of Starks and said at that time he thinks his close friend and draft classmate was close to being healthy. The veteran signal caller was asked specifically about Starks being a potential emergency option at tackle this upcoming season. “I would think so,” said Roethlisberger. “I think the question is is he healthy? And I think he is from what I’ve heard and from what I’ve seen from him. So I think he would be a guy that if we need to we could get him back.”

So basically we know now that on top of Starks wanting to come back and Roethlisberger wanting him back, that Colbert is also open to bringing him back.

  • Jprankster2005

    Kiesel said on Facebook, That he went up against Adams a good bit and beat adams most of the time…… He said he needed alot of work…….Which there’s nothing wrong with that this early on…… Kiesel is good but no elite, So hopefully he get’s better or he will have alot of problems this yr……..I hope Starks is healthy and can come back and wouldn’t mind him being the Starter for a while until Adams is ready……..I want to see Starks back another reason to eliminate Scott and that big salary he has……Hopefully a rookie can step up and make the team…….

  • fire arians

    i hope they bring him back. he sounds like a much better backup option than jonathan scott (who i wonder why he’s still on the team right now, he’s not worth his 2.5 million cap hit. cut him and sign starks with that $$)

  • Jlpstudios2010

    @ jprankster2005 u r a hater keisel said a couple of times and he still is going up against a kid with no training camp by the way 99 beat elite tackles n this league ass hole

  • Chris92021

    First of all, Brett Keisel is one of the best 3-4 DEs in the league. Just because he doesn’t put up huge sack numbers doesn’t mean he’s a nobody. Trust me, Diesel manhandles a lot of elite tackles. Mike Adams can only get better by playing against Diesel on a daily basis.

    Second, the Steelers will sign Big Max within the first 10 days of training camp. Big Max might not be a starter anymore but he still has value as a backup tackle. I would love the Steelers’ o-line to look like this for the opener in Denver:

    LT Mike Adams
    LG Willie Colon
    C Maurkice Pouncey
    RG David DeCastro
    Rt Marcus Gilbert

    active: Max Starks, Doug Legursky, Ramon Foster
    inactive: Trai Essex
    practice squad: Kelvin Beachum, Kyle Jolly


    Deep in our unspoken hearts we all knew Colbert was planning on bringing Max back if healthy and affordable. It is reassuring, though, to actually hear it. Anyone believe Colbert is a dummy?

  • Wdmason

    a no brainer

  • CW

    Might as well have an article stating Colbert is no one’s fool.

    Of course the Steelers are interested in bringing back Starks if he’s healthy. Even if Mike Adams is ready day one to be a full time starter at left tackle and has a Pro Bowl caliber year, who would any Steeler fan, player, or management type feel better about as the primary backup tackle for the team, Johnathan Scott, who fell apart repeatedly against even mediocre talent, or Max Starks, who isn’t elite at left tackle, but is at least a decent overall offensive lineman most of the time?

    Starks has enough skill and natural ability to hold up well against most of the edge pass rushers. Having a reasonably priced declining, but decent former starter as the primary backup at a position is every team’s dream situation.

  • SteelSpine

    Right on jamesh, WD & CD; a no-brainer & reassuring for Colbert to hear Colbert actually say it.

  • SteelerDave

    I’ve long been a fan of Max. He is humble, knows the team, is well liked, plays his heart out every snap. We need him to help mentor Adams to reach his potential in the game. Keep J Scott and let Max sit at home or sign with another team and Adams will take longer to develop into the player he can be. Sign Max and have him mentor Adams and by the end of camp Kiesel will be raving about Adams.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I agree with most comments…but would like to say Max isnt a back up…he is a starter…it just so happens that someone more talented may take his spot.

  • Jprankster2005

    I’m not a Adams hater……. I loved the pick, I’m just stating that he needs more practice and 3 days is not enough…… I’m not saying Kiesel isn’t good but he isn’t GREAT….. I don’t get why you feel to call me a ass hole? And on this site that’s okay….

  • Jprankster2005

    And just wondering did you like that comment of yours because my comment said nothing bad about anyone, And pretty much said that he needs more time and practice…. So do you just like running your FUcking mouth or something…… There maybe they will block that bad word……. lol Idiot

  • Pete

    If Adams wins the starting LT spot but gets injured, who is the backup? It has to be Starks. In my mind, you have to bring Starks back. If not you’ll have musical chairs again with Gilbert moving over and someone else (Essex?) playing RT. I think it would be money well spent to bring Starks back around the minimum. I like Starks and think he saved the day last season.

  • LJ

    i agree but i dont like adams i think hes got alot to prove to play the left side put gilbert there to try it out i think gilbert too soft to play the right side adam looks more physical and is cut out for point of attack blocking

  • donna

    Would love to see Max back with us!!!

  • Thorn

    I think we need to address the intangibles that Max brings to the table.
    1. We all agree he is a class act.
    2. He is a true Steelers. Bleeds Black and Gold.
    3. Over the past 5 years , have we had a smarter offensive lineman?
    4. Who is more of a community guy on our roster?
    I would hate to see him bring # 3 and #4 elsewhere.
    5. What happened when he returned in week 5 last year. It all changed for the Steelers. Ido not want to wait until week 5 next year to get it going.
    His laying time is not a concern for me, although when healthy, he will be the man for the next few years. We need him in the locker room with the hung offensive line. Many who have had issues tied with Character flaws.
    Who better to have these youngsters interacting with daily….at the beginning of camp!