Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Max Starks was welcomed back to Pittsburgh Wednesday morning in an interview on DVE Radio. During the interview Starks shared his thoughts on whether or not he thought he would be back with the Steelers, if he thinks he will start at left tackle and the new play-book of offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
“Did I think I would not be here? Yeah, yeah, I definitely did,” said Starks, when asked if he had thoughts that he might not possibly be back with the Steelers. “I had that thought in my mind.” He continued, “How things happened early on last year. You know, just trying to be realistic and having an injury, having an ACL, I did not think I had an opportunity here.”
“I was very fortunate when I came in yesterday. Dr. Bradley gave me a good report and thanked me for working as hard as I did. And then the next thing you know I went and met with management and they gave me an opportunity and asked me if I wanted an opportunity. And I was blessed and fortunate to get it.”
Starks was later asked if it was his intentions to teach rookie tackle Mike Adams by letting him watch on the sideline as he started. “I\’m going to do what I\’ve always done and that\’s always help young guys if they ask me for it. But once again, at the end of the day, I\’ll probably be starting out on PUP, so I\’ll be in a watching role.”
When pressed further if he thought that he would be the starting left tackle this year, Starks said, “I\’m a confident individual. If given the opportunity, yeah I don\’t see why I wouldn\’t compete for the starting the job.”
Starks talked later about getting the play-book yesterday and his thoughts on the new offense being installed by Haley. “I already had some familiarity, because Todd\’s system is very similar to Ken Whisenhunt\’s,” said Starks. “So I was already familiar with it and I talked to Koogs (offensive line coach Sean Kugler) yesterday and we went over some of the stuff.”
“I\’m pretty familiar with it,” added Starks. “It\’s the old system I ran the first three years here. A little bit nuanced as far as the play-calling style and some of the play names, they kind of tweaked them a little bit. As far as knowing what the plays are, I don\’t think it\’ll be that tough to pick up.”
The declaration made by Starks that he will likely be starting off training camp on the Active PUP list is not a surprising one. He is only 6 months now removed from the surgery on his right ACL, so it is possible that he will not see action in the preseason until about the third or fourth game. The first part of camp he will be working on strengthening that knee even more and working on his overall conditioning.
The Steelers know what Starks is capable and not capable of doing already, so with him working on continuing his own rehab, they can get a long look at Adams early on to see if he can win the starting left tackle spot outright.
You can listen to the entire interview with Starks below.