"@BobLabriola: Max Starks signed to a 1-year deal, puts Steelers at 90 players on their roster."
That was the message that flashed across my phone Tuesday morning...causing me to shed a brief tear. I say that not only because the Pittsburgh Steelers re-signed Max Starks, their starting left tackle since 2008, but also because it most likely means the departure of Jonathan Scott. Finally.
I personally have wanted to see Starks back, and we at If It Ain't Steel have blogged about his possible return and the implications of such an acquisition.
Max Starks gives the Steelers the luxury of keeping second-year man Marcus Gilbert at right tackle, where he started as a rookie and at what is seemingly his best position. Starks and rookie Mike Adams, the Steelers second-rounder, will contend for the starting job at left tackle in training camp. I'm sure, though, the rookie would have to be outstanding in camp to become the actual starter going into the season.
Before they drafted Adams, there were stirrings that the Steelers had planned to move Gilbert to left tackle. Gilbert practiced on both sides during the minicamps. He also played left tackle, albeit for only approximately six games, while at Florida.
Like Ed Bouchette said, "No need for Marcus Gilbert to move to left tackle if Mike Adams could grasp it now with Starks signing with Steelers." We also know now why the Steelers kept their roster at 89 players for so long.
Starks had said back in May that he was aiming for week one to be healthy and ready to go. According to his posting on Twitter this morning, he's on schedule: “@maxstarks78: It's a great day, doc gave me a great report! On my way to being game ready!”
He then posted proof, just in case there was any doubt: “@maxstarks78: It's real and sealed! I'll be seeing you in Latrobe! http://t.co/FqqZ0xZV
Though not the best left tackle in the game, Max Starks is still one of the most liked persons amongst those in the organization and in Steeler Nation. A sentiment echoed by Mike Prisuta of the DVE Morning Show in Pittsburgh and co-host with Labriola of "Agree to Disagree."
"When Steelers types talk Starks they get to 'comfortable' and 'respect' and 'good fit' pretty quickly. I'll second that 'no lose' assessment."
I'm right there as well. In fact, I'm so happy about this that I won't even bash Jonathan Scott. I've done that enough anyway. I won't point out that the crew from Ghost Hunters was hired to find him on the offensive line and couldn't. I won't suggest that he gets smoked more than a joint at a Snoop Dogg concert. Nor will I suggest that he's on his back more than Jenna Jameson.
I won't say any of that. I'm a bigger man than that (he said as he shined up his sh*t kickers ready to boot Scott outta town).
Welcome back, Max.