I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but I loved this news. I have always been a fan of Starks, and was a little disappointed to see him go earlier this year. Anyways that’s obsolete now as he is back with the team, and should be an immediate improvement to the Steelers biggest weakness Offensive line. The news from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is that he wont be a starter from the get go, but I have no doubt that he’ll eventually steal the job from one of these Offensive linemen.
First I want to take a look at the career Stats of Max Starks. Over his 7 year career he has started 68 games. In those 68 games he allowed 33 sacks, been called for false starts 10 times, and holding 7 times. Just to put those is a sort of perspective I wan to show the stats of Joe Thomas of the Browns, because many see him as the best LT in the NFL. Over a 5 year career he has started 68 games the same as Starks, however he has allowed only 19.75 sacks, been called for 17 false starts and 5 holding. As you can see Starks isn’t the best in the league, but I think he is at best a huge improvement over the current O-line.
Now let’s take a look at some of the current starters on the Steelers offensive line. Current starting LT Jonathan Scott has started 26 games over his 5 year career. Now get ready for these stats Because if you didn’t already know that Scott shouldn’t be a starting LT in the NFL you’ll realize it here. Over his career he’s allowed 24.5 sacks, been call on 13 false starts and 11 holding penalties. Those stats can’t come from a starting LT if you plan on having an Alive QB at the end of the season. The next guy I want to check out is starting RT rookie Marcus Gilbert. While he hasn’t looked totally awful on the level of Scott, he is just a rookie and clearly not ready to be a starter. Over his 3 starts he has given up 4 sacks and been called for one false start. One more guy backup T/C/G Trai Essex. He has played in 64 and started 26. In those games he allowed 8 sacks, and ben called on 9 false starts and 4 holding penalties. Those stats shouldn’t fool you though he still isn’t very good. So what should happen with the offensive line? Well here is what I would do. My starting LT would be Max Starks as he is clearly the best option. I would then move Scott to RT, because like I mentioned before Gilbert just doesn’t seem ready to be a starter yet. If Starks fails it looks like were screwed, but if (in my scenario still) Scott doesn’t look good at RT either I wouldn’t mind sticking Gilbert back in there. I also believe with the experience and leadership that Starks will bring to the line will make all the other guys a little better too.