Interesting news coming out of the Pittsburgh Steelers South Side facility on Tuesday evening. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette is reporting that the Steelers are set to re-sign veteran offensive tackle Max Starks. Though many fans might prefer that Flozell Adams were brought back, I don't think too many would argue that re-signing Starks is a wise move considering the dilapidated state of the Steelers' offensive line.
Still just 29 years old, Starks conceivably has plenty of good football left in him provided he's lost the weight that he was carrying this summer. I have heard from more than one source that the personalities of Mike Tomlin and Starks are not all that compatible. There's, of course, a million examples like that between coaches and players over the year, but I think it helps explain why the Steelers opted to part ways with Starks this summer rather than trying to restructure his contract and keep him in the fold if at all possible.
Since Starks' release, Willie Colon has been lost for the year to injury. Jonathan Scott is also injured, though not seriously. But Scott's struggles against Terrell Suggs and Dwight Freeney had to have given Tomlin and the front office cold feet about whether he would be able to hold up over the course of a long season for a team that would like to believe it has championship aspirations.
Let's see first if Starks is in fact re-signed tomorrow or sometime soon this week before speculating too much further about what the transaction might mean for the offensive line. Provided he does, we'll have some interesting debate about who starts where -- Starks at left tackle with Scott slid over to the left side? Starks at left tackle with Gilbert starting at RT? Scott at LT with Starks at RT? Lots of possible scenarios really. And quite frankly, that's what the Steelers need right now -- the opportunity to tinker with different combinations right now before any more time passes. Find a combo that works, than perhaps it's not unrealistic to think that the line can establish some cohesion and continuity before the home stretch in late November and December.