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Fellow member of the 2004 draft class, Max Starks takes up for Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers

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The NFL continues to try and squeeze out every last drop of Steelers coverage during the slow months of the calendar.

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Some say playing sports is like a fraternity. A bond develops between people who have a common goal must work together to achieve said goal. If we are sticking with the fraternity comparison, I would guess if you were in the NFL and were drafted in the same year together, it would be like your pledge class.

For Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, he is the last man standing among his 2004 draft class, but that doesn’t mean the NFL won’t try and get every last ounce out of the ‘Ben Roethlisberger is a bad leader’ story by bringing back old teammates and asking them about Roethlisberger.

This is exactly what happened when the NFL Network had former offensive tackle, and 3rd round draft pick in the 2004 draft, Max Starks on to talk about Roethlisberger. They asked Starks about his leadership, where he sees the Steelers moving forward among other topics.

Starks said he and Roethlisberger “grew up together”, referring to them coming into the league at the same time, and how they had “fun”. But when asked about Roethlisberger’s leadership style, he phrased his thoughts differently than many other former teammates who have offered their opinions.

“Some people are vocal leaders, some are physical leaders,” Starks said. “I’ve always know him to be a physical leader. When he gets on the field, he’s giving you every ounce that he has.”

Anyone who has watched Roethlisberger play knows this is what he brings to the team every time he steps on the gridiron. As for whether Roethlisberger will have success in 2019, Starks doesn’t predict a steep drop off in production from Roethlisberger or the Steelers’ offense.

Will Roethlisberger be able to continue to play at a high level, even in year 16 of his NFL career? Starks feels he is like a fine wine, getting better with age.

“He’s only getting better with age. He’s like fine wine, at this point,” Starks said. “He’s had career-best numbers … This is what you want to see from a franchise quarterback going into his 16th year.”

This is the offseason, and television stations like the NFL Network have to find something to talk about between minicamps and training camps. Unfortunately, that means a lot of nonsense which is often attempted to be construed as news. I will say it was refreshing to hear a former teammate come out and stand up for Roethlisberger.

When it comes to relationships on a football team, the one between a quarterback and his offensive linemen should be near the top in regards to closeness. Given how Starks protected Roethlisberger’s blindside for 8 years, and Roethlisberger helped provide him with two Super Bowl rings, it should come as a shock to no one Starks doesn’t have much to say about Roethlisberger in a negative fashion.