Is there light at the end of the tunnel we can go towards? Or should we all just go for broke and have some sort of sacrificial chicken let loose at Heinz Field in order to ditch the bad juju for the offensive line? Either way, a once solid position with Max Starks has now become a cursed position in the lineup… much like Center has as well.
Here’s the break down at left tackle for the past few seasons: Max Starks was the biggest guy on the line and solid at left tackle. He hurt his neck two seasons ago and had surgery on it that November. Starks appeared to recover just fine, but ballooned in weight during the offseason. The Steelers canned Starks before camp even started, and thus began the Steelers struggle for left tackle. No one seemed to be able to fill the shoes of Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite offensive lineman. Certainly not Jonathan Scott. Willie Colon hurt his triceps at the beginning of last season, which started the carrousel of players filling guard, center and tackle spots in the roster. Scott struggled. Legursky struggled. Eventually Starks was signed to rejoin the team in a final act of desperation for this line to find some way to protect their star quarterback. Starks performed beautifully the rest of the season, but eventually tore his ACL during the loss to the Broncos in the playoffs. It’s reported that he won’t start running again until June. It’s uncertain whether the Steelers will bring him back.
Jonathan Scott is a liability to the team and needs to go. He performed awfully during the season – no matter where the coaches put him. I’m sure that he even sat on the bench wrong while sitting in reserve. I’m sure the Steelers will keep him around, unless they are desperate for a roster spot once camp begins to wind down. Nevertheless, it’s a fools errand to sink time and effort into a guy that is not a starter and barely acceptable as a
backup starter in waiting.
We also have no idea how Colon will fare in returning from his triceps injury. Can he play left tackle at the start of the season? Maybe. But Colon has a pretty poor history with injuries as well. He’s also one of the few players in this league to be signed to a long term deal after coming off a major injury the previous season. The Steelers are stuck with him for a while, and hopefully he can stay healthy for more than three seconds.
Speaking of prone to injury….. As Dom brought us up to speed earlier today with his thoughts on Demetrius Bell, we now know that the Steelers are a bit nervous about Starks’ health and the rest of the offensive line. Bell comes from Buffalo as a solid left tackle. Great. There’s one major catch – Bell has a history of being injured. He’s missed 9 games last season due to shoulder and knee injuries and 8 in 2009 due to knee injury. Bell has the skills, but can he stay healthy enough with a line that seems cursed? Is he worth that kind of investment? Hell, do the Steelers have the dough to pay someone like Bell? Starks was cheap last season because his conditioning was highly in question. Bell does not fall into the type of speculation, and there are other teams who could snag him with a bigger pay check.
Four guys who could work left tackle. None of them make me feel good. Now where did I put that knife and incense?