It may not be as bad as some love sick teen waiting for that next phone call from McDreamy, but Max Starks is playing the waiting game while the Steelers contemplate his return to the team. And while ‘The Undertaker’ waits for that phone call to happen… or not… rest assured he’s not wasting time this offseason during his recovery from knee surgery.
In a quick little run in with the Trib, Starks admitted that the Steelers have yet to contact him at all this offseason regarding his return. Starks suffered an ACL tear during the Denver playoff game. He had surgery shortly after and has been in recovery mode since. He was on his way to Phoenix for more rehab while speaking with the Trib. Starks says he expects to be ready to play by Week 1. Does that mean he would or would not miss camp? He will be right at the tail end of an average recovery time for an ACL tear. It’s safe to assume that Starks is the kind of player that can miss camp and it not completely ruin his ability to play at left tackle – he came in during Week 5 of last season, started, and played very well the rest of the season. But will Week 1 be too late?
The Trib reported that the team plans on the battle for left tackle to take place between three players: Mike Adams, Trai Essex, and Jonathan Scott. In other words, Mike Adams will be starting at left tackle. Essex is a suitable backup, but he’s not the starter the Steelers need in that position. And, we all know how worthless Scott is there. Adams is all but set to start there. That’s why it’s critical that Starks get that phone call. Starks, even having to learn a new playbook with new OC Todd Haley, could help keep what is potentially the highest caliber offensive line the Steelers have ever seen still running on all cylinders.
You can’t tell me that the Steelers see more value in keeping Scott (and quite frankly wasting an entire roster spot) over resigning Starks. Starks doesn’t put himself in the public ‘spotlight’ too often, but he appears to be the kind of guy that would be happy to play for a playoff caliber team. Seems like he would prefer to be on a team where he has such great chemistry with other players already. In other words, if he doesn’t start, he won’t be a distraction in the locker room. So why not give him that phone call? I’m sure the Steelers are a little cautious and making sure that he recovers completely from his knee injury without a falloff in productivity.
I guess the bigger question would be – Would another team in need snatch him up before the Steelers are ready to? After all, Starks did say, ‘I just want to get healthy and play for somebody.’ I hope it’s for the Black and Gold.