Today the Pittsburgh Steelers made a move we at Steelers 101 have been projecting since May, re-signing veteran offensive tackle Max Starks to a one-year contract (financial terms were not disclosed). This move is an important one for the team, providing a combination of veteran leadership and competition to what is quickly becoming one of the younger offensive lines in the NFL.Last season, Starks was instrumental in stabilizing the offensive line once he returned to the team. In fact, one can argue that without him, the Steelers would not have made it to the playoffs in 2011. With his return in 2012, the team now has a stabilizing force behind rookie left tackle Mike Adams, who should be given every opportunity to earn the starting left tackle position in training camp.
More importantly, by re-signing Starks the team also increased their game day depth, because in the worst-case scenario, if he is truly healthy, the 6-foot-8, 345-pound tackle will become an instant upgrade over Jonathan Scott as the swing tackle and active back up every Sunday.
This signing could also help the psyche of the most important player on offense; quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who is also one of his closest friends in the locker room. As many fans know (and have heard) Roethlisberger has been uncomfortable and vocal about the changes on offense this offseason, especially the new playbook designed by offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
With his signing the team should now have a full compliment of players heading into training camp in Latrobe in two weeks. Now, the front office can focus on first-round selection David DeCastro and wide receiver Mike Wallace, the two projected starters who remain unsigned for 2012.
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