Sunday night’s game at Indianapolis wasn’t even over and people were calling for the Steelers to bring back two former offensive tackles: Max Starks and Flozell Adams. A few very smart people who are ‘in the know’ even predicted Adams would be back in town by Tuesday.
It’s Tuesday night now and neither of the players are on the roster who have even been contacted, to the best of everybody’s knowledge. During his press conference this week, Mike Tomlin basically said that the Steelers were only looking to bring somebody in to fill a practice role. They are sticking with their guys, despite the injuries and struggles on the field.
While Starks and Adams both played decent football during their time in Pittsburgh, there are very good reasons that neither of them are on the roster now. Max Starks is coming off a pretty serious neck surgery and was rumored to have weighed in the high 300s when he reported for camp. The Steelers were expecting him to be the starting LT for this team in 2011 and they would not have released him unless something was seriously wrong. Flozell Adams is too slow to play LT at this point and the Steelers re-signed Willie Colon to fill that role in the offseason. Rookie Marcus Gilbert looked somewhat promising at times Sunday going against one of the best pass rushers he’ll face on the right side in Robert Mathis. Adams might be a slight upgrade over Gilbert or Trai Essex, but he is 36 and not an above-average blocker by any means.
It’s also important to note that both Adams and Starks remain unsigned and the Steelers definitely aren’t the only team with issues at the tackle position. It’s not like this is Jonathan Ogden and Willie Roaf sitting out there in the free agent market.
Kevin Colbert and the rest of the Steelers’ front office are as savvy as they come and the moment a good LT option is available that makes sense, I’m sure the Steelers will make their move. Above average LTs aren’t just sitting out their unsigned, though, and I won’t be shocked if that moment doesn’t arrive until next April.