Former Steelers offensive tackle Max Starks made a visit to Saint Vincent College during the team's recently completed training camp, and while there the main thing he kept an eye on was the team's offensive line.
Starks liked what he saw from the veteran group, especially the fact that they have so much continuity having played together for the most part for several years.* *
"Continuity* *is the most important aspect for an offensive line," said Starks. "Regardless of the individual talent, it's about how well five guys, and how fast, they can become one unit. That is the most important thing to be a successful offensive line. Having four of your five starters play last year and have significant time together was important. It is great to get (Maurkice) Pouncey get back in there with his athleticism and his knowledge of the game. It's going to be interesting and fun to watch them this year and see how well they play together."
Pouncey missed the entire 2015 season with an ankle injury, but has returned in the preseason and Starks believes his return is a key for the offense.
"He has all of the athleticism in the world," said Starks. "He is a great football player. His knowledge is remarkable. Having him back at the center position and knowing you have a guy behind him in Cody Wallace who has the experience as well only adds to the depth and versatility on the line if something happens."
Starks also weighed in on a variety of other topics.
On guard David DeCastro:**
"He is a Stanford man and he is Cro-Magnon man at the same time. He is the smartest cave man I know. I am just kidding. He is just a smart, physical dude. He was used to running the ball at Stanford and then he came here and was the perfect fit for the position at right guard with the Steelers running game. He is a rock right there."
On tackle Marcus Gilbert:
"Him being able to stay healthy is a great thing. He keeps getting better and better as the years go on and as he gets more comfortable. He had that transition going from left to right going from college to pro. It was a tough transition the first couple of years and he was behind Willie Colon. Having him there steady and consistent at the position and the amount of games he has under his belt just continues to help with that continuity and leadership on the line."On what the offense can do this season:"Pretty much whatever they want. When you have a group that is solid and knows what they are doing and can execute the entire playbook as a unit, they can do whatever they want. Then you have a talent like Ben Roethlisberger who can put them in the right position offensively if they are mismatched on a given play. You can't beat that knowledge. When you have a great offensive line that is versatile and a quarterback that puts them in the best position possible nothing but good things can happen."
On quarterback Ben Roethlisberger:"Looking at him now makes me mad because he gets rid of the ball so fast. Seeing the maturity in Ben and his knowledge is great. He can see something once and pick it up and know it like the back of his hand. That is truly special. To have the success he has had and develop the weapons he has around him makes him even more of a superior quarterback than the rest of the league."