Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Max Starks (78) in action against Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware (94) at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Max Starks - Bolting Into The Season 2013

Tom Telesco did it again! After snagging Dwight Freeney off the market, he pulled the trigger on another veteran free agent to upgrade the Chargers´ roster for the season 2013 – Max Starks, left tackle.

BoltHeads all across the country seemed to be begging to seal the deal on the former blind side protector for Steelers´ Ben Roethlisberger. And I guess the fact, that Telesco was able to get him in on a 1-year contract, will get the BoltFam even more hyped about this signing.

With the pick up of the “spin move messiah” Freeney, most of the fans began to believe that this move might mean the end for all hopes to see a starting caliber at left tackle get signed. But our General Manager found a way to free up enough cap space for Max Starks by waiving backup offensive tackle Kevin Haslam – who by the way was claimed by the New England Patriots yesterday.

We´re already pretty familiar with the 31-year old veteran, but nonetheless, let´s take a quick look at what kind of player Tom Telesco just brought onto the roster.

Max Starks has been on the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2004 and started all 16 games last season. He won two championships with the team, one as starting left tackle and one as starting right tackle. One of those Super Bowl rings came with Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt as their play caller. At the age of 31, he has a ton of experience under his belt but still some fuel left in the tank.

There are concerns, that he might not be the right guy for a zone blocking scheme – which new offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris may want to establish in San Diego. It may also be a fact that the veteran doesn’t have the same quickness he once did. And although he struggled a bit in run blocking lately, he´s been very solid in pass protection. The Steelers tried to run zone this past season, but it was obvious that Starks did not have the quickness to move that much. To be fair, he was recovering from an ACL tear last year and that surely slowed him down a bit, especially in the early part of the schedule. I don´t want to be negative here, just talking about facts. But I´m confident he´ll do well in 2013; healthy and in a Lightning Bolts uniform.

I searched through the net to maybe find some comments and reactions from the man of the hour about going into the next season as a Charger. From a previous piece here on boltbeat we already know his words he put out via twitter. But on his Youtube channel I found an interesting interview he had with “XTRA Sports 1360”. I already mentioned his injury above; here is what he had to say about his health going into the season 2013:

The body feels great. It´s the first time in years I´ve had a great offseason, a healthy offseason. A year before last, I had to recover from a neck injury and last year I had the ACL; so rehabbing those things was always a priority. But this offseason (it´s great) being just able to train hard. I feel the best I´ve ever felt going into OTAs and preseason.

And there is also good news for D.J. Fluker, because with Max Starks, he won´t get any competition for the leadership on the offensive line (as we all know Fluker wants to be the “Ray Lewis” of the O-Line).

I don´t make that grand speeches or anything like that – as far as being that (vocal) leader; that´s never been my approach.

And of course, he already had a short conversation with Ricky Henne, managing editor for Just like in the interview above, Henne asked him about his excitement to block for Philip Rivers.

Philip is a part of the 2004 draft class.  He’s a veteran quarterback.  He’s smart and savvy.  He likes to sling the ball.  He’s very comparable to (Ben) Roethlisberger in that respect.  I have a lot of respect for Philip.  He’s always been a great person and a great individual.  I think I’m going to love blocking for him.

Starks did it already via twitter, but he again left a message for us BoltAddicts in this interview.

I want to tell them (the fans) that I appreciate them being excited to have me there.  I look forward to giving my all and doing my best to make them proud of the Chargers name.  Hopefully I can continue the tradition they have out there, and I look forward to helping this team build toward a championship.

Oh Yeah, Max Starks – welcome to San Diego! We´ve been waiting for you!

So, BoltFam, who do you think we will see starting at left tackle in September 2013? Is it a sure thing that Starks will outplay King Dunlap (and Nick Becton) or will he face tough competition in training camp and in the preseason games? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments section.

Thank you for reading!



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  • tubbs45

    Stocked to have a great guy with a great attitude. He ain’t here to just collect a check, but to improve the team and make an impact! Loving the idea of a 650 pound bookend tackles!

    • TT Rules

      Fired up!!! #BoltUP the run!

    • MC Boltman

      Yeah, when listening to interviews of him, you can hear, he got an awesome personality. Will fit great into our roster!

    • Peter Thompson

      Last year, when it was possibly Gaither, and Henderson… I said I was hoping to nickname them the Twin Towers!!! We all know how that went, but now I can dub Fluker & Starks the Twin Towers… so I am a happy camper =)

  • Saul Lopez

    They should have a Telesco Jersey, I would rock that proudly!!!

    • RussinSactown

      You can just get them to put “Boss” on it in place of the numbers

      • PakMaN

        I may just take apart my Ryan Matthews jersey and do this with it.

      • Ernie Padaon

        hmmm… might have to make some shirts this weekend

    • MC Boltman

      Man its great how Telesco gives back hope and enthusiasm…in the first period of free agency, it didn´t look like he has that much of supporters. But after the draft and the last FA signings, he got pretty much all of the fans on his side…and thats GREAT! I´m all for it, I would wear that jersey!

      • Peter Thompson

        I think he did have the support. Just the ones who didn’t support him were ultra-vocal about it, and were leading people to believe that he was in the dog-house. I have seen nothing but him & McCoy putting in the hard work to make this team competitive. Even if he missed on McKinnie… at least he tried, and it wasn’t really his fault anyway. He has gotten a lot of the players he has sat down with. Te’O Starks, McKinnie.. I’m not mad that we didn’t sign Winston or McKinnie really.

        • MC Boltman

          Well me neither…we had no chance on McKinnie – and overpaying him can´t be the solution either. I just say #InTelescoAndMcCoy(andTheOtherGuys)WeTrust – I love our new Chargers brass :)

  • RussinSactown

    Looking at this line, if Matthews can’t have a break out year with this much blocking in front of him then he needs to drop out of the NFL go get his art degree

    • Ernie Padaon

      seriously… if he cant get it done this year, then someone better break his other clavicle… wait?

      • RussinSactown

        I’m not giving him the broken collarbone excuse. He’s used that already.

      • Peter Thompson

        It’s cool… we know what you mean…the one in his vagina.

        • Ernie Padaon

          we must hang out too often… haha

    • tubbs45

      No Excuses now, put up the numbers or move out of the way!

      • MC Boltman

        Ugh…the air is getting thin Mathews! tubbs45 comin your way :) …you´re right, he has to show he´s worth keeping around and wearing a Lightning Bolts uniform.

    • MC Boltman

      Mathews will have to step up. I won´t give up on him just yet, but he really really has to show he´s worth considering a “lead back”. Come on, #24 lets get it done!

    • Peter Thompson

      I have a very strong feeling that Mathews will be beast mode this year, and play most (if not all) of his games, and make the pro bowl. It’s a blend of better coaching, a better line, better strength & conditioning, and peer pressure.

      • joerockt

        There’s really no evidence to back that up though. Guess there is hope, but if it quacks like a duck…

        Lets just hope he stays healthy and Te’o was worthy, otherwise that 2nd or 3rd pick could have been a useful RB.

        • Peter Thompson

          Probably not. However, I think there is SOME evidence, although not completely convincing. He did have his best year, and make the pro-bowl as an alternate the year before our line broke down. And, “hope”fully the new strength & conditioning crew know what they are doing. Not to mention, Norv was the most predictable run playcaller in the history of the NFL. So, he does have some positives in his corner that point to a better year.. barring (yet another) injury.

      • MC Boltman

        Oh..I want to believe that. Health is the key to your prediction. And hopefully he found a way to solve his fumbling prob too. But I won´t turn my back on him yet. Get it on #24!

        • Peter Thompson

          The fumbles are definitely an issue. I still think that Norv benching him for those games for that fumble when he just got off of the IR list was a HUGE mistake! Not to mention suddenly putting another back in there when Mathews was playing fine. That was the problem with Norv. He let crap like that go constantly when it was the right time to bench him for a minute… and then benches him at the worst time, under the worst circumstances. I think it killed Mathews confidence a little bit. I just felt that Norv was under pressure from everyone, because he was failing to keep the team motivated. Then he suddenly decides to take a hard line on Mathews two minutes after he gets back in the line-up from injury, when our run game was AWFUL! It reminded me of when a pushover parent lets their kid get away with a ton of bad behavior, but then grounds them for a month for taking a cookie without asking. Mathews must have been a little confused. I certainly was.

  • Rob Base

    That is a dude with great work ethic and integrity! Mad respect here!

    • MC Boltman

      Thats what I´m talkin bout! Listen to some interviews, he´s a really awesome dude!

  • JoseSD

    I don’t think they’ll use the zone blocking scheme as much as people think. Zone uses smaller quicker linemen and with behemoths like Starks, Fluker, and Clary I think they’ll be more power with a bit of zone mixed in. running behind them maybe we’ll get some flashbacks of LT running behind McNeil and Dielman

    • MC Boltman

      Yeh, thats my thoughts too. They may tried to get some player personnel for that zone scheme, but its not that easy to do that within just one draft and one FA. But still they got great options with the players that are already on board. I´m confident for this season – don´t expect too much, but I´m confident.

  • blu3ny3llow

    Funny how all the negative Nancy’s went back under their rocks to hide…..a lot of ppl who are giving TT props now were already calling for his head…hahaha….

    • Peter Thompson

      You have that right! I was curious about it, and did a “TT approval poll” on here a while back. It wasn’t even close! TT got the nod BIG TIME. It’s was just a few people, acting like everybody was upset with TT, when they couldn’t have been more wrong. I have a theory that people are shell-shocked from the AJ days, where he A) didn’t sign many free agents, or wasn’t very active in the process B) didn’t replace the people he let go adequately C) spent a ton of money right out of the gate last year on players that were unproven & questionable (Meachem / Royal / Bigby / Gaither).. then signed some of them to horrible contracts! Maybe some fans don’t know what it looks like for a GM to do it right, and be patient & savvy in fee agency, like TT is. Some would call him cheap, or say he took risky gambles. But, if you would have signed these guys in week one or two of FA, it would have doubled their price! If we had signed Starks, Freeney back then.. you could have automatically tacked on millions of extra dollars. Also, look at the money saved with Danario.. everybody was pissed at TT, and wanted him to give him more money right away.. TT played that out superbly!

    • Pouta

      wait a second…

      why did Starks last this long into free agency ?

  • Peter Thompson

    Didn’t I read that Dunlap can play guard too? Is it possible that Dunlap could win the guard position instead of Reinhart? Could you imagine, Fluker & Clary on one side, and Starks & Dunlap on the other? Philip would need platform cleats to make a throw over them… hahaha!

    • RussinSactown

      That would be a nasty line. Phillip could do his taxes back there.

      • Peter Thompson

        Lol… I would think zone blocking schemes would also go right out the window ; )

        • Pels04

          Crazy to think Hardwick would be the shortest at 6’4 ha

          • shayaaa

            And the lightest at 305.

      • FitzWilly


      • I_Bleed_Powder_Blue_801

        Rivers would be like “Why does TT get all the handjobs from a BoltBeat fan?”

        • FitzWilly

          Rivers has to earn his Reacharound :)
          We don’t just “hand” them out for showing up

      • FitzWilly

        Unless he’s a Tea-Bagger
        Then it could take a little longer

      • MC Boltman

        Haha…yeah would be great for him…he surely got barely time for that during the week – too much kids running around at home wanting to spend time with their daddy :)

      • Augie Baza

        Hell yeah. That would be the tallest, heaviest offensive line in the NFL. We are talking 345 330 305 320 340. An average of 330lds. That line would be capable of wearing down any defense by the 4th Quarter.

    • Pouta

      I’d like to see what Troutman can do at one of the guard slots

      • Peter Thompson

        Me too. They’ll pepper him in there, and get him some experience. I have a feeling all of the rookies will get a chance, now that Norv is gone. He would have let them all ride the pine, as usual.