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!