(Big O’l) Max Starks

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Got a gander at Max Starks this afternoon at the Steelers southside practice facility. Big o’l Max (you can’t say Max without saying big o’l) isn’t quite that big anymore. As a matter of fact he looks kind’a…well…lean.

Not lean like good corned beef, i tell you, but lean enough as compared to the off-season where Max reportedly tipped the scales above the 400lb range that’s usually reserved for Sumo’s, your occassional Yeti or the next contestant on the Biggest Loser.

Max is at this juncture a very welcome addition to the thinning herd that has been the offensive line. Though the Big Legursky and Jonathan Scott got back to the practice field today, adding Max to the roster is a good move.

The big question is how long can Max go? Playing football condition is different than preparing to play football condition. That’s what training camp is for. To make the transition from preparing to playing.

The real hold up for Max has been his neck, not his weight. After surgery last year, Big o’l Max hasn’t been able to test his neck for football purposes. Having the doc push on your head and see if there’s any residual pain or taking an MRI is one thing. Holding up after multiple ballistic head butts from two-footed large prairie mammals is another one altogether.

I told the Steelers conditioning coaches that Max could come out to my boxing gym and i would put on the gloves and drill him in the forehead a few times (with the agreement ahead of time that he wouldn’t punch back), but i’ve gotten no response to that one.

All in all, having Max back in the fold couldn’t have come at a better time for the Steelers. Max is a been there, done that guy who can provide some serious reps to a line that has struggled.

And maybe more than just some reps.