Steelers' offensive line morphing yet again
It took Max Starks a moment to process what he had heard.
Starks, 30, less than a year removed from reconstructive knee surgery and jobless until a couple of weeks before training camp, is the only Steeler yet to miss a snap.
“Oh, God no,” said Starks, who put his fingers in his ears and made a “la-la-la” sound. “I am not going to jinx myself, not going to jinx myself, not going to jinx myself.”
That's 902 offensive snaps, and 902 offensive snaps played.
You can't blame Starks for being superstitious. All he has to do is look around to realize how fortunate he has been.
The Steelers were forced into 26 offensive line combinations last season. With the debut of rookie first-round pick David DeCastro in the starting lineup Sunday against Dallas, it will make the 11th offensive line combination this season and the sixth over the past four weeks.
DeCastro and rookie seventh-rounder Kelvin Beachum will start at guard and tackle, respectively, on the right side.
“Yeah, everybody keeps reminding me,” offensive coordinator Todd Haley quipped when asked about starting rookie linemen side by side.
The Steelers have experience adapting.
“It is almost like when it happens now, you don't fret about it,” guard Ramon Foster said. “You don't think it is a big deal.”
The Steelers, however, believe it is a big deal to get DeCastro back. He has been out since injuring his knee Aug. 25 during the third preseason game. With DeCastro in the lineup, Foster can move to left guard for the injured Willie Colon.
“We weren't sure if he was going to be able to make it back,” Haley said of DeCastro. “He is getting more and more comfortable, and he has passed every test.”
The Steelers placed DeCastro on the injured reserve/designated to return list in early September, and he worked his way back to the active roster two weeks ago.
“I am going to be a little nervous, but that's natural,” DeCastro said.
DeCastro has been working his way into game shape. He didn't play two weeks ago against Baltimore but saw action on field goal and extra point teams last week against San Diego.
“I definitely know the system,” he said. “It is just a matter of getting back out there. Live action is a little different than practice, but I feel great.”
Beachum has filled in nicely the past two weeks at right tackle for Mike Adams.
“We're making history,” Beachum said. “That's one thing that's cool.”
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Steelers’ road show boggles the mind
- Wildcat formation is pulled back out of Steelers’ bag of tricks
- Tomlin on Bell’s late TD: ‘We were going to go for it’
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin dismisses clock run-off near end of Chargers game
- Rossi: Just wait until Ben comes back
- Bell’s last-second TD lifts Steelers over Chargers
- Steelers defense displays resiliency in victory over Chargers
- Steelers notebook: Receiver Bryant inactive for game vs. Chargers
- Four Downs: Steelers’ Cockrell finds ways to get noticed
- Steelers notebook: Shazier will miss 3rd consecutive game
- Preparation, passion keep pushing Steelers safety Allen