So this is what it's come down to, huh? We're throwing parades because Max Starks is back in black & gold?
It takes balls - no, STONES the size of boulders - to sit in a room full of somewhat educated media and get over on them the fact that you don't plan on improving the personnel of an offensive line that's allowed your franchise QB to get destroyed during the first quarter of the NFL season.
Mike Tomlin must have elephantiasis of the testes after getting away last week with the idea that he wouldn't be calling Flozell Adams or Max Starks to bolster his O-line, and then skating through this week's presser without the question being asked again.
Before you indict the assembled media over the absence of the question though, go back to the previous week. Tomlin had not only bullheadedly eliminated all talk of bringing back Adams or Starks, but done so with emphasis. After mentioning the impending return of both Doug Legursky and Jonathan Scott on Tuesday, how many of us expected Tomlin to do a 180? Again, just a week earlier, Coach Cliche had decided he was happy letting Trai Essex hold down the left tackle post against the Houston Texans.
That worked out well.
Why are we still dealing with this problem? Why is Tomlin still piecing together an O-line every week like an addict thieving copper pipe scraps to pay for his next hit of meth?
Yes, we have to give Tomlin - and the Dr. House to his Omar Epps, Kevin Colbert - credit for the drafting of Maurkice Pouncey and Marcus Gilbert. They'll be stalwarts for as long as the Steelers want to keep them.
However, they are the only two offensive linemen taken in the first two rounds in the Tomlin era. An era which has included the departures of Alan Faneca and Kendall Simmons and the retirement of Jeff Hartings.
The influx of skilled offensive players, reinforcement of the defensive line, and continued depth at linebacker is great. Without an offensive line capable of protecting their QB though, all of that becomes moot.
So while the parade of Kraig Urbiks, Cam Stephensons, Tony Hillss, A.Q. Shipleys, Keith Williamss, and other mid to late round picks continues through the revolving door of the Steelers' O-line - to mention nothing of the free agents from Darnell Stapleton to Jamon Meredith - we throw our own parade, for a guy who 10 days ago was deemed untouchable.
Here We Go... again.