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Can fitter Starks bolster struggling Pittsburgh line?

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Posted Oct. 07, 2011 @ 2:23 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

Recently re-signed OLT Max Starks, who's listed at 345 pounds, looks fit, the way we hear it, and if he quickly returns to form, he'll be an asset to a Steelers O-line that has had a world of trouble protecting the edges. Starks, who allowed one sack in seven games a season ago before suffering a neck injury that ended his season, quickly began getting work with the first-team offense, and at the very least, he figures to be an upgrade over Trai Essex as the top reserve tackle. Moreover, OLT Jonathan Scott, who missed Pittsburgh's loss at Houston in Week Four with an ankle injury, has not played well early this season, allowing 3½ sacks in Pittsburgh's first three games per STATS LLC. Essex also didn't fare well starting in place of Scott in Week Four. Little has gone to plan for the O-line this season — C Maurkice Pouncey is the only lineman to start each of the first four games.

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