Max Starks Brings Beneficial Veteran Presence to Trenches for Ailing St. Louis Rams
The best thing you can say about the St. Louis Rams’ offensive line so far this season is that they haven’t been talked about much. After years of watching quarterback Sam Bradford get pummeled week after week, the team finally provided him with some quality insulation for the 2013 season. General manager Les Snead isn’t one to ever be content, and his recent addition of veteran tackle Max Starks shows that everlasting drive to improve.
Given the injury issues that have plagued the Rams in the trenches dating back to last season, adding a quality veteran for depth purposes was a savvy move by Snead and company. Starks was in training camp with the San Diego Chargers, but he was a casualty of the final roster cuts after they decided to go with King Dunlap as their starting left tackle. One team’s trash is always another team’s treasure in the NFL, and the Rams are sure to value Starks’ presence.
Rodger Saffold is reportedly day-to-day with the strained MCL that he suffered in the Week 2 contest against the Atlanta Falcons. It seems clear that the Rams are preparing for a worst case scenario with Saffold as they also signed Mike Person off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks earlier this week at the tackle position.
After the depth issues they experienced in the trenches last season, finding a quality reserve this late in the game is a huge bonus for the Rams. Starks may not be the player he once was with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he can slide in at right tackle this week and help aid the solid performance that the St. Louis line has put up thus far this year.
Amazingly enough, according to Football Outsiders, the Rams rank atop the entire NFL in pass protection this season as they are the only club that has yet to allow a sack. Late last season the Rams finally broke stretch of allowing their former No. 1 overall pick to be sacked in 30 consecutive games. At that time Bradford had been sacked a whopping 105 times in just 40 career starts. Needless to say, a two game stretch to start the season of not allowing a single sack is a monumental achievement for this group of Rams pass protectors.
Hopefully plugging Starks in a right tackle allows things to continue humming along without missing a beat. Despite their defensive deficiencies to this point in the season, the Rams have actually shown serious signs of improvement on offense. Maybe adding another veteran presence into the mix will further fortify Bradford from danger and allow this offense to get even more lethal as the year progresses.
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