Max Starks: What Took Pittsburgh Steelers so Long To Bring Him Back?

Dominic ErricoCorrespondent IOctober 9, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - CIRCA 2010: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Max Starks of the Pittsburgh Steelers poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

As the game against the Titans unfolded and Ben Roethlisberger's blind side remained clear the entire game, you had to wonder why the Pittsburgh Steelers coaching staff and front office were so stubborn to bring Max Starks in. 

It only took Roethlisberger getting crushed to within a inch of his football life before they reluctantly made the move.

Look at the difference!

OK, so maybe a resurgent running game took some pressure off, and maybe the fact Bruce Arians finally pulled his head out of his rear and shortened the passing game. Those are certainly contributing factors.

Don't underestimate the impact Starks had off the field in this one. He's very good friends with Roethlisberger, so I'm sure this was a morale boost to the hobbled quarterback to know he could probably trust that blind side to be protected well. 

Perhaps this kind of veteran leadership was needed on a Steelers team that has vastly underachieved so far this season. Starks earned a game ball from the coaching staff.  Not bad for someone who had been doing plumbing work just a week ago.

How much of an indictment is it on Jonathan Scott, Chris Scott and Trai Essex to see a guy off the street come in and vastly outperform them like Starks did today?

It was much needed tonic for Steeler Nation to not have to watch every play today with bated breath, and it carried over to the defense as well. 

The defense wasn't on the field as much, which allowed them to attack Tennessee with ferocious tenacity. That was also a great sign. 

You have to feel more confident about the Steelers offense now that they seem to be poised to protect their $100 million quarterback better.

We all saw the solution. It's a shame the front office didn't make the move sooner.

At least it wasn't too late.