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Wednesday, November 10, 2010
What's next for Steelers' O-line?

By James Walker
ESPN.com

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced starting left tackle Max Starks was put on injured reserve Wednesday, which will sideline him for the remainder of the 2010 season. Starks suffered a neck injury in Pittsburgh's win over the Cincinnati Bengals on "Monday Night Football."

So what's next for Pittsburgh's offensive line? The Steelers (6-2) have little depth at the position and may need to do some major shuffling, starting with Sunday's big game against the New England Patriots (6-2).

Right tackle Flozell Adams has plenty of experience playing left tackle from his time in Dallas. I think he's a better right tackle at this stage of his career, but he may be Pittsburgh's best option now on the left side. That would allow a backup like Jonathan Scott to have an easier transition to the starting lineup at right tackle.

Pittsburgh may also opt to try Scott at left tackle. He's a favorite of Steelers offensive line coach Sean Kugler, who recruited and coached Scott from their days together with the Buffalo Bills. If Kugler is confident Scott can fill the role, Scott could be the "next man up."

Either way, this is a tough break for the Steelers. For years Starks has been their most consistent offensive lineman, and whoever fills his role will not provide the same level of production.