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Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Wake-up call: Steelers re-sign Starks

By Jamison Hensley

Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:

The Steelers re-signed offensive tackle Max Starks to help their banged-up line, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Wednesday morning.

Starks visited with the team only a few months after the Steelers reportedly released him for being overweight. He has apparently lost 60 pounds and is near his listed playing weight of 345 pounds.

There is a question about Starks' role. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Starks isn't being signed to be an immediate starter. But the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that it's unclear whether Starks will challenge for a starting job or just provide experienced depth.

Every starter on the Steelers' offensive line has missed practice time at some point this season, and Pittsburgh was without three starters from the season opener  this past Sunday in Houston. Starting left tackle Jonathan Scott looks like he will return Sunday after missing the last game with an ankle injury, coach Mike Tomlin said.

Hensley's slant: This whole situation confuses me. Still scratching my head on why the Steelers didn't make this move for Starks earlier, and I'm not sure about the team's continued fascination with Scott. He has given up 18.5 sacks in his past 29 games, including 3.5 in three starts this season. Every team in the AFC North has shored up the blind side (the Browns' Joe Thomas, the Bengals' Andrew Whitworth and the Ravens' Bryant McKinnie) except the Steelers.