Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Starks prepares for solid Steelers' D
By Jeff Dickerson
James Starks gained 74 yards and a touchdown against the Bears in the NFC Championship Game.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Green Bay Packers rookie running back James Starks cracked a tiny smile when asked about the first half of the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field.
Starks, a sixth-round draft choice, helped Green Bay establish the run against the Bears and rushed for 55 yards on 12 carries in the first thirty minutes.
"I knew what our offensive line was capable of, so I knew they could do that for me," Starks said Tuesday from Super Bowl media day at Cowboys Stadium. "I have a ton of faith in those guys.
"Our offensive line just did a great job. They did a tremendous job of blocking people and giving me big holes. They gave me a chance to hit either gap, and if you have a two-way go, the run game can be very successful. Those guys up front have been doing a great job for all of us in the backfield.
Starks finished the game with 74 yards and a touchdown versus a Bears defense that ranked No. 2 against the run (90.1 yards) in the regular season. The Steelers, meanwhile, surrendered 120.3 rushing yards per game this year, but Pittsburgh boasts a defense filled with talented run-stoppers. If Starks can once again find daylight on the ground, Green Bay's chances of winning their first Super Bowl since 1996 will be greatly increased.
"The Steelers do a great job attacking and coming down fast," Starks said. "Safeties are coming down into the box and making plays, plus their linebackers are strong and physical. That defensive line can also push people around, so they have talented players in those spots. Pittsburgh is a very good run defense and another great test."