Friday, August 1, 2014
Cards add Max Starks for depth at tackle
By Josh Weinfuss
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals didn't have to look far for depth on its offensive line.
The Cardinals signed veteran tackle Max Starks on Friday in a move that brought back memories of Eric Winston's signing last training camp. But Arians said this move was different. Starks, who lives in Fountain Hills, Arizona, about an hour drive from University of Phoenix Stadium, wasn't added because of desperation on the offensive line.
"Last year, we were not sold we had a right tackle," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. "Right now, I feel very confident in (right tackle) Bobby (Massie). He's having a great camp. This is more of a swing. Eric could not swing. He's a right tackle only. Max has played left for a long time and he started out at right. It's just quality depth for us."
Starks will enter camp working with the second team, Arians said, backing up Massie at right tackle and Jared Veldheer on the left side. Even though he hasn't played since Week 4 of last season and missed the first week of training camp, Starks' said the transition is easier with the Cardinals because of his history with Arians.
Starks played in Pittsburgh during Arians' entire tenure with the Steelers. He'll also reunite with Cardinals' offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin and assistant offensive line coach Larry Zierlein, who were the Steelers' offensive assistant and offensive line coach, respectively, during part of Starks' Pittsburgh career.
"All the terminology seems to be the old terminology, so it's starting to click again," Starks said. "Obviously it's been two years since I was with BA so just getting used to that lingo and getting that going. But all the play calling is very similar to what I was used to in Pittsburgh."
Starks was the Cardinals' first roster move of training camp. Arians wanted to add enough depth to avoid any visible seams if an injury were to occur. But the addition of Starks is a statement on the Cards' backups, in particular Bradley Sowell.
Arians said Friday that Sowell isn't playing "as well as he should" and that the experience Starks brings is more valuable than a rookie.
"You want to give young players all the benefit of the doubt," Arians said. "But once you know they can't help you, it's time to build the depth in your roster."