Q & A with Steelers OT Max Starks

<b>GVB:</b> Max, you have to be thrilled in your first year with how this team is playing. <br><br> <b> Starks: </b> Definitely. When you get drafted and you go through this situation you really don't expect for things to turn out the way that they have.

I'm very pleased to be on such a successful football team in my first year in the NFL.

GVB: What about the guy in the locker next to you? What a season!

Starks: Definitely. Ben's playing unbelievable. He's stepped in and assumed the role that he has to take at the quarterback position. He hasn't let it hinder him or bother him or frustrate him at any time. He's learning every single day that he goes out there, and he's performed on Sundays.

GVB: What about the progress you're making? They're using you a lot in short-yardage situations. Are you coming along?

Starks: Yeah, definitely. It's probably the best situation when you come in as a rookie and get eased into the speed of the game and the flow of a professional football game by coming in situations where there isn't as much pressure because you're coming in mostly in run-blocking situations, short-yardage and goal-line. It's probably the best situation to get eased into learning to be an offensive lineman in the NFL.

GVB: You're learning from some pretty great people, too. This line is having a great year.

Starks: This is probably the greatest five I've seen work together in a way that their chemistry goes because they've been together for a while. They can just react off of each other; they really don't have to talk much outside the huddle and get things blocked and accomplished. They can get running backs through the hole and give Ben time to throw. It's been unbelievable.

GVB: What's it been like working for Coach Grimm?

Starks: It's been an immense honor because he's a guy who, as a Washington Redskin, accomplished a lot and won Super Bowls. He's been to the Pro Bowl and he's played all the positions on the line so he's a very knowledgeable individual. Being able to take to him and learn from him is just a real honor. My father used to play with him and he's told me stories, so it's just awesome to know that you have somebody like that to draw from in the coaching room and then find out, because he's been there and done all of that.

GVB: Finally, this team seems to be on such an even keel. You're having a great season but there's still football to be played and some goals to be accomplished. It seems like everybody's on a pretty even keel.

Starks: Oh, definitely, because the season's not over with. We're just going into our twelfth game of the season and there's still a lot of football to be played. We have five more games, especially this one coming up. It's going to be different for us because we're playing a night game in Jacksonville. The temperatures going to be a little bit different from what we've been used to the past couple of weeks, so it's definitely a challenge and we've got some pretty good teams in front of us.

GVB: I appreciate it. Thank you.

Starks: Thank you.

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