I knew at some point this offseason that the Pittsburgh Steelers would need to address their depth at the tackle position, but I never envisioned it leading to the team signing Jacksonville Jaguars castoff Guy Whimper, who according to Pro Football Focus gave up five sacks in 2012 in less than 400 snaps played and another 14 in 2011 in a little more than 950 snaps played.
So looking forward now past the signing of Whimper, what does this do to the prospects of Max Starks returning later on in the offseason?
For starters, I think the Steelers needed a veteran warm-bodied tackle for the upcoming OTA sessions and Starks might still be waiting to see if he can get a better deal elsewhere. Perhaps he has something concrete in the works. We don\’t really know.
The signing of Whimper might also be a sign that tackle Marcus Gilbert might not yet be fully recovered from the surgery that he had back in December on the ankle that he injured last season.
Whimper worked with new Steelers offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. when both were with the New York Giants, so that\’s your link to the Steelers right there.
Let me put it this way, Whimper makes former Steelers tackle Jonathan Scott look like a Pro Bowler and I will be shocked if he makes the Steelers final 53 man roster.
As long as Starks remains unsigned, I will continue to say that he has a shot at returning in 2013, but I have to admit that the signing of Whimper quite possibly put a damper on that actually happening. We shall see.