Steelers Notebook: Adams, not Starks, could return
The Steelers might bring back one of the tackles they cut, but it won't be Max Starks.
It appears the team has little interest in re-signing Starks, who had been their starting left tackle, because he is overweight and out of shape, a source told the Post-Gazette. It is more likely they could re-sign right tackle Flozell Adams if he doesn't sign with another team.
If they do, it is possible they will move right tackle Willie Colon to right guard -- something they have been reluctant to do because of their style of offense. But, more teams in the AFC North are playing a 4-3 defensive front which would allow the Steelers to better utilize Colon's skills as a run-blocker.
Adams, 36, had one year remaining on a two-year, $10 million contract he signed before the 2010 season. But the team released him when they re-signed Colon because Adams said he wanted to be a starter, not a backup.
After losing out on a chance to sign former New England Patriots tight end Daniel Graham, the team signed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end John Gilmore with the hope he can be the top backup to Heath Miller.
Gilmore, 31, played at Penn State and is primarily a blocking tight end who caught 32 passes for 330 yards and two touchdowns in three seasons with the Buccaneers. He previously played six seasons with the Chicago Bears, where he had 21 catches for 194 yards and three touchdowns.
"Being in this camp, with this organization, is a great opportunity for me," said Gilmore, who grew up in West Lawn, Pa., near Reading. "I was aware they lost [Matt] Spaeth, they were a man down and they were looking for another tight end. They didn't make me any promises."
After free-agent Spaeth signed with the Bears, the Steelers have been looking for a No. 2 tight end. David Johnson is their other tight end, but he plays the role of H-back/fullback in the offense.
"I'm not ready to anoint him at this juncture," said coach Mike Tomlin. "He'll be put in the group with the rest of them and let it sort itself out."
Tomlin put his squad through another 2 1/2 hours of practice, trying to get in as much work as possible with the reduced number of drills permitted at training camp this year. It was the second consecutive practice he has gone that long. In the past, practices would last about two hours.
With many cornerbacks either not yet eligible to practice or hurt, rookie Curtis Brown lined up on the right side with the first team and sometimes with the second team as well.
"I thought we had some young corners take advantage of some opportunities with some short lines today and get some quality work -- one of them being Curtis Brown," Tomlin said.
Among the corners out were Keenan Lewis (heat), Cortez Allen (hamstring), Bryant McFadden (hamstring), Crezdon Butler (knee) and the two re-signed free agents who cannot practice until Thursday, Ike Taylor and William Gay.
Also out was offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert (hamstring).
First Published August 3, 2011 12:00 am