The NFL Draft is in the rear-view mirror for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now rookie minicamp has kicked off and 41 players have reported to the South Side practice facility where the Steelers hold their minicamp program.
All rookies, undrafted free agents, and signed free agents have been handed their number. Players have chose their jersey number they will use for the 2013 season. However, the numbers that were not taken were numbers: 64, 78, 16, and 98.
#64 being Doug Legursky‘s number from 2012. #78 was left tackle Max Starks. #16 was quarterback Charlie Batch, and #98 was Casey Hampton.
We know from the pre-draft press conference general manager Kevin Colbert said the team has not ruled out bringing back Hampton and Starks. Hampton started all 16 games with the Steelers last year while the defense finished first overall and second against the run. Hampton, turning 36 in September, is best known for his run stuffing ability and not budging when being double-to-triple teamed.
Starks has started 28 consecutive games at left tackle for the Steelers over the past two seasons. Head coach Mike Tomlin said in the pre-draft press conference that both Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams are capable of playing left tackle and that they will battle that out in training camp. If both players don’t show an improvement from Starks’ duties, than the team will most likely make a move to sign Starks again. After all, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has worn the number 78 jersey at the beginning of training camp more than once promoting his friend Starks.
Now how about Batch and Legursky? The Steelers signed free agent Bruce Gradkowski and John Parker Wilson before drafting Landry Jones in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. Are the Steelers still considering signing Batch down the road? Batch does a lot of fundraisers for the Steelers and has a great foundation in Pittsburgh. Does that pull the 38 year old quarterback, back in with the team? How many quarterbacks will the Steelers carry in 2013?
Doug Legursky is considered to be undersized and not a right fit for what the Steelers are doing offensively with the offensive line. However, like I said earlier in the post, his old number is still left available, so is he likely to get a contract?
Well it appears that the Steelers are holding out on those numbers and seeing if they will need to sign some of their former players back in 2013. Which is what they said they could do before.