In the seemingly never-ending search for help at defensive tackle, many Buffalo Bills fans - including yours truly - wondered aloud whether 24-year-old Titan Randy Starks could be the answer to Buffalo's run game woes. Then, last week, Jimmy from Music City Miracles set the record straight, sharing with us his very negative view on Starks' play at DT last season. Still, we pressed on, believing that Starks' potential and youth would make him a good signing. We asked for a second opinion.
So we went and got one. We're pleased to be joined this afternoon by Drexel Perry, one of a team of bloggers at Total Titans, an excellent (and frequently updated) source for Titans news and fan opinions. I did not change anything, folks - I asked Perry the same exact questions as I asked Jimmy for consistency purposes.
The end results? Original prognosis confirmed.
Obviously, Albert Haynesworth is getting all of the attention up front. How well did Starks play when Haynesworth was out of the lineup last season?
When Haynesworth was out of the lineup, the team suffered drastically. Opposing teams were now able to run the football down the Titans' throats. In a three game stretch when Haynesworth was out with an injury, the Jags, Bengals and Broncos all had a ton of success running the football, especially at Randy Starks.
How likely is Starks to walk considering Haynesworth's situation?
Haynesworth is probably going to receive the franchise tag, so the Titans may decide to make an offer to keep Starks into the fold. There is a possibility that another team may make an offer that is higher than the Titans', so if that occurs, I'd be shocked if Tennessee matched it.
My guess is that Starks walks and the team replaces him via the draft or with an inexpensive veteran such as a Keith Traylor, who was released by Miami.
How was Starks used in rotation? Was he more of a run down or a pass down tackle, in your opinion?
Starks didn't receive a lot of playing time before Haynesworth's hammy issues. In addition to Albert's run stopping abilities, he did a good job of taking up blockers on passing downs, allowing the likes of Antwan Odom and Kyle Vanden Bosch to get sacks. When Haynesworth returned and his hammy flared up at times, Starks would spell him on passing downs.
So. That's that. Two (what's the opposite of "glowing"?) reviews of Starks straight from the fans that have seen him play most. I'm completely turned off. If the Bills are going to import a young player with potential, I'd rather they did it in the middle rounds of the draft than with Starks in free agency. Sometimes, potential is intriguing; in this case, I think these accounts set the record straight.
You're free, of course, to disagree and still view Starks as a solid potential mid-range signing. All comments on these two Starks reports are welcome. We're not done with Drexel Perry, however; he also offered some very kind comments about our team. Take them for what they're worth, but we have some respect from at least one Titans fan: