Former NFL offensive lineman Max Starks has an impressive resume that includes two Super Bowl rings. For the purposes of the Arizona Cardinals, he also has a few things in common with second-year tackle D.J. Humphries.
Like Humphries, Starks went to college at Florida before playing under Cardinals coach Bruce Arians. Starks spent most of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and even briefly spent the preseason with Arizona in 2014.
Naturally, that made him a capable mentor for Humphries, who after sitting out his rookie season is lined up to start at right tackle as a 22-year-old.
“He has some great plays and he has some doozies,” Starks said of Humphries Wednesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Doug and Wolf show. “D.J. I believe is right where he should be, actually maybe a little bit ahead.
“This offseason, got in the books, got a little bit bigger and transitioned to be a right tackle truly and proper. It’s a mental shift. His feet are quick enough but his hands haven’t caught up to his feet.”
Part of the challenge in catching his hands up goes back to his experience.
Humphries has most spent his football career as a dominating left tackle, but switching to the other side requires relearning his mechanics, Starks said.
Starks, who will be hosting the 6 p.m. House of Cards show on select nights throughout training camp on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, said mentoring Humphries began with discussing the essentials of becoming a professional.
From nailing down his career goals to teaching Humphries how to take notes in a film session, Starks believes Humphries has come a long way.
“We had a lot of conversations. It was a process,” Starks said. “It was just about the right mental approach. I think where you look at where he’s at, how old he is and what he’s asked to do … For him this is all new.
“He has a lot of bravado … a lot of pride in himself. We talked about having to keep it under control, tempering it, knowing when you should be saying things, when you shouldn’t,” Starks added.
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