"Same words mean something different," Roethlisberger said. "It is football, and football is football. We understand some concepts, but we're putting the old stuff behind us and moving forward."
Same thing with moving on with some different personnel — Roethlisberger's tribute to Starks aside. The Steelers' top two draft picks, David DeCastro and Mike Adams, have not been at the training activities because of conflicts with their academic schedules at Stanford and Ohio State, respectively.
They will arrive for mini-camp next week, and each will be plugged, initially, onto the first team. Adams will line up at Starks' former position, left tackle. DeCastro will be at right guard.
"I've heard so many great things about both of them," Roethlisberger said, "so we'll see what it's like having them in person."
Roethlisberger was sacked more than any quarterback in the AFC last season (40) and no quarterback in the league has endured more than the 261 sacks he has since 2006. He'll have a revamped line protecting him this season. So, that could help. And Roethlisberger also lauded the work this summer of veteran Willie Colon, who moves from tackle to left guard.
In one way, Roethlisberger's career has come full circle. When he was a rookie in 2004, veteran offensive lineman Alan Faneca famously said wasn't enthused about having a 22-year-old take snaps.
"No, it's not exciting," Faneca said the week before Roethlisberger's first career start. "Do you want to go work with some little young kid who is just out of college?"
The Steelers won each of Roethlisberger's 13 regular-season starts that year en route to a 15-1 record.
Months removed from his 30th birthday, Roethlisberger was more diplomatic about the prospect of having a pair of 22-year-olds being the only thing between him and 270-pound pass rushers.
"As long as they do their job, I don't care," Roethlisberger said. "I don't care who it is — as long as they put 100 percent into it like the rest of the guys and how I'm going to do and do their job, I'm fine with them."
NOTES: Linebackers coach Keith Butler said that reserve LB Jason Worilds had offseason wrist surgery and that Pro Bowl LB James Harrison has not been practicing with the team because of knee inflammation.