LATROBE (KDKA) — With the usual trappings of camp, they arrived and yet a camp unlike any other.

Due to post lockout rules on free agents, a lot of the veterans are simply not here.

“You see only half the guys and all the younger guys and that is different,” LB Lawrence Timmons said.

And there are others who won’t be back and will be missed, like Antwaan Randle El and Max Starks.

“That’s a tough pill to swallow,” Doug Legursky, an offensive lineman, said. “I was really close to Max and El both and that’s just the way the business is and I’ve talked to Max a lot and Tiff, his wife, and I wish them the best of luck. Wherever he lands, he’s going to be a great player for them.”

Many of the players were Latrobe bound, unaware of Starks’ departure.

“I was really surprised,” RB Isaac Redman said. “I found out on the ride here, but that is the business of the game and that’s how the cookie crumbles.”

“It’s upsetting that we lost Max,” Maurkice Pouncey said. “Max was a great player, but we gotta keep it rolling, the guys getting ready to play.”

“El was like my role model, you know, anything I needed I went to El and he made my transition to the NFL a lot easier. I hope nothing but the best for him,” Emmanuel Sanders, a wide receiver, said.

But farewells must be short-lived in the business of football and focus is key on the important things.

“This is the baby beard – the beard’s coming back,” DE Brett Keisel said. “I don’t know [how long it’s going to get]. I bet it will get at least as long as last year. Hopefully we’ll get into playing ball in February.”

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