Gerry Dulac: OK, lets get our weekly chat started....
Mad Chatter: I see Demarcus Van Dyke is back on the roster. Tell me this was the missing piece. Championship?
Gerry Dulac: Yes. That's the reason I was a couple minutes delayed in starting the chat. Was making my Super Bowl reservations.
John B.: Hey Gerry, Do you think the blame for lack of pressure is more on the DL or the LBs? or do you think its inconsistancy of both?
Gerry Dulac: I don't think there's any question it's more on the linebackers, especially Jarvis Jones and Jason Worilds. Jones was brought in to provide sacks -- he led the nation in sacks his final year at Georgia -- and he doesn't have any. And based on the way he appears to be losing confidence, I'm not sure he's going to get any. And who would have ever bet on that at the start of the season????
To me, I thought for sure that, between Worilds and Jones, they would have more than surpass the six sacks James Harrison had from that position last season. Right now, Worilds has three after getting two against the Patriots, but those weren't exactly highlight-film sacks. Tom Brady gave himself up on one and Cam Heyward provided the pressure and forced Brady to step up into Worilds on the other.
The Steelers are trying to generate more pressure from the defensive linemen, but that's a relative term. Heyward has been very good at collapsing the pocket, -- he is tied for the team lead with 21 pressures -- but he has only one sack. Keisel, who also has 21 pressures, has two sacks. But the Steelers D-linemen are constructed in the 3-4 defense to be sack guys. They're primary job is to stop the run. Of course, they're not doing that, either.
Either way, the lack of pressure/sacks is a problem.
ANYGIVENSUNDAY: Is it a waste of time to even purchase Steelers tickets at this point?
Gerry Dulac: Well, it's probably a buyer's market right now. You should be able to get them easily and not pay a premium price. If you're looking to buy them and re-sell them, lots of luck with that.
StillBuda: The Steelers raced back to a 24-24 tie against New England then fell apart. Were they tired late or did they just give up?
Gerry Dulac: Neither. They just couldn't keep up with New England. And the biggest reason is their defense just got sliced. No matter what they put up, Tom Brady solved it and attacked it. Granted, the defense looked tired. But when you're fooled and out of position, you tend to look old and slow, though I will concede their lack of speed in the back end is finally being exposed.
double yoi: People have been talking about trading away Ben Roethlisberger for picks. He's only 31 and in his prime. Elway won a SB at 37, Favre got hit a lot & played till 41.
Gerry Dulac: I don't think you have to be worry about that. That's why the people who espouse that aren't running a team.
John B.: Do you think Williams will be the ILB starter next year for the Steelers?
Gerry Dulac: Not if Sean Spence comes back. But I think Vince Williams has shown he can be a decent football player. He's aggressive and attacks the line of scrimmage, doesn't play on his heels. He will be even better with his angles next year as he becomes more comfortable with the defense. He's still learning.
Ex Altoids: From the 2000's Steelers, who do you see making the Hall of Fame when they retire? I think Ben may be the only lock.
Gerry Dulac: Ben might be the only lock, but I think Jerome Bettis, Hines Ward will eventually get in because of their numbers. And I think Troy Polamalu has a chance, too. But he will have a tougher time than the other two.
HI5Steeler: Will the coaching staff give all of the young players starting jobs by the end of the season to see what they've got? If not, I'll be busy hitting some slippery slopes at 7 Springs on Sundays come December.
Gerry Dulac: Absolutely not. This isn't college. Tomlin is going to play the players who give him the best chance to win each Sunday, even if they are 3-11. Now, if that happens to be a young player, he will use him. But, if not, he is not going to use a bunch of young players merely for the purpose of developing them. I suggest you start buying your lift tickets.
yggy: The Steelers won't admit it, but aren't they massively disappointed by Jarvis Jones so far? He was supposed to be 'plug and play'.
Gerry Dulac: I think you're right. They still believe he will be a good player. But there is no way they can't be disappointed about him not getting any sacks and providing little pressure. Believe me, if he was producing, they would live with the assignment mistakes he is making. They wouldn't have demoted him. But, because there are mistakes AND no production, they chose to use a player who, at the very least, is going to minimize the mistakes.
Guest: Suppose both Troy and Clark are gone next year, Which spot does Sharmarko take? FS or SS?
Gerry Dulac: He's probably more suited to be a strong safety, despite his lack of height, but I thoink he is capable of being both. I think a lot depends on who the other safety candidate is, if Polamalu and Clark are both gone.
stillmadatslobber: Are the Steelers holding on to veterans for posterity sake since they won titles with them instead of cutting old guys and going with youth?
Gerry Dulac: Let's see now, they've departed with Hines Ward, Aaron Smith, James Farrior, Casey Hampton, James Harrison, Max Starks, Willie Colon, and Charlie Batch the past two years, not to mention Rashard Mendenhall and Mike Wallace. I do not think they are guilty of holding on to their veteran players.
socalsteel: The Steelers are 4-11 since week 11 last year. Only the Jags ad Bucs have been worse. Is this the franchises lowest point since 1969?
Gerry Dulac: You could reasonably make that point, given your research.
Flanker: The Steelers are now 31st against the run. Do they regret cutting Alameda Ta'amu and why haven't they dressed Hebron Fangupo all season?
Gerry Dulac: No. It allowed them to save the apostrophe for another jersey.
JackSplat58: The Steelers seem to lack a competitive fire. Might I suggest coach Tomlin add some games to the locker room to encourage more competiveness?
Gerry Dulac: Pay the man.
IronCity: Can you talk about the positive veteran leadership presence Jerricho Cotchery brings to the Steelers young receivers? He was awesome vs New England.
Gerry Dulac: Yes he was and he's a good dude, great veteran player, knows how to maneuver in those grimy areas on the field and how to get open. Can't say enough good things about him.
JimmyT: Much like the Steelers season, your chat is getting a little stale. Can we just talk about something more uplifting, like Kate Upton, instead of these bums?
Gerry Dulac: I suggest, then, you join the other guy on the slopes.
Gerry Dulac: That's all the time we have today kids. Sorry I couldn't answer all the good questions. See you next week.