Ed Bouchette: Is it my computer or are things extremely slow here in PG chat land today? It took me 6 minutes just to log in and typing is extremely difficult.
STEELERWRAITHS: Thanks for the chat Ed...I know you are going to want to say we need to watch and evaluate more, but just suppose we cannot risk Redman clearing waivers and he makes it onto the 53-man roster, who do we cut? Summers? Moore? Davis? Thanks
Ed Bouchette: I do not think you will see both Redman and Summers on this team.
polamalu43: If Mundy doesn't play better, who do you think gets the 4th safety position??
Ed Bouchette: Maybe they'll keep an extra cornerback instead and have Deshea Townsend do both.
Will_from_Freehold__NJ: Limas Sweed made some nice catches last week and seemed to drop a pass while running a route to the sideline, do you think Sweed can be as capable a 3rd receiver as Nate Washington was?
Ed Bouchette: I keep getting these questions as if Nate Washington was Lynn Swann. Wasn't the main complaint about Nate that he dropped too many passes?
bostonburgher: Ed, when Daniel Sepulveda was first drafted, you questioned using a good draft pick to secure a punter, reasoning as I recall that the net yardage difference between the best and worst punters is negligible. Do you still feel the same way?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, I would not use two draft picks, one in the fourth round, on a punter. However, since they did do it (and won a super Bowl with the worst punter in the league) I must say that Sepulveda is an outstanding punter. They are separate issues.
MI_Steeler_Fan: Does Roy Lewis have a future on this team? He looked pretty good last year during camp, but seems to be behind the rookies Lewis and Burnett.
Ed Bouchette: Roy has a long way to go. He would have a better shot at safety.
hinestheman: Ed, could Ziggy Hood find his way to the starting lineup at some point this year? Also, do you see anyone else who from this year's rookie class that could make his/their way to the starting lineup?
Ed Bouchette: No, I don't see any starters, not when you have 20 of 22 back from your Super Bowl champs. Ziggy might relieve a starter here and there for some downs, but unless there's an injury, he won't start, nor will any other rookies. They can contribute on special teams and in spot situations, though.
hinestheman: Ed, Ziggy Hood, Wallace, Burnett, Lewis, Harris... (not even counting Redman) - could 2009 turn out to be one of the best drafts in recent Steelers history?
Ed Bouchette: It's way, way too early for that. We're still trying to find out what last year's class brought. However, this does look like a good class this way through their first season in the NFL.
FL_Steeler_FAn: Good Afternoon Ed. Thanks again for providing in depth analysis of our beloved Steelers for those in the south. I know not many people are talking about but, any chance of Casey finishing his career here?
Ed Bouchette: Of course, there's always that chance. Someone, though, has to sign him to a contract after this season.
hinestheman: Ed, Rahsard Mendenhall didn't do much in the first game and average a dismal 2.7 yard per carry - Yet, I am hearing that he is having a good camp - Are we reading too much into these pre-season games?
Ed Bouchette: I'm told Franco Harris had a terrible rookie training camp in 1972, then he ignited all of Steelerdom his first real season. Let's give the kid a few games before we judge him.
Undrafted: Tell me about Tyler Grisham, I heard he was looking good in camp, but didn't even see him in the game against Arizona. Does he have a "puncher's chance" to make the team?
Ed Bouchette: no
hinestheman: Ed, What WR make the team? I have Hines/Santonio/Sweed/Wallace/McDonald and Baker (if they keep 6). Do you agree?
Ed Bouchette: Right now I like McDonald as the No. 5 to go with your first four. I don't know that they will keep 6. If so, don't count out Brandon Williams.
STEELERWRAITHS: Hi Ed, a bit of a quandry here as Wallace looks like the real deal, but shouldn't he be able to run back ALL kickoffs for the practice of reading the blocks and flow of their called return play, rather than practicing to see if Mendenhall knows when to settle for a touchback? How are we supposed to know how far back to just say never mind if we don't give the speedster the chance to show us what he can do in space from however far back? Thank you for the clarification on this.
Ed Bouchette: First, I need a clarification on your question because I'm not quite sure on what you're asking. Wallace will get his chances, but others must too. Did I answer whatever you asked?
polamalu43: Does OL Capizzi make the team??
Ed Bouchette: It's going to be close for Jason. Tony Hills is doing well, but there is room for four OTs certainly and Jason is right in the mix.
Steeler_Fan_Struck_In_Ohio: Did Bruce Davis and Tony Hills help or hurt themselves last Thursday? Any other surprises or disappointments?
Ed Bouchette: I'm told Hills played real well and Davis did OK. Davis needs to get stronger and he does not help himself by not being a good special teams player. He does not have this team made by a long shot.
STEELERWRAITHS: Hello Ed...Has anyone ever found out how much credence Hines put into the use of his personal hyperbaric chamber down in Tampa to help enable him to play in Super Bowl XLIII?
Ed Bouchette: You should see the chamber I went through to make it to the game that Sunday.
rustyb: Ed, If M. Moore can't play Saturday night who would perform the 3rd down duties?
Ed Bouchette: Either FWP or Mendenhall early in the game.
Angry_Eddie_B: Can Redman and Summers both make the final roster?
Ed Bouchette: I personally do not believe they can, barring injuries to the more established backs.
rustyb: Hello Ed, Thanks for the chats. Do you think there is a chance that D. Townsend gets cut? I'd hate to see him go, he's been a great Steeler.
Ed Bouchette: No, I think Deshea is on this team. He was, by the way, on the cover of the first preseason game program.
Manila_steeler: Hey Ed, what are the main differences that you foresee between the defense with an all time Timmons versus last year with Foote. More sacks? Better or worse against the run?
Ed Bouchette: I think you might see more mistakes because Foote played so long in the defense and the position is a new one for Timmons, as far as playing much in real games. And, I think you might have seen him make a few last Thursday night. however, he is an extremely talented and smart player and even when he does make a mistake I think he can overcome it at times.
nick_the_tricker: Hi Ed. since Bus and Randell El left the team 3 years ago, I have not seen any trick play by the steelers. Do they plan to have any during the season?
Ed Bouchette: If they told me, they would not be tricks. Actually, they ran the wildcat offense four times I believe last summer and did not use it until once in the Super Bowl when FWP took a direct snap and ran for no gain. Trick plays sometimes work, as you mentioned with Randle El. However, you do not use them just for the sake of using them and it's obvious this staff does not believe in them as strongly as the one that Mike Mularkey coached on offense, for example.
praveen: Simmons getting cut wasn't surprising. But how has Kendall Simmons stock dropped so much in the Steelers eyes from one who they were willing to overpay to not even considering for a backup position at a much reduced salary in a span of two years?
Ed Bouchette: You are asking a question many others have asked. His injuries and his illness, I believe, combined to convince them that they must move on. What convinced them one year earlier to extend him is a mystery perhaps as simple as this one -- when Alan Faneca turned down their final offer in the summer of '07, they had money laying around and said let's give it to Simmons because we have to sign someone in that line.
Tprod: Ed, Rashard Mendenhall competently executed the plays against the Cardinals, but where is the explosiveness he was touted to possesss as a first round pick? With his injury history, is he gaining the dreaded adjective of "fragile"?
Ed Bouchette: As I said earlier, let's give this kid a little longer than one preseason game after one injury ended his rookie season far too quickly.
steeltownpride: Hi Ed thanks for doing these chats. Rarely i get a chance to be here live. My question is If Joe Burnett and Keenan Lewis make the team who is the odd man out? Townsend or Madison?
Ed Bouchette: I think they might keep six, so you can keep both. But what about Keiwan Ratliff? What if they want him on the team? Now you have a decision to make. As I said earlier, Townsend's on the team, and they love Madison as their special teams ace gunner.
KeithU: Is Stefan Logan going to get a chance to return punts on Saturday?
Ed Bouchette: Mike Tomlin likely won't tell us until Thursday.
fwc: Hi Ed. What impression have the coaches given on Mendenhall's development this summer: Overjoyed, Satisfied, or Hoping for more?
Ed Bouchette: They like what he's done, like his quickness, and always hoping for more.
Fielding_Fowler: Hi EB- Is there a veteran that might be a surprise cut?
Ed Bouchette: maybe, but I do not see it.
Jason_M: Hi Ed, could you please continue to mix it up by randomly alternating lower-case and CAPS in your responses, I think you are on to something.
Ed Bouchette: That was early in this chat, when I was going through my stretching period.
Amos_P_Swanson: Could Urbik possibly get cut? The reviews have certainly been bad, and this is not an easy team to make.
Ed Bouchette: I don't think he had a bad first game and, no, I really don't see him getting cut as their second overall pick, high in the third round.
OldSchoolPatriotFan: It looks like this might be the season the Steelers add a lot of young players. Are the rookies really that good?
Ed Bouchette: Many of the rookies are doing well, yes.
praveen: Do you think Arians realizes that at 6M a year, it will be better to take advantage of Heath's premium skill which is receiving and not blocking? From what I have seen last year, Miller seems improved as a blocker, but not Bruener level to be relied on so heavily in that department at the cost of less receptions.
Ed Bouchette: Does that make him more valuable to the offense this year, because he has a new contract? Heath was third on the team in receptions, which isn't bad. Remember, if you are throwing to him, you are throwing to your big playmakers less.
LatrobeLarry: So Ed, does the Vikings getting Farve mean that the Steelers have to settle for Big Ben again this year?
Ed Bouchette: After failing to get Michael Vick, they might be trying hard to get Favre, who appeared on the South Side the other day, delivered by a cab driver who looked very much like Bubby Brister.
Terrible_T: You think the refs will watch the holding on #92 a little better this year?
Ed Bouchette: Yeah, they'll watch it. Problem is, they won't be digging in their back pocket to grab a flag as they do.
LatrobeLarry: Did you see many raised eyebrows around camp when the Favre news hit today?
Ed Bouchette: I specifically watched for those eyebrows at lunchtime, but the only one I saw raised occurred when Mewelde Moore gave the evil-eye to some joker when he asked what it would be like to be the No. 3 receiver in this offense.
Weegie_Thompson: Ed...if you have the first pick in fantasy football who do you take?
Ed Bouchette: Halle Berry
Steeler_D_in_AZ: Hey Ed, any new sweater vests on the slate for the opener?
Ed Bouchette: I was thinking something more like one of those sleeveless t-shirts to go with my Red Sox cap that has become so popular with y'all.
Stealersrule: Ed, Does Tyrone Carter make the team?
Ed Bouchette: I believe Carter indeed makes the team. There's not exactly anyone pushing him.
kpf1981: You Da Man Ed! If the NFL decides to add more regular season games, do you think they expand the roster to at least 60 players?
Ed Bouchette: If the players agree to an expanded schedule without an expanded roster, shame on them.
Manila_steeler: Does it look like Tony Hills is headed for the practice squad, if that?
Ed Bouchette: No, I believe Tony will make the 53-man roster.
Undrafted: Your thoughts on Favre?
Ed Bouchette: He should come back and play until he's cut, whatever year that is. That way, the decision that he seems unable to make will finally be made for him.
hinestheman: Good Morning Ed, do you think all draft picks could actually make the team this year?
Ed Bouchette: No, I do not.
Ed Bouchette: Thanks for your time and patience. We'll be back home next week so I expect my computer to perform better. We've never been much of a road team.