Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon. You know what we say in Pittsburgh, this is perfect chat weather. Let's begin
Abbie Normal: Oscar Wilde wrote, "There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." I am pretty sure Ian Rapoport had this in mind when he went on record talking about Ben's future with the Steelers along with his view that Polamalu and Clark are on their way out after the season. He certainly got our attention, didn't he?
Ed Bouchette: I'll take your word for it that Oscar Wilde actually wrote that and did not say it on the NFL Network.
Spirit Sniper: The NFL schedule makers are looking particularly prescient with that Thanksgiving matchup between the Steelers and the Ravens, would you agree?
Ed Bouchette: That was a no-brainer. It's been rare in this century when they play that one or both of those teams are not strong contenders.
Jim in VT: Will Sanders be "full go" Sunday?
Ed Bouchette: He should be healthy, if that's what you mean.
Pinnochios Monkey: The near term future of the secondary is frightening. 3 of 4 starters are on their last leg and the 4th may or may not stink. Thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: By the near future, do you mean their next game in Cleveland? You worry about that stuff in the offseason. William Gay is signed for two more years, Cortez Allen isn't going anywhere and Ike Taylor has another year or so in him. Shamarko Thomas was drafted to be a starter at safety. They will need to address the secondary after the season, though.
Tucson Ken: At the end of the season, do you think we will look back and say: "the Patriot game was the turn around in the season'?
Ed Bouchette: If they keep winning, I would say, no, that the Buffalo game was the one, since that broke a 2-game losing streak.
Subspace Interference: I'll bet you have gotten fewer questions about the 2014 draft following these last two victories, no?
Ed Bouchette: Don't encourage them.
JAMESH: Jason Worilds is "obviously" better at LOLB than he is at ROLB. Could LaMarr Woodley ever be tried at ROLB to improve the synergy?
Ed Bouchette: Larry Foote was suggesting just as much this morning on one of those radio shows that Mike Tomlin does not want to be asked about anymore.
The Blob: How did Wheaton look filling in for Sanders?
Ed Bouchette: I was not impressed.
Tom: Do you think the Steelers have interest in picking up Jonathan Martin? He obviously isn't going back to the Dolphins. He likely will be cut or traded. Might he trust DeCastro and sign with the Steelers?
Ed Bouchette: No
Old Ironsides: Can we beat the Browns on Sunday?
Ed Bouchette: Yikes! You mean the Steelers really have fallen that far in your mind that you're asking if they can beat another 4-6 team, one they've beaten like a drum since they returned as an expansion team in 1999?
kjacksonpgh: Ed, with the offense showing better efficiency each week would you think that Todd Haley's scheme is a good fit with the Steelers? Do you believe his job is safe?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think it is very efficient running, which they are terrible at doing. Their strength is Ben Roethlisberger and the passing game. No, I do not believe his job is "safe.'' That doesn't mean I believe he will not be here in 2014 either.
Stolen Credit Card: Looking at this schedule 8-8 seems very possible if not likely. Without analyzing all the tie-breaker calculus, do you think that record sneaks in with teh 6 seed?
Ed Bouchette: I refuse to consider playoff possibilities at this point for a 4-6 team. They need to show everyone they can win consistently before we talk about their chances of making the playoffs.
Jud: In your opinion, has anything changed in the workouts, preparation from earlier in the season?
Ed Bouchette: Only the lack of ping-pong being played in their locker room. Other than that, no, practices look the same to me as the years they were on their way to the Super Bowl.
Steelva: Your answers are quick and terse today. Are you in a bad mood?
Ed Bouchette: I like to think quick and to the point. That way I can answer more of your questions. I can keep writing and go on and on about a certain question if you'd like. But then things might get redundant. I also could be accused of someone who likes to hear himself think, or just does not know when to stop, or can't get out of his own way. It's an old coaches trick, too -- you take enough time answering one question you won't have to face too many others. You then control the entire process. Thank you for asking me because I might have to revert to that tactic more in these chats. After all, you did come here to see what I would say, right? I mean, you want me to answer questions longer. So I think I may oblige at some point during these chats and just monopolize all our limited time here by babbling on. I enjoy typing anyway. Took a class as an elective in high school. We had manual and electric typewriters and it was the greatest class I ever had. Know why? Because it prepared me for my future work in journalism? Heck, no. Because I was the only guy in that class, surrounded by girls.
War18: Ben played was on point his week, do you think this is due to the reports coming out about him asking to be traded?
Ed Bouchette: Do you mean he has never played a good game unless there were reports beforehand that he would be traded?
Ed Bouchette: I'm going straight to the Super Bowl. It will be in greater New York this year, you know.
War18: The TV showed Ben on the sidelines talking to his receivers when the defense was on the field, this is the first time that I have ever seen that, usually he has a towel around his neck just standing there. Do you think this was because of the report that said Ben does not study his playbook?
Ed Bouchette: I don't know. Was he studying his playbook while he talked to his receivers on the sideline? Because if that were the case, then I'd say, yes. What he should have done was carry his playbook along the sideline and thrown a big arm around Todd Haley. That way we could all be satisfied that he was reacting to the reports and, you know, not just going out and playing good football, as he has done most of the time he's been here.
Tom: Is Ben's no huddle offense good or bad for the defense? Even though stats are great teams with great offenses rarely win the SB. Brees and Manning only won when their defenses carried them.
Ed Bouchette: I don't think it matters. Remember, it's not a hurry-up offense, but a no-huddle offense. They have the same amount of time between plays.
JamesinNYC: With those uniforms Brown should be Bumblebee...but gotta give you credit for coming up with a Transformer name. Did the coaches or someone tell Brown to tone down his antics say on routine catches?
Ed Bouchette: I don't know if they have or not. It might just be him maturing.
War18: Ed, Thoughts on that end of the game call last night. If that was a Steeler game would the city be on fire?
Ed Bouchette: It depends on what side the Steelers would have come out on that play. I had no real thoughts one way or the other, just that the Patriots usually get those calls, not lose them.
Guest: Why don't they try the wildcat on those goal line plays?
Ed Bouchette: If they never tried the wildcat again, it wouldn't bother me.
dave: Do you think they might start Will Allen in place of Ryan Clark?
Ed Bouchette: Not this year.
Guest: Why try out Ray Graham?
Ed Bouchette: Teams try out players all the time -- Tuesday is a big day for that with the players day off. They might just have wanted to update their "ready list,'' which they keep at each position of available players in case there is an injury or they just want to swap out a player. I do not know what the case is with Ray.
War18: In your opinion do you think Ben puts in the time needed to be a top QB?
Ed Bouchette: Since he is one of the very best "top" quarterbacks in the league, then I would say yes.
pauly: If you dislike your so much, why don't you work somewhere else?
Ed Bouchette: I love my job. Where did I say or imply that I did not? Now, if YOU don't like how I answer questions here, you may go somewhere else.
70cougar: Why doesn't Moye get a hat more often and do you think he has a future here?
Ed Bouchette: He is the No. 5 wide receiver and they do not believe in putting him ahead of Markus Wheaton, for example, and Wheaton doesn't get on the field much on offense as No. 4.
andiamo steelers: Is working out Ray Graham really going to help this substandard if not pathetic running game? If there are no holes because of bad blocking or just bad play call, then we could have the Bus in there in his prime and get same results. Besides better blocking, not sure of solution but Ray Graham? Playoffs? Let's get real.
Ed Bouchette: You sound as though you are in a bad mood.
Steelva: Are you doing this again next week with Thanksgiving around the corner?
Ed Bouchette: Good point. We probably will continue to do it Tuesday even though the press conference is on Monday because Ray now does his chat Monday.
Ed Bouchette: Thanks to all for another great chat.