Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 11.26.13

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Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin

Dude_From_Cali: Ed: What's the argument against Friday night football instead of Thursday? Make a bit more sense, no?

Ed Bouchette: That's high school football night and college football night;. The NFL is not going to play against the colleges -- unless it's Thanksgiving Day.

T22POST: Ed, we can go 10-6.........it's all lined up.....thoughts?

Ed Bouchette: Sure. Win the next 5 and you're right there. Not saying they cannot. I just wouldn't put good money on it.

Keith: Best game of career for Jason Worlids last week?--he looked good to me getting pressure.

Ed Bouchette: There's not a lot to pick from, so yes, it was

Mike from GA: Do you get any sense if the offensive line likes or dislikes the hurry up offense?

Ed Bouchette: Yes, I talked to Fernando Velasco yesterday and they do like it.

T22POST: Ed, what is the latest on Woodley and Kiesel?

Ed Bouchette: Nothing yet, they are taking the practice field as we chat. The Steelers, that is. I have no idea if Woodley and Keisel are practicing

T22POST: Ed, have we finally turned the page or is it the competition that is making us look good?

Ed Bouchette: The competition in the form of the Titans and Raiders surely didn't make them look good. Detroit has a good team and Cleveland has a good defense.

War18: Some people think that Antonio Brown is not a number 1 receiver, do you think he is?

Ed Bouchette: He is the No. 1 receiver in the NFL right now, catching passes. I don't buy that No. 1 stuff. What they mean is, he's not a tall guy with speed, not the X receiver or split end. Well, neither was Hines Ward and he will be a Hall of Fame candidate. It's just another position.

mark: Seems like the ravens have had trouble running the ball as well this year...along with many other teams...is this a trend in the NFL or are we just in a pass-happy cycle as we speak.

Ed Bouchette: I will invite you to read Gerry Dulac's story on that last Sunday. Excellent.

Sam: Good Afternoon Ed, is it possible the Steelers play the final four games (after this week) with Heyward, McClendon and Woods from left to right?

Ed Bouchette: I don't know if McLendon will be ready but I would think Ziggy Hood will remain at DE if Brett Keisel cannot go.

War18: Jason Worilds was everywhere in that game, Can he be a counted on as a starter?

Ed Bouchette: Yes, I think he can.

Spirit Sniper: Back in August we read that Charlie Batch claimed Todd Haley revoked Big Ben's right to change called plays at the line of scrimmage last season. There seems to have been a rapid evolution of play calling from that situation to now where Big Ben successfully runs a no-huddle offense. What has changed? Just a realization that shackling Ben was not successful, or Ben and Haley now being more in sync?

Ed Bouchette: I think the latter, they came to a mutual understanding before this season.

Dude_From_Cali: Ed: with 3 days rest road game, what's your gut feel on final score Turkey day night?

Ed Bouchette: I will have my prediction in my blog Thursday before the game. That gives me two more days to study film on the Ravens, if I wanted to.

Maude: Will the horrific punting finally cost the Steelers a W on Thursday night?

Ed Bouchette: It may cost them somewhere and that's as good a place as any to start. I'm surprised they keep putting up with it, especially with Drew Butler available. Shaun Suisham and Mat McBriar go back to their days in Dallas and Suisham is comfortable with him as his holder. However, Suisham had his best year kicking with Butler as his holder in 2012.

Keith: Steelers were lucky to get Fernando Velasco, yes? Considering how they acquired him that looks like a pretty good find right now.

Ed Bouchette: Yes, they were real lucky. Someone else asked me how a center that talented could be available. His team, the Titans, put a $2 million RFA tender on him and then drafted another. So rather than pay Velasco $2 million to be a backup, they cut him. Maurkice Pouncey getting hurt was not a good thing, but his timing in doing so was at least spot on when it came to signing someone to take his place.

Jack Splat: What's wrong with Timmons and Woodley as ILB and Woirlds and Jones as OLB's? That combination has potential and ends the nonesense of going to a 4-3 over the 3-4 alignment. PS (Love what Woods brings to the middle of the D line.)

Ed Bouchette: I suppose. I've never seen LaMarr Woodley play inside linebacker, though, and he earned that huge contract by being one of the NFL's best pass rushers, not a run-stopper who also covers backs in pass routes.

JayZ: Biggest key to a win on TH night. Stop Rice or Flacco?

Ed Bouchette: They always go into a game with the No. 1 goal of stopping the run. If they do that, they feel they can turn a team one-dimensional and they benefit by that. Me, I think Flacco is the main threat, even though he's having a down year for him.

Mike: Ed, Great clock management, burning a TO to save a 5 yd penalty at midfield to punt. I guess every 5 yds is vital when it come to our punter.

Ed Bouchette: Yes, I didn't like that, but I'm surprised you found something to complain about in that game in Cleveland.

War18: Ed, how excited are you for the Thanksgiving game this week, does this interfere with your normal plans?

Ed Bouchette: I don't know. If you had to travel and work on Thanksgiving, would it interfere with your normal plans? Yes, it does, but I'm willing to take one for team Post-Gazette and celebrate Thanksgiving Friday night and again on Sunday.

T22POST: Ed, do you see the Steelers resigning E Sanders at the end of the year or do we let him walk?

Ed Bouchette: I think they should try, but I think he will sign elsewhere because the money won't be enough.

Tucson Ken: Haven't heard much from local fans and media lately concerning the success Bruce Arians has been having. Maybe the Steeler Nation was a little too harsh on him while he was here? He sure has done good for himself since he left.

Ed Bouchette: Yes, he has, but so did Ken Whisenhunt for a short period before he was fired in Arizona. The Cardinals long have been a dysfunctional organization and I'm not sure they have the staying power.

Guest: Ed, what is your gut for Thanksgiving night game?

Ed Bouchette: It won't be full with turkey, I can tell you. Not sure yet. One good bet: The outcome will be decided by 3 points, as have 8 of their past 10 meetings.

dave: What did you think of the decision to go for it on 4th down against CLE and the decision to run the same play as they did on 3rd down?

Ed Bouchette: At the time, I said I would punt. I was proven correct.

War18: Ed, with regards to the Ben story that came out a few weeks ago, how come the story that said it was a rival agent who leaked the story about Ben wanting to be traded didn't get any traction?

Ed Bouchette: I didn't see that.

Steelva: I still don't agree with you about my post from last week. I still say that the Patriot loss turned their season around. Humiliation is a great motivating factor.

Ed Bouchette: Then the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans should be in for some turnarounds coming up.

Hawks: When Matt Speath gets back in the coming weeks do you foresee a significant improvement in the run game? 2.x yds a carry isn't good enough to win games in Dec and Jan

Ed Bouchette: I don't know that Matt Spaeth will be riding a white horse to save the running game. I don't know that a new No. 2 tight end will turn that around. They will be happy to have him back, though.

War18: Seems like when the Steelers go no huddle they completely neglect the run game, is that a concern or are we to a point in the NFL where running the ball is just foolish?

Ed Bouchette: That's not true. When I went through their 34 plays or how many there were they ran the no-huddle against Detroit, there were a good many runs among them.

Sam: Hello Ed, you made a good argument the other day about Bettis in the Hall of Fame the other day. Which player(s) have you thought was not worthy of the Hall but as the cases were being made, you ended up voted "yes"?

Ed Bouchette: I would not vote yes on a player I thought should not be in the Hall of Fame.

War18: Ed, is this the healthiest Ben has been in the last 5 years heading down the stretch?

Ed Bouchette: I can't remember every season, but his right knee seems to be bothering him right now. I'd have to ask him if he can recall feeling any better heading into the stretch.

Kevin: William Gay hasn't been as bad the last couple of games, but was Nmamdi Asoughma any thought for the Steelers?

Ed Bouchette: No, I don't think so. Let's rephrase the Gay reference. I think he's played pretty well lately and for much of the season.

War18: Ed, weather may really be a factor in the game on Thursday. What kind of conditions favor this Steeler team?

Ed Bouchette: Well, it was windy and cold in Cleveland and that's what it's supposed to be in Baltimore. I wouldn't say those conditions favor the Steelers -- and I don't know what would -- but they've proven they can play well in it. ...  Thank you for another great chat. Have a great Thanksgiving, especially those of you who don't have to work.

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