Gerry Dulac's Steelers chat transcript: 12.4.13

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Gerry Dulac: All right, let's get our chat started. Fire away....

Big City: Gerry, is Ike on his last leg? Sure looks like it. The secondary has to be a big concern for the rest of this year and beyond. Thoughts?

Gerry Dulac: I don't know that Ike Taylor is on his last leg, but he continues to have some problems in coverage, especially deep throws, and that's really no different than the past couple years. Ike has never been really good at challening the ball and doesn't transition well from the ball to their receiver back to the ball.

Ken: Gerry what about a sceanrio where we don't hear from the league until Monday. And what about a 2 game suspension affecting both Cincinnti and Lambeau?

Gerry Dulac: Well, if youre referring to the Mike Tomlin incident, the punishment was just handed down by the league -- a $100,000 fine. Also, the league will visit the possibility of forfeiting or adjusting a draft choice at some point, which, to me, is totally ludicrous. That suggests the league believes there was some amount of intent, even a fraction of intent, and I don't think that was the case at all.

Even the New York Jets, who were running a sideline scam that was uncovered when their strength coach tripped a Miami "gunner" on a punt return, didn't have a draft choice removed or altered. Totally totally ridiculous

Tuskegee_Brown: Mr. Dulac, I loved R.Cook's article today on MT. Along his thought process, in 97 Cowher's stated his original intentions where to tackle the Jag's Chris Hudson when he came onto the field of play. Granted the internet was not that big back then; however, on sports talk shows fans claimed Cowher's actions showed "he's a player coach", "his passion for the team", "his enthusiasm", etc. Why do you do you think the response is completely different toward MT for an action that at the very least has plausible deniability as far as intent?

Gerry Dulac: That's a good question and I was just discussing this earlier: The vitriol toward Tomlin, not just nationally but locally,

Gerry Dulac: Oops, a little quick with that trigger......and with the fans not the media, is because the Steelers are 5-7 and people are angry. I am convinced that if the Steelers were 9-3 or 8-4 or leading the division, people would be singing a different tune. If the Steelers were one of the top teams in the AFC, the fans who are assailing Tomlin for what they perceive to be an intentional act that embarrassed the organization would be marching on New York, demanding to confront the commissioner. But, because they are 5-7 and everyone wants to blame Tomlin (and even Todd Haley), the people who would otherwise support him have turned on Tomlin, saying he cheated and deserves everything he gets.

Bill L: Gerry, lost in all this--Sunday is a big deal. How do you assess the Dolphins? Isn't the Cameron Wake matchup bad? I'm shocked they didn't fold after losing to Tampa whn the scandal broke.

Gerry Dulac: Agreed on all front. This game, unlike all the others this season that were purported to be so important, is must-win. You can't fall two games back of the wild-card spot, especially when the team you are trying to catch is one of the two teams ahead of you. And I don't believe eight losses is going to get a wild-card spot.

And the Wake matchup is not good, considering the injuries at tackle to Kelvin Beachum and even Mike Adams, who has struggled in protection when healthy.
The Dolphins are 2-1 since the Incognito mess, which I think points up what most of the players think of the situation. That is, if they think anything at all.

JamesinNYC: Any background on the guys they signed for the OL ... pretty bad when the guy you signed runs away in fear BEFORE he gets on the field.

Gerry Dulac: I don't know what the situation is with Rashad Butler, so I'm not going to criticize his decision or theirs until I find out what transpired. Who knows? It could be a family or medical issue.

And, if the players were any good, I don't think they would have been sitting out there all this time, especially when they come at such a low price.

jim in VT: Will the Steelers even be able to suit up a full 47 with all the injuries?

Gerry Dulac: That's why we have Bouchette working out.

Miller: I'm OK with the fine to Tomlin. He shouldn't be in the thick white line zone to begin with. But this?: "NFL said modification or forfeiture of draft picks will be considered after order of 2014 draft has been determined." Punishing the organization for this would be a joke. Management wasn't complicit in this so taking away draft picks is over reaching. And what does that statement mean? If they're higher or in a tie with, say, the Jets in the first round order, they get dropped down? Just ridiculous.

Gerry Dulac: Agreed. Totally ridiculous. I think the league is just trying to take a tough stance on this, and putting it out there that they would consider doing something with a draft pick mkes them appear even more stringent with their punishment. After all, tjat's what the lague is worried about here -- the appearance of what Tomlin did. They are merely following suit. If not, it would be, as you said, a joke.

Phil: You never boo Santonio, but maybe Wallace for last year's holdout. Is that right?

Gerry Dulac: Yes, different circumstances. But it wasn't the holdout. Wallace not only left for more money, he turned down the Steelers offer of more money. So that makes him more of a villain to the fans. Holmes was traded before he could be released because of his -- let's say -- discretions.

Guest: Why is Ron Cook and all the PG writers defend Tomlin so much?

Gerry Dulac: I don't think Ron or any of us defend him "so much." But I think, in this instance, it is justified. Ron has been critical of Tomlin when he thinks it has been necessitated.

Guest: If I think Tomlin should be fired does that make me a racist?

Gerry Dulac: Not unless you think you are. People wanted Todd Haley fired, too, right??

Ken: Take away Tomlin for 2 games but don't you dare touch our draft picks Goodell!!!

Gerry Dulac: Funny. Well, that's all the time we have today kids. Thanx for the questions and lets do it again next week.

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