Steelers OLB Jason Worilds sacks Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill in the first quarter Sunday at Heinz Field.
Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin
BubbyMopsupforNobody!: Ed, DO you sense the draft pick penalty to be a 6th/7th? they takeaway one of the supposed three compensatory picks? or swap our position say we finish 6-10 and they slide the Steelers the end of say a group of six team log-jammed?
Ed Bouchette: I'm still not convinced they will forfeit a draft pick, although I respect those who have reported they will.
Guest: How do feel Jarvis Jones has played?
Ed Bouchette: Not like a top draft pick. However, I have never seen any rookie with the Steelers play as much outside linebacker as he has. I always give those guys at that position one year. Look at Jason Worilds, for example, and this is his fourth season.
Sam: Hello Ed, how hard will the Steelers work to retain Worilds assuming he finishes the last three games strong? Seems the team will need more than just Woodley and Jones next season especially for depth.
Ed Bouchette: If they keep Jason Worilds, it won't be for depth, it will be to start. So if that happens, they might take some action with Woodley, who could become the next James Harrison if they ask him to take a paycut.
Dude_From_Cali: Ed: the sky is not falling. Steelers are 1-2 key players each on O & D for relevency / post season next year. Agree or nativete?
Ed Bouchette: I thought they would compete for the playoffs this year. They need another wide receiver on offense. On defense, there are more pressing needs because of age in their secondary and little depth at defensive end
Ohio steeler fan: Will we see a blood letting this off-season in the way of firings? If so, who is the first to go?
Ed Bouchette: I do not believe you will see the kind of wholesale changes many fans might want to see. There will be changes, just not, as you call it, a "bloodletting.''
Big City: Ed, who is to blame for giving Woodley and Timmons all that cash a few years back? Obviously that is another whiff by the brain trust. More to blame, Tomlin or Colbert?
Ed Bouchette: I thought Timmons was their best defensive player last season and he would look a lot better this year if others were doing their jobs around him. I heard no one complain when LaMarr Woodley got that big contract in 2011. In fact, I think most everyone pretty much thought he deserved it.
Touchdown Joey: Eduardo, how did Mike Adams grade out vs. Miami? Looked like Gilbert was the one getting beat consistently.
Ed Bouchette: According to those analysts at Pro Football Focus, he was their best lineman, as I wrote today, and graded out well, especially in his pass blocking. Marcus Gilbert did not far as well with PFF.
Sam: Good Afternoon Ed, would you agree the defense is in the biggest need next season? The offense seems it will have its replacements ready such as Wheaton for Sanders, Pouncey for Valasco...but on the defensive side it's Thomas for Clark, who for Keisel/Hood? who opposite of Foote? And with rookies ever starting on that side of the ball...
Ed Bouchette: Yes, as mentioned above.
James_Pittsburgh: Ed, if you are the Steelers owner, do you fire Todd Haley?
Ed Bouchette: I'm not the Steelers owner, but I also am not sure I understand all the sentiment to do so.
Angry on defense: Did Woodley help eat himself out of starting lineup?
Ed Bouchette: LaMarr Woodley started at right outside linebacker on Sunday.
Minnesota Steeler Fan: Are you ready for 4 months of draft questions?
Ed Bouchette: More importantly, are you ready for 3 1/2 months of me dodging them?
Big Todd: Ed, Since it will cost the Steelers $14M to cut Woodley, he does not seem like a reasonable cap causality, so where does that leave this team? Should they cut Troy? How can they resign Worilds with some much dead money in front of them?
Ed Bouchette: I keep hearing about that $14 M figure, but that would be if they cut him before June 1. If they designated him for June 2 or cut him then, he would count only $5.5 M on their cap this year and SAVE them $8 million in cap room and real money.
Angry Offense Fan: Are you president of the Timmons fan club or a relative? No idea why you are so supportive of him when he is average at best and is no closer to making a Pro Bowl!
Ed Bouchette: No, I actually watch their games and that is my opinion.
JamesinNYC: Why don't you like draft questions? Usually people don't like what they are lousy at and you are quite good at the draft.
Ed Bouchette: I love draft questions. Just not in January and February. And the draft will be held in May next year.
Freddy: What do they do at center next year? Is Volasco back in any way?
Ed Bouchette: Maurkice Pouncey is their center. Fernando Velasco may be back, but he also might return as a backup. He signed a one-year contract so they would have to re-sign him. He may want to go somewhere he can start but his Achilles injury may hurt his chances there
Janice: Should Ike Taylor be switched to wide receiver?
Ed Bouchette: I've long thought that Ike Taylor could become a safety late in his career. He's big enough and good enough against the run. Rod Woodson made that conversion well.
Mort: Do we still have the rights to Chris Rainey?
Ed Bouchette: No, and he has been signed by Indianapolis and went on their injured reserve
mikeflores16: How much of Adams' difficulty early to you blame on the stabbing? It had to have affected him.. Have you heard anything about that?
Ed Bouchette: I have no idea, only Mike can answer that and he told me it did not affect him. That may be just him saying that. Let's put it this way, it did not help him. He lost core strength and time working out both in the weight room and with his fundamentals
JamesinNYC: Is Beachum's injury a blessing in desguise, with Adams forced to sink or swim they have an excuse to give him a second chance?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think it's a blessing by any means, especially if you are Kelvin Beachum. But I do think that Adams will start again this week and that it gives him a chance to get back in their minds for next season.
INT Joey: Did the front office whiff in thinking that Cortez Allen was as good as Keenan Lewis? His mediocrity leaves things looking dire at the corner position.
Ed Bouchette: I would say they may have either over-rated him in that regard.
Chief Powhatan: I recall Bob Pompeani saying the Steelers go 11-5 or 10-6 before the season on his Cochran Sports Showdown show. What was your prediction?
Ed Bouchette: Sigh, 10-6
Dude_From_Cali: what's the definition of assisted tackle? like you get there split second after your teammate does?
Ed Bouchette: Sometimes, yes, that is what it means. Sometimes, you share a tackle with someone (as they do sacks) when you both bring him down. Sometimes one guy gets there first and the second guy in, you know, assists.
Ben Fan: What do the Steelers do with Ben in the off season? An extension?
Ed Bouchette: I think they will try, yes. Then it's up to both sides to agree.
Pitt is it: Ed, with a snow game and the likelihood of a heavy running attack, did you expect more from La'veon Bell after a roughly 2.5 yards per rush on Sunday? Is that why he only had 15 carries because the passing game was working out well?
Ed Bouchette: I thought they went to the passing game because that was working. When they don't pass more, we ask why. When they don't run more, we ask why. Sometimes those are legitimate questions, but I think the hullabaloo over this one is wrong. The Steelers moved the ball pretty well in the second half without running it alot.
Angry Defense Fan: The Dolphins and Pats had their highest scoring offense. The Bears and Vikings were virtually tied for their best. Are you aware of any stats on when a Steelers D was so forgiving so often?
Ed Bouchette: The Steelers rank 15th in the league in points allowed. I haven't looked to see how that stacks up historically, but it's been awhile that they have been that low in the NFL rankings
John in Ohio: Will young guys get chance to play with no playoff hopes?
Ed Bouchette: Mike Tomlin said today it will be business as usual, that he won't play younger players merely because the stakes are not as high.
Bubby fan: Any chance we could see the kid from Oklahoma in at qb if the season continues to go down the drain?
Ed Bouchette: Not without an injury
John in Ohio: Ed - what do you want for Christmas?
Ed Bouchette: Already got it. Mike Tomlin has given his fellas the day off, and thus me off as well. (They will work Tuesday, their normal day off and have off Christmas).
BubbyMopsupforNobody!: As a teacher with a snow day this is my first chat, so thanks. Do you sense Beachum has at least earned the right to compete at LT next year?
Ed Bouchette: Very much so.
Guest: Yes, if they cut Woodley on June 2, they will save $8 milliom, but they need to sign Worlids in spring. Do they have enough free money for it?
Ed Bouchette: They could sign Worilds in February, then make their decision on Woodley
BubbyMopsupforNobody!: Given the potential hole at CB if Ike is cut do you still think W. Gay eventually gets moved back to safety or do they like the possibility of Golden/Allen back there?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think anyone likes the possibility of a Golden/Allen starting combo at safety
Antonio: Ed, Did you exchange shirts with the Miami writers?
Ed Bouchette: Pens.
Ed Bouchette: Thanks for another great chat. See you next Tuesday for our final chat of this regular season because there will be none on Christmas Eve.
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