Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 12.31.13

Ed Bouchette: 
Good afternoon and happy New Year, let’s begin by sending out the old one.
Comment From Big City:  
The Ike to safety talk seems off base to me. He’s a lean, tall cover guy who isn’t known for bone crunching hits. Furthermore, the need is greater at corner than safety, assuming Shamarko isn’t another whiff. How would this move make sense?
Ed Bouchette: 
I talked to Ike Taylor around midseason about it. He said it was mentioned a few times but never seriously. He’s never practiced the position as far as I know, even in training camp. There’s more that goes into playing safety than size too.
Comment From HeathisGreat:  
Ed, How much do you think the Steelers offense missed the deep speed of Mike Wallace this year?
Ed Bouchette:  
Not that much. They were more productive passing in 2013 than they were in 2012.
Comment From RossFromRoss:
Ed, I thought Vince Williams played very well for a rookie. Not great, but “very well.” Although I am supremely qualified to be one, I am not an NFL scout. Do you know whether the Steelers coaches and front office view VW as a starting caliber ILB, or merely a depth player? And what’s your take?
Ed Bouchette:  
He improved as the season progressed and that is what coaches want to see. He has a chance to secure a starting job, although Larry Foote may have something to say about that. I think their run defense missed Foote in 2013.
Comment From Touchdown Joey 
Eddie Bou, obviously all the losses count the same, but would you single out one as the most damaging? I’d say the Dolphins. Home game, December, snowy Heinz Field, playoff implications...you simply cannot lose that game.
Ed Bouchette:  
I wrote the same in my blog for the same reasons, plus they had already “turned” things around and were playing better when they met Miami, which turned into a dog in its final two games and still may get its coach and GM fired because of it.
Comment From Steeler_in_VZ
Have a Happy New Year Ed. Does Mr. Khan have enough help-in your opinion-to deal with the salary-cap for 2014 season?
Ed Bouchette:  
Yes, and they do not see their salary cap as big an issue as others might.
Comment From Guest 
Ed, Happy New Year. Haven’t heard anything lately about the condition of Chuck Noll. Do you know how he is doing?
Ed Bouchette:  
Chuck has had various ailments for a number of years now and has not appeared nor spoken in public for quite some time. A book is coming out on him I believe in 2014 and should be a good one.
Comment From Sam: 
Good Afternoon Ed, Do you think the NFL will try to keep the draft in May? I hope they don’t because it’ll be an even longer, drawn out process which I’m sure you’ll enjoy. ;-)
Ed Bouchette:  
Unfortunately, I do.
Comment From Bama: 
Ed, did they Steelers whiff on not taking Eddie Lacey?
Ed Bouchette:  
For one, they liked Le’Veon Bell better. For another, his toe injury scared them off.
Comment From Ohio Steeler Fan 
Does Kevin Colbert get off the hot seat with these wins down the stretch? If so why not hold him culpable?
Ed Bouchette:  
I don’t think Kevin Colbert was on any hot seat, at least not moreso than in past hot seats that merely go with the job of being GM of the Steelers.
Ed Bouchette:  
A program note here as we go along: If you want to sign in with names you believe are cute, I may deem them not appropriate and not use your question because of it.
Comment From Troy Fan 
What number do you think Troy will accept for next year? Any chance for a multi-year deal?
Ed Bouchette:  
You mean other than his number 43? Kidding. I’m not sure whether they’ll ask him to take less, whether he would agree to take less, but i don’t think they will be signing him to an extension.
Comment From TDTim 
Who will be the starting tackles next year?
Ed Bouchette:  
My guess for, what, more than 8 months from now would be Kelvin Beachum at LT and Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams competing at RT.
Comment From Scott 
Ed, the Steelers can’t afford to lose both starting safeties at the same time. They have to keep Polamalu, agree?
Ed Bouchette:  
Yes, I would agree with that.
Comment From MGM 
Ed, was I reading correctly that the Steelers have around 21 Unrestricted Free Agents? If so, who’s priority to stick, and who goes?
Ed Bouchette:  
Right on the button. Go to my blog that is on the pg website now where I have some details.
Comment From hunter 
Do the Steelers waste another pick in the draft on a punter?
Ed Bouchette:  
I would not put it past them, but you know my opinion on such matters.
Comment From Bubbymopsupfornoone 
Do you think the no. 2 wr spot is Wheaton’s to lose or do they draft someone to compete?
Ed Bouchette:  
I believe they will try to re-sign Jerricho Cotchery first. Right now, Markus Wheaton would be No. 2 provided, as many of us expect, Emmanuel Sanders will sign elsewhere. They will have to draft another and he could compete for No. 2 if he’s the right pick.
Comment From Tom 
Should all the fans that called for Tomlin’s job early in the season be thankful we don’t live in Cleveland? Really firing another head coach for the Brownines?
Ed Bouchette:  
That is one thing many fans do not get about the Steelers. A big factor in their long history of success has been patience with their coaches. Show me a franchise that has had a good history of success yet gets rid of coaches willy-nilly.
Comment From Haley Fan 
Any way the Steelers check with Arizona in a potential Ben trade? If not, why....should they not at least investigate on what they can get before giving him huge money?
Ed Bouchette:  
Anyone who thinks the Steelers should trade Ben Roethlisberger is a fool, not that I’m lumping you in that category, mind you.
Comment From Touchdown Joey 
Ed, with this team looking at so many needs, the burning of a third round pick on Landry Jones looks even worse than it did last year, and it looked pretty dumb even then. Any notion of what on earth they were thinking on that one?
Ed Bouchette:  
He was a fourth-round pick, but other than that, I’m with you.
Comment From Big Tony 
Ed, can you give us any insight into the Browns firing?
Ed Bouchette:  
Bad management.
Comment From NaplesDave 
Hi Ed, How can Tomlin be expected to get the players better prepared next year? His game prep seems as bad as his clock management
Ed Bouchette:  
I’m not sure I know what his game prep consists of and I attend many practices.Maybe you could explain in more detail what you mean by game prep. Do they not stretch enough? Do they not work on plays enough? Do you want them to tackle more in practice? And how was his game prep in 2008, because I haven’t seen much difference other than the new CBA rules that do not permit pads more than once a week, etc.
Comment From pete 
Eddie B, Any new year’s resolutions? Maybe you could do an updated mock draft every week during the season? That sounds like something you would enjoy.
Ed Bouchette:  
You might be on to something.
Or not.
Comment From Sam 
Hi Ed, Do you think the NFL Pro Bowl will ever evolve into a simple skills competition like longest yards thrown, fastest speed, most weights lifted, etc?
Ed Bouchette:  
I think they should pick a Pro Bowl team after the season and not play a game. Maybe they could cut a deal with the Madden people and play a video game using the players they pick and play it on Monday night before the Super Bowl. They could have Deion Sanders on one team and . .. oh, forget it.
Comment From Point Park Tom 
Ed, With his career here seemingly over, does Ryan Clark go down as one of the top free agent signings they have made?
Ed Bouchette:  
Yes, you would have to say that. Him, James Farrior, Will Wolford, Kimo von Oelhoffen, Kevin Greene, Jeff Hartings, Jerricho Cotchery, Shaun Suisham. I may have missed 1 or 2.
Comment From Playoff Jinx 
Did the Players and/or coaches watch the Chiefs/Chargers game together similar to March Madness? And how angry were they off the record with the officiating in that game?
Ed Bouchette:  
No, not in a big group. I don’t think they were as angry as some of their fans. They realize they lost as many games as they won in 2013 and not making the playoffs was their own fault, not someone else’s.
Comment From John B. 
What was your favorite play of the year? For Steelers and the league
Ed Bouchette:  
It would have been the Allegheny Miracle if Antonio Brown did not step out of bounds.
Ed Bouchette:  
Thank you for another great chat. Check with us for details, but we probably will keep these going on Tuesday at 1:30 through the offseason. See you in 2014.

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