Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger scrambles against the Browns during the 2013 season finale last month at Heinz Field.
Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin
kjacksonpgh: Ed, it is possible to keep both Worilds and Woodley so why wouldn't you? It makes no sense to release Woodley as the saving would be minimal on this year's cap. Also you don't have any reliable backup potential after Jarvis right?
Ed Bouchette: I suppose you could keep both, but why would you want to? If you don't pay Jason Worilds starter money, he'll go elsewhere. You drafted Jarvis Jones to start. You WILL save money and cap room this year if you cut Woodley after June. If you cut him before June, you'll save cap room the next two years. Let Timmons be your outside backup if one of them are hurt, or get a backup.
kjacksonpgh: Ed, with the Steelers cap situation wouldn't it make more sense to take care of Ben to save money on this year's cap instead of waiting?
Ed Bouchette: It's not all about this year's cap, it's about 2015 as well, and 2016, and 2017.
kjacksonpgh: Ed, with so many questions to answer on defense what do you think about a local hometown product at NT like Aaron Donald?
Ed Bouchette: He' s not a nose tackle. He's a 4-3 defensive tackle and since the Steelers do not play a 4-3, I don't think they should draft him.
John Q.: Is there more potential for WR Riley Cooper to be accepted on a team if that team has a minority head coach who makes of point of bringing Cooper in with a clean slate?
Ed Bouchette: I wouldn't want him on my team
Abbie Normal: Ed, in a column last July, you waxed poetic about the new zone blocking scheme and how the OL loved it and that Le'Veon was well-suited for it. Subsequently you wrote about how successful Denver had been running the ball behind zone blocking. Can you please explain why the scheme was jettisoned after the injury to Pouncey? It just doesn't seem that the Steelers were that committed to it.
Ed Bouchette: I don't think they taught it very well either. Thus, the search for a new offensive line coach. ... And I don't wax, poetic or otherwise
Andrew: Whats up Eddy? Couple of questions here. Will Sean Spence be ready to participate 100% come OTAs and training camp or will his knee still keep him limited? The only teams I see possibly taking Mosley would be Chicago Tennessee and the giants. What are the odds of Mosley being on the board come 15 and will the Steelers take him if he is still there?
Ed Bouchette: Since we only have about 3 1/2 months before the draft, I'll have to find out the answers to those questions quickly. However, I did see one mock draft (OK, I tripped over it and peaked) that had him going long before the Steelers picked 15th. As for Spence, I'm sticking with what LB coach keith Butler had to say about him during last year's draft, that it will be a miracle if he plays. So far, Butler has been right about him.
Spirit Sniper: Ed, if Munchak takes the OL coaching job with the Steelers, does Tennessee still pay him the $3 million they owe him or do the Steelers have to pick that up?
Ed Bouchette: Tennessee would pay him $3 million, minus whatever the Steelers pay him in salary. The Steelers would have to give him a reasonable salary and not pay him $1 and have the Titans pick up the rest
Phil: Hi Ed. Where are you staying for the Super Bowl? I would think driving up from the Philly Airport Marriot is the way to go. Me? That couch right over there is where I'll be.
Ed Bouchette: I'll be staying near Times Square. I don't know if my room has a couch or not.
Dude_From_Cali: Steelers could have up to 3 fourth round picks come May. Do you expect GM to stay put or package/ trade up? What'd you do?
Ed Bouchette: Again, it depends on what's going on during the draft. If they see some value to move up, then move up. They do need a lot of players, especially on defense, but there's no guarantee they will get ones to help them with third or fourth picks, as has been shown.
T Prod: Ed, where did the Steeler's vaunted physicality disappear? Seattle and San Francisco's defenses seemed far superior to the Steeler defense last season.
Ed Bouchette: As I mentioned in my blog, Seattle is the way the Steelers used to play. They got old and slow pretty quickly and the youngsters either did not help them enough or they let them go elsewhere. What I'd also like to make disappear is that word "physicality.''
Thomas Brazil: Markus Wheaton will be able to playing with Antonio Brown?
Ed Bouchette: That's one we're going to have to wait to see. I did not see enough o Wheaton in 2013 to render an opinion. They did regard him highly in training camp
Guest: All this talk about signing Woirlds - any reports of the Steelers and Woirlds sitting down to talk contract? I think they should sign Woirlds and drop Woodley after June 1.
Ed Bouchette: I have heard nothing but they do still have 1 1/2 months to get something done before he would become a free agent.
Dude_From_Cali: Will Mike Adams will back up material at best or he'll rise from the ashes?
Ed Bouchette: I think he will have another chance to compete to start, perhaps at right tackle vs. Marcus Gilbert
Steve: Ed, do you see the Steelers drafting a tight end to pair with and eventually replace Heath Miller?
Ed Bouchette: I can see them drafting a tight end somewhere, but I would not look for it high in the draft.
Pedro Brazil: Do you think theLebeau will change Jarvis to MLB?
Ed Bouchette: No.
Fineline: I read your blog and I take it you don't like abolishing the PAT kick. They should kill it and have the offense out there to run a 1 or 2 point play. Much more fun than watching something that is successful over 99 percent of the time. Your view?
Ed Bouchette: No, I'm fine with them doing away with the PAT and I actually like that proposal by Roger Goodell. It's one of the few he's put forth recently that makes sense. Or maybe they should make them drop-kick the extra point to make it more interesting.
HappyCash: When and why did the orange hypo-cycloid in the Steel synbol go from orange to red?
Ed Bouchette: I had never taken notice. Now you're going to have me go look at some old photos.
DC: Any chance the Steelers meet with Eric Decker? Looks like he's visiting the Jets today.
Ed Bouchette: If he is visiting with the Jets, they're in a whole heap of trouble since he should be preparing to play in the Super Bowl and free agency doesn't start until March 11.
Steeler Nation (One "S"): Is there any chnce that a member of the coaching staff of the final four (or 2) teams this year could be interviewed and Hailt shown the door?
Ed Bouchette: I assume you mean Todd Haley, and no, there is no chance of that.
StevieG: Ed, a lot of people are projecting Louis Nix from Notre Dame
Ed Bouchette: Yes, but I don't know they are going to use a first-round draft choice on someone who will play only on running downs.
Dude_From_Cali: Don't mean to "stir" but Steelers bypassed Cliff Avril and picked Bruce Davis. Thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: You can play that game with every team. My thoughts on that is they blew it.
Steeler Nation (One "S"): The coaches have done a less that acceptable job of knowing whom should be starting at varipous positions... Why is that?
Ed Bouchette: I'm not sure what you mean by that. Sometimes, you don't know who is better at a position until he gets a chance to play there. Case in point: Kelvin Beachum.
jerry: whats the chance they sign munchak
Ed Bouchette: I would bet that Mike Munchak, who interviewed for the head coaching job in Cleveland, would like to wait to see what happens with the Browns first
Mark: Your choice: watch the Pro Bowl or have root canal without novacaine?
Ed Bouchette: Rent a good movie. I would suggest Dallas Buyer's Club, 12 Years a Slave, or The Butler.
Teeroy B: Snowballs chance in Hell the Steelers would be interested in doing 'Hard Knocks'?
Ed Bouchette: It may not be up to them because the NFL can force them to do it. However, If I'm the Steelers, I don't give HBO the kind of free hand that other teams have given them if the NFL does make them do it. I would not let the cameras in the room while I'm cutting some kid. And if the NFL wants to fine me for that, so be it.
Mike: do the steeler players love the city of pittsburgh as much as the steeler fans love the steelers?
Ed Bouchette: We have three more weeks before you can broach the love topic.
James: Jarvis jones will have more or less than 5 sacks next year. Will the duo of him and Jason worilds combine for 20 sacks next year like Harrison and Woodley used to do?
Ed Bouchette: I do not set the betting lines, nor the over-under. I would bet against the 20 total though from 2 players
Alan: Best guess, what do you think the Steelers will do? Sign Worilds, or keep Woodley?
Ed Bouchette: My guess is they sign Worilds who, as I pointed out this morning, is not ranked by the NFL among the top 25 free agents to be.
NaplesDave: Hi Ed, Do Moye or Brown have any chance to be the tall receiver the Steelers need?
Ed Bouchette: Well, they are tall. (Justin Brown, not Antonio)
Jack: Ed, do you think with Velasco's injury, the steelers have a chance of re-signing him and having him be Pouncey's primary backup? He was a terrific pick up for the team.
Ed Bouchette: Yes, I do. He also can be No. 1 backup at guard. It could be in his best interests to sign a one-year deal, then become a healthy free agent in 2015.
Phil: This must bring back memeories of the Minneapolis or Pontiac Silverdome Super Bowls. Did you go to those?
Ed Bouchette: Covered the one in Minny, not in Pontiac. You do know there is no dome over MetLife in NY, right?
Steeler Nation (One "S"): What did Woodley ever do to be consided in the same breath as Harrison, Kirkland or any of the greats?
Ed Bouchette: He had several good years there and was on a brisk sack pace that could have put him among the franchise's most prolific.
Hill City Steeler: Hi Ed! Any chance the Steelers draft a tall cornerback fairly early in this year's draft? Just thought I would ask since the league is now pretty much a passing league and an above average corner could really help our defense. Your thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: There are quite a few tall ones this year. What they really need to do is get a good one.
SKOT: When it comes to deciding on a player like Woodley, is it ultimately up to Tomlin?
Ed Bouchette: No, he's involved in the process but so are Kevin Colbert and Art Rooney
Penman: Hi Ed, I read in the paper Troy P wont play in Pro Bowl because of injury...what's his injury??
Ed Bouchette: It might be more of an illness, an allergy to the Pro Bowl. As I pointed out in this morning's blog, he played every snap on defense this season. There is no injury.
Alan: IF i am Worilds I want to try free agency before I accept anything
Ed Bouchette: You may be right and the Steelers often have pursued that path as well and signed players back after they fielded offers elsewhere. However, if you and your agent believe they're giving you a fair offer, say, in February and you've done your research (hint: secretly talked to other teams) and feel you might not do better in free agency, why not sign immediately with the team you've played for the past four seasons, in the same defense, in the same city and know you will start.
Bill: With the success of the 49ers and Seahawks with run-first offenses, do you see more teams rethinking their pass-happy offense schemes next year?
Ed Bouchette: No.
paul: I hope they resign Dywer, any chance Sanders stays, can't believe his value is that high after 700 plus yards in this high profile offense as a starter?
Ed Bouchette: I've said I thought there was an outside chance they could keep Emmanuel Sanders, but it would not happen until after he sees what's available as a free agent.
kjacksonpgh: Ed, with so many needs on defense how would you prioritize the Steelers biggest need? What position would you list as the top priority?
Ed Bouchette: Defensive back, whether that's cornerback or safety. They are too old and slow at both
Ed Bouchette: OK, thanks for a great chat. Steelers just granted Baltimore Ravens to interview RB coach Kirby Wilson to become their offensive coordinator.
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