Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, After a two-week absence, we're back and ready to field your questions. Let's begin.
joey d: Thoughts on Joey Porter signing?
Ed Bouchette: It would be better if he were in his prime as a player and they could plug him in at outside linebacker, but I was glad to see they hired him as a coach. I always enjoyed listening to Joey Porter in the locker room and watching him play. I assume he will bring his passion for the game to his new job.
Alan: Your best guess, do you think the Steelers sign Worilds? If so, when do you think this will happen?
Ed Bouchette: Purely a guess, yes, and I think it will be around the first week of March.
latrobe guy: Welcome back Ed, what impact, if any do you think Joey porter will have on the defense, the linebackers especially and do you think this might be one of the first steps to prepare for Coach Butler moving to replace Coach Lebaue?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think they hired Joey Porter to look ahead to Keith Butler becoming their next defensive coordinator. In fact, Jerry Olsavsky, Porter's former teammate, also is a coach and looked to be their next LB coach
Tom: You do know that people don't actually think that Mock Drafts are going to turn out exactly as written, right? People just want to see how a particular player may fit and benefit the team.
Ed Bouchette: And there are enough of them out there and will be over the next three months to keep all of you busy doing that.
Tship: Surprised that they haven't apparently been more active in geting htings done wiht some of their free agents like Worilds and Cotchery?
Ed Bouchette: Not many NFL teams are signing players right now and the Steelers have always been among the most deliberate in that area.
TucsonKen: What the heck is going on with the Browns? It is good or bad for them?
Ed Bouchette: The Browns look like a joke. Or they are the punch line to one. I cracked up when I heard the owner blame the perception of the organization on the media in Cleveland. He should look in a mirror.
Subspace Interference: Ed, is it out the realm of possibility that Lamarr Woodley can be converted from OLB to ILB? After all he is stout, quick and knows the system. If they release him before or after June 1st, the cap hit will be brutal.
Ed Bouchette: I don't understand why everyone thinks the cap hit will be difficult. It would be about a wash whether he stays or goes if they would cut him before June 1. And if they did, he would be wiped off their books in 2015 and 2016. They'd also save $8 M real dollars in salary this year.
Tom: How much did the Steelers spend signing Free Agents last year? I bet is much more than people realize.
Ed Bouchette: Actually, it was small. They signed Bruce Gradkowski, LaRod Stephens-Howling, punter Brian Moorman and, although not a true UFA because the Bears cut him, Matt Spaeth.
Kelley Peagler: I know William Gay lines up at CB, but has anyone ever considered moving him to FS? He's made a few game changing INTs over the years, and catches well (better than Ike). Has that been kicked around as we get younger/better in the secondary?
Ed Bouchette: There's been talk. They need corners AND safeties right now.
NY 1: Sorry about the cold weather you had here in New York. Any memorable meals other than Sparks Steakhouse?
Ed Bouchette: Did not eat at Sparks, just went there to see where Gotti had Castellano rubbed out. The cold did not bother me. I loved being in NY all week.
Taz: With Coach Joey Porter back in the fold, does this mean that the Steelers can get back to being league leaders at talking trash? Also, are coaches allowed to trash talk?
Ed Bouchette: They need to concentrate on getting back to being a great defense before they start trash talking a good game.
Tom: Didn't they sign Whimper, Gay, Burress, Redman, D. Johnson, Dwyer etc as well? They spent the money just on guys that contributed little or nothing. Wouldn't they have been better off on putting the money to one or two significant players?
Ed Bouchette: Whimper and Gay were not true UFAs, but OK, I'll give you those, even though they were not signed to big contracts. I thought you meant from other teams because the rest were re-signed.
BA: If Baltimore releases their punter, would the Steelers be interested?
Ed Bouchette: The Steelers would be interested in any competent punter at this point
Ryan: Have the Steelers said anything in regard to Micheal Sam and would they be interested in him?
Ed Bouchette: They have really not said anything in particular about him, but then that is their stance on all college prospects. I don't think he fits a 3-4 defense well. Where would you play him?
Kurt: Do you think the Ryan Clark comments last week were overblown or do you think he should not have brought that up since it made him and the team look bad?
Ed Bouchette: I'm sure the Steelers wish he would not have brought it up. I do not think they made Ryan look bad, but yes I do believe the whole thing was blown way out of proportion, but it's what we do.
Go Steelers: Ed, if the Steelers draft a CB high in the draft will he have impact this year or will it take the traditional "time to learn the system".
Ed Bouchette: That really would be up to the individual. There have been rookies who started in this defense, just not many and other than Jarvis Jones, not lately.
Ed Bouchette: Sorry, and Vince Williams
BDenny29: Thoughts on going TE in round 1...perhaps pairing Heath with Jace Amaro?
Ed Bouchette: I really think they need to restock their defense first
BDenny29: Do you feel that safety or CB is a bigger area of need? I'm growing increasingly intrigued by Ha Ha Clinton Dix from Bama, and think he could pair very well with Troy.
Ed Bouchette: Depending on what happens with Ike Taylor, they have only Cortez Allen and William Gay
Subspace Interference: My understanding is that if Woodley is released after June 1, his cap number drops to $5.6 million in 2014 and $8.5 million in 2015. If he goes before June 1, he would count $14 million against the cap in 2014 and nothing in 2015. Pretty big numbers, don't you think?
Ed Bouchette: Once again, if you keep him, he will count more over the life of the contract. It's all on what you think about him as a player, anyway, and whether Jason Worilds is a better bet because you won't get both.
Rick: With so many needs, where do they go with 15th pick. I think they need a receiver most & Evans or Lee look like they'll be available.
Ed Bouchette: I think they need defense, but if there is someone there they have rated more highly and he happens to be a receiver, it would not surprise me if they drafted him.
Dom: How much influlence does the Ravens picking one spot behind the Steelers (pending coin flip) have on their selection? Ravens need WR and ILB, bad, and if Mike Evan or CJ Mosely are sitting there at 15 does pulling that guy out from under the Ravens have any influence?
Ed Bouchette: The Steelers are going to draft the player they think can help them most, not to play keep-away from the Ravens.
johnC: Outside of a tall WR, could you see the Steelers drafting almost exclusively defensive players?
Ed Bouchette: That's not their MO, but maybe it should be. Again, they will go by their ratings. What if there's a highly rated OT when it's their pick?
Scott: How does Ryan Clark's teammates feel about him going on tv all the time and saying the things he does?
Ed Bouchette: They might be jealous
Kurt: What do you think the going into camp o line will look like position wise? Would Velasco if healthy be a possible sign to come back and play G instead of C with Pouncey back next year?
Ed Bouchette: They have their starting guards in Ramon Foster and David DeCastro and they are happy with both. If Fernando Velasco re-signs with them, it will be as a backup C/G.
Their offensive line should look like this going into camp: LT Kelvin Beachum, LG Foster, C Pouncey, RG DeCastro, RT Marcus Gilbert or Mike Adams
Spirit Sniper: Why are the tests for marijuana use in the NFL so easy to beat? The drug sticks around in the body for a month after it is used.
Ed Bouchette: Because they do not test at all during the season.
Rick: Have you heard anything about a loss of a pick from sideline gate?
Ed Bouchette: Nothing, only that Art Rooney II told me he will appeal if they are docked one.
Thomas: Hi Ed, great chat as always! Is Munchak really the cure-all for this line? I know coaches make an impact but Stiller fans are treating this coaching change like it's going to fix the line of the injuries and ineffectiveness it's battled for 7 years or so. Do position coaches really make THAT much impact?
Ed Bouchette: I was once told that the most valuable coach after the head coach and the coordinators is the offensive line coach. Mike Munchak would appear, by his record in Tennessee, to be one of the best. I do think he can have an effect on a line that improved as last season progressed.
Whooo?: If and when holmes gets released could the steelers sign him as an insurance policy like cotchery in 2011. Can holmes and the FO let bygones be bygones? I know he got traded for failing a drug test but the steelers were serious about giving burress a roster spot and he spent time in jail. I think holmes would be a goo veteran guy to have but thats just me and for the right price of course
Ed Bouchette: Steelers want nothing to do with Santonio Holmes.
Dude_From_Cali: had Keenan Lewis been signed last yr, who would've been odd man out-- cut instead?
Ed Bouchette: Probably Ike Taylor
Tom: Do you see the Steelers draft pick punishment being less of gettting "docked" a pick but more having a compensatory pick being slid down a round or two?
Ed Bouchette: They could take away a compensatory pick, but they won't hide it by slipping them a lower pick than they deserve without announcing it.
Ed Bouchette: Thank you for another great chat. See you next Tuesday. And don't forget, if you'd like to ask me questions that will appear with answers in my daily, morning blog, send them to: EBouchette@post-gazette.com