Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin a little early today with your questions
Luke: The steelers supposedly had several representatives on hand at the Florida State pro day to check out receiver Kelvin Benjamin. Do you feel pick 15 is too high for him to be taken? If so, do you think the team would possibly trade back in the first to try and get him?
Ed Bouchette: A couple of things: The Steelers go to most ALL of the Pro Days. people often read too much into that, such as the time Kevin Colbert scouted one of Louisville's games last fall and suddenly people had him interested in drafting QB Teddy Bridgewater. With 1 1/2 months left in the draft, I don't know if that is too high for Benjamin. What I do know is the Steelers need a top-flight receiver and cornerback in the draft.
Bryan: Who do you think steelers should try to sign, MJD or Blount and even if they sign 1 do you think the draft a rb also? Thanks
Ed Bouchette: I think both might be asking too much for the Steelers blood, but as I noted in a blog, John L. Williams once did too and as time went on, his price came within the Steelers range. They are two different kinds of backs. MJD is more versatile and Blount more powerful. All things being equal, I think Blount is a better fit for many reasons, including the fact that MJD might not be willing to be a backup.
Mark: Hi Ed, loved what you wrote last week about the running game and the glass half full half empty persperctive, anyhow, as of now, I could see the Steelers taking WR, CB and DE on the first three rounds of the draft, thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: Your pick is as good as any. Those 3 areas certainly are among their biggest needs.
Butch: With the recent FA signings (Mitchell, Thomas, Moats) and the possibility of a RB by week's end, do you foresee Colbert and Tomlin looking at WR or CB Round 1??
Ed Bouchette: I think right now it's a tossup, and I do not think any backup RB who might or might not be signed will affect that.
jon: Why do the Browns own our 3rd round pick?
Ed Bouchette: The Steelers traded it last draft for the Browns' fourth-round pick, which the Steelers used to draft S Shamarko Thomas.
Greg: When do the Steelers release the dates of the preseason games?
Ed Bouchette: The NFL now does that and it should be soon.
Carl: What are the chances Justin Brown sees the field this year or develops into the tall receiver Ben needs?
Ed Bouchette: Well, he's tall. The rest is up to him.
DFWSteeler: What are you hearing about Sean Spence? Ike gave some positive comments recently
Ed Bouchette: I believe they are hopeful, but no one will be able to tell until he gets back out on the field and plays football.
Tony: Ed, why you don't answer my questions in the chats?
Ed Bouchette: Maybe they are just not good enough.
Wild Bill: Who would you rather have...a receiver who can get open or a tall receiver?
Ed Bouchette: Give me one who gets open and catches the ball. If he also happens to be tall, the better for it but tall would not be my priority, I want performance. Limas Sweed was tall.
HoustonJr: Ed, what did you think of the Lance Moore signing? Was there another FA receiver you thought might have made a better fit once Cotchery left?
Ed Bouchette: It tells me even more that they will go high in the draft to get another. I don't know if you saw my recent blog, but he cost them only $3 M over 2 years, $2 million less than Cotchery got from Carolina.
Man of Steel: Raiders look to be parting ways with a local kid...Do you think Tomlin and Colbert will look at him if the Raiders cut him???
Ed Bouchette: They would look at him perhaps because he is from Jeannette and they respect his ability. I don't see him at the QB position with the Steelers because they have Bruce Gradkowski and their third QB does not dress. They had the chance a few years ago to take him in the supplemental draft and took a pass instead.
Chunkles: Ed, what do you think of the Pouncey brothers? Seem to be a bit overrated and shady. Look at the Steelers, He went down in the first game and we had TWO serviceable centers who called plays and kept Ben pretty clean.
Ed Bouchette: Maurkice Pouncey has made 3 Pro Bowls. I don't think those others are in his league.
Jerry: Ed: Did you happen to catch the NFL Network's Top 10 Steelers last week? Can you justify having Bettis, Troy and Ward in there and not Jack Ham and Mike Webster?
Ed Bouchette: I cannot justify leaving out Ham, Webster or Dermontti Dawson. Ham should have been in their top 5.
Carl: You have probably been watching football longer than I have been alive. (30 years) What are your thoughts on Mark Cuban's comment that the NFL will implode in the next 10 years?
Ed Bouchette: A little over the top but he does make a point. Remember the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? It was so successful when it was on once-a-week that they started to put it on daily. It became over-saturated and now you can't find it. The one thing the NFL has over that game show is you can bet on it. Also, there seems to be a lot of hockey, basketball and baseball on TV and those sports are not suffering because of it.
Chief: Has Derek Moye shown the coaches enough to see regular playing time this season?
Ed Bouchette: No, not yet he hasn't. He caught 2 passes all of last season and dropped another one in the end zone. He'll have to show more than that.
Anthony: Hi Ed, if they sign blount or MJD do you think we'll finally see the Pony backfield that we were promised in '08 with Mendenhall/Willie Parker?
Ed Bouchette: No, I think you will see what you've been seeing, mostly a 1-back set and mostly Le'Veon Bell as that one back.
kjacksonpgh: Ed, it was believed among many that the Steelers held on to players well beyond there years. It seems now that they are doing just the opposite. Is this more so because of the salary cap?
Ed Bouchette: It's because of the cap (James Harrison last year), because of age (Many) and because of reduced performance (Woodley, Foote).
Guest: Why haven't you made a mock draft
Ed Bouchette: Why, so I can change my pick each week as others do? For the same reason the Steelers have not drafted yet. I'm still studying the prospects.
Greg: I read the Steelers have said Cam Thomas will play both end and nose tackle. He doesn't seem to fit the bill for type of player the Steelers have used at end. Any thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: I really don't know enough about him. The Chargers used him at NT and then he lost his starting job late in the season.
John: What is your opinion of Arthur Moats? Is he a starting caliber linebacker or was he signed more for depth? Also, does he wipe out the need for an ILB, Say if CJ Mosley of Alabama is there at 15?
Ed Bouchette: More depth. I do not see them drafting an inside linebacker on the first round. Maybe they'll fool me and do so, but I just don't think so. How's that for a mock non-draft?
Chris: What happened with James Starks? Did Colbert and Tomlin blow off the meeting with him to visit the Pirates in FL?
Ed Bouchette: it was first reported that James Starks was supposed to visit the Steelers Monday a week ago. Then Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert went to Florida for Pro Days and took in a Pirates game and it was reported Starks would visit on Wednesday. The Packers convinced him on Monday to return.
Dick: Were the compensatory picks about what the Steelers expected?
Ed Bouchette: Kevin Colbert said the other day he expected only two. He got three, plus the top one in the third round of all the comp picks.
Hayden: Do you think that the steelers will draft a receiver early or rely on Wheaton as the number 2 guy?
Ed Bouchette: Early, 1 or 2
steelrman9900: Cam Thomas, Steve McClendon and Cam Heyward...THis looks like a real solid D line...I still think we are an injury away from being mediocre...Any way we can bring in another veteran to this mix???
Ed Bouchette: I don't see many veterans out there who they might bring in other than possibly Alex Carrington . . . except Brett Keisel.
Wild Bill: Do you think the league secretly docked the Steelers a comp pick for the Tomlin sideline incident? The Ravens were comperable (players and salaries, plus Reed was cut like Will Allen) to the Steelers in loss and gain but got a gold mine in their 4th rounders.
Ed Bouchette: There would be no benefit in secretly docking them. If they wanted to make a point, they would dock them and let the rest of the NFL know why.
Mike: Do you see us extending Heyward this year? I feel that the Steelers brass needs to start locking up key players the year before they become free agents. If we, Keenan Lewis would still be a Steeler and Worilds would bemaking 3 to 5 mil a year.
Ed Bouchette: Cam Heyward will be locked in through 2015 as soon as the Steelers opt for that 5th-year option that is in his contract.
Michael: Ed..I'm not sure if my earlier question was submitted..any chance they wil resign James Harrison?
Ed Bouchette: I think there is a chance, as long as they do not sign another veteran. They have 2 young outside linebackers, added another from Buffalo to the mix and could add Harrison after the smoke (and Woodley's cap room) clears
Brian: Do you think the wait on Big Be's contract is a wait & see how he does this year? Wouldn't it be helpful to have some of his cap space this year?
Ed Bouchette: No, I do not think it is based on how he does in 2014. They know what he can do. They can get cap space in other ways if they really want to.
Tim: Think there will anything really newsworthy to come out of these meetings?
Ed Bouchette: There hasn't been much news come out of those meetings in a long time. The best stuff is usually what comes out from the Steelers, and they really haven't said much in the first few days.
Ryan: When I read that the Steelers would draft players like Dennard, Evans, and Gilbert in a heartbeat (paraphrasing) if they were available at pick 15, is this based on a somewhat universal acknowledgement of their talent, or does the front office share their opinions freely with select reporters?
Ed Bouchette: I can tell you it's all guesswork because the front office and coaches share nothing with us about who they might draft.
Stewart: Hi Ed. Are you thinking as I do that our new OL coach was as important a hire as any personnel change we might make?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, I wrote they should hire him as soon as it was apparent Penn State wasn't interested. A good line coach may be the most important member of your staff.
Jerry: Watching Steelers Week last week made me realize how many great players the Steelers had. If you had to pick one offensive and defensive player who was underrated, who would they be? My choices are Mike Wagner and Jon Kolb?
Ed Bouchette: Those are excellent picks, but I would got with Larry Brown over Kolb.. I assume you mean from the 1970s. Glenn Edwards and Ernie Holmes also for a short period of time.
Keith: What would the Steelers WR depth chart look like as of today?
Ed Bouchette: Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Lance Moore. or Moore and then Wheaton, depending on how fast Wheaton comes along this year.
Julian: Is there any chance the Steelers go for a LT in the draft? I love Beachum, but I think he is better competition at right tackle. Is Gilbert even worth keeping? He showed laziness early on and is not exactly setting the world on fire. This Oline is worrisome, despite the "6-2" finish to last season. Your thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: I think you will see them once again pass on linemen high in the draft.
Ed Bouchette: Thanks for another great chat. See you next Tuesday.