Gerry Dulac's Steelers chat transcript: 4.30.14

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Mason: What do you think about Beckham Jr?

Gerry Dulac: I like Beckham as a receiver and think he would be a good fit for the Steelers. But, after talking w Lance Moore yesterday, I was reminded just how small the Steelers' corps of receivers really is. If they are going to draft a wide receiver on the first round, they are going to draft a receiver who is unlike what they have -- a tall one. Beckham is right around 6-feet, but that's not what they are seeking. Believe me, if Mike Evans is available, they will draft him. But they do not expect him to be there at 15.

Guest: Do you see them making their first WR draft pick after the first two rounds?

Gerry Dulac: No, I see them making it in the first two rounds, maybe even No. 1.

Ben: Between Fuller, Dennard and Gilbert....which corner is the best fit for the Steelers defense?

Gerry Dulac: Depends what you want. Gilbert is the faster and more athletic, but Dennard might be better cover guy and plays more like the Steelers expect. So, to answer your question, Dennard. But I know the Steelers want to build speed in their secondary, so, if that's the case, Gilbert.

How's that for probably not answering your question.

BDenny29: Do you feel that Ben and Troy HoF locks right now?

Gerry Dulac: I think they are better locks than Jerome Bettis and Hines Ward, but I'm not sure they are locks. That being said, I think JB deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. He is the best and most productive 250-pound+ back in league history.

tomk: I love Beachum but im not sold on him being the permanent left tackle. Hes just undersized. Your thoughts?

Gerry Dulac: He is a bit undersized, but he is athletic, has good feet and is a dedicated, tireless worker. I think he is going to surprise a few people, maybe even you.

STEELMANN58: Gerry do you still feel Keisel will not be back with the Steelers.

Gerry Dulac: Look, I hope he comes back. He's one of my favorite people and a true professional. And I've learned never to say never. But it is not their intention to bring him back. Once they part ways with their 35-and-older players, they don't turn back. Witness James Farrior, Hines Ward, Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton the past few years. They plan to move on. But you never know....

John B.: With the value of RBs going down, do you see that effecting the value of DT/NT?

Gerry Dulac: Not at all. We saw a lot of winning teams run the ball very well last year, especially the Super Bowl champion Seahawks. And the Steelers know their bigest problem last year was stopping the run, and a lot of that had to do with the nose tackle. It has been and will be a point of emphasis for them as they head to OTAs and training camp.

Ben: At what point in the draft do you see the Steelers selecting a TE?

Gerry Dulac: Mid-rounds.

STEELMANN58: Gerry do you think CB in round one then the best WR from a deep Group of Good WR.What position in round 3?

Gerry Dulac: I think that's very possible. In fact, if they don't take one on the first round, I can see them waiting till the third round. It all depends who is on the board. But I would be very surprised if they drafted any receiver smaller than 6-3, especially in the early rounds.

Pedro: Would the Steelers consider drafting Lewan if he's available at 1.15? Or do they think they have enough OT talent?

Gerry Dulac: If they do, they should take the reins away from Colbert and Tomlin;. I wouldn't take an OL until after the fifth round, if at all.

STEELMANN58: Gerry how much faith do the Steelers have in L. Jones as their future QB

Gerry Dulac: I'm not sure he will be around that long. I think BR has 4-6 more years left in him, provided there is no serious injury, and I don't think the Steelers or Landry will wait that long for him to be their starter.

R Butler: Hi Gerry. With all the talk about needs at CB and WR, it seems strengthening the front 7 is getting lost. What would you think of adding Ryan Shazier's athleticism and versatility next to Timmons and adding a CB and WR later given the depth of this draft in those positions?

Gerry Dulac: I don't think it's getting lost at all, certainly not by the Steelers. They need a defensive lineman and a pass-rushing OLB almost as much as they need a cornerback. Their entire defense needs to be strengthened and rebuilt, so any draft choice in that regard will make sense.

Guest: Hey Gerry, whats the deal with Casey Hampton? Do you think he will officially announce his retirement soon, he was looking to play somewhere in 2013, but no one signed him and it looks like that will be the case this year

Gerry Dulac: I think you can safely assume Casey Hampton will not play in 2014.

NaplesDave: Hi GD, tired of the DB or WR Qs? I think the Steelers take a DE or ILB at #15 to reaffirm their identity, then CB & WR later. Thoughts?

Gerry Dulac: I think you will see some of that AFTER the first round, but not in the first round. And I think you will see an OLB before an ILB, though an inside guy wouldn't exactly shock me. But drafting a defensive lineman on the first roud, as I have stated many times, is a complete waste of time for the Steelers. They need players who can play and contribute now, and I think you have seen that the Steelers take several years to teach their defensive linemen their style of play. That's fine for a second and third-round choice, but not a No. 1 choice, not when you're 8-8 the past two years. It's a waste of first-round money.

BDenny29: Seems like the game's trends are cyclical, so do you see a time in the future when the run game becomes the dominant playing style again, or will things stay predominantly in the air?

Gerry Dulac: I don't know that it will be the dominant style of play again. It hasn't for a long time. But I think we saw last year that teams are beginning to understand the need to be able to run the ball better and more efficiently. It takes the pressure -- and the beating -- off the quarterback.

Pedro: True or false: Steelers will extend Ben's contract before the start of the 2014 regular season

Gerry Dulac: False.

mike in fla: Any chance the Steelers take Benjamin out of FSU at 15?

Gerry Dulac: A very good chance. I will tell you that one of the Steelers people think he is the second best receiver in the draft, after Sammy Watkins.

chicago_steeler_fan: If there is not a run on QB's at the beginning of the first round, a lot of the players the Steelers like may be gone, who is a wildcard the Steelers could be looking at in that scenario?

Gerry Dulac: Good question. I think the wild card is the Steelers could trade down, get another good receiver or cornerback, and pick up that third-round choice they traded away last year.

Bob: I'm old enough to remember one day 13 round drafts. It seems the longer wait allows front offices to overthink players and put more importance on the combine and pro days and forget what's on tape.

Gerry Dulac: There's something to be said for that. But the Steelers have always evaluated players on tape from their games. They just use the other stuff as sumpplemental info.

Guest: I was asking if you think he will announce his retirement soon like what Smith,Parker, Porter and Hoke did at the 2012 training camp or is it something he feels he won't need to announce

Gerry Dulac: Perhaps. I hope so because that means he would have to come back to town, and any of us who have met him and been around him would love to see the Big Snack again. His presence in the locker room and in pre-game was something to see.

Jon: Where would you rate Kelvin Benjamin amongst all available wide receivers to be drafted next week?

Gerry Dulac: I'm not an evaluator, but look at my earlier response to see what the Steelers might think of him. But I will say this: I see a tall guy who has the athleticism to make the type of catch he did to win the national championship for Fla. State.

Gerry Dulac: Well, that's all the time we have today, kids. Draft is next week. As my man Phil Bourque says, Buckle up Baby!!


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