Gerry Dulac: OK lets get our chat started. Fire away..
Connor: Do the steelers coaches really think their cornerbacks good or is that just a smoke screen
Gerry Dulac: I think it's a little of both, more fluff than fact, though. If they thought they were all set at cornerback, they wouldn't have targeted CB Justin Gilbert for their first pick in the draft. That's who they were going to take if he were available, and they thought he might be until the Browns took him.
Zack B: I am concerned with OLB depth, and we have no third down back. Thoughts?
Gerry Dulac: Really? No third-down back? What would you call Le'Veon Bell? Or even LaGarrette Blount? Or Dri Archer? You're worrying about things you should not be worrying about. True, there is not a lot of depth at outside LB, but it's one of the reason they signed Arthur Moats in free agency. He's better than anything they had.
Lamberts Two Teeth: Why do you think the Steelers preferred Ryan Shazier to C. J. Mosley? Is he a better player?
Gerry Dulac: CJ Mosley can't run like Ryan Shazier and that is the main reason they took him. The Steelers need to improve their speed on defense and Shazier does that. Mosley was not a consideration for them, not there.
Lamberts Two Teeth: I'd still like to see James Harrison in a Steelers uniform for one more year. What are the chances they bring him back after June 1?
Gerry Dulac: Don't really think that is going to happen. Name one of their stars who, once they parted ways with them, ever was brought back? None. They don't operate that way.
Zack B: shouldn't a third down back be fast and have great hands? LSH could be brought back I guess.
Gerry Dulac: You just described Dri Archer. And no, LSH will not be brought back.
John Q.: Does a fast LB like Shazier mean that we don't have to bring in a 4th CB when teams are running a spread offense?
Gerry Dulac: What it really means is they don't have to bring Troy Polamalu up to play LB in their dime defense. Shazier's speed will be a benefit in pass coverage, especialy against RBs and TEs. Lawrence Timmons is explosive in short areas, but he is not fast. This guy is.
Guest: Remind me, how many first round corners did we have in the last three Super Bowls we were in?
Gerry Dulac: And you're point is ....
Brandon: Do you see any area where the FO may look at other's teams vet cuts? What if Tenn cuts Michael Roos?
Gerry Dulac: I think the Steelers are perfectly happy with their offensive line, as it stands now. You never know tho....
Ken: Hello Gerry. Do you think with the addition of Shazier that Troy can spend a lot more time in the secondary and thats why the CB got toasted a lot last year and Steelers don't seem to be worried aboyt CB on roster
Gerry Dulac: Yes to the first part of your question -- Troy will not have to play LB in the dime (six DBs) like he did last season. But let's not get carried away here that the Steelers problems in the secondary were because Troy was playing up. Troy sometimes is the problem back there because he doesn't have the speed to defend the deep ball very well.
Guest: My point was, you don't need first round corners to get to, and win, the Super Bowl. Also demonstrated by last years winner.
Gerry Dulac: I agree. And not nonly did the Steelers get to those Super Bowls with no No. 1 draft choices at CB, I thought the CBs they were playing with were merely solid, not great.
Adam: Do you feel the Steelers see the secondary as less important because it is a symptom of an inability to stop the run and pressure the QB?
Gerry Dulac: As was said to me by one of their assistant coaches before the draft, it doesn't matter what cornerback you have back there if you can't pressure the passer -- sooner or later he will get beat, too. The Steelers focus is on improving their pressure, trying to get to the quarterback w four guys if possible.
Lamberts Two Teeth: I'll acknowledge that the Steelers usual M.O. is not to bring back players after they have parted ways, but in recent years they seem to have bucked that trend a bit. Larry Foote, William Gay, Antwaan Randle El pop to mind just to name a few. If James Harrison is in shape and willing to play for the minimum, I think it would benefit both sides to bring him back.
Gerry Dulac: I said stars, not reserves.
Adam: Do you have any concerns about the progression of Jarvis Jones? Players under LeBeau rarely make an impact in year one (see Polamalu).
Gerry Dulac: No. I'm willing to see how far he jumps this year in terms of pressure and production. I think he has the instincts and big-play ability. It's all a matter of how dedicated he has been in the weight room.
Adam: With the Steeler's linebacking corps consisting of 3 first round and one second round picks, do you think it will start paying dividends this season?
Gerry Dulac: It's an impressive pedigree, for sure. They have a chance to be very good if everyone plays to their level of draft selection.
Jack Splat: Pressure kills the QB! Steelers great defenses have had a nasty front 7s applying pressure to the Offense. This year's draft puts them back to being able to do that. The better the pass rush the better the CBs will be.
Gerry Dulac: Thank you. They are hoping that with Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt as the D-linemen in the nickel, they can find ways to combo the pressure along w Jason Worilds and Jarvis Jones. Throw in Shazier as a potential blitzer in the middle and now you have something.
Adam: How many sacks do you anticipate the Steelers giving up this year?
Gerry Dulac: Less than the 42 they gave up last year. Ben was sacked only 7 times in the final 7 games last season, so I think he and they started to figure it out. And with Mike Munchak, I'm sure they will be better in pass pro and run blocking.
Adam: What ways does a RB progress from year one to year two? How should I expect to see Bell become a more complete back?
Gerry Dulac: To me, he has already shown he's a complete back because of his ability to run and catch and, if necessary, pick up the blitz. But I think where you will see him improve is running the ball - hitting the hole inside and breaking it outside. I expect himto hve a big, productive, impactful yearm, so long as he stays healthy.
Brandon: I know a guy like Colt Lyerla from Oregan (TE) was not drafted due to a ton of character issues, but he has 1st rd talent. Would it really hurt the Steelers to bring him in for a tryout? He can always be cut for no monetary loss if he acts like a jerk.
Gerry Dulac: I think you answered your own question why they don't.
Gerry Dulac: Well, that's all the time we have today kids. Thanx for the questions. I'm on vacation next week, so no chat.