Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin
Guest: Ed if the Steelers would actually consider bringing back Keisel, shouldn't they do the same for Harrison? The OLB depth isn't much better than whats on the D-line
Ed Bouchette: I agree, but remember that Brett Keisel did not leave the Steelers to play elsewhere last season. I'm told once that happened with James Harrison, at least one decision-maker no longer wants him back.
Mike In Downtown: Any truth to the rumor you have assigned these chat sessions to a summer intern?
Ed Bouchette: If only.
tennbob: Hi Ed, Was it the team or the NFLPA that chose Dri Archer for that rookie premiere? Also why didn't the Ravens have to send one of their rookies?
Ed Bouchette: I believe it was the NFLPA and I have no idea why a rookie from Baltimore was not chosen. Maybe the union was not very excited about the Ravens' draft.
Guest: Ed, sounds like the injury to Jason Worilds is more serious than a cramp. Hear anything about the injury?
Ed Bouchette: No, just that it is a calf. There is absolutely no incentive for him to go out there and practice if he has even a minor injury. Not this time of year. The Steelers don't want another LaMarr Woodley injury-prone LOLB.
Fred: your assessment of justin brown's likelihood of making the team
Ed Bouchette: I can't put a percentage on that, just that he has a chance because, barring injury, four WRs have to make this team: Antonio Brown, Lance Moore, Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant. No. 5 is up for grabs.
TNTMW: Hi Ed, thanks for allowing many of us the ability to ask you questions. After the rookies are signed, do you anticipate the team extending anyone with the additional $8M+ the team will receive?
Ed Bouchette: And thank you for the opportunity to answer them. It's more like $7.5 million because a $490,000 player had to replace LaMarr Woodley's $8 M salary. I can see them extending Maurkice Pouncey, perhaps Cortez Allen. Maybe even Shaun Suisham. And I would not write off Ben R. yet either.
Steeler fan in baltimore: Hi Ed,, how concerned should we be about the D line and D backs? I say very
Ed Bouchette: It will certainly be interesting to watch this defense develop. Yes, there should be some concern about both areas but no more so than there might have been last season. Maybe some young guys will actually step up given the opportunities.
Foolback: Ed, why are the Steelers carrying only one fullback, and giving him no competition? Seems odd that it's a position that most regard as a "lock" to be here, yet Will Johnson doesn't have to look over his shoulder.
Ed Bouchette: The Steelers are happy with Will Johnson and do not use him much anyway. It is a tad unusual that with a 90-man roster they do not have at least 2 fullbacks, but I assume we will see some tight ends play that position this summer.
Christopher Walken_Dude_From_Cali: Ed: What is the purpose, good or bad of Chuck Noll or Bill Billchat's no name jersey practice philosophy?
Ed Bouchette: Chuck Noll had no names or even numbers on the practice jerseys for, I believe, several reasons. One was so that if opposing scouts were in the stands, they would have a hard time picking out individual players. Another, one Noll expressed, was so his own people -- scouts, coaches, etc. -- would look more closely at the players and get to know them through their movements, body shape, etc.
Guest: Any interest from the Steelers to bringing back Velasco for O-line depth? Or is he looking for a starting role elsewhre?
Ed Bouchette: I think there might have been at one time, but when they signed Cody Wallace, I believe that ended those thoughts.
Dutch: Ed, Is there a chance the Steelers start Landry Jones this season if the Ben contract talks go south?
Ed Bouchette: You mean, like bench Ben Roethlisberger if contract talks go on and they hit a rough spot? You are two months and two days late for your April Fools joke.
Guest: Have you watched the Steelers NFL Draft behind the scenes features on their website, and if so, any thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: No, I must admit I have not watched that. Maybe at some point I will.
Guest: Ed, have you or anyone at the PG gotten a chance to talk to Joey Porter yet on coaching or are you not permitted to speak with him?
Ed Bouchette: They will not let us interview assistant coaches until training camp, which is their right. However, I have chatted with him a little in a casual way when we've run into each other.
Coffee: Does it make sense that the Steelers drafted Shazier after seeing Polamalu in the hybrid LB/Safety role last year? Feels like they watched Troy and thought "Hmmm. If he were a little bigger..."
Ed Bouchette: I think they drafted Ryan Shazier because they had him rated so highly and other players they had rated higher were already drafted. It's not like they did not need linebackers.
Slater: Hi Ed, great chat as always, question about why they wouldn't do Ben's extension right now? Since his cap hits for the next 2 years are $17 and $18 mil (I think), why not tack on a five year extension for $100 mil after that?
Ed Bouchette: I'm not quite sure why they won't do it now, but I also do not believe it is an insult to Roethlisberger that they do not. I think they could get it done with their current cap room but if they do it this time next year, it will be no big deal either. The big deal will be if he heads into the final year, 2015, without a new deal.
Pedro: Is Martavis Bryant a lock to make the roster? Not so long ago they cut a tall 4th round rookie WR in Fred Gibson after a poor camp.
Ed Bouchette: It is unusual to cut a fourth-round pick, and especially on a young team like this one.
Butch: Will Cam Thomas play NT or DE?
Ed Bouchette: At his height, he seems to fit more at DE but played NT in San Diego so I would say he can play both, as in "position flexibility.''
Chaz: Hi Ed, you can ignore the questions about moving Jones inside but it worked out very well for Timmons. He was drafted to be an OLB but is doing just fine as an ILB. Maybe you just don't want him to succeed for personal reasons?
Ed Bouchette: I thought all these questions about moving Jarvis Jones inside were a joke but you obviously are serious. I have ignored them all today because I have stated my opinion on this many times, so I will do it again. They drafted Jarvis Jones to play outside linebacker, which is where he played his entire college career at Georgia. I do not know why some people insist he is better suited on the inside but I can tell you the people who matter, those who coach the Steelers, do not believe that.
By the way, they drafted Lawrence Timmons and said at the time that he could play inside or out and they were not sure where he would play.
Tom: Have you been interviewed for the upcoming book on Chuck Noll that the Steelers are cooperating with the author on?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, I have.
Dennis: Why do we see all these ridiculous questions about moving Jarvis Jones?
Walter: Do you expect Plax back this season? If so, what is his role?
Ed Bouchette: No, I do not expect Plaxico Burress to return to the Steelers this year. He may have to retire.
Jon: Ed, you mentioned getting something from the HOF. Outside of Bettis, do you see any other former old time Steelers who will finally get a call to Canton?
Ed Bouchette: I think some day that L.C. Greenwood will be nominated by the Seniors committee.
Junior: What can fans expect from Vince Williams in his second season? Is he a poor mans Levon Kirkland?
Ed Bouchette: Well, right now he looks like a backup inside linebacker because they installed Ryan Shazier ahead of him.
Wild Bill: Why not use the extra $6mil in cap space to rework a contract to reduce a cap hit in the future? They push back money all the time, can't you do the opposite to make room for the future?
Ed Bouchette: You mean like a reverse mortgage? I'm not sure how you avoid future cap hits by paying players now other than to front-load a new contract (such as if they would sign M. Pouncey to an extension). I don't see that happening.
Subspace Interference: Steelers paid Foote considerably more than the minimum last season. Why should Kiesel work for the minimum?
Ed Bouchette: If there is someone out there willing to pay him more than the minimum, then he could take that. If he still wants to play and the Steelers are his only opportunity and they offer him the minimum, which would be $1 million, then he has a choice whether to retire or play another year for that amount.
Zeke: The fact that Greg Lloyd isn't in the hall of fame is a joke
Ed Bouchette: There are players from every team in which their fans think the same about them.
Ed Bouchette: Thank you for another chat. See you next Tuesday.