Ed Bouchette: Sorry, I was sidetracked. Let's begin.
Carl: Weeks ago shortly after the draft, your peer in Houston John McClain (not from die hard) made a statement claiming he would eat the front page of the Chronicle's draft day coverage if the Texans didn't use their No. 1 overall pick on a quarterback. Of course, the Texans drafted Clowney and John made good on his words and ate the paper. Any chance we will see the courageous and infallible Ed Bouchette make such a proclamation (A Steeler Super Bowl prediction)? You could streak at Heinz field or shave your head and goat in the instance your statement does not come to fruition.
Ed Bouchette: I'm much smarter than McClain
Tony: thanks for deciding to join us, Ed...
Ed Bouchette: You get any snarkier and people might confuse you with me.
kjacksonpgh: Hi ED, seems like the wide receiver talent pool in shorts looks pretty competitive, other than the obvious any surprise long shot that could impact say a free agent signing? Perhaps Justin Brown over Heyward Bay?
Ed Bouchette: Probably not.
John B.: What are the chances we get Hard Knocked. If we do, do you see Tomlin changing some things up to throw them off or will it be business as usual?
Ed Bouchette: I keep lighting candles that some other team will actually want to do it. I do not think MT will change how he operates, except for watching what he might say at times.
Carl: Im skeptical
Ed Bouchette: Archer was going to return punts one year at Kent State and then came down with some kind of injury and they scratched that. They seem pretty confident he can do it. We'll see. It's different catching punts in the spring and catching them in a preseason game with everyone rumbling down to nail you.
Ed Bouchette: Sorry, don't know why the question did not appear. Here it is below this comment.
dave: Didn't they say they can teach Dri Archer to return punts as well as kicks? Can you recall them teaching other players to do that? It seems like two different skill sets.
kjacksonpgh: Ed, I know it is not as much of a glorified position but the Steelers have really struggled to find a dependable punter. It seems as we have had a revolving door at that position, so is there any chance that gets resolved with the two contenders this year?
Ed Bouchette: One has a track record, Adam Podlesh, the other has looked pretty good this spring, Brad Wing. Again, we'll have to see how they work out.
Christopher_Walken_Dude_From_Cali: Ed: you often mention of your blog. Is it subscription based or free. Link please.
Ed Bouchette: I'm not sure how those things work but it's treated like any other story on our web with no separate charge for the Steelers blog. Here is the link to today's:
TDG: Are fans expecting too much out of Shazier and Tuitt this year? They are rookies and are going to make a lot of mistakes, right?
Ed Bouchette: There really are rookies who play well in the NFL as rookies. Maybe one or both of those will too.
Dorothy: I think all this concern over their WR's is overblown - didn't they win a super bowl with Hines Ward and Cedrick Wilson starting?
Ed Bouchette: No, that was Hines Ward and Antwan Randle-El
Guest: Do you think the Steelers will be worried if Worlids keep getting backtracked with injuries?
Ed Bouchette: I think they would be concerned, yes, but I'm told this calf injury is causing them no concern, especially this time of year.
Guest: Ed, Do you think they see Zumwalt as a possible OLB at some time?
Ed Bouchette: He played both in college and he played both in the rookie minicamp. So, yes, it's possible even though they said they would start him out at ILB
dave: Was Shar Pourdanesh serious when he told you not to write about the locker room fight?
Ed Bouchette: Yes.
Guest: Hi Ed, do we know yet what date that training camp opens? My family will be in Pgh during that time and wondering if we can head over.
Ed Bouchette: The entire training camp schedule was released today. The first practice is July 26. You can find the entire schedule here:
Esther: So are we going to finally see the Pony Backfield we were supposed to get with Parker/Mendenhall in '08, now that we have Bell/Blount combo?
Ed Bouchette: At times, yes, but I think someone needs to come up with a new name because they are more horses than ponies.
tomk: why do the steelers believe the offensive line is going to be improved? aside from the fact pouncey will have returned...
Ed Bouchette: Having Mike Munchak to start, having everyone a year more experienced and in place without moving all the pieces around.
paul: Do you feel the steelers answers for CB are already on the roster?
Ed Bouchette: They better be because I don't see them growing on any trees around their practice field. Picking up a top-notch corner at this time of year would be rarer than Bald Eagles nesting on the Mon River in Pittsburgh.
Christopher_Walken_Dude_From_Cali: Ed: your photo avatar no longer appears in chats. Interface keeps changing, por que, senor?
Ed Bouchette: You can't just expect to see fastballs belt high for the entire chat.
Dom: Everyone knows how bad our punter is but why haven't the Steelers looked at bringing in a younger leg for kicker. Guys in the league are hitting 55 yarders now and Suisham struggles on a 50 yrd kick. Plus he did miss a 30 AND 32 yrd FG to lose to Oakland which kept us out of the playoffs.
Ed Bouchette: Those are the only two he's missed and I don't know that there is anyone who routinely makes 55-yarders. Suisham has hit 2 of 5 from 50 and beyond with the Steelers. His .871 percentage is a Steelers career record.
Jud: Have the Steelers really improved that much? Untested new faces isn't necessarily an improvement correct?
Ed Bouchette: Correct. I think they've done what they had to do, I'm not sure they're improved other than at RB. They can make improvements, though, such as in the offensive line and at linebacker.
Ed Bouchette: Thanks all for another great, albeit late, chat. See you next Tuesday during, ta-da, minicamp.