Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin
Frank: If the Steelers have a poor season, whose seat is hotter, Tomlin or Colbert?
Ed Bouchette: The coach's seat is always hotter. Having said that, I do not believe Mike Tomlin is on any kind of hot seat.
Guest: what happened to Gerry?? he still with us?
Ed Bouchette: If you read anything else but Steelers football, you might have noticed Gerry covered the U.S. Open Golf Tournament last week, plus he had the main obituary on Chuck Noll. Other than that, he wasn't very busy.
Alan: What's your sense of Worilds and whether he ultimately gets a long term deal?
Ed Bouchette: It does not sound to me as if there will be one. They made him an offer as I wrote and he did not accept it and I am told that will be their best and final offer. I do not have the details, though.
Chuck: Who do you think that the Steelers will sign before the beginning of the new football season??
Ed Bouchette: Normally, you do not help your football team by signing anyone from now until the start of it.
SSA76: Are you into the World Cup at all?
Ed Bouchette: I hear they are playing it in Brazil.
John B.: Who do you see as our deep weapon this year? Anyone close to what Wallace brought to the table?
Ed Bouchette: No one is that fast. Markus Wheaton could be it or, if he comes up to speed fast enough, Martavis Bryant.
SSA76: Do the Steelers really believe they're set at CB, or might they go for some of these tempting free agents?
Ed Bouchette: I think they are going to go with what they have. That can change in camp.
Christopher Walken_Dude_From_Cali: Ed: in your view, between Mike Adams and Gilbert, who will get 2nd contract offer? Both?
Ed Bouchette: Marcus Gilbert is a year ahead of Mike Adams, so he is up next. They would not offer Adams anything until at least next year. That said, I don't know if they're going to sign Gilbert this year or if they will even try hard, just that he would be ahead of Adams because he is entering the final year of his contract. If they believe he will remain their starting RT, he should get an offer.
Steeler Nation -one "S": After reading Roger Goodell's 'twit' err... 'tweet' on Chuck Noll's passing I think the 2 squirrel story Noll told came into focus, in part for me... you?
Ed Bouchette: I missed the Tweet.
Christopher Walken_Dude_From_Cali: When a WR develops, is it mainly his route running, concentration, weight room work, playbook schemes? what else did I miss?
Ed Bouchette: Communicating with the quarterback, which means understanding the reads he must make when running a route. Remember that interception Neil O'Donnell through in Supe XXX because Andre Hastings supposedly read the defense to run one way and O'Donnell read it and threw the other way? That's the biggest thing. Learning how to get off the line of scrimmage on press conference is big too.
SSA76: How well did Roethlisberger know Noll?
Ed Bouchette: I would safely say not at all. None of those players who are on the current team knew him, nor really did Mike Tomlin. They went to the funeral more as a sign of respect, representing the current team.
Steeler Nation -one "S": How about one of your personal Chuck Noll memories
Ed Bouchette: I wrote a bunch of them in my blog the other day. You can read them here:
Ryan: There havent been manny reports of Tuitt how has he looked so far
Ed Bouchette: It really does not matter a whole lot how a defensive end looks in practices without pads or contact. We will find out about him in training camp and in the preseason games.
Christopher Walken_Dude_From_Cali: Stephen Tuitt and one other high picks unsigned; what's being argued? signing bonus and amount of guaranteed years?
Ed Bouchette: I believe he's the only Steelers draft pick left unsigned. It really does not matter because he is practicing with them and he should be signed before July 4. There is so little for these guys to argue over any more, but most of it involves guaranteed money and salaries.
Jeromy: Do you think they've thought about having Troy return some punts? I remember him returning that Peyton interception in that '05 playoff game, I think he could make a real impact on special teams, do you?
Ed Bouchette: No, that won't be happening.
Jeromy: Do you see Woodley returning to the Steelers at some point?
Ed Bouchette: I think Joey Porter could pull on a uniform before that would happen.
Jeromy: Why not trade Troy at this point, have Shamarko take over, and use that cap money to sign Finley?
Ed Bouchette: What is the obsession with Finley?
Jeromy: hi Ed, do you play fantasy football?
Ed Bouchette: No. Tried it once a very long time ago and my attention was diverted too much.
SSA76: So who made the right call, O'Donnell or Hastings?
Ed Bouchette: Neil says he did.
Jud: Do you think that it could be a while before Mitchell and Troy "mesh" or do you think that training camp will cover it.
Ed Bouchette: With Mike Mitchell being a veteran in his sixth year, I do not foresee a problem there.
Ryan: Is there any chance Justin Brown leaps Wheaton for the #2 spot
Ed Bouchette: There's always a chance, but if you want to put a percentage on it, I would say extremely low since Brown did not even make the team last year and is a different style of player.
Ron from Iowa: All these "Hot Seat" questions leads me to a question. As an Iowan and obviously no Internet back then, what were the critics like for Coach Noll in the 80s when he wasn't winning, especially 85-89? I just think its terrible how people are quick to think the Steelers should move on from Coach Tomlin so soon. It's not how the Rooney Family works!
Ed Bouchette: No, but there were many who thought Noll should be fired back then too.
Jud: Ben will likely be reupped next summer...probably after the beginning of June correct?
Ed Bouchette: It looks to me as though next year is the target date.
Dough Boy: Ed, how would you respond to critics that say Tomlin inherited a good team, rode those players until they were/are done and we are now seeing the results of his own personnel decisions?
Ed Bouchette: I would say that it takes a good coach to come in and do what he did, replacing Bill Cowher, keeping ahold of a veteran team and keeping its attention and getting the most out of it. The same was said of Bill Cowher when he took over for Chuck Noll. I've seen good teams with good talent fail because the coaches did not know what to do with it. Tomlin's firs team made the playoffs, his second won the Super Bowl, his fourth went back to the Super Bowl and his fifth went 12-4 before injuries ravaged them and they lost at Denver in the playoffs.
It is easy to cite those things but as Chuck Noll once told me, "Don't run with the crowd.''
Jud: Did you get to attend minicamp? Do you get to interview guys afterwards?
Ed Bouchette: Not today. Today I attended Chuck Noll's funeral.
Darryl: Will the Steelers ever honor Kordell Stewart at a game?
Ed Bouchette: He and Bubby Brister maybe at the same time?
Steeler Nation -one "S": Spence update...
Ed Bouchette: Still working, still practicing.
Frank _n_Beans_Dude_From_Cali: Ed: signing Mike Mitchell was based a bit on faith and gut feel that he'd produce; as his stats were good but not spectacular?
Ed Bouchette: That is why they have scouts, to scout how he played, not necessarily go by his stats. His stats for a free safety looked good to me.
Eddie E: Do you think Ben and Troy are Hall of Famers?
Ed Bouchette: I once thought Andy Russell was a HOFer, I think Jerome Bettis should be in already. Those two right now I would guess are borderline. They might get in, they might not. Ben is young enough that he can polish that resume for another five years.
Felix: Ed, sure seems like we are seeing Limas Sweed all over again with Martavias Bryant
Ed Bouchette: So, you mean, you have seen him play since the Steelers drafted him?
SSA76: Was the Noll funeral open to the public?
Ed Bouchette: Yes it was and I was a bit surprised that more citizens did not attend.
Ryan: What are your thoughts on McCullers
Ed Bouchette: He is really big.
Tipper: Interesting question about Troy on special teams, why did you dismiss it so quickly? do you think they've tried it?
Ed Bouchette: No, I know they would not entertain it. They put him back on a field goal attempt one time last year because MT felt it was their only chance to pull one out if he ran it back. You are NOT going to see him return punts or kicks at age 33.
Ed Bouchette: Thank you for another great chat. We will now go dark until training camp starts. See you from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe.