Steelers owner Dan Rooney touches Ben Roethlisberger as he passes by during afternoon workouts in the rain Monday at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe.
Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin
Keith: Who do you see making the team as DL and which ones will start?
Ed Bouchette: Cam Heyward, Steve McLendon, Stephon Tuitt would be my starting 3 right now. Cam Thomas. The rest will sort themselves out but I've always liked Loni Fangupo as a NT. Maybe Brian Arnfelt
Jimbo: Ed - Do you view the public comments about Ben's contract extension and the Pouncey Miami nightclub lawsuit serving as distractions throughout the entire season?
Ed Bouchette: I don't see any distractions now, never mind the entire season.
dave: Why haven't they done more in recent years to address the CB position? Is that position less important to them than LB or DL?
Ed Bouchette: It's a great mystery other than they felt when it came time for them to draft they had much higher rated players at other positions and they did not want to "reach.'' They really did address it when they finally came around to using Keenan Lewis, only to let him get away.
Keith: Do you think Adams will replace a current starter at L or RT? What has he shown so far to you?
Ed Bouchette: They have had one day in pads, so there has not been a lot to show. Read Ray's notebook today, where he tells about how Shamarko Thomas bowled Adams over. I think Adams will open as a backup.
John B.: Congrats on your award, Ed. Did anything new/different stand out to you schematically?
Ed Bouchette: They are doing a lot of different things on offense, splitting backs out wide, etc. I want to see more how they use Troy, but a lot of that stuff won't be shown until the regular season anyway.
Troy: Ed, Chances on Brian Arnfelt making the 53 man, I'm high on the guy since last season. Your thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, I just went down my line candidates and right now I have him No. 6. We have a long way to go.
Rob: Hi Ed, thanks for the time. We have been hearing a lot about Shazier, soem about Archer and a little about Bryant yer things seem to be quiet on the Tuitt front. How is he looking?
Ed Bouchette: Let's all take a big breath for a moment. They have had 2 practices without pads, one with pads. There has not been a lot to see yet. Dri Archer was a big hit in the first two days without pads, but guys like him always will look good without pads. I'm not saying he won't keep it up, just to caution that I've seen many no-pads stars fizzle out once training camp gets a couple weeks in.
Keith: Do you like "the obstruction" to make the 53 man roster or as a practice squad?
Ed Bouchette: Sorry, I'm not up on all of the nicknames. If you are talking about the big NT, Daniel McCullers, I think he's on that fine line right now where he could go either way.
Jerome: Ed, Anything to report about the Australian punter the Steelers have in camp. Is he the player who kicked for LSU?
Ed Bouchette: Brad Wing has a shot. The veteran punter they acquired in FA, Adam Podlesh, hadn't reported to camp yet because as Mike Tomlin said, his wife was "very pregnant.'' I thought Wing looked good in the spring.
Guest: What are your thoughts on the Emmanual Sanders' comments about Ben? Do you think he hears that stuff and would use it as motivation?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think Ben Roethlisberger needs any motivation, especially from Emmanuel Sanders, who sounds as if he's trying to love the one he's with.
dave: Will Blount be their short-yardage back this season?
Ed Bouchette: I think they might use him in some of those situations, but I also think Le'Veon Bell can perform there too.
Wild Bill: How important will it be to jump out on the division in our first few games since we will play Ravens without Rice and the Browns with their QB unsettled?
Ed Bouchette: Especially after last season, very.
SteelerJoe: Ed, What are the odds that Mike Adams does not make this team? It is time to cut him loose?
Ed Bouchette: I think he will be on the team.
Keith: what was/were your takeaways from backs/backers drill yesterday?
Ed Bouchette: One of the better ones, I thought. You know that Ryan Shazier looked good. I did not come away with any other impression about who was consistently good at it, either way. I thought some of the smaller relatively unknown backs held their own, such as Tauren Poole, Jordan Hall and Miguel Maysonet. Vince Williams displayed some real strong pass rushes.
Wild Bill: Why all the negativity towards Ike? He shut down people for years and only had two truly aweful games against receivers who made every DB look bad last year.
Ed Bouchette: Ike Taylor will tell you he did not have a good season. That is no reflection on his entire career, just that they need more from him this year. A better pass rush would help all of them too.
Mike: Any linebackers that have been/ or are currently in the league that you can compare Shazier and his skill set to?
Ed Bouchette: I do not think there are any other linebackers with 4.3 speed in the NFL.
trinisteel: What role do you see Sean Spence playing this year
Ed Bouchette: I think pretty much everyone would like to see him make the team. I need to see more as we go along to tell you if he might, and I think the coaches would say the same.
TD: Does a rookie beating Blount practically guarantee Bell will be in on passing downs?
Ed Bouchette: Years ago, Chuck Noll began training camp with the Oklahoma drill, which was a little similar to backs on backers, only with a runner. He always cautioned not to read too much into it, it was merely a way to establish the start of camp in a physical way. That is what backs on backers is. Jack Lambert never was good in the Oklahoma. He is in the Hall of Fame. So, no, it guarantees nothing. However, Le'Veon Bell will be their main back in most situations as long as he stays healthy.
JamesinNYC: Pouncy or Thomas, which one do you think lands in more hot water legally?
Ed Bouchette: The Steelers believe Maurkice Pouncey has nothing to worry about. I have no idea about the other guy. These are all civil proceedings, by the way.
LJ: Between Moye, DHB and Brown, who looks to be the early favorite to make the team at receiver?
Ed Bouchette: I would say Justin Brown.
Mark: Any real competition for the 4 starting LB positions - Timmons, Worrilds, Jones and Shazier all set or are there still some question marks. Thanks!
Ed Bouchette: I would be surprised if someone other than those 4 start, barring injury.
Keith: do you agree with BR's reported comment yesterday that this year's team has the feel of the 2003-4 transition years' teams? I think Ike also made a similar comment
Ed Bouchette: They went 15-1 in 2004. I do not expect them to do that this year. No, I see no similarity. They also went with a new QB, a rookie, in 2004.
TD: Cincy has two new coordinators, Browns will be changing their QB at some point midseason, Ravens have some injuries/suspensions already. Are Steelers capable of taking the division?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, they are very capable. I think 3 teams are capable. injuries, how fast the young players develop, will help determine that.
Dude_From_CAli Chirstopher_Walken: is it pronounced Sha-ZHEER or SHAY,zer?
Ed Bouchette: The former
Keith: Do you have any take yet on RShazier's ability to handle the mental aspects of the defensive complexities?
Ed Bouchette: The fact they have him starting should tell you they feel he can handle it. No rookie has started an opener on defense since Kendrell Bell in 2001.
Dude_From_CAli Chirstopher_Walken: Ed: last year's horrific start 0-4 or was it 0-5? What caused it in your view?
Ed Bouchette: 0-4. Injuries were a big part -- No Heath Miller, no Le'Veon Bell, losing Pouncey, on the first series, and Larry Foote and LaRod Stephens-Howling in the first game,etc. Plus, the defense was not good all season and we're seeing the changes they made because of it.
Rob: Is the other outside receiver spot Wheaton's to lose or is it open for the taking?
Ed Bouchette: It's open.
Tom: Would you rest certain players in camp like Ben or OLB's to cut down injury risk?
Ed Bouchette: They all get enough rest because of the ban on two-a-days and the mandated days off. No, I would rest no one unless they had some minor ailments.
Ed Bouchette: Thanks for another great chat. See you next Tuesday.
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