Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 8.12.14

Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin

Ed Bouchette: They have modified the allowable cut block this year. A player's head must be in front of the player he is cutting -- or blocking low to the legs. He cannot come at him from the side. I am not quite sure why they still allow a low block like that at all. It would seem to be an easy block to banish.

Ed Bouchette: Sorry, somehow the question to the above answer did not appear. Basically, he wanted to know why the NFL still allows cut blocks because they can cause injury and ruin a career.

Dude_From_Cali: on the 73 yd run, Cam Heyward was trucked out of the runninglanes as if on skates. Thoughts?

Ed Bouchette: I believe he committed to another area and thus was easily blocked. Heyward will be one of their better defensive players, I believe.

Rich: Ed, Without a dominant NT this defense will be average. Do you concur? Everything starts up front and that is been a major concern since Casey left.

Ed Bouchette: The NT is not on the field nearly as much as when Casey Hampton was in his prime, so I do not believe they are as important as they once were. However, if you are going to play a 3-4 base, you better have a good one when he is in there. Let's see what develops because Daniel McCullers is getting a lot of play and notice in Latrobe.

Jon: With a log jam at WR how do you assess the chances of Justin Brown for significant playing time?

Ed Bouchette: I believe he will make the team and he's competing to be the top slot guy.

Subspace Interference: Any home cooking by the referees on the missed holding call that sprung Jennings on his 73 yard TD run? Certainly brought the fans to their feet at MetLife.

Ed Bouchette: I do not think you have home cooking by the refs in the NFL, especially in a preseason game. It does not mean they don't miss calls.

Guest: How is Jordan Hall doing?

Ed Bouchette: I would be surprised if any back makes it after Le'Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount, Dri Archer and h-back Will Johnson. One of the others may make the practice squad.

Robbie: What former starters are in danger of not making the final 53?

Ed Bouchette: I would say none.They have already moved them out.

Brent: Afternoon Ed, What is your assessment of Heyward-Bey so far at camp? Do you think he can make the roster if he can get and remain healthy?

Ed Bouchette: He missed valuable time with that concussion. I do not see him cracking the top five.

Spirit Sniper: If you were James Harrison, would you be expecting a call from the Steelers?

Ed Bouchette: No.

BDenny29: Provided they all stay healthy, how would you envision the workload being split between Bell, Blount, and Archer?

Ed Bouchette: Bell will get the brunt of carries. Blount will be a changeup, play maybe a series a half. Archer will get spot use in various situations. I really think Bell can be special.

Abbie Normal: Curtis Painter looked pretty good for the Giants on Saturday. I expected a better performance out of Bruce Gradkowski given his more extensive NFL experience. I know it was just the first preseason game, but how concerned should we be regarding the backup QB situation?

Ed Bouchette: You should hope Ben Roethlisberger stays healthy.

FL Stiller: I know it's EARLY in the preseason, but how optimistic are you that the Steelers can go deep into the playoffs?

Ed Bouchette: Let's see them go better than 8-8 and make them first. I'm not convinced yet they will.

Paul: Why keep three quarterbacks? Wouldn't an extra WR, LB, or S provide more value, considering the season would be lost if Ben Roethlisberger suffers a significant injury? Thank you,

Ed Bouchette: I am with you on that one. I was talking with someone the other day and said they should keep two and put one on the practice squad. Landry Jones is eligible for the PS. The only reason to keep all three is the fear you might lose 2 in one game, which happens once about every 40 years, or you fear someone would claim Jones if you waived him to put him on the PS.

Smash-Mouth.com: The Steelers seem to be fairly well stocked with some very good reserve linebackers right now. Any chance they keep ten this year?

Ed Bouchette: I would think 9 is the upper limit.

Jim: Why no Adam Podlesh so far? Media awfully quiet on this...

Ed Bouchette: Not if you've been reading me. I said awhile ago that his wife was having a difficult pregnancy. She successfully delivered but there were complications and now he is staying with her while she recovers from those. There is no more to it than that. Sounds like a good husband/father.

rick: ED taking son to see first game in pitt,coming from iowa.What game should we see.

Ed Bouchette: Fans normally would say the Baltimore game, but that's at night in November. Take him either to the opener ot to the Bucs game later in September. Both 1 p.m. in what should be good weather.

tom f: Ed, Do you think Mike Adams will ever crack the starting lineup? from what i watched last yr & last Sat i don't think he even belongs in this league

Ed Bouchette: Barring injuries or defections, not with this team.

Wild Bill: Why did Thomas start at NT with McClendon out? Is the media overhyping McCullers and Fangupo?

Ed Bouchette: Because I think they wanted to see him at NT. Have you watched McCullers? He has been surprising in his ability not to get moved out of position by even two blockers.

Wild Bill: No matter how much this is a passing league, in the past few years passing teams have failed to win anything important. Should the Steelers focus on their potential explosive run game and then let Ben be been if they get behind?

Ed Bouchette: They would like to strike a balance. They are working hard toward that. They believe they can be a dual threat running or throwing for the first time in several years.

Go Steelers!: Ed, with all the depth inside why not play Zumwalt at OLB?

Ed Bouchette: They had him there in the spring. Remember, he's a rookie who was late to the spring party because of his school's late finals. They know he has what Mike Tomlin would call position flexibility, but he probably needs to stay in one spot for awhile.

Luke: How does Shaq Richardson look?

Ed Bouchette: I have not seen enough of him. I thought he flashed some talent early. He plays a position where there is plenty of room for advancement.

Renegade: Ed, in your Ask Ed column this morning you mentioned keeping 8 LBs and you went through a list of names beyond the top 4 and did not include Spence. Likelihood Spence makes roster in your opinion?

Ed Bouchette: That really was an oversight on my part, and in my final question, I talk about Spence. Many of my colleagues think he has the team made. I remain a tad skeptical and want to see more but he played well Saturday night.

Nick: Doesnt the long term reward of keeping a player like Dangerfield outweigh the temoporary risk of injury for Will Allen to be kept? Same with Carter/Jones.

Ed Bouchette: I agree. They are a team in transition and all else being close, I'd go with the young player who has a chance to grow.

Chip: Wouldn't the 6'7 DT make the best nose tackle? I read where you said he was not quick but almost immovable - Casey Hampton was anything but quick, so wouldn't this be a perfect fit?

Ed Bouchette: Casey Hampton was quicker than you think, especially in his younger days. McCullers is growing on people.

Teis: U said Justin Brown is up there for the starting slot receiver spot. Is it him just being a lot better than expected or has Lance Moore been a bit of a dissapointment aswell?

Ed Bouchette: Justin Brown is having one good training camp.

Jon M: Assuming there are no injuries on DL - any chance now about a re-sign with Keisel or is that out the window?

Ed Bouchette: Only if they have injuries.

J: Considering the lackluster performance by Landry Jones, do you think we'll see Kay in the next game?

Ed Bouchette: You might see him, but he won't make the team.

Chuck: I saw comment by Ray I think that read they haven't had a good running game since '07. Why did they let Willie Parker walk when he was still an effective back?

Ed Bouchette: Because he no longer was Fast Willie, he lost some speed and quickness. Rashard Mendenhall ran for 1,108 yards and a 4.6 average in 2009 and 1,273 yards and 13 TDs in 2010. Those weren't bad.

Michael: Ed, would you anticipate that the depth at LB will lead to better special teams coverage units?

Ed Bouchette: It should, and it might lead to 9 linebackers making the roster.

Ed Bouchette: Thanks for another great chat. See you next Tuesday.

First Published August 12, 2014 12:00 AM

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