Antonio Brown pulls in a pass for a touchdown against the Bills in the first quarter at Heinz Field Saturday night, August 16, 2014
Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin
Dude_From_Cali: is the 10 practice squad idea to go into effect THIS SEASON OR NEXT?
Ed Bouchette: Sounds like this one. Can't have enough players or coaches. Or games. Just no more practices.
Touchdown Joey: Hello Edward. Was just wondering if you're still on the Suisham bandwagon. He was worth bringing back for this year based on accuracy but that contract is lunacy for a guy who's iffy on the new extra points. Thoughts??
Ed Bouchette: So, you are worried that he won't be able to make those extra point kicks from 33 yards in the preseason? I wouldn't worry too much about that. On the bandwagon? He is their most accurate kicker in history. Some people were ripping him for his "short" kickoffs the other night when Mike Tomlin told him to kick short so he could observe his kick coverage unit.
Ed Bouchette: Plus, have you noticed he's had to work with another new holder? And now a new long-snapper?
Rob: Living in the stench that is Cowboy country I do not have the opportunity to watch the Steelers games. There has been a lot of talk about Ike Taylor and his diminishing skills. In these first two games what are your observations?
Ed Bouchette: They did not throw his way much Saturday night. Hard to tell at this point.
Dude_From_Cali: IS 32 YD FG trial or perm idea for this season? if no, when do they decide?
Ed Bouchette: Again, I would not hold my breath on that long extra point attempt making it into the rules anytime soon. If it does, though, Shaun Suisham can handle it as well as any kicker.
Joe Joe: Ed, what are the chances that Shaq makes the team given his injury?
Ed Bouchette: I think he will make it based on the fact they do not have much at cornerback.
Gregg in NY: Good afternoon, Ed. How's the TE situation shaping up? Does Eric Waters make the team? I was hearing a lot of good things about him early in camp.
Ed Bouchette: You have two in Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth. I'd stop there and save some roster spots for elsewhere because you always have Will Johnson. I suppose, though, they will add a third and he's as good as any.
Mike EE: Ed, will the Steelers keep 3 QBs on the final roster? Landry looks like a practice squad developmental player. I can't see another team claiming him.
Ed Bouchette: I'm with you but their history is to carry 3, no matter what.
Grouchy: It seems like an expanded game day roster (perhaps 57) would be enough to allow teams to have adequate depth on game day, without worrying about injuries, players with position flexibility, etc. Why aren't rosters bigger? Just too much salary for Owners?
Ed Bouchette: I'm looking forward to the day when they have 100 on the active game-day roster to cover every eventuality.
Merlin86: How would you rate the Steelers Tight ends?
Ed Bouchette: I think Heath Miller is among the best two-way tight ends in the business. Matt Spaeth can block. I'm not sold on anyone after that.
dave: Do you think they'll bring in a punter to compete with Wing?
Ed Bouchette: I think Adam Podlesh remains a strong possibility to return.
DSF: Seems like the NFL just wants to become passing 24-7. I see more often that the WRs push off the DBs to get position on the ball and separation but there are no rule changes for that
Ed Bouchette: It is one reason no backs were drafted in the first round each of the past two seasons. Wait until they do away with the 3-point stance and make OLinemen stand to block.
Guest: The Ravens open the season with three straight division games. Do you think this had anything to do with the two game suspension for Ray Rice? Perhaps the NFL thought it would not be "fair" to penalize the Ravens for three important games
Ed Bouchette: At the moment, I cannot tell you the logic that goes on in the NFL office.
Dude_From_Cali: A.B & Dri Archer have in common: They get free from tacklers running sideways for BIG GAINS. Do you think OC will put in more plays for Archer?
Ed Bouchette: I think they have to be careful how they use him. They have so many other good players on offense. He will get spot use.
chicago_steeler_fan: why should the steelers keep landry jones on the roster except that they always have? i know you have argues against it as well...
Ed Bouchette: Maybe because they drafted him in the fourth-round and they're not yet ready to cut ties with him.
Merlin86: How do see the QBs playing time on Thursday?
Ed Bouchette: Ben Roethlisberger gets a half. I wold like to see undrafted rookie Brendon Kay but I don't think we will. If Bruce Gradkowski is going to be No. 2, he needs some work because he did not play at all last season.
Mike EE: Ed, I am disgusted by the ridiculous number of penalty flags per game so far this preseason. It robs the games of action. I would take more defensive holding and less face time for zebras!
Ed Bouchette: Me too. More penalties, more replays, less excitement.
DFWSteeler: With 53 on the roster and all this talk of player safety, why not let all 53 dress for games?
Ed Bouchette: I've gone over this many times and it is a question that won't go away. They did it years ago when they made injured reserve a season-long thing rather than 4 games. So teams that might have 3 or 4 players who are out injured but not on IR would be at a disadvantage during games to healthy teams if they allowed all 53 to dress. One would dress 53, the other maybe only 48 or 49.
Big City: Are they satisfied with the outside linebacker depth? Seems a little questionable to me. Perhaps Timmons should slide outside with the ILB group suddenly looking very deep.
Ed Bouchette: As Lawrence Timmons told me last week, that dog don't hunt anymore. He's strictly an inside LB. Arthur Moats is a good No. 3. They will have at least one more, and that could come down to veteran Chris Carter vs. undrafted rookie Howard Jones or even third-year vet Vic So'oto.
Wild Bill: Do you get the feeling Big Ben is going to leave the Defense out to dry this year? Doesn't he realize how much they led to his early success?
Ed Bouchette: If he leaves any defenses out to dry, it would be the opposition. I'm confused by your question.
Gregg in NY: I know it's only the preseason but thee running game seems to be having issues on both sides of the ball. Is this going to be a problem going into the regular season?
Ed Bouchette: Relax and read your first six words. I think they're running game will be fine. Le'Veon Bell, who will start, has seven carries (for 4.1 average). That's not much of a sample.
Adam: Do you think the defense will finally start to force Turnovers again this year?
Ed Bouchette: They better. I think Ryan Shazier helps that and maybe Mike Mitchell too.
Adam: Who should LeBeau prepare for week one: Manziel or Hoyer?
Ed Bouchette: After last night, I don't think it matters. They can start preparing right now for Joe Flacco.
Grouchy: Is Roger Goodell pushing this pass-crazy, penalty-in-every-pot approach to the game, or is the rules committee and ownership also onboard with the plan to one day have every game end 69-63?
Ed Bouchette: It is all connected.
Chris - Northants UK: Hi Ed, who do you see as the big casualties, when the final 53 roster spots are announced?
Ed Bouchette: I don't see any big casualties. I see some cuts, but no big names.
Ed Bouchette: Dear Grouchy, please make your questions a tad shorter because it wold take up the entire chat time to read one.
Jack Splat: I think Carter is as good as gone - he has shown little in 3 years. Howard Jones - at tis point anyway - has a bigger upside.
Ed Bouchette: Many people agree with you. We will see.
Wild Bill: Ben loves no huddle and quick strikes but our defense will be best if not on the field often. Will Ben be able to control the clock to help manage the game or is he still into "the skies the limit for this offense" attitued?
Ed Bouchette: I do not think scoring quickly is a bad thing. This ain't your father's Steelers or NFL anymore.
Guest: It seems to me that this is the best offensive team the steelers have had in quite some time. If everyone remains healthy, they could put up some real good numbers. Would you agree?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, I do. They have not been able to stay healthy in awhile, either. Witness last season when they opened without Heath Miller, Le'Veon Bell and then Maurkice Pouncey and backup LaRod Stephens-Howling were done for the season. Barring injury -- the bane of every team -- they should be a good offense.
Mike EE: Ed, is our D line soft against the run. I am worried.
Ed Bouchette: I'm not sold on the defensive line, one of the many concerns on defense.
Guest: Do you think it's a good chacne we can see at least one resrve o lineman and a corner come wfrom the cuts form other teams?
Ed Bouchette: I'd say a corner, but I don't think you will se an offensive lineman join them.
DSF: How would you compare this years wr to last year? I know JC loss was big but seems like AB is even better and Wheaton should be able to make up for the loss of Sanders.
Ed Bouchette: I have to see much more. I think Wheaton can replace Sanders, I'm not sure yet about the slot, where Justin Brown still could emerge.
Tony B: What are the great Ed's thoughts on Jason Worldis' outlook for 2014?
Ed Bouchette: I have been impressed with how he's done in practice and in games. I think he could be poised for a good season.
JamesinNYC: Will they add extra injured reserve with ability to return to roster? Kind of stupid that you force decisions especially with concussions.
Ed Bouchette: The ideal thing would be for them to go back to the old system, where a player could go on short-term IR and return. However, some teams abused that and used it to "stash" players, much the way MLB does now with the disabled list, i.e.. Charlie Morton. You can't send them down, you need a roster spot, you put someone on DL with a minor injury. That was going on in football, especially with that team in Washington.
Ed Bouchette: Thanks for another great chat. See you next Tuesday.
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