John B.: Prediction time: How many games till Tuitt is a starter? barring injury, of course.
Gerry Dulac: Not many, but don't worry -- he will play a lot. And if the Steelers use their sub packages as much as they did last year (65 percent of the time), he will play even more. He is usually one of the two down linemen, along with Cam Heyward, in those packages.
Joe M: What are the chances Dri Archer does not get a hat on gameday if he cant return punts?
Gerry Dulac: The chances are more "none" than "slim." You do not have to worry about Archer getting a hat, as you like to say. He is guaranteed one as much as Antonio Brown. Does too many things and is a playmaker.
Steelbuck: The no huddle is going to be a key to their success this year imo. How much more difficult is it to run on road vs at home? Clearly crowd noise plays some role in thet. Anything else factor is as well? Is there a large difference in your opinion?
Gerry Dulac: I disagree that it's going to be the key to their success. What's going to be the key is how well they execute their offense when they're NOT in no huddle mode. Because, as you point out, it's tougher to run on the road because of the crowd noise. I like the no-huddle because it features and utilizes your best player -- Ben Roethlisberger. But you can't stay in it all the time. Too exhausting for the linemen and receivers.
dave: Why risk having Antonio Brown return punts? If he gets injured, they'll be in deep trouble on offense.
Gerry Dulac: Perhaps, and I think thyat's why you'll see Dri Archer getting some punt returns, too. But I'm willing to bet on the first punt against the Browns you will see 84 back there.
Derek: Hi Gerry! What's your prediction for the Steelers this year?
Gerry Dulac: Despite what I saw in Philly, I still think they are a 10-6 team. As bad as they were last year, they were still 8-8. I think they are better for a number of reasons, including the return to health of Heath Miller, a full season for Le'Veon Bell, the addition of Mike Munchak...want me to continue?
Chris G: Does Jarvis Jones step up in the pass rush department this season? I feel like he HAS to for this defense to be successful.
Gerry Dulac: You'e right -- he has to. This defense is predicated on the outside backers presuring the quarterback, which is why its incumbent on Jones and Jason Worilds combining for a minimum 20 sacks to be successful. Now, I don't know if JJ has 10 sacks in him, but we'll see. But I do know he has to have a lot more than he had last season, which was 1.
Chris G: How's Martavis Bryant doing? Initially sounded like he might hit IR, but the fact that he didn't is promising.
Gerry Dulac: Bryant is fine, other than a mild shoulder separation. He probably won't be active against the Browns, but he has the talent to be a very good receiver. Like a lot of rookies, he has to learn how to work hard to succeed in the NFL.
Paul: Tne Steelers are razor thin at CB, DL, WR, OT, and OLB. What happens if we have an injury at any one of those 5 positions? Are there guys on the practice squad who can fill in?
Gerry Dulac: I disagree they are razor thin at WR, OT and OLB. For the first time in a long time, they kept 6 receivers on the 53-man roster. Name me an offensive line that has a lot of depth? Agreed, OLB does not have a Worilds as a backup, but then that's because they don't have LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison in their prime. I think Arthur Moats can be more than serviceable if necessary.
Steelbuck: What do you hear with the "big nickel" defense where they remove both OLBs for more dlineman in an effort to slow teams running games down against the nickel defense. Only an experiment or can we really expect to see it Sunday?
Gerry Dulac: That is not something they do on a regular basis and not something I think you will see them do much, if at all, in the regular season. Maybe in short yardage situations.
JamesinNYC: What is your thought on the big nickel that looked decent this preseason?
Gerry Dulac: Hey, they have to try something to stop the run, especially in their sub packages. They didn't do it last year and they haven't done it very well this year in the preseason, either.
JamesinNYC: Archer gets punts in midfield Antonio gets them in their own end?
Gerry Dulac: That might be a good way of looking at it JNYC
John B.: Based on what you've seen/heard, Do you think we'll see more of Dri Archer in the passing game or the running game?
Gerry Dulac: I think you'll see a little of both, though, by passing game, I hope you don't mean lining as a wide receiver because that's not going to happen. Now, he might happen to line outside when they go empty in the backfield, but they do that with Bell, Blount and even Will Johnson. His pass-catching will be what you saw in the preseason, dump screens and wheel routes out of the backfield.
dave: Are there any concerns that Blount may be a bad influence on Bell?
Gerry Dulac: Now why would you think that...???
Charles: I still don't understand why we couldn't have put Landry Jones on the practice squead. Chances are nobody was going to sign him off of it and we could've kept another position player. If he plays in a game, then we will be in serious trouble anyway.
Gerry Dulac: Disgaree. Chances are someone would have claimed him immediately. And while I agree w you that if he has to play the Steelers are in trouble, name me an NFL team that wouldn't be in trouble if they had to play their third QB. The Steelers have always believed it's the most important position on the team and they need to have three QBs ready just in case.
Joe M: What do you think of depth on the offensive line especially at the Tackle position? Please rank Lloyd, Porter, Harrison, Gildon, Ham?
Gerry Dulac: Like I said earlier, name me a team with good depth on the offensive line? they don't exist. Every team can lament the same thing.
Adam G.: Do you think Ike is poised for a bounceback year? Sure would help the secondary.
Gerry Dulac: No.
Rich D: Internet rumor that Rams are trying to trade for Ben R. Ridiculous as it sounds?
Gerry Dulac: As ridiculous as you listening to internet rumors.
Gerry Dulac: That's all the time we have today kids. Next week's chat will be at a different time because of the Thursday night game in Baltimore. Check local listings for the time.