Recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Jerome Bettis runs past Cleveland Browns Courtney Brown at Browns Stadium in Cleveland in November 2001.
Gerry Dulac: OK here we go...
JamesinNYC: Hearing anything on Worilds or other FAs?
Gerry Dulac: Not yet JNYC
Chuck: Have you heard of any available college football players that the Steelers are interested in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft?
Gerry Dulac: Not yet Chuck.
John B.: Will Troy be released after June 1st?
Gerry Dulac: My guess is, if they are going to part ways with those veterans, they will do so before June 1.
JamesinNYC: I read an article denouncing the Seniors who signed up but didn't show up for the Senior Bowl without reason. Do the Steelers look at that as a negative or not really important?
Gerry Dulac: I agree, but we see this more and more, even at the combine. Guys would rather work out at their pro day rather than risk a poor performance in practices at Senior Bowl or workouts at the combine. But the Steelers, probably like most teams, use the Senior Bowl and combine as supplemental information. They base most of their ratings by what they watched in person or on film from college games. That being said, red flags can be raised from the SB and combine, but only in extreme cases.
dave: Do you think they'll grant Lance Moore's request for a release? Why did he have so much trouble getting on the field?
Gerry Dulac: I don't think he has to request one; he will be released. I've never understood what they didn't like -- and Ben didn't like -- about Lance Moore. When he played, he was dependable as any receiver they had.
Leaper: Does your gut tell you Worlids is retained and if so do they still go OLB in the 2nd or 3rd?
Gerry Dulac: Yes, and yes, so long as Worilds doesn't expect to be one of the highest paid players at his position. He had that this past season. And, even if Worilds is re-signed, the Steelers would like to take a pass-rushing OLB in the first couple 3 rounds.
dave: If they don't re-sign Worilds, what will they do at OLB?
Gerry Dulac: Well, there's no question they will have to draft an OLB, maybe even move up to do so, in the first round. But I think they are almost painted into a corner with Worilds. To not re-sign him leaves a large void at the most important position on the defense, also because you still don't know what you have with Jarvis Jones.
John B.: When Moore leave, do you see us bringing in another vet for the slot or mold one of our guys?
Gerry Dulac: Well, it isn't as though there's a huge void. He rarely played in 2014 so releasing him won't cause a huge problem. But they will need a backup body there for sure.
Fargo Steeler: Gerry, explain why Peter King is such a Bettis hater for the HOF. I don't understand that guy at all on his comments about the Bus.
Gerry Dulac: I willbe honest, I didn't know he was a Bettis-hater. I follow him on Twitter but don't always read his posts -- or others. But I don't really want to hear any arguments why he shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame when you consider his longevity and production. He is the best big back (250+) in NFL histrory.
Leaper: Do you think Marcus Peters is on the Steelers draft board?
Gerry Dulac: Too early to tell Leaper. I'll get a better idea in a couple weeks at the combine.
Tony: do you see the steelers going after a top starting cornerback or safety, or neither via free agency?
Gerry Dulac: Not a safety, and I'm not even sure about a corner. I think their preference is to find a top CB in the draft. If Cortez Allen can return to form, and they can draft a top corner, I think they are conmfortable with William Gay, Brice McCain and Antwon Blake as reserves. That doesn't mean they don't think they can improve.
Adam: Do you think it's likely we open the season at New England?
Gerry Dulac: Ther'e's a good chance.
Leaper: Is Ward a HOFer?
Gerry Dulac: I think he will have a much tougher time getting in than Bettis.
Leaper: What would you guess the length of Ben's deal will be?
Gerry Dulac: At least five years. That way they can pro-rate his large signing bonus easier.
Adam: What kind of impact will Butler have on the defense? Should we expect the same quality regardless of talent?
Gerry Dulac: Depends what "quality" to which you refer. The 2004, 2005, 2008 quality is much better than the 2013-2014 quality. I think Keith Butler will do a really good job. He is smart, well-prepared and the players both respect and like him.
Chris: Would they be better off signing Ben before Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck sign new contracts? Maybe their contracts would drive up the price of Ben's?
Gerry Dulac: They know they can't control what other teams do and when they sign their players. They will do as they always do -- proceed at a pace they think is right. Others teams won'yt influence them.
Leaper: Do you think the Steelers are looking to upgrade LG and/or LT?
Gerry Dulac: No. I think they are comfortable with Kelvin Beachum as the starter and Mike Adams as a swing tackle. I think, however, they will look to add backuo hekp at guard in the draft, but not before the fourth round or fifth round.
Derek: Gerry, who do you think will be inducting Jerome?
Gerry Dulac: Peter King?
Guest: Since we're talking Hall of Fame chances, what do you think about Faneca and Polamalu?
Gerry Dulac: Polamalu has a better chance than Faneca, and Hines Ward for that matter.
Adam: Where would you rank Wilson as compared to the other QB's of the league? Would you put Ben ahead of him?
Gerry Dulac: He needs to win more Super Bowls than Ben before I'd even consider that. But, I will say this, last 2 minutes of a game, he is as good as, if not better than, any QB in the league. Despite the SB finish, he is a big-time, big-moment player.
Guest: Hey Gerry, Will Butler change the way we draft defensively??
Gerry Dulac: No, he won't, cause those picks aren't his call.
Guest: For the record, Peter King voted for Bettis. (It's in his Monday column.) I'm not sure where Fargo Steeler got the idea that King is a "hater".
Gerry Dulac: Thank you for that. I thought that was the case.
Leaper: I hear a lot of "experts" say we still need to replace Hampton. Has that type of player at that position been devalued? No way we go NT in first 3 rounds, is there?
Gerry Dulac: That is correct. And let's be fair here -- I thought Steve McLendon played fairly well toward the end of the season. He's not Hampton, of course, but he was much better. Right now, threy have bigger problems on defense than that.
MOW: I really expected a Breaking News article from the Post Gazette on the Bettis election to the NFL HOF. Why did I have to read about it on NFL.com?
Gerry Dulac: Because it's the NFL website and the NFL controls when that information is released. So naturally they are going to have the news on their website first.
Leaper: Do you feel the Steelers will be better, worse or the same, next season?
Gerry Dulac: Better, so long as they stay healthy.
LA Matt: Seahawk's final play, worst call in the history of professional football?
Gerry Dulac: It's right up there. Considering the magnitude of the game and circumstances, probably yes,
Adam: Do you like that the Steelers have a much harder schedule next year? Will they rise to the challenge?
Gerry Dulac: They do on paper, but you never know how that plays out from year to year.
Gerry Dulac: That's all the time we have today kids. Thanx for all the good questions. See you next week.
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