Guest: Ed Bouchette, I saw that article you tweeted out where you intervied Trump back in the 80s. Did you sit down with him? What was he like? And is your endorsement of him as a candidate based on his business acumen or his social policies or both?
Ed Bouchette: Let's get one thing straight -- that was no endorsement. I just wanted to show that I once interviewed the guy way back when. 1984. He owned the NJ Generals of the USFL and I covered the Pittsburgh Maulers. Trump was pushing the spring league to go in the fall and loved nothing more than to push it on the phone with reporters, which is how I interviewed him. Later, I met and chatted with him and his then-wife Ivana in the Giants Stadium press box before the Maulers-General game.
kjacksonpgh: Ed, the DLine was not as much of a priority as I believe the secondary is, but now with losing Steve McLendon do you now believe it is more of a priority?
Ed Bouchette: Yes. It has to be. They need backup ends and a starting nose tackle, unless they belive Big Daniel McCullers can handle that job and L.T. Walton is ready to be the No. 3 DE
kjacksonpgh: Ed, did the Steelers no longer have faith in Steve McLendon’s ability anymore or did they just not value him as it relates to their scheme since they don’t play a true 3-4 as their base package?
Ed Bouchette: I just don't think they wanted to pay him the money the Jets paid him.
Derek: How do you grade our free agency so far?
Ed Bouchette: C
Scott in Dallas: Will the NFL win it's appeal of the Brady suspension and if it does is that good for football?
Ed Bouchette: I have no idea because it is in the hands of judges. Those covering it closely seem to lean toward the NFL winning it. I think there was way too much time and money spent on the whole thing.
Tom Say Moops: What did Beachum sign for? Why choose Harris over him? Did the Steelers pick what a player should look like over performance?
Ed Bouchette: The only thing I've seen so far is that he signed a two-year deal and will make $4 million this year. That's not much, but for a guy with a torn ACL 5 months ago, it's probably something the Steelers were not willing to pay. They got 2 years from Harris for that much.
dave: Does it sound to you like they're going to keep Bryant and give him another chance in 2017?
Ed Bouchette: By rule, the Steelers cannot do anything with Martavis Bryant right now until his suspension is up. He does not count against their cap this year and the two years left on his contract continue, now through 2018. They can read all the tea leaves a year from now and determine if he's worth giving another chance, based on what he's done over the past year and what their situation is.
Ed Bouchette: They last had a player suspended for a year in 1992, Tim Worley. He came back in 1993 and five games into the season, they traded him to the Bears.
Guest: Hey, I saw a Pittsburgh sports reporter on WWE TV on Monday and I thought I saw you in the crowd too. Were you there? Good show?
Ed Bouchette: No, I used to take my kids to those things at the old Civic Arena when they were young. Haven't been to one since
steelmann58: Ed do the steelers have to draft a WR since they lost Bryant? and do you think L Jones will be our #2
Ed Bouchette: No, they don't have to draft a WR and they should not. They have enough of them for this year and whoever they might draft would just clog things up.
Scott in Dallas: Will the NFL schedule one of the Steelers/Bengals games during Burfict's suspension as an additional punishment to the Bengals or does that not factor in?
Ed Bouchette: I don't know that they think that way.
000000: Ed, you've caused quite a stir with your Trump tweet. Was he a friendly fellow in person when you met?
Ed Bouchette: Very, but that doesn't mean I'd vote for him for president.
Guest: Why do these athletes smoke marijuana? I'm assuming they see it as a performance enhancer. Have you tried the stuff? It was popular at my college in the 60s, but i never saw it
Ed Bouchette: So, you didn't even not inhale?
Adam: When did the front office find out about the Bryant suspension? Were DHB and LGreen signings in direct response to the impending suspension?
Ed Bouchette: I believe they had to have something to do with it, although the Green signing also had its roots in Heath Miller's retirement.
Derek: On a scale of 1-10, how surprised were you that Marty failed another drug test?
Ed Bouchette: I was not surprised at all. If he tested positive all the way up to a four-game suspension, why would anyone be surprised that it happened again?
Guest: Do you have any opinion on the NFL gambling policy? Seems weird that the Rooneys have to sell off ownership because of race tracks and Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft can invest in Fantasy Gaming.
Ed Bouchette: It's a league filled with hypocrisy.
Guest: What was Trump like in-person? And who was the greatest Pittsburgh Mauler of all-time?
Ed Bouchette: Trump was engaging when I spoke with him in person 32 years ago. He wasn't even known as The Donald yet. Sam Clancy was the greatest Mauler and still works with the Pitt athletic department. One of my all-time favorites.
Scott in Dallas: I know a couple of people who use maryjane as a way to replace 4-5 different meds like narcotic pain killers, and anti-depressants. They seem to function better off the pharmaceuticals... Time to change the culture?
Ed Bouchette: Medical MJ is being considered by the Pa. legislature as we chat.
Guest: So you used to be a wrestling fan? Who did you like? Ultimate Warrior? Hogan? Brett Hart?
Ed Bouchette: No, my kids were wrestling fans. I was just being a good dad.
Guest: Does the Harris signing mean Mike Adams is not in the Steelers' plans?
Ed Bouchette: I'm told MIke Adams is finally over his back problems and is back working out and should be able to participate in the spring. The rest is up to Mike.
me: I just heard that Spence signed with TEN. They're starting to run out of bodies on defense, aren't they? Do they intend to fill the vacancies through the draft?
Ed Bouchette: Sean Spence would have been, in my opinion, a starting ILB for the Steelers if he had not gotten hurt. They probably would never have drafted Ryan Shazier. However, he's a backup for them now and they still have Vince Williams, someone I've said pairs well with Shazier if Timmons is out or leaves after this season.
BOTW: are you surprised the steelers haven't addressed any glaring needs on Defense to this point?
Ed Bouchette: No, other than re-signing William Gay and Robert Golden.
Luke: Could Cardale Jones be a possible QB that the steelers could groom behind Ben?
Ed Bouchette: I don't know that they're looking to "groom" anyone right now. I think you'll see them pick up a veteran to compete with Landry Jones for 2-3
Scott in Dallas: Our political system is broken. How about letting the NFL owner that wins the SB each year run the country. They sure seem to know how to run a business...
Ed Bouchette: You really want John Elway running the country? Or Mrs. Bowlen? ... Well, considering the candidates in 2016, maybe
Guest: Ed, you may be the new Most Interesting Man in the World. Covered the greatest football team of all time, hung with Donald Trump, friends with Gerry Dulac. THE MOST INTERESING MAN IN THE WORLD
Ed Bouchette: Right now, I'm not even the most interesting man in the house. That goes to 1-year old Little Papi, my Boston Terrier snoring on my sofa, named after the great Big Papi of another Boston fame.
Scott in Dallas: With the recent issues with Bell/Bryant being suspended for pot along with the Adams failings does that mean we will see them focus more on character or is it still "talent Trumps all"?
Ed Bouchette: Donald Trump has nothing to do with it.
What What: Do the Steelers have the best offense that never was?
Ed Bouchette: You mean like last year, when they kept losing valuable pieces to suspensions and injuries. It's starting off that way but they still can be dynamic without Bryant, just maybe not as dangerous.
Scott in Dallas: Was the D. Grant pick as horrible as it seems? Cut a 4th rounder out of camp and now say maybe he can be a safety... Seems like about as useful as this year's 5th rounder was...
Ed Bouchette: Teams do cut fourth-rounders, it just seems like the Steelers sometimes own that market. Ross Cockrell, right now their starting CB, was a fourth-round pick of Buffalo in 2014.
Guest: What is that Rooney Award you recently won that Gerry Dulac was tweeting about? Congrats!
Ed Bouchette: Thanks. It's a media award that was named after the great Bill Burns of KDKA-TV. I'm honored to receive it at the Art Rooney annual dinner.
Lonnard: why not keep Spence and move on from Timmons? Spence is arguably better for spread offenses now and Timmons makes a ton of money
Ed Bouchette: I did not think Spence was the same player after his injury, lost some speed and quickness and those were his big assets
Guest: Ed, I respect your opinion on the Steelers so much that I am prepared to also follow your political instincts. Who are you voting for for PResident and i will follow suit?
Ed Bouchette: I vote, but I don't politic
Guest: Have you met any other Presidents or PResidential candidates besides Trump?
Ed Bouchette: Covered the Steelers Super Bowl White House visits with Bush and Obama. Did not actually meet them, but saw them up close and did attend a White House press conference in their old media room before their visit in 2006.
Guest: What is medical MJ?
Ed Bouchette: marijuana
Kevin in Punxsy: Are there any players on the Practice Squad that you see making the team, this year? Thanks
Ed Bouchette: I can see guard/center B.J. Finney and DE Caushaud Lyons.
Guest: Are you surprised the Steelers haven't kicked the tires on Reggie Nelson or Patrick Robinson? Both would help positions of need and couldn't cost for more than what they have spent so far
Ed Bouchette: A little bit. Reggie Nelson is a ballhawk but a free safety, so if they ever signed him, they'd probably have to move Mike Mitchell to strong safety, and I would not see that as a problem.
Guest: Ed, better golfer you or Gerry Dulac?
Ed Bouchette: I was better out of the woods. I had a lot of practice. It's a reason I stopped playing 10 years ago. Seriously, you would not mention me and Gerry in the same sentence when it comes to that sport. He has his own golf tourney for crying out loud.
asdf: Do they think McCullers could be a regular starter?
Ed Bouchette: He may have to be. Remember that the nose tackle -- especially an old-fashioned big fellow like him -- does not play a whole lot anymore.
Theo: Hi Ed, at what point do players stop restructuring their contracts for the team? It puts them in a bind at the end of their contract where they need to take a paycut that otherwise wouldn't be necessary. Look at Timmons, because he did the team 'a favor' he's now seen as taking up too much money.
Ed Bouchette: You have to look at everything as a whole and as a whole the Steelers have done quite well using the system.
DNY: i noticed above your Trump article Gene Collier calling the pirates the "slumber company" 32 years ago...so the man was always a hoot, huh?
Ed Bouchette: Gene was a hoot right out of the womb, I would imagine.
Ed Bouchette: Thank you for another great chat. We will return to our normal day next Tuesday at 1:30.
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