SteelerfaninOK: Read your article this morning, I think that this could be the year they pull the trigger on a QB. Mr. Rooney has already gone public about the Steelers needing to add/draft a QB. I think if Davis Webb is sitting there in RD. 2, they take him.. what say you?
Ed Bouchette: I would not draft a quarterback this year unless they see real value in the middle rounds.
Guest: Mel had the Steelers taking a WR in the first found in his latest mock draft. Do you think that will happens, and more or less likely to happen since they haven't heard anything about Bryant's reinstatement ?
Ed Bouchette: It could happen, but I still believe you will see them go defense first.
Guest: Will the Steelers pick a qb in the draft? If so, which round do you predict and which qb?
Ed Bouchette: Keep an eye on Davis Webb. I hear they really like him. He's a big, strapping kid at Cal who played at Texas Tech before Mahomes and then transfered to Cal after Mahomes got the job at Tech while Webb was hurt.
He could go in the second round.
dave: Did Dan Rooney ever take issue with anything you wrote about the team?
Ed Bouchette: I'm sure he did. What he did not do is ever make a big deal of it to me if he had.
Guest: Do you think Ben only intends to play one more year? Is that why he's raising this retirement talk this past off season?
Ed Bouchette: I am still not sure why he went public with that. I always thought he would play as long as he is playing well enough, and I continue to believe that.
Atlanta Dan: Any credibility to the report Martavis Bryant has been told by the league office he must present a plan for safeguards that will prevent a relapse before his reinstatement will be further considered and, if so, should his agent have already prepared such a plan or is this simply the league once again making it up as it goes along with regard to player discipline?
Ed Bouchette: That wasn't my report or anyone from the PG, so I cannot tell say.
John from FL: Hi Ed, how would you rate Carnell Lake as a DB coach? He obviously has not had much to work with but what grade would you give him for his body of work? Thanks!
Ed Bouchette: I would give him a solid B or higher.
Those two rookies of his developed quickly after being held back by injury and circumstance early-on. He's had to start a few undrafted people at one safety and taken a cut from Buffalo and helped turn him into a starter.
The Windber Rambler: I'm sure there will be a commemorative patch on the jerseys this season for Mr. Rooney, but is there any real chance we'd see a statue outside by 'The Chief', somewhere down the line, Ed?
Ed Bouchette: If we could ask Dan Rooney, he would respond with a loud NO. I really do not think you will see a statue to him. He would have preferred one to Joe Greene.
BC: With us a week away from draft day, any new rumblings of who our first pick may be? Here's the order that seems right: 1. OLB 2. Corner 3.ILB 3.Safety 4. WR 5. RB (hopefully Connor) 6. OLB/DL This is based on Bryant playing all year and Green playing. I think Rogers and Ayers can be really good.
Ed Bouchette: There are rumblings all over the place. Where they are not coming from are those who will make the pick.
Guest: Can you give a good reason why Danny Smith is still coaching special teams here? His teams have been not so special
Ed Bouchette: A special teams coach often is only as good as the players he has at hand, and those who he is permitted to use.
Guest: Do you know if Jack Lambert was at Mr. Rooney's funeral? Just curious.
Ed Bouchette: I did not see him and did not see him on camera anywhere or his name as being there. Jack, however, has his way of showing his respect, as he did at Chuck Noll's by attending the funeral home early and speaking with the family.
Neal: If a player like Deshaun Watson falls to the Steelers, do you think they would A) consider picking him or B) Trade out of the pick to someone who wants him?
Ed Bouchette: If he falls to the Steelers at No. 30, with all the teams above them who need quarterbacks and did not draft him, what might that say about how much they hold him in regard?
Guest: All this QB talk sounds like a ploy to get Chicago or the Jets to overpay to move up into the end of the first round. Don't you agree?
Ed Bouchette: No
Jay: Hi, why do so many want a QB early? A back up QB on the bench will not help us beat NE, but a pass rusher 9r CB might.
Ed Bouchette: I agree and I do not ultimately think it will happen. However, you cannot say for sure it will not. Also, if they draft a quarterback, he will start out No. 3. No. 3 QBs get little work in practice once the season starts.
GSK: Hi Ed, with the schedule being released tonight do you have any special requests?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, at home on Dec. 23. at Chicago in September and Houston in November or December.
Guest: Where the Steelers pick in the first round, do you see more likely first round grades to be available on a DB or LB if they want to go with defense?
Ed Bouchette: Both, but there are not as many quality OLBs as there are cornerbacks, so they might go OLB first round and then CB next.
Kevin in Punxsy: I'm fairly sure that you will be as happy for the draft to be over as the fans will be for it to finally arrive. Your thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: I go with the tide, although not necessarily picking one from Alabama.
Matt: Ed, do you think golson will be starting by mid season?
Ed Bouchette: Heavens no. He's a slot guy, for one, so at best he's No. 3.
TXSteeler: What's the downside of doing everything reasonable to trade for Richard Sherman? That and a first end OLB would seem to some a lot of short term issues next couple years
Ed Bouchette: He's getting old and he's expensive.
Go young, my young man.
Kevin in Punxsy: Do the Steelers have any rights, under the CBA, to ask TE Greene to come in for a physical B4 the draft, so that they would know if they needed to draft a TE?
Ed Bouchette: I think he would do so voluntarily, but yes they can ask him to take a physical. He does not have to, though.
Guest: Season opener....Bryant playing across from AB, not reinstated by the league or suspended again?
Ed Bouchette: I believe he will be reinstated. Whether he remains so will then be up to him.
John from FL: There have been several mock drafts on ESPN, showing the Steelers picking a WR with their 1st round pick. I would consider that a huge mistake since they need a lot more help at OLB and CB. I know they take "the best available player" but I think I'd be highly disappointed. Any sense this may happen from anything you've seen or heard?
Ed Bouchette: It can always happen. They need another wide receiver and they have drafted them in the first round in the past, just not recently. It may be too much to count on Bryant and/or Coates to be that No. 2. And if they are, then you really have something to work with.
Nevertheless, I still believe they go OLB/CB. They need each one of those more than they do a WR.
The Windber Rambler: Ed, is a new scoreboard something ownership wants in place for this season?
Ed Bouchette: No, I think they put that in a few years ago.
Kevin in Punxsy: If the Steelers don't take an Edge-rushing OLB in the 1st or 2nd round, I would say that the Steelers had a bust of a draft. Your thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: You are quite the over-reactionary, aren't you?
Evan: If a team wanted to sneak back into end of first round, would the Steelers be willing to trade back? Or do you think they plan to stay at 30 & grab the highest player remaining on their board?
Ed Bouchette: The Steelers have not traded out of the first round since before Chuck Noll and I do not see them doing so now.
Guest: You don't think The Steelers have an interest in Mahomes over Webb?
Ed Bouchette: Well, yes, but I don't think you are going to get him at the bottom of round 2.
Neal: Do you think we should take a TE in the first 4 rounds?
Ed Bouchette: I think that is a real possibility yes.
dave: Will Tomlin and Colbert hold their pre-draft press conference next Tuesday?
Ed Bouchette: No, they will hold it at noon Monday and not one draft prospect will cross their lips.
me: Did Mike Tomlin make any public comments regarding Dan Rooney?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, in a statement released by the team, as did Kevin Colbert.
Jay: Aside from NE, the AFC field is very wide open and winnable. Wouldn't it make good sense to go for now, we could very likely win multiple champs if we get past NE.
Ed Bouchette: The Steelers always go for now. They always believe they are a Super Bowl contender and go into each season that way. It does not mean you need to mortgage the future to do so.
dave: Even if Bryant is reinstated, he hasn't played for a year. Isn't it a mistake to assume he'll be just as good now as he was two seasons ago?
Ed Bouchette: I never understood why some believe that having a year away from football would diminish a player's skills. Would it be any different if he had missed the year to an injury?
Guest: I've also seen mock drafts with the Steelers taking a TE in the first round. Any realistic chance of that happening?
Ed Bouchette: I can see them drafting one later but it would surprise me if they did so in the first round.
Rob: Ed, Will the Rooney's still still retain ownership of the team?
Ed Bouchette: That is their intent, yes.
Guest: So if the Steelers take the positions you've discussed in the draft, they will take a WR, TE, QB and rB, making half their draft picks offensive players. Do you think that happens?
Ed Bouchette: No. I've been asked about those positions and answered. I see their first four picks in the first three rounds as OLB/CB, CB/OLB, WR/TE, RB.
That, naturally, could change, especially if they go for a QB.
Joe: Are you as down on the Steelers chances for next year as many others? I realize that the Pats are at this point better, but do you think the Steelers have a good chance to get past them?
Ed Bouchette: I'm not sure who the "others" are who are down on the Steelers but I believe throughout the NFL people believe they rank high among the contenders. And the bookies have them the second favorite to NE in the AFC.
BC: TJ Watt and Takk McKinley are both there 1st round...who you taking?
Ed Bouchette: Probably McKinley but both have various injury issues, either past or present.
Guest: You wrote about a time when Mr. Rooney told you, after a loss to the Browns, that the coaching staff had made dumb or stupid decisions, and you wrote it. How did Noll respond?
Ed Bouchette: Typically Noll.
TK: Since you've been covering the team, what's been the biggest draft-day surprise?
Ed Bouchette: Rod Woodson falling into their lap in 1987 after Cleveland and Arizona bungled their picks above them.
Taz: With more depth than quality available in this draft generally, why do you see a trade-back as unlikely? Aside from they never trade out of the 1st rd?
Ed Bouchette: Because they never trade out of the first round.
Guest: When we can we expect the ever insightful mock draft from you Ed, or at least the Steelers first pick?
Ed Bouchette: Unlike previous years, the Post-Gazette is not letting me take all the time available to me by running it on the day of the draft as in the past. It will run next Tuesday, and I cannot take responsibility if some late watching of prospects' video tape by me after that day changes my mind.
NC Steelers: If the Steelers should take a QB in the first round would you think that might indicate that they know more about Ben's future retirement plans than they have shared publicly? I see no reason to draft anything but a developmental pick late in the draft considering that this QB class is thought to be a bit weak. Thanks
Ed Bouchette: I agree with you. If they do draft a quarterback in the first round, which I still see as highly unlikely, it would not indicate that Ben has whispered his future plans into their ears, but that they have to recognize that he is 35 and it might take a few years to develop a QB behind him.
That too was the plan when they drafted Ben in 2004. He was not supposed to play as a rookie until Tommy Maddox's elbow was injured in the second game.
Karl: with 8 picks, what's your best guess on how they get split Offense & Defense? Do you see another defensive heavy draft?
Ed Bouchette: I never try to figure that out. I'm not sure they do.
Dave: Ed, will there be any ownership issues with Mr. Rooney's passing? When Art Sr. died they had to make a number of moves to stay compliant with NFL ownership rules.
Ed Bouchette: No, they did not make those moves when Art Sr. died and it had nothing to do with NFL rules. That came much later. Before The Chief died, he split his 80 percent evenly among his five sons.
I would bet that Dan and Art made arrangements previously, or that there is some stipulation outlining it in Dan's will.
Constantino: Who of these will still be on the 53? Golden, Big Dan, Gay
Ed Bouchette: Golden and Gay it looks like. Dan still has to show something.
The Windber Rambler: Has ESPN asked you to take part in a mock draft, much like the year you made the Ziggy Hood (Correctly), one?
Ed Bouchette: I haven't heard from them yet. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.
I prefer it when I don't.
Guest: Do you really think the Steelers have their eye on James Conner in the fourth or fifth round as some predict? I wouldn't draft him at all
Ed Bouchette: In my piece on the running backs, I had to pick out one player the Steelers might have their eyes on. Conner was the one. I would grab him in a heartbeat in the fourth round.
SteelerfaninOK: There must be one guy that you secretly hope falls in our lap at 30... who is it?
Ed Bouchette: It might go against their philosophy, but they did have him in and are checking him out.
Tim Williams of Alabama.
Joe d: time to start worrying about martavis bryant playing next year?
Ed Bouchette: Beyond time. They said awhile back that they were not counting on him for 2017.
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