Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat: 4.6.2010
April 6, 2010 2:45 PM
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Ed Bouchette:Good afternoon. Let's beginJ PESO:Eddyboo! Any updates on the Steez 2010 schedule or do you know when it will be released?Ed Bouchette:Nothing new on the schedule. It comes out this month, before the draft.J PESO:Are we seriously interested in Central Catholic's own Marc Bulger, and if so, who is the odd man out, if anyone?Ed Bouchette:I dealt with the topic on PG Plus this morning. I do not believe the Steelers are interested. Everyone knew the Rams were going to release Bulger and his $8.5 m salary -- they likely will draft Bradford -- and if the Steelers had been interested, they would not have signed Charlie Batch last week.James_Taiwan_where_R_U?:Ed: players fit different systems. looking back, 20-20. would Steelers have picked Tennessee's Chris Johnson ahead of Mendenhall exactly one pick apart (2,500 yard season, rookie of the year)? or is C. Johnson too frail to pick up blitzes?Ed Bouchette:It's hard to argue Johnson's success.James_Taiwan_where_R_U?:Ed: if Arnaz Battle doesn't make the team. does he get to keep ALL OF HIS signing bonus but no salary??Ed Bouchette:Exactly. That is how the system works. That's why they call it a signing bonus, you get it when you sign and it's yours to keep (although if you do something really baaaad later, the team can try to go after part of it)James_Taiwan_where_R_U?:Ed: I am no Liberal but would Steelers really cut ties with Santonio just because he's accused of tossing a drink to a woman's face? there is no violence or punching or injury. it's...borderline he said she said ticky tack.Ed Bouchette:I don't know that they are going to cut Santonio Holmes, but he's building a track record that includes tweets that do not endear him to some who have the ability to cut him.B&G_Fan_Stuck_In_Ohio:ESPN's Adam Shefter reported that the Steelers might in interested in the just released Marc Bulger. Do you think the Steelers would have any serious interest barring unforeseen changes in Ben or one of the other QB's status?Ed Bouchette:No.James_Taiwan_where_R_U?:Ed: have you stopped taking DAILY questions? my name is on the most recent question. it's been 2 months since. (Dave Dumas, under an alias)Ed Bouchette:That's mostly for in-season, although we usually revive it the week before and after the draft.Amos_P_Swanson:Ed....Are you still thinking Mike Iupati in the 1st round? I remember you thought Dan Williams about a month ago. What if Iupati & Williams were sitting there at #18?Ed Bouchette:I'd take Williams, but I cannot tell you what they will do. They do not even know. Do you see who they have in today? Iowa offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga. Will they draft him? Not likely because someone else probably will take him before then. Will they trade up to get him? Again, not likely. So why are they wasting their time and money bringing him in today. Just in case. No one thought they had a chance in the world to draft Rod Woodson in 1987, but they wound up getting him. That's why I cannot tell you who they might draft. I can take a shot, and I do so with my mock the day of the draft. I mentioned Iupati because someone wanted a name and at the moment, he seemed as good as anyone.MPM:Was there any interest on the Steelers part to resign Willie Parker and were you surprised he signed with Washington given that they already have Clinton Portis and Larry Johnson?Ed Bouchette:No, the Steelers made no moves to try to sign him. Willie Parker told me even when he spoke with Mike Tomlin last week, the coach and he did not talk about him returning to the Steelers. Yes, not only was I surprised but so was Willie, I believe.Amos_P_Swanson:Any behind the scenes progress on the Tomlin and/or Colbert extensions?Ed Bouchette:None that I have heard.Guest:WIth so many extra picks, is there much of a chance that the Steelers move up either in round one or (more likely) two?Ed Bouchette:Remember, they cannot trade their compensatory picks. Just when I think it's unlikely they move up, they do. They've also moved down a few times (Casey Hampton was one of them).dave:Do you get the feeling that the Steelers have a idea what is going to transpire out of Georgia? The signing of Batch leads me to believe that they think he is not going to be charged or will be charged with a lesser crime.Ed Bouchette:I think they are wondering like the rest of us, although Ben's lawyer may be keeping them informed of how things are going and of his own investigation. Ben, by the way, was not working out again today and it's unlikely he will this week.JamesH92:Hi Ed...1st time chatter, I'll keep it simple...what's the latest on Aaron Smith?Ed Bouchette:I've talked and seen Aaron several times over the past month and he reports his shoulder has healed. He's there almost every day working out. Mike Tomlin told me he will go easy with Smith this spring for a few reasons, so as not to press it and also because he does not need the work and younger ends such as Ziggy Hood and Sunny Harris do.dave:I have not heard anything lately about LB Sean Witherspoon from MU. Are the steelers interested in him?Ed Bouchette:Yes, I believe they are. One thing you must understand is they do not feed us information on who they like or not. They try to keep it a secret. Sometimes, they are not as good as other times doing so.ronshanklin:Hi Ed. With Hampton and Summers, by some accounts, "looking good" so far this year, and for the obvious need of course....does this heighten the chances of us drafting Pouncey or Iupati first? Then worry about a DL and/or RB later, especially since FWP is gone?Ed Bouchette:I truly believe they wil not draft for position, and you could see either an offensive or defensive linemen, a corner, a linebacker in the first round.schmedly:realistic chance that frank the tank makes an active roster this year?Ed Bouchette:I would think he will make the Steelers' roster.Bubby ODonnell:Ed - We keep hearing interior OL or DB in 1st rd. Any surprise positions we might see drafted. Say, WR if Dez Bryant slips?Ed Bouchette:I would be somewhat surprised if they used their first-round pick on a receiver.Brent:I saw that Bulaga visited today, any word on who else is going to visit. Any RB'sEd Bouchette:The RB from Oregon, LaGarrette Blount, is supposed to visit. They've had 14 and are permitted 30 but I've heard no word on others who are scheduled. Remember, visits can mean little when it comes to the draft.Rich:Do you agree with the "old school" Pittsburghers who think that Tomlin should be in the club with Tone and Ben making sure they don't do this sort of thing since that is what Noll and Cowher did?Ed Bouchette:I do not know where you heard this, but I can guarantee you that neither Chuck Noll nor Bill Cowher were out babysitting their players.SteelerRage:How could the Big Ben investigation be taking this long?Ed Bouchette:Investigations often do not move at the pace others may want. This is not something that has to fit nicely into a 60-minute CSI show.davidf412:Parker made a lateral move going to Wash. He may not be anything more than the 3rd back behind LJ and CP. Was the move basically because he felt slighted by the team that gave him his start in the league?Ed Bouchette:A month into free agency, it seemed the only move available to him. He may be nothing more than a No. 3 back. He also might surprise some football people again and wind up as the starter. it's not like the other two guys don't have their issues.davidf412:Why is there all this talk about players like Timmons (coverage) and Mendenhall (fumbles) being busts when they were both drafted as 20-21 year old juniors ?Ed Bouchette:If people are talking about them being busts, they do not know the meaning of the word. Mendenhall gained more than 1100 yards last season after a slow start. Timmons was a big part of their 2008 defense and became a fulltime starter last season. I've seen draft busts and those two cannot even be in that discussion. You want a bust, try LB Huey Richardson (1991), their first-round pick who never played a down and was cut before the 1992 season began.davidf412:Will the Steelers look to draft a RB this year to replace Parker. I think its a week year for the type of back that we need.(Inside Power Runner) Do you see any Steeler type backs in this years draft?Ed Bouchette:I would think you might see them draft one in the middle rounds or so, provided there is still one they like.OldSchoolPatriotFan:Are you surprised having so many chatters here today considering the Pirates won their opener yesterday?Ed Bouchette:That's why we scheduled it for 1:30. So all could get over their celebration hangovers.Steel Curtain Rising:Let's shift topics a little here. Do you accept Mike Tomlin's that the NFL Network forced him to admit that he was "concerned" about Ben's situation? And if so, what conclusions can we draw from his observation he had no choice because "the NFL and the NFL Network are one and the same?"Ed Bouchette:No, I do not believe it. I do believe the network tries to use that to its advantage and that, with some coaches, it works.Amos_P_Swanson:You mentioned Sunny Harris....Do you think the Steelers feel he could make the team and begin to contribute at this early stage of the off season?Ed Bouchette:Yes, I think he can -- and probably will -- make the team. I think Travis Kirschke will retire and they still have made no move to re-sign Nick Eason, they may wait until they see what happens in the draft if he's not signed before then by someone.Mike:Ed, your consideration in answering this question would be appreciated: How has Sonny Harris progressed when the Steelers brought him back to the team and in the offseason? Has he allayed some concerns internally about the lack of youth/depth on the defensive line?Ed Bouchette:We really know little about Harris because he's played so little. He will get his chance and when I spoke with Kevin Colbert at length at the NFL meetings, he told me not to forget about him. Harris, by the way, has informed us that his nickname should be spelled "Sunny.'' Based on his disposition, I suppose.Guest:HI Ed, Are the Steelers counting on Urbik to compete to start at RG this year? He has to be better than Essex...Ed Bouchette:Counting on him may be the wrong way to put it. He will get an opportunity to do so.J PESO:Do you know if the Steelers brass voted for or against the overtime changes?Ed Bouchette:Team president Art Rooney voted for it, reluctantly I understand.Illinois Steelers Fan:What is your opinion on the Steelers running backs that they have right now?Ed Bouchette:I believe Mendenhall is a good runner, a legit starter on a team that wants to run. I think Mewelde Moore can give him some relief now and then, but is not an every-game starter if something happens to Mendenhall. Right now, Mendenhall also is their best option on third downs. The others, we know little about.Mile Hi Stiller:What is going on with the other Steeler free agent, particularly the corner?Ed Bouchette:Nothing. I assume you mean Deshea Townsend as the corner. Willie Parker is the only Steelers free agent to sign elsewhere and we're now past the one-month mark of free agency.Oy.:Were you rooting for Butler or Duke?Ed Bouchette:I've always liked Keith Butler as their linebackers coach.GAPolice:Has anyone seen Ben? Wondering if he is still looking like a fat pig.Ed Bouchette:I have not seen him either in person or in any recent photos not taken by a cell phone camera on March 4-5.J PESO:Isn't Blount the dude that punched that Boise State meathead in the face?Ed Bouchette:I cannot characterize the victim as you did, but yes.jmf1177:Any chance Randle El and Battle were signed as insurance for Santonio being traded?Ed Bouchette:I believe both were signed before the news of Holmes' recent VIP room visit surfaced.Rich:I was joking Ed. Come on. These people in town keep blaming the relaxed clubhouse that Tomlin has as the reason why his players are acting up.Ed Bouchette:You can never tell on this chat who is joking and who is serious.Need_for_Speed:Who would play Santonio's spot if he were not re-signed?Ed Bouchette:I want to make sure you know, first, that he is signed through this season. I would assume if he were to leave one way or the other, it would be Mike Wallace who steps up.ryan:Ed- Are there any centers you like besides Pouncey? Seems like Steelers could take Cordle from Ohio State in late roundsEd Bouchette:by all accounts, the Steelers came close to drafting a center in the first round last year. Justin Hartwig is 32. As I'm typing, I'm looking through their draft record and I cannot find a center drafted by them in the first round, and I'm into the 1950s.John:Ed, I'd love for someone as smart as you to answer this question. Is there really any way the Steelers would pass on Earl Thomas at 18? He and Troy would make up the best safety tandem in the history of the game. This is a passing league after all.Ed Bouchette:The Steelers just re-signed Ryan Clark and added Will Allen. I do not think they will draft a safety in the first round.Brent:If he has another good preseason could Redman jump into the number 2 spot, and Moore stays as 3rd down backEd Bouchette:I would doubt that will happen. Remember, after the preseason he had last year, the Steelers cut Redman. And Rashard Mendenhall became their third-down back in the second half of last season.WaylonFan:Out of the 2 CBs drafted last year, Lewis and Burnett - who is held in higher regard as far as a potential answer as a starting CB or nickelback?Ed Bouchette:Obviously, Lewis was when they drafted him in the third round. I believe Burnett's play changed that. Lewis, though, had some back issues to overcome.Ed Bouchette:Oops. Overtime again. I must get back to studying the draft. We'll have a complete package again this year. See you next Tuesday.