Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 1.26.2010
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Ed Bouchette: Welcome back to another Tuesday chat. Let's begin.
Amos_P_Swanson: I'm just curious how Bob Ligasheshky could get another assistant coaching job so quickly ... As a TE coach in Denver. Doesn't he only have experience as a ST's coach?
Ed Bouchette: Bob coached the tight ends at Pitt from 2000-03. He also coached linebackers at Bowling Green and Kent State. He has a varied background and played defensive back at IUP. Just because a coach is fired does not mean he's a bad coach. There are any number of reasons for coaching getting fired and hired. The Steelers, for example, have hired two coaches who were fired by their NFL teams this year.
Amos_P_Swanson: What do you think will happen with Steeler DB coach Ray Horton?
Ed Bouchette: I don't know. The defensive coordinator's job he was up for at the U. of Houston went to an Eagles coach today.
Search for Seven: Greetings Ed. Does the team provide information on injured players after the season is over? If so, any word on how Polamaluron Smith, Stapleton, or others are doing?
Ed Bouchette: No, they are reluctant for whatever reason to do so. However, Smith is coming along nicely, the "ahead of schedule" cliche. Stapleton has been around all season and seems to be doing fine. Polamalull not have surgery, the last I heard, and the knee will continue to heal.
Steel_Curtain: Hi ed: in your opinion what will the steelers do if the lost FWP, draft a RB in middle round where Colbert hasn't done a great job lately, sign a free agent or promote someone from the practice squad?
Ed Bouchette: Those are all possibilities but I would expect them to draft one somewhere middle to lower rounds.
Search for Seven: Ed, which of the Steelers coaches are at the Senior Bowl in Alabama? What are they allowed to do there with the players?
Ed Bouchette: All are there, I believe, except for John Mitchell, who had surgery on his foot. They put them through all kinds of workouts at the Senior Bowl, but not like the Combine. They are practices but more intense than you'd see at a normal team practice because those practices really are for the scouts. Early in the week, they literally dress down to their undershorts and get weighed in a big hotel ballroom that looked to me like new army recruits -- except they did not give them buzz hair cuts.
ch3: Ed, any news on negotiations with Hampton, Clark or Reed?
Ed Bouchette: I hope you're reading out series this week. I do not believe any negotiations have started. Clark's agent told me he hoped to talk to them this week in Mobile.
Amos_P_Swanson: We know the Steelers won't be overly aggressive in free agency ... But do you think they might try to bring a couple people that will make a difference ... a la Moore, Hartwig, etc?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, that is their m.o. Keyaron Fox also was one of those. Whether they are successful in getting one or two is another matter.
Diamond: What is involved in an offseason for players? They keep going to the training facility in Pittsburgh?
Ed Bouchette: Some keep going there, mostly those who live in the area. In march, the coaches usually start a training program that involves lifting and some work in the class room and then in April they begin their OTAs, which include practices. All voluntary, of course, except for the three-day mandatory minicamp.
Amos_P_Swanson: Any recent word on Dick LeBeau? I'm assuming he's a "go" for next year.
Ed Bouchette: Yes, we've had that Dick LeBeau will return for 2010 to coach the defense.
Amos_P_Swanson: Though I went into the NFC Championship game pulling a bit for NO, I thought they got some calls in OT. Whatever happened to the refs "letting them play" in the playoffs?
Ed Bouchette: I think you have football confused with hockey.
Bulls: Do you think the Steelers will make a splash signing in free agency if there is not a salary cap. And also, if there isn't a salary cap, will there be a ceiling? I could see cash strapped teams dumping bad contracts.
Ed Bouchette: Does a ripple count as a splash? No, the Steelers will not make a splash in free agency. They will continue as they have. No ceiling and no floor without a cap so teams are free to do what they want.
GjSteel: Hi Ed ... will the Steelers be aggressive in making sure they don't have a major hole at NT ... either signing Hampton, drafting a player high, or getting another FA?
Ed Bouchette: If they do not sign Hampton, they will have a hole. Chris Hoke can try to fill it and I would not discount him being able to hold that position until a younger player comes along. Signing someone in free agency, if he's any good, would cost a bunch and, as you know, they are not ones to play rookies quickly.
mtrico: Ed, other than the fact that he was able to play golf with it, do you have any further news on Ben's shoulder injury?
Ed Bouchette: No, just that it's not "100 percent" and will not require surgery.
Johnny: Ed, what are yor thoughts on the Pro Bowl? Do you agree it is a joke? With injuries, players in the Super Bowl, etc, you end up getting the 4th or 5th best player playing in the game.
Ed Bouchette: I agree with Bob Smizik in his blog today that they ought to pick a team but not play a game.
on the lambert: Ed, I'm not sure I'm on the "replace James Farrior" bandwagon, especially since he posted another solid season, save for a couple big missed plays. but when the time comes, is the problem in replacing him not just his athletic abilities, but his leadership as well?
Ed Bouchette: Replacing veterans is an ongoing job in any sport and finding a clone to the older veteran is difficult. New leaders step up all the time and I think James, for example, flourished over the past several years as a leader, especially after Joey Porter left.
jeff, bronx: Ed, whaddaya think of Rex Ryan and his mouthing off and getting schooled by Peyton Manning? Do people around the league resent him for his cockiness or just laugh at him?
Ed Bouchette: I think people around the league respect him and people in my business love his refreshing approach to coaching and speaking out. I'm not sure Manning "schooled" him; the Jets gave the Colts all they could handle for most of that game on the road and playing their third straight post-season game.
Guest: The prospect of an uncapped year has me worried. What do you think are the chances the owners and players get a new deal before next season?
Ed Bouchette: I keep hearing it is slimmer and slimmer and that a lockout is a real possibility for 2011.
jeff, bronx: I get depressed watching Peyton Manning. What chance does the rest of the league have? You can't even slow him down!
Ed Bouchette: Let's see, Manning has been in the league since 1998 and the Colts have one Super Bowl victory during that time. I'd say the league has done quite well.
panther_ninja: I thought Ben really didn't hurt his shoulder in the last game of the season, but now he can't play the Pro Bowl because of it. Is it just an excuse or is he really dinged up?
Ed Bouchette: I can't sit here and tell you how injured Ben's shoulder is or how much it hurts him or if it's just "dead" from last season. However, he's not alone in backing out of the Pro Bowl, that's for sure, especially at that position.
GjSteel: Ed, do you really believe that the owners would lock out? Their popularity for the sport will take a hit, won't it? Baseball has never really recovered from shutting down the World Series.
Ed Bouchette: The NFL had two strikes in the 1980s that canceled some games and saw others with replacement players. They recovered from both but I agree that you do take a chance when you mess with the fan base, and especially when you stop play. And I do not think replacement players would work as it did in 1987, and it was not a hit then either.
Mike E: Ed, how will you maintain your game during the off season?
Ed Bouchette: I tried to convince the bosses that not doing chats would keep me sharper (like Ben resting his shoulder) but they did not agree.
david: Will the Steelers sign a free agent corner back to start
Ed Bouchette: If he's good enough to start, he will come at a heavy price and they are not going to get anyone like that.
Amos_P_Swanson: Ed ... I'm one that thinks the Steelers need to get younger on defense now. How bad do you think things will get with Hampton if he gets franchised?
Ed Bouchette: I do not think they will get bad at all. He does not have much choice and he will make more than $6 million in 2010 if it comes to that.
Jason: Does Ben getting into the Pro Bowl as an alternate and then declining count towards his number of Pro Bowls made?
Ed Bouchette: No, it does not.
Johnny: Can you see the Steelers using more draft picks on CB's? They drafted two last year isn't that enough? Or is it like drafting LB's where you can't have enough?
Ed Bouchette: In this game anymore, you need at least three cornerbacks on the field most of the time. If you could look ahead and say the two they drafted last year, Keenan Lewis and Joe Burnett, will turn into good starters, then you would not have to draft any. I do not think you can say that, though, and I expect them to look for a corner. I also believe if you get a good corner, you can turn one of them into a free safety, if necessary.
jeff, bronx: Any concerns or theories about James Harrison's down year?
Ed Bouchette: I do not believe James Harrison had a "down" year. he did not have as many sacks but I think offenses game-plan against him and I think they continue to hold him more. He will start in the Pro Bowl Sunday.
Ed Bouchette: Time to go. Thanks for the questions. There will be no chat next week.
First Published January 26, 2010 2:31 pm