Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 3.16.2010
Share with others:
ProfessorFlush:Did Coach Tomlin have any concerns over Larry Foote's leaving the team last year? Have they kissed and made up?Ed Bouchette:Foote left on good terms -- remember, the Steelers released him, albeit at his request.James from AR:Any discussions on bringing back Willie?Ed Bouchette:I asked Kevin Colbert that and he responded by saying they would keep the door open to any of their guys but right now they're concentrating on the draft. I would think they'd be interested in re-signing Parker, but at a low number.ProfessorFlush:Did the Steelers overpay Foote? Would your answer differ if this was a Cap year?Ed Bouchette:Considering he could become a starter again, no, they did not overpay. He also gives them the kind of flexibility both inside and out they did not have before they signed him. They have no depth on the outside. Now, if something happens to Woodley or Harrison, they can move Timmons out there and still have a proven starter inside in Foote -- if he's not already starting there.AtllovestheSteelers:Ed, are the Steelers looking to for an upgrade at Right guard? Where do you see Ramon Foster playing tackle or guard?Ed Bouchette:At the moment, he's more guard than tackle and I think he will get an opportunity to compete at right guard with Trai Essex.BlackJackBill:Will the Return of Randle-El bring back the "Mularkey" playbook with all the gadget plays? Also, would the Steelers consider El as an emergency QB?Ed Bouchette:No, to the first. And, yes, he could always serve as emergency QB but it would have to be a dire emergency for him to do so.Amos_P_Swanson:One of the many rumour's is that Ben has already met with management. Do you think this is true?....And just how upset are they?Ed Bouchette:Gerry Dulac confirmed he has met with management and not just by phone. He wrote it for PG Plus Monday.Amos_P_Swanson:Would all the recent movement with the Steeler FO and veteran players possibly signal a trade up on draft day?Ed Bouchette:They have been known to trade up, so I would not discount that. They also have traded down, as they did last year when they traded away their second-round pick and added two thirds.Kiere Bulls:Do you think what the Steelers did in Free Agency was enough? Furthermore, what do the Steelers now do in the draft?Ed Bouchette:I think they actually went one too far in free agency by signing two wide receivers. That leaves them no room to add a young receiver because they are now locked into keeping those five receivers -- their top three plus the two free agents they paid nearly $1 million each to sign. Add wide receiver to the list of positions the Steelers will not draft high. It does not change much else in the draft though.Kiere Bulls:Is cornerback the next huge need for the Steelers?Ed Bouchette:Corner has to be high on their list, as does NT and OL. They did take pressure off having to find a safety with their two moves, re-signing Ryan Clark and adding Will Allen.AtllovestheSteelers:Have we seen the last of Stefan Logan? I think he improved during the season, but if he can only be a situational punt returner, we have a guy in Holmes/El that can man that position full time, and we have a KR in Wallace or I think we can find one of the guys that would normally dress on game days for that. Your thoughts?Ed Bouchette:I think Logan is a good return man but as you point out, they do have others who can do it and I don't know if he's good enough to use a roster spot on him. Randle El, though, no longer seems like a good alternative as a PR.Buchettes_Bagettes:Ed: regarding free agency: WHY do teams ASK a prospective FA to fly thousands of miles in for a meet YET send them home without a contract? what goes on in these meetings and what turns OFF a team on a FA? (such as Foote on ARIZONA and WASHINGTON, is it always money$$$$??? or philosophy?)Ed Bouchette:Plenty goes into those things, including medical. The Steelers did not sign Foote until after they gave him a physical, mainly checking out his injured foot. The Steelers usually do not bring players into town unless they are serious about signing them. There obviously is plenty of money to go around in the NFL, despite the drum beatings as they try to negotiate a new CBA. For instance, each team is permitted to bring in 30 college players for visits before the draft. You want to talk about overkill!Len:With the uncapped year, why aren't the Steelers addressing Santonio's and Woodley's expiring contracts. They are both keepers for the long-term and giving big bonuses this year may help alleviate the cap problems in the futureEd Bouchette:In due time. They have more than five months before the season starts, 11 before their contracts expire.BlackJackBill:Nice week to take off Ed. Don't you like reading police blotters?Ed Bouchette:As long as my name's not in them.Amos_P_Swanson:If Ben is charged....Do you think the Steelers release him?Ed Bouchette:We have a long way to go on this one, I think, so let's not put the cart ahead of the horse. Let's see what comes out of Ga. first. I've heard no talk about releasing him.Mile Hi Stiller:Hey Ed, Is there anything new on the Jeff Reed long term contract negotiations?Ed Bouchette:That may not happen. No, I've heard nothing. They have him at a decent price and can wait another year, if they want.jmf1177:I am hoping Sweed has breakthrough third year. If so, who would be odd man out?Ed Bouchette:I don't know that he's going to get a chance to have a breakthrough year. Right now, he would only make the team if they keep six wide receivers.dobreshunka:If a decision is not made soon by the authorities either way on #7's situation, how big (or how little) an impact does that have on the team's draft decision making?Ed Bouchette:I don' t think it will have much of an impact this year.screenwriter:Ed, Welcome back. Seems like when you're gone, a frenzy of Steeler activities surface. How would you grade the Steeler signings recently? Would players like Allen, Battle, and Foote really make a difference on special teams?Ed Bouchette:Battle supposedly is a good special teams player so , yes, he can help. I don't know how many special teams Foote will play.Tprod:Ed, can the Steelers put Sweed on the physically unable to perform list with his ailment at the start of camp?Ed Bouchette:Yes, I believe they can. He would have to go on right away, you understand, not after having suited up for any practice in camp.ProfessorFlush:Is Battle considered to be a #3 receiver or just a special teams player?Ed Bouchette:Mike Wallace is No. 3 and I find it difficult to believe that they would use many formations that would have just three receivers on the field and him not being one of them.Steel Curtain Rising:Ed, the logic in your lead article in PG Plus article this morning was sound. With that said, if the STeelers did bring in a top, young reciever, do you think the Steelers might do what the old trick Washington Redshirt, er um Washington Redskins used to do in the 1980's, namely stashing young players with potential in the IR list?Ed Bouchette:It's tougher to do these days. The Redskins did that mostly with QBs back then. I don't know that you would use a high pick on a receiver, and then try to "stash" him on IR.Sillter:Ben missed the first day of OTAs. Did anyone else?Ed Bouchette:I'm sure some did, but we don't see them because these are not OTAs. these are just workouts -- lifting weights, running, etc. There are no practices. OTAs start the week of the draft.steel_rsd:Rather than ask you what you think they will draft, what do you want them to draft in Rounds 1 and 2.Ed Bouchette:I would go for a CB and a defensive lineman.BlackJackBill:Is Shaun McDonald gone?Ed Bouchette:As good as, I would think.PaulaSewall:Will the Steelers be playing a regular season game in Europe in 2011Ed Bouchette:There were strong rumors they were going to play in London this year, so I think 2011 has a chance. It would not be one of their home games if it happens, though.bigbenblemish:i agree about the wide receivers being one too many. i love randle el and was sad when he left the first time, but i was surprised they signed him this time around. do you really think either player can push Wallace? he was great as a rookie.Ed Bouchette:No, I do not think they will push Wallace. I think they might be used in situations. Randle El is a slot guy and, who knows, they might go to four wide receivers and just one tight end more often when they use empty set next season.PaulaSewall:Is Will Allen a potential starter or just a special teams player?Ed Bouchette:He looks like a candidate to replace Tyrone Carter as a backup safety.Sillter:Although the Steelers signed two wide receivers this year does that mean both will make the roster? Are you saying that Sweed is done for sure?Ed Bouchette:I'm saying you don't give a guy nearly $1 million in a signing bonus and then cut him. If they keep six wide receivers, Sweed might have a chance.jmf1177:With no cap, Steelers could still release one of the new FA receiver signings. Would not be fiscally responsible, but in an uncapped year it is possible isn't it, especially if Sweed comes out of his funk?Ed Bouchette:You apparently do not understand how the Rooneys operate. They do not throw $1 million away, even in an uncapped year.dobreshunka:How likely is it that they draft a quarterback?Ed Bouchette:If they do draft one, it would be late as a developmental QB.Purple Goose Saloon:When the news that the Rooney brothers were restructuring the Steelers ownership suite broke you were on vacation. This year you head of to the Caymans and Ben gets busted and the Dan Rooney does his Dan Snyder impersonation. Perhaps you should give everyone the "I'll be gone but News Will break" heads up before you leave for vcation next time?Ed Bouchette:I have another one for you. The first day my vacation started in June 2006, Ben wrecked his motorcycle.RyaNinErie:Ed, do you feel that with Ben's latest side show are you at all concerned that this is reconcilable with; management, the fans and just ordinary Pgh folks or do you see this as possibly the beginning of the end for the big ben era until the Rooneys can figure out their next move, even if it takes until 2011Ed Bouchette:Again, I can't say at this point because I don't know what's coming down, if anything, in Georgia. Everyone over there is waiting to see what happens with that.AtllovestheSteelers:Do you see a KO specialist on the roster this season? I know Tomlin said that they asked Reid to place his kickoffs high and in certain places, but i don't think Tomlin is going to give away the fact that Reid can't kick into the end zone eitherEd Bouchette:I never say never, but in all my years covering the Steelers, they have never had one. However, they did release K Matt Bahr because Chuck Noll felt he did not have a strong enough leg on kickoffs. That was a mistake, although it ultimately led them to Gary Anderson.ProfessorFlush:Is Ryan Clark persona non grata in Miami? Were the Dolphins sure that he was going to sign a contract before leaving the complex? Did Parcells have another heart attack when Clark left without signing?Ed Bouchette:If I were Ryan Clark, I would be losing no sleep over it if that is true.tigercoach77:Any sight of Big Ben at workouts today?Ed Bouchette:No, but I hear he is in Pittsburgh.jmf1177:If Steelers draft a NT in 1st round will Hoke get cut?Ed Bouchette:No, they think highly of Hoke and would have a place for him.Scott Van Pelt:What's the status of Charlie Batch? Will the Steeler's wait till training camp to decide whether to re-sign him?Ed Bouchette:My understanding is they will re-sign him.Guest:Of course, I'm familiar with Retro NFL uniforms, but are the Steelers intent on fielding a retro team given Foote's and Randle El's signing?Ed Bouchette:Highly unusual, no? But in these two cases, I believe they were good signings.dobreshunka:Do you think Steelers should worry about all the moves the Browns are making or is Cleveland just bumbling around?Ed Bouchette:You mean like them getting rid of both of their QBs, including getting little for their first-rounder and nothing for their Pro Bowler, and then signing a used-up QB that Carolina no longer wanted? No, I do not think the Steelers are much concerned about that.Dude:what are the odds ben causes some sort of ridiculous headline next year?Ed Bouchette:I will revert to a cliche here and say let's take them one at a time.Arnold Palmer:Do you think they view Dixon as a viable starter for 10 if Ben is out. Or would they get Leftwich back?Ed Bouchette:They view Dixon as their starter if something were to happen to Ben R.Edtheone:How likely is it that you implement overtime during these chats?Ed Bouchette:I think I'm already there. Only thing is, I keep failing to score.PaulaSewall:Now that I can retrieve my #50 and #82 jerseys from the closet, what is next? My #22 Duce Staley?? My #10 Roy Gerela?Ed Bouchette:I kidded with Dick LeBeau yesterday that I just saw Joey Porter and Rod Woodson walk through the front door. He said, "Bring 'em on.''
Ed Bouchette:I will leave you with this plug for PG Plus. Gerry Dulac and I feed our blog there daily (except when we have off, of course). To give you an example, I wrote the following on our blog March 5, soon after hearing the Redskins had cut Antwaan Randle El:
Well, I do have one that nobody yet has suggested to me. His name is Antwaan Randle El and he was released by the Washington Redskins Thursday. He once was a great fit for the Steelers and he might be a good one for them again, in a lesser role.
The Steelers need four wide receivers to suit up for games. They have three. Limas Sweed is their wild card but I am counting little on him for 2010.
Randle El can play a role for the Steelers. He turns 31 in August so he's not someone for the long haul. The Steelers have their two outside receivers, Santonio Holmes and Mike Wallace, with Hines Ward as their possession receiver. That is also a role Randle El could play. He caught 50 passes for Washington last season for 500 yards and change.
The problem for the Redskins is that when they signed Randle El for seven years and $31 million, they thought they were getting a No. 1 receiver. Randle El, though, was best suited as a No. 2 or 3 and maybe not even that now. I don't think there is going to be a big market for him. He would come relatively cheap and they actually could save a roster spot by using him on punt returns. He's not the same punt returner he was with the Steelers but he's good enough. I'd let Stefan Logan go, sign Randle El and use Mike Wallace or some other young player on kickoff returns.
Ed Bouchette:I won't be chatting next Tuesday, by the way, because I will be at the NFL meetings in Orlando. We will pick it up the following week.
First Published March 16, 2010 2:21 pm