Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript
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Ed Bouchette: Let's get an early jump on things. Practice starts in 90 minutes.
CincyChris: Can't wait till these chats are once a week again! Who do you think will be our 3rd WR when the season opens Thursday night vs. Tennessee?
Ed Bouchette: First, this is the beginning of weekly Tuesday chats. There could be a day change here or there because of preseason sked, but look for another next Tuesday. Might bet is Limas Sweed if for no reason, process of elimination. I don't think Sean McDonald is physical enough and Mike Wallace, while speedy, does not have the experience. Dallas Baker is a wildcard but I'm leaning to Sweed.
hinestheman: Ed, welcome back!! Do you think the Steelers will get to sign another free agent before the end of training camp or at least before the start of the season? If so, what would be your guess, Parker or Reed?
Ed Bouchette: My guess would be Brett Keisel. Not sure they're going to get anything done -- you saw what Art Rooney said -- but I think they could squeeze out one more and I think that could be Keisel.
James_Taiwan: Which team do you see being the surprise team in the AFC this year? Will someone other than the Steelers or Pats win the AFC crown?
Ed Bouchette: I think Baltimore could win, although that's not necessarily a surprise team. San Diego certainly has the talent. As long as Peyton Manning is in top form, the Colts have a shot. And, of course, last year's NO. 1 seed, Tennessee.
bostonburgher: Ed, Big Ben says he doesn't throw much in the off season in order to save his arm for the season. Is that the conventional approach in the league?
Ed Bouchette: Coaches always have at least 4 QBs in camp -- many used to have more before the roster limit was reduced to 80 -- because they want to avoid "camp arm" by their top guys. There's a lot of throwing required in training camp and that has to be monitored the way baseball does its pitchers. Is it normal the way Ben does it? I would think different players approach it differently.
SteelTackle99: Ed- As the civil case against Ben moves forward, is there anything that will preclude the plaintiff's attorneys from scheduling depositions, interrogatories, pre-trial hearings, or other legal proceedings during the football season? In other words, is it possible that Ben will not be able to practice or even play at certain times because his presence legally is required elsewhere as a result of this civil lawsuit?
Ed Bouchette: I would think they could come to him, if that's the case. I don't think there would be multiple depositions. Ben would be the only Steeler involved and I think one interview would take care of it.
Jacque_Strap: Hi Ed. Thank you for your strong words/perspective regarding the Steelers and Michael Vick. I myself had entertained the possibility of them signing him for some reason. Anyway, despite Dennis Dixon's expected improvement, isn't Charlie Batch still the safest bet this year for the backup QB?
Ed Bouchette: I just posted my daily question, and it refers to Vick, so you can go there and catch another strong answer to it. I believe Batch will serve as No. 2 and Dixon No. 3. However, there's a chance that on some game day(s), Dixon would officially be No. 2 with Batch No. 3. That way, they could use Dixon in the wildcat or in some other way. If Ben were injured, they could replace him with Batch as the QB.
Chooch79: Will we see Frank the Tank get the first shot as the new short yardage back, or will Rashard get the first crack based on the depth chart?
Ed Bouchette: Why not Willie Parker? I was on radio today and someone mentioned that FWP is no Jerome Bettis. Correct, but who is? Certainly no one on this roster. Just as Jerome was no Barry Sanders. That does not mean that Parker cannot run for a 2-yard touchdown. Tank has a long way to go to show he deserves the short-yardage job, as does Rashard Mendenhall.
1_Burger: Hi Ed. Love your article on Fast Willie P. How do Mendenhall's strengths compare to Willies? (Speed vs cutting vs North-South running, etc...?)
Ed Bouchette: Mendenhall is a little bigger. FWP gets around a corner better and has more experience. I think they will use Mendenhall to compliment Parker, not the other way around.
black_gold: What's the status on Stapleton's knee?
Ed Bouchette: We're still awaiting word, which Mike Tomlin could deliver after practice.
1_Burger: How does Tomlin seem different during this camp as opposed to previous camps?
Ed Bouchette: I have noticed little difference other than him feeling more comfortable with his surroundings, including guys like me.
WilliamRodriguez911_Hero: How's Frank Summers looking/doing so far... anything of note?
Ed Bouchette: He was crushed on Sunday by Keyaron Fox.
Atlanta_Dan: Given your report today that Ben's arm strength is shot, have you asked Coach Tomlin whether it finally is time for the Steelers to cut their losses on the failed Roethlisberger experiment and bring Michael Vick on board?
Ed Bouchette: I like to include certain questions for their mere comedic value. I know this one is written sarcastically, and so I will answer it this way -- Someone just saw Vick arrive in Latrobe on a dogsled.
texastom: Finally, some football talk! Much has been said of Limas Sweed's progress entering his 2nd camp, how does another rookie from last year Dennis Dixon look like he is progressing?
Ed Bouchette: Dixon needs to show he can read NFL defenses. he has improved, from what I've seen, but he has to be convincing and that may come only in preseason games.
Steel_Curtain_Rising: Welcome back Ed! When Steelers ownership restructuring story broke national media articles played up the 'bitter family feud' angle whereas Pittsburgh articles presented a 'there is some tension, but this is complicated.' With the deal set to close, do you buy Dan Rooney when he says the fights over this didn't get any worse than over anything else?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, because I've talked to all of the brothers and I know that to be the case. You want a bitter family feud, this was not close. Remember, those same people who talked about it being bitter might have been the same ones telling you Michael Vick would land in Pittsburgh.
steelers38: Hey Ed, I know it's real early in camp but are there any undrafted FAs that you think might make the team?
Ed Bouchette: Willie Parker. Just kidding. Here's one for you -- Ramon Foster, 6-6, 325, OT from Tennessee
black_gold: So Ed, what are you doing to get in shape for the grueling football season?
Ed Bouchette: I started with my daily question and led up to today's full-blown chat.
Frankie: Who's the local favorite this year, the center from Penn State?
Ed Bouchette: He seems to be, but don't count out safety Ryan Mundy of West Virginia and Woodland Hills High, nor Jason Capizzi of IUP.
polamalu43: Welcome back, did you miss us?
Ed Bouchette: Depends on which "us" you mean.
wolfgang: How has Sepulveda looked thus far?
Ed Bouchette: He has looked better than he did his rookie camp, booming punts with distance.
hinestheman: Ed, Will Hampton get resigned or has he frustrated his coaches enough that they will let him walk and test free agency? Would a tag be cost prohibitive?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think he frustrates them all that much. I believe they will wait, though, until after the season to try to sign him.
hinestheman: Ed, how much of a distraction will these allegations against Ben have long term? He seems resolute in fighting this but even if innocent (which I believe he is) wouldn't it make more sense to just settle this thing? Right, or wrong?
Ed Bouchette: I can't tell you the distraction level? Some people are good at blocking things out.
hinestheman: Ed, one thing I've always like about you is your sometimes brutal honesty. What do you think the Steelers chance of repeating are? Are the Pats their biggest threats in the AFC?
Ed Bouchette: I would think Baltimore is their biggest threat because the Ravens are in their division and because the three games against them all came down to a key play or two at the end. Plus, the Ravens no longer have a rookie QB, he's a veteran.
wolfgang: Is Carey Davis is in jeopardy of losing his job to Frank Summers?
Ed Bouchette: Not from what I've seen so far in camp.
DC: If Fast Willie goes down with an injury in the early weeks of the season, who becomes the lead back?
Ed Bouchette: I would think Mendenhall gets the nod, as he did last year when he started the fourth game of the season for the injured Parker.
wolfgang: How is the depth looking at inside linebacker and free safety (i.e., how are Donovan Woods and Ryan Mundy looking)?
Ed Bouchette: Keyaron Fox has had a good camp as the No. 1 inside linebacker. He, not CB William Gay, made the big hit on Frank the Tank the other day, but Gay got the pub because he finished things off. It's too early to say much about Woods and Mundy.
Viz-Burgh: Ed, what's the word on Stefan Logan? Saw he was activated from PUP yesterday AM & practiced, but then heard he missed the afternoon. Did he practice this AM? Any word on him?
Ed Bouchette: Logan looks like a guy headed for the cut list.
WilliamRodriguez911_Hero: How many LB positions is Fox the back-up at?
Ed Bouchette: Both of the inside spots.
sixburgh43: Big fan Ed. Where do you see Mike Wallace contributing if at all?
Ed Bouchette: He could be a return man, he could help on other special teams and he could make it as the No. 4 wide receiver. You could send him out on some deep routes now and again.
DC: In the spirit of training camp, I think your PG bosses should require two-a-day chats....thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: This is not my only job. I have other duties as well. Plus, sleep is still one of my requirements.
Amos_P_Swanson: Any thoughts on the effect of Dan Rooney NOT being in Pittsburgh for TC and the season?
Ed Bouchette: I think his cell phone is getting more use.
Ft_laud_steeler: ED, Mr. Bouchette, Sir, Do you think that the offensive line will be improved from last year?
Ed Bouchette: If experience means anything, yes, because they were all relatively new to each other.
sixburgh43: Ed, do you think Anthony Madison will keep his spot on the team with all the new CBs?
Ed Bouchette: Anthony's job is in jeopardy, especially since he makes $1 million. He might be better off making $450,000.
WilliamRodriguez911_Hero: Other than Timmons moving to outside... whom are the OLB back ups?
Ed Bouchette: Among them, Bruce Davis, Andre Frazier, Arnold Harrison, Patrick Bailey.
Ed Bouchette: Sorry, I must go. I have to go do my video blog, seen daily somewhere on this site. And, to answer those interested in why I wore a Red Sox cap the other day on the video, it was because I left my Celtics cap at home.
First Published August 4, 2009 2:30 pm