Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript
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Ed Bouchette: Welcome to our weekly worldwide chat, where you ask the questions and sometimes I even answer them. Let's begin.
Will_from_Freehold__NJ: Good afternoon Ed. The defense looked in mid-season form on Saturday, granted it was a pre-season game. Do you believe the defensive unit can be as good as last year's?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, I do, because virtually everyone is back. I do think they will miss Larry Foote because Lawrence Timmons does not seem as good against the run. William Gay is every bit the corner that Darren McFadden was. Also, I don't see any of the old guys looking old.
steelydan: Big Ed: Steeler coaches seem to be over-praising Mendenhall. Does Rashard have a confidence problem coming off shoulder injury?
Ed Bouchette: I don't know about a confidence problem, but they do seem to be treating him in the public with kid gloves. Now, he's done nothing wrong for them to come down on him either.
CL_in_Maryland: Another fine pre-season job, Ed. Thank you! How does the team consider the composition of the practice squad - do they prioritize the best players irrespective of position?
Ed Bouchette: Not really. They try to get a mix so they can have enough for practice. Wide receiver and running back are usually among the eight and quarterback usually is not because they can't get the third QB they have on the roster enough reps. There will always be a linebacker and OLman or two as well.
James_Taipei: Do you think that the Steelers will try to get Stefan Logan involved with the offense? Do you think he might get some carries this year?
Ed Bouchette: Stefan Logan is now strictly a wide receiver, in addition to his duties as a return man. They moved him there in camp so he could have a better shot at playing a position, if need be.
Israel_P: Ed, which of the Steelers features, columns, etc. will we lose by not signing on to "Members-Only?"
Ed Bouchette: My understanding is you lose nothing, we're just giving you more on the other site.
Katmandu: Ed, based on what you've seen thus far, who is in danger of seeing the Turk next week among Bruce Davis, Joe Burnett, Shaun McDonald, Dave Johnson, Arnold Harrison, Keiwan Ratliff, and the two rookie RBs (Summers and Redman)?
Ed Bouchette: That's a mouthful. I think Redman might have to go on the practice squad, so too Davis. Shaun McDonald makes it if they keep five at his position (not counting Stefan Logan)
GoStillers: Ed, how does the Salary Cap work with the expanded Training Camp Rosters? Do all 80 salaries have to fit under the Cap so when cuts are made, then cap room is freed up? Just wondering if any surprise late cuts can free room for Ryan Clark or Jeff Reed.
Ed Bouchette: Top 51 salaries, I do believe, until the start of the regular season, when everything counts.
polamalu43: Ed, has McDonald locked up the 5th wr position?
Ed Bouchette: If they keep 5 (not counting Logan)
Jacque_Strap: Hi Ed. Who is the likely backup at both guard spots? Will they need to look for outside help?
Ed Bouchette: They have no experience at backup anywhere, which means they indeed could look for outside help. Right now, the backups are Urbik, Foster and Legursky.
286williams: Does Mike Tomlin ever loosen up during an interview? He always seems so formal while using his various cliches, like "we embrace those challenges." I like those candid coaches who act like a regular guy and say, "yeah, we stunk up the joint." Do you think his players would lose his respect? Or is that just the way he rolls?
Ed Bouchette: Perhaps they rarely stink up the joint. Lose his respect? I don't see why that would happen. I think it's working the other way, he continues to gain it. I know fans and writers like me enjoy being entertained by candid coaches but do you really think that matters to anyone inside the organization? Chuck Noll was about as dry as they came.
Steeler_Fan_In_Cen_CA: Ed, with the injury to Timmons, will the Steelers keep an additional LB on the roster going into the season?
Ed Bouchette: Mmmmmm, I don't think so. Timmons may miss the opener, or he may not, but I don't think they'll keep an extra linebacker on the team because of it. They will dress someone they normally might not on that day if he cannot play.
lupe-sanchez: Hi Ed - what's the latest on a contract extension for Coach Tomlin? Are you surprised this hasn't gotten done yet?
Ed Bouchette: You might have missed it. I wrote in Sunday's Post-Gazette on Aug. 23 that there will be no contract extension. He has 2 years and an option left, so they will negotiate next year, when he ha 1 and 1 left.
walter_abercrombie: Hi Ed , In your opinion is there a chance that Carey Davis will NOT be on the 53 man roster?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, there's a chance.
USNavy_Steelerfan: With the signing of Keisel, how does that affect Ziggy Hood? I'm having trouble seeing how this #1 pick gets on the field.
Ed Bouchette: No. 1 picks do not always get on the field much as rookies, even Troy Polamalu. I think you have to just let it play out and work him in here and there. Those 2 guys in front of him are no spring chickens. It took Lawrence Timmons into his third season before he became a starter.
DaveInMN: Redman doesn't have much in the way of speed, but he seems to have great feet inside the tackles. It's hard to see how he and Logan make the team. Anyway we keep Redman?
Ed Bouchette: I think it's tough, but he still has a chance.
Tprod: Ed, why was Keisel resigned ahead of the other Free Agents?
Ed Bouchette: I don't know other than the coaches were pushing them to sign him. Maybe they thought he was the most signable of the bunch as well.
steelfanmd: Ed, why don't the Steelers seem to use the PUP list instead of the IR? Can you not place a player on IR after coming off the PUP? Thank you!
Ed Bouchette: Yes, you can place a player on IR after PUP. I'm not sure who would have been PUP candidates because in order for you to go on PUP you cannot have practiced at all once camp opens. Darnell Stapleton, for example, practiced early.
43Rocks: Ed, Love the chats. The starting D has given up some rather significant yardage on some running plays. Any concerns?
Ed Bouchette: not yet
Snack: Mike Tomlin left the door open to look at the free agent market. With such a talented roster what position do you think they might be looking at? Any chance they look at an OT like Jon Runyan or Levi Jones?
Ed Bouchette: Preferably someone who could play center, guard and tackle.
IdahoSteeler: If Kiesel was our last FA signing of this year, who among next year's batch are the top priorities?
Ed Bouchette: It will depend on whether there's a CBA or not. No CBA and Colon becomes restricted. I believe it will depend on how those players perform this season, and their signability after it.
diesel_4_keisel: Ed, I am having my Bouchette jersey made soon. What number should I put on it?
Ed Bouchette: No. 9. Ted Williams. Greatest hitter in history.
vogel_rules: Did I hear that we will have to pay to read your PG content online?
Ed Bouchette: If you want to read my new blog you will. Not everything in life or on the internet is free.
What_A_Sports_Nut: With the RB's, Justin Vincent has done little to nothing as has Frank the tank. Do you cut them and Keep Redman? Also, do you keep Stefan Logan as return man, a Darren Sproles type RB and a slot receiver?
Ed Bouchette: Vincent's out, Logan is in, Frank likely in, Redman on the line.
stillersatfsu: Do you see either Sonny Harris or David Johnson make this team?
Ed Bouchette: I could see them both making it.
whatsupsteeltown: With all the hype regarding Mendenhall is it safe to assume at this point albeit short that he can readily replace FWP?
Ed Bouchette: Readily? I have seen nothing that resembles Willie Parker when Mendenhall carries the ball.
Katmandu: Ed, I saw notes on Anthony Smith having a fantastic camp with Green Bay, and likely winning the FS job with them. Why did the Steelers just let him go? A guy that physically talented should have been a stud for us. What happened?
Ed Bouchette: Did you see Anthony Smith play? Did you see him play against New England? Did you ever watch or read what he said? Let's see what happens in Green Bay, perhaps a change in scenery is what Anthony needed.
Chooch79: When a player decides to retire during the preseason (as Marvel Smith did this week), does he still count against the 49rs salary cap? And does he get to keep the signing bonus that they gave him?
Ed Bouchette: No, he does not count and no he does not get to keep his signing bonus.
Mwarren18: Ed, what do you look for from William Gay this year and do you think Ike will finally make the pro bowl?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think Ike will make the Pro Bowl because he does not generate enough interceptions. Gay looks to be a good corner.
USNavy_Steelerfan: Who fills in for Timmons if he can't go in the season opener?
Ed Bouchette: Keyaron Fox.
Mwarren18: Ed now that Chan Gailey is fired from KC, do you think fans will be calling for him after the first 3 and out from the offense?
Ed Bouchette: No, but I'll bet Bill Cowher calls for him when he takes his next head coaching job.
vogel_rules: Hi Ed. Is it true that we will have to starting paying for the privilege to read your content online?
Ed Bouchette: Partly. I am writing a blog for PG Plus that requires a nominal fee. You will still get everything else here, chat and daily question, but you might want to try PG Plus because I'm saving the good stuff for there. And, you'll get to chat with Gerry Dulac on Wednedays on that site. There' s plenty of good ideas and material going there that I think you will love.
Mwarren18: Ed, Do you see Joe Flacco coming back to earth a bit in year 2 or do you think he is the real deal?
Ed Bouchette: he looked real to me last year, when he came within a play or two of knocking the Steelers from the division title.
ajt123: If you would please, predict the # of wins this year ...
Ed Bouchette: 11, not counting the playoffs
Tprod: Ed, if Starks or Colon go down, does Essex move outside or does Hill or someone else move up?
Ed Bouchette: They are talking about that now -- what to do if indeed that happens. Essex, of course, can play tackle. Then you'd move a guard into his spot. But then coaches are also known for trying to keep the disruptions at a minimum, so rather than change two positions, they might just plug in Tony Hills at the tackle spot.
FrankTheTank45: Why did the Steelers not offer Casey Hampton or Ryan Clark a new contract?
Ed Bouchette: I'm not sure other than they think Keisel had the combination of value and signability.
Katmandu: Ed, in your view, who are the 4 reserve offensive linemen to make the team this year?
Ed Bouchette: Barring any more acquisitions, I'd said Foster, Hills, Legursky and Urbik.
Mwarren18: Ed, ever think the Steelers would do Hard Knocks?
Ed Bouchette: Yeah, the same day they sign Michael Vick.
shady_steel: If Redman, Shipley, Davis, Burnett, and Lewis are placed on the practice squad, in your opinion how many will be picked up by another team?
Ed Bouchette: Lewis isn't going on any practice squad. I think Burnett and Davis both could sign elsewhere.
What_A_Sports_Nut: Do you believe they cut Bruce Davis? He hasn't shown much and he seems as though he would just be taking someone else's roster spot (someone they could use).
Ed Bouchette: I think there's a real chance of him getting cut
Number1Defense: Would the Steelers cut Kirschke to make room for Sonny Harris? Kirschke is a steady but aged backup, and it sounds like some of the lesser teams in the league might sign Harris to their active roster. They would save some cap space, too.
Ed Bouchette: They could, they might have to if they want to keep Harris.
bdenny29: Recently, SI's Don Banks penned an article making the case that the QB Class of '04 may be better than then vaunted Class of '83. What is your opinion on the matter?
Ed Bouchette: I don't see anyone from this class yet going to the HOF. I believe there are three from '83 -- Marino, Elway, and Kelly.
diesel_4_keisel: I remember reading the field was going back to grass only. Have they addressed any other aspect of the infamous Heinz swamp?
Ed Bouchette: We've written about it. It' all grass, no more DDGrasmaster, so they can patch it when it wears out as the season goes on.
Number1Defense: For how good a price did the steelers keep Kiesel? Considering how many teams have switched to the 3-4 and how few D-lineman are built for it, I was wondering how much Keisel could get on the open market. After all, KC spent the #3 pick in the draft for a 3-4 DE.
Ed Bouchette: I had the numbers today, 5 years at $18.885 million with a $5 million signing bonus, very reasonable for someone like him.
steeler2010: Ed- Thank you for giving me something to look forward to in the middle of very dull Tuesdays at work.
Ed Bouchette: You think YOUR Tuesdays are dull in the middle!
diesel_4_keisel: Does Tomlin believe in starters playing special teams or was he playing so many starters just out of need to fix problems in the past?
Ed Bouchette: He believes in it to a point. James Harrison, after all, has remained on special teams.
Ed Bouchette: thanks for your time and questions. Remember to take a look at PGPlus; i think you can try before you buy.
First Published September 1, 2009 2:14 pm