Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript
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Jack62: Ed, I know this might sound silly, but I can't can't get this out of the back of my head. Do you think the presence of Dan Rooney would have made a difference this year. He can't tackle, make older guys run faster, or intercept a ball, but somehow, I can't imagine so many guys quitting on the organization with him around. I'm not saying they would be 11-2, but ...
Ed Bouchette: No, I do not think that is a reason. Im back by the way.
Steeler_dl: Hey Ed, has Big Ben morphed into Jamarcus Russell: fat, slow, lazy and not able to read a defense?
Ed Bouchette: Wow. How does that happen over the course of five weeks? You people are unbelievable sometime.
yzguy431: Ed - do they play out the season hoping for a shot at the post season, or take a look at some of the younger guys?
Ed Bouchette: I think you play the game to win. That's a cliche but it's true. If you think the young guys or guy will help you do that, play him. if not, stick with those you think give you the best chance to win.
Rob_T.: Ed, the forecast is calling for snow, perfect conditions for Arians to call 40+ pass plays ...
Ed Bouchette: Or Mike Mularkey, who did that in New York against one of the NFL's worst run defense in 2003. Steelers lost 6-0.
steelsteve: Doesn't Arians' refusal to make the running game the focus of the offense conflict with Tomlin's philosophy of winning by attrition? How long can he put up with this?
Ed Bouchette: Obviously it does not because MIke Tomlin is the head coach and he signs off on game plans and philosophy before and during the season.
cbusstillerfan: Hi Ed! Reading you in PG+ has taken the edge off of a disappointing season. With the possibilityy of losing Hampton to FA and maybe (God Fobid) LeBeau retiring, do you forsee the Steelers making the switch to the 4-3? Wasn't this the defensive scheme Tomlin "grew up" with?
Ed Bouchette: He may have grown up with it but the Steelers would have to make radical personnel changes to do so. Where are your two tackles? Woodley and Harrison are not built as OLBs in a 4-3. No, I think they'll stick with what they use now.
BlackJackBill: Is Limas Sweed going to get any significant playing time this season or have the coaches given up on his lack of hands?
Ed Bouchette: I do not think they have given up on him, just that he has 3 receivers ahead of him.
BlackJackBill: Who is the most improved Steeler this year? I vote for Rashard Mendenhall.
Ed Bouchette: That would be a good choice. Him and William Gay. Oops, just kidding.
Brain_Guy: So much individual talent, an easy '09 schedule, underachieving teams (Titans, Ravens, Broncos) equaled a better than good chance to snatch up another Lombardi. When did the wheels fall of the wagon?
Ed Bouchette: Kansas City, I believe.
Bruce_pls_chunk_the_deuce: Could Ziggy or Sunny Harris be used at NT in the Steelers 3-4 in the event Big Snack isn't retained?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, I suppose they could but I do not think that is their best position.
s1refrosty: Ed, Do you think that Troy should just be placed on IR? Why not open up the roster spot for a prospect and avoid further injury?
Ed Bouchette: Its not like there are a lot of "prospects" panting down their necks. I think they kept it open because they were not sure if/when he would return, and they continue to keep it open in the slim chance they make the playoffs.
teach27: Ed, The Steelers used to thrive on screens and draws and a variety of other creative plays. What has happened to their creativity to slow down the opponents pass rush?
Ed Bouchette: It's been a long time since the Steelers thrived on a screen.
Pittsburgh7576: Ed, since Hines's NBC interview, there have been rumors of locker room problems: that players aren't exactly getting along. Can you confirm this?
Ed Bouchette: I do not think its any worse than at any time. Some players just are not friends, but I do not think its a split locker room.
NHSteel: With the Steelers almost out of the playoff picture, what are your odds on a Saints-Colts Perfection Bowl in February? Will there be two 16-0 teams at years end?
Ed Bouchette: I would love to see that. Odds? Im not sure. I think at least one will stumble, especially since they have things wrapped up in Indy.
NHSteel: Good Afternoon Ed, did it seem to you like the offense was operating in slow motion vs. The Browns? With time and a chance for a game winning drive they seemed to be mulling about rather than playing with any real purpose. Did they they think Cleveland was just going to just hand them the win?
Ed Bouchette: I thought exactly that. The QB seemed particularly slow but that might have been because his receivers were not getting open.
Huggie_Hall_II: Ed, What do you think is the biggest reason for the sudden collapse of our proud empire?
Ed Bouchette: I do not think it reached empire status, but I would say the lack of ooomph on offense to take over a game, and the lack of Troy Polamalu and Aaron Smith on defense. Sometimes, it's a small thing here or there and suddenly a losing streak develops and then things just snowball.
Pittsburgh_Marino_Connection: Ed, Do you think a good title for the Steelers' DVD recap would be this: "From 7th Heaven, to Hell Unleashed on Earth, The story of the 2009 Pittsburgh Steelers"?
Ed Bouchette: Go for it.
scrub: Ed, Why did the Steelers not make any adjustment against the high ranked Browns Defense? If they did, I could not tell. This seems to be a breakdown from all aspects of the team. Do you foresee any changes next year, or is it too early to tell? Thanks for your time.
Ed Bouchette: why would the Steelers have to make an adjustment against a team that is no. 32 on offense and defense? Just play. They did not do that.
Hombre_De_Acero: Ed, one commentator took Tomlin to task for "writing off the rest of the season" after the Oakland game. However much it fell flat, I thought the "I am just trying to win a game" comment was simply meant to focus the team on winning. Do you think it was tantamout to publically quitting on the team?
Ed Bouchette: No, and I have no idea where that came from. I have seen no evidence that Mike Tomlin wrote off the season.
Mike-E: Ed, Who would get your 'award' for most under-performing Steeler of the year? Please don't forget to give us a few runner ups for this distinction.
Ed Bouchette: Ike Taylor, William Gay, Lawrence Timmons.
scott__indy_: Native are restless, Mr. Ed. Looking back to training camp, were the players saying it was lighter because it was easier, or were they maybe, possibly, not working as hard as the seasons before?
Ed Bouchette: Then starting 6-2 would seem the way to go in such a training camp, no?
BlackJackBill: Is Troy's injury going to require any post season surgery or just rest and rehab?
Ed Bouchette: The PCL is one you do not really want to have surgery. The MCL has healed. Unless there are other issues, such as cartilage or something else. There also is exploratory surgery with a scope that can be done to see precisely whats going on in there.
Wemissyoutroy: Ed, you are a man full of wisdom, I am serious. Anyway what is your take on locker room dissention as part of our collapse? I hear rumors. Thanks you the man.
Ed Bouchette: Dissension is too strong. It is no more than what I would expect from any veteran team that has lost 5 straight, especially to the three dregs.
BlackJackBill: Is the Stefan Logan experiment a failure or will he be back next year, taking up a roster spot?
Ed Bouchette: I would expect not to see him here next year. He apparently will continue to return kickoffs the rest of the season but not punts, which now goes to Santonio Holmes, the guy I proposed early in the season.
JMF1177: Can Steelers re-sign Holmes and still keep Ward?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, for one it will be an uncapped year. for another, Ward is at the point where I think he'd take a little less to keep playing.
s1refrosty: Ed, Michael Irvin recently said that he would rather have an un defeated season than 3 super bowl rings and a hall of fame ticket. Which would you rather have?
Ed Bouchette: A pinch-hitter for these chats once in awhile.
Matt_in_Richmond: Ed: How much blame rests with Big Ben for taking 8 sacks last week? It seemed more than once like he was watching the pass rush and failed to find wide open outlet receivers.
Ed Bouchette: As MT said today, its an 11-man approach to protecting the QB. Yes, sometimes the QB is to blame.
ProfessorFlush: How is Aaron Smith doing in rehab? Will he be ready for the start of the 2010 season?
Ed Bouchette: I saw him last week. Everything is fine and he is working on getting back.
midstater: Ed, once again it looks like the Steelers are playing down to the competition. Has this always been the case?
Ed Bouchette: Sunday, we get a chance to see if the competition plays down to the Steelers.
polamalu43: Ed, will Keenan Lewis get any playing time?
Ed Bouchette: It did not sound that way, listening to MT at his press conference today.
run_the_ball: Why was Redman cut and Vincent resigned?
Ed Bouchette: You missed it. Both are on the practice squad.
Ranger: Help us out Ed. In 43 years of being a Steelers fan, I do not recall ever seeing the Steelers self-destruct in mid-season the way that this team has. I am certain that many fans are completely baffled that this team could beat Minnesota and Denver and subsequently play like they were sleepwalking in losing to three abysmal teams. Is there something going on behind the scenes with some of the players or between the players and the coach that we are not hearing about? If not, please give us your insight as to what has happened? (P.S. The Patriots fans here in Massachusetts are killing me)
Ed Bouchette: I do not think there is a mystery. I believe they made a few plays here and there in close games last season and winning begets winning. They did not make those plays this and it snowballed.
BlackJackBill: Is Mike Wallace your Steeler rookie of the year?
Ed Bouchette: I would suppose so. There's not much to pick from.
NHSteel: Do any Steelers players admit reading this chat session? If so ... I will forgive, but I won't forget ...
Ed Bouchette: Let's hope they are doing something much more important, such as napping.
BlackAndGoldBlood: I think that changing the Packers game to 4:15, thus adding 3 hours of tailgating time, and the recent performance of the Steelers might be a recipe for disaster. Do you think it could ugly in the stands Sunday?
Ed Bouchette: No more ugly than it has been on the playing field the past five weeks.
ProfessorFlush: Does Mangini get a second year in Cleveland?
Ed Bouchette: You have to hope so, for the Steelers' sake, regardless of what happened Thursday night.
midstater: Ed, word on the streets in the 'Burgh says too many veterans have been partying like they were going to easily make it to the playoffs. Your thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: Why haven't I been invited?
run_the_ball: Why not let Wallace return kicks? He supposedly has more speed and ability?
Ed Bouchette: I've pushed for that, they do not listen.
ProfessorFlush: Kudos to Max Starks for his work off the field. Nice to see that.
Ed Bouchette: Yeah, these guys are All-Pros off the field this year.
mtrico: Ed, any chance the Steelers unleash hell these last 3 games and run the table?
Ed Bouchette: You mean like sink the eight ball in the corner pocket?
s1refrosty: Ed, do you see the Ravens making the playoffs this year?
Ed Bouchette: Sure, why not.
nijeal: Is Ike our Randy Moss ... disinterested when the team needs him the most?
Ed Bouchette: I would not say Ike is disinterested. But from what I saw of Moss the other day, I'd say they both have the same receiving ability.
jmeyman: Ed, biggest need for next year ball hawking safety -- Eric Berry, Tenn.?
Ed Bouchette: No, far from it. They need corners, they need defensive linemen, they need offensive linemen, they need another running back. Should I stop or keep going?
Ed Bouchette: OK. Have to go. See you next Tuesday, unless I can find a pinch-chatter.
First Published December 15, 2009 2:22 pm