Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript
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Ed Bouchette: Welcome back. Let's get started.
Taz: Hi Ed. How close did the Steelers come to trading a lineman? Could they have had the option to pay off Max's salary to make trading him more palatable to a potential suitor?
Ed Bouchette: They haven't said how close, but I don't believe very. No, unlike in baseball, they could not pay Starks' salary and trade him.
286williams: Hi Ed. Tampa Bay released Defensive Lineman, Dre Moore from Maryland, this past weekend. From what I understand, the Steelers were interested in drafting him this past year. Do you know if they would be interested in bringing him in? If not, why not? Thanks
Ed Bouchette: I have no idea, but if he were any good, Tampa would not have released him.
Taz: As excited to see Willie Reid drafted by the Steelers, it was with a fair amount of disappointment and also relief that I read his name among the cuts. He was on the cusp of being a real contributor for too long. But that said, did Dallas Baker make the team based on his performance or on his potential?
Ed Bouchette: They began talking about Dallas Baker in loftier tones in the spring. Ben Roethlisberger mentioned him to me even before that, so I think they've been pleased with his progress and, yes, his potential.
hinestheman: Right decision on Willie Reid?
Ed Bouchette: I suppose so, it's not as if you released Lynn Swann. The wrong decision was drafting him on the third round three years ago.
Charleston_Charlies: Did the Steelers sign Ryan Mundy to the practice squad?
Ed Bouchette: No, they can't because they waived him injured. That means he would be available to him in six weeks plus the injury settlement amount -- two or three weeks, e.g. If he does not sign elsewhere, look for them to sign him around midseason.
Free_Tank_Carter: Any inside scoop on who they might grab off the waiver wire?
Ed Bouchette: I would say, at this point, no one because players were waived on Saturday and they would have claimed someone by now.
NHSTEEL: Do you think Willie Parker will see more touches around the goal line this season? Will he share the duties depending on circumstance?
Ed Bouchette: At this point, anything can happen except I don't know that you will see Rashard Mendenhall on the goalline any time soon based on his 3 lost fumbles in the past 2 preseason games.
scott: Due you see Hartwig making a positive impact at center? Im very concerned about that key position.
Ed Bouchette: They believe he'll be an upgrade. We'll have to wait and see.
stlrfannaustin: Hey Ed, How does the whole waived injured work? Basically, I am curious what the chances are of Mundy and/or Humpal ending up on the practice squad for the Steelers? Do they have to wait a certain amount of time because of the injury settlement? Do they still hold any rights to them?
Ed Bouchette: They waive them injured and then reach an injury settlement with them. That's based on a pro-rated amount of their salary and how long the injury should last. For example: If they believe Mundy would be out four weeks, that's four weeks pay. In order for the Steelers to re-sign them, they'd have to sit out six weeks, plus the four weeks -- in the Mundy example -- of the injury settlement.
Tom_M.: Was Tony Hills that bad in camp?
Ed Bouchette: Well, he made the 53-man roster so he could not have been THAT bad.
JhaugJr: Any chance of any more player moves next week, once the guaranteed contract issue is no longer in play?
Ed Bouchette: There's always a chance -- like Najeh Davenport two years ago. I don't know that you can expect one, though.
black_gold: Do you see this team as being better then last years team and will they be able to put other teams away when they should?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, I think they're ahead of last year for a few reasons -- they have 19 of 22 starters back and two of those are upgrades, at center and with Woodley at LOLB. They play a more difficult schedule, too, so they may have no better record than the 10-6 of last year. Can they put teams away? We'll have to wait to see if that's the case.
SteelerWSP: What is the reason for the QB in motion with a direct snap to the RB? Seems like 10 on 11 at that point.
Ed Bouchette: That one's beyond me -- unless Dennis Dixon is the QB, which might be why they showed it.
Taz: I've been singing the praises of Aaron Smith for years now. After last year's late collapse following his absence, people were a little more vocal about him, but he hardly gets the national recognition he should. What gives?
Ed Bouchette: He plays a 3-4 defensive end and does not pile up a bunch of sacks, it's that simple.
sdsteelerfan: What happened to Stapleton?
Ed Bouchette: He's on the team.
Taz: I just read that Hines is the backup holder for Berger. Hasn't Hines played that role before?
Ed Bouchette: Perhaps. I don't normally pay attention to the backup holder but noticed it in practice on Monday.
Google_Fabled_Enemies: Will Berger be doing the kickoffs?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think so.
Max_Shaler: Ed - after Mendenhall, which of this year's rookies is going to get into a game first?
Ed Bouchette: Maybe none. Maybe Dixon.
Katmandu: What did McBean do, or not do, to get himself cut? It looked like they gave him every opportunity to succeed but now he's on Denver's practice squad. What happened with this guy?
Ed Bouchette: It's not what happened with him, but it never happened with him.
hinestheman: Will Larry Foote be ready for the opener?
Ed Bouchette: yes, he's healthy.
black_gold: Do you think the defense will be able to up their sack totals from last year?
Ed Bouchette: They better. They've declined the past two years to 36 last year, nine fewer than in 2005.
Chilly_Willy_Cardilly: So tell us oh wise one...is the Steeler offensive line better, worse or what you expected going into the season.
Ed Bouchette: They're better at center, more experienced at right tackle, healthier at left tackle, the same at right guard. Chris K seems to be doing well, but he's no Alan Faneca. They have the ingredients at least for slight improvement but they'll have to prove it first.
Gabe_Jones: Hey Ed, Do you know anything the Steelers plan to do to honor Myron Cope?
Ed Bouchette: I know they're honoring him on Sunday but I don't know how.
OldSchoolPatriotFan: Is Polamalu 100%?
Ed Bouchette: He seems to be.
scott: How much time for Timmons on Sunday?
Ed Bouchette: Mike Tomlin said today he will rotate at ILB with him, Foote and Farrior. The latter two will start and Timmons plays next to Farrior in the nickel.
stlrfannaustin: Is Max Starks going to be the constantly lining up as a TE Sunday over Mario Williams so as to keep Ben alive?
Ed Bouchette: I would not say consistently, but it's an idea.
mg: Any chance Marvel gets a new deal before Sunday, and if not would the Steelers consider franchising him after the season?
Ed Bouchette: They are not talking to Marvel now and I believe he's about to enter the final season with the Steelers.
Redbeard1031: IUP Grad living in Ohio -- what are the chances of the Steelers sweeping the Brownies again this year?
Ed Bouchette: I would think good.
SB_or_bust: Ed, who is going to return punts on Sunday?
Ed Bouchette: Mewelde Moore and, in some situations that Mike Tomlin wants, Santonio Holmes.
open_face_right_wich: Ed: with rookie NFL contracts going out of control who has the power to install a rookie salary cap? Goodell?
Ed Bouchette: It has to be negotiated between NFL management and the union.
Justin_K: How keen are you on eliminating the preseason?
Ed Bouchette: You can't eliminate it. You could cut back on it but where does that lost money come from?
Daquido_Bazzini: I notice (though pre-season) the Steeler D still has trouble with 3rd & long. Have they worked on that?!
Ed Bouchette: The preseason means nothing when it comes to stats.
StillaYinzer: Ed. Any talk at all of extending Kemoeatu or Marvel prior to game 1? Going into next year with our entire left side entering free agency while our right side is a weakness seems scary at best.
Ed Bouchette: I talked to each and they said nothing's going on.
sdsteelerfan: Does Batch or Leftwich stay next year to be the backup, or does Dixon take over as #2 and draft another young QB?
Ed Bouchette: There are plenty of variables that will go into that between now and then.
broderim: What's the story with G. Russell? Will he see any playing time?
Ed Bouchette: I would bet he's inactive for games.
Godfather_of_Soul: I know the Steelers have to be patient with Limus, but COME ON! This guy's looking like a boy among men!
Ed Bouchette: You mean he looks like a rookie?
StillaYinzer: Any truth to the rumor that Mahan was demanding a trade?
Ed Bouchette: I don't know about demanding but he probably would not have minded going somewhere to start. On the other hand, he still gets paid whether he starts or backs up here.
oldschool: Ed, which final cut surprised you the most?
Ed Bouchette: I wasn't really surprised at the cuts, no one should have been. Woods making it as an undrafted rookie LB was a bit of a surprise, I suppose.
sdsteelerfan: Do you think they will try to sign Nate Washington after the season?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, I think they'll try to sign him. Being able to is another story.
Austin: Hines Ward held for kickers at Georgia. Any word on Arnie Harrison's future...can he come back?
Ed Bouchette: I'm surprised Ward didn't kick as well, he was used at so many positions in college. Harrison must rehab over the next year but should be ready for training camp after his torn ACL.
Max_Shaler: Do you think last year's draft class will make a contribution this year?
Ed Bouchette: Yes. Woodley will start, you'll see a lot of Timmons and Matt Spaeth is the No. 2 tight end.
OldSchoolPatriotFan: Is Houston good tune-up game to start the season or should the Steelers be worried?
Ed Bouchette: Houston is underrated. Steelers should win but it won't be the biggest upset of the day if they don't.
ai032003: Ed, why is Foote going to start over Timmons Sunday?
Ed Bouchette: I'm not sure, except to say that Foote isn't chopped liver and perhaps, for whatever reason, Mike Tomlin wants to ease Timmons into the lineup.
sdsteelerfan: How many draft picks do the Steelers have in next years draft?
Ed Bouchette: 7, at the moment, but they should pick up one for losing Faneca. And you never know when they're going to trade one away for a has-been punt returner.
CABlackNGold: How many TE's are on the roster? Is Max Starks number 3?
Ed Bouchette: 2 and yes.
Godfather_of_Soul: Is there a better backup QB in the NFL than Charlie Batch?
Ed Bouchette: Byron Leftwich? Batch is on IR, so he's no longer the backup.
Tom_M.: How is Ryan Clark doing?
Ed Bouchette: Ryan seems to have held his own in camp and through the preseason and there is no question about his physical strength entering the season.
Google_Fabled_Enemies: Is Max Starks the highest paid (single season) 2nd stringer in history?
Ed Bouchette: I don't know about that but he's the highest-paid backup O-Lineman since I've covered the team.
ai032003: Ed, What is your score prediction for Sunday?
Ed Bouchette: 24-7
First Published September 2, 2008 2:25 pm