Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript
Share with others:
JMF213: Why wasn't Max Starks put in at left tackle when Smith went down?
Ed Bouchette: Mike Tomlin said today it was because he felt the matchup was better because Spicer was on that side for jacksonville and he's quick and the Steelers had to pass. Read between the lines: Max is better at right tackle and better as a run-blocker. Essex is better on the left, better against quick pass-rushers.
hinesward: Ed, Darnell Stapleton played very well. Another diamond in the rough?
Ed Bouchette: Let's not put the diamond tag on him just yet. As an undrafted rookie last year, yes, he appears to be at least an offensive lineman who can play, which is not something that can be said for their recent draft picks in the line.
Katmandu: Ed, what is the love affair with Najeh Davenport? Fast Willie will be back next week, Moore is solid, and Gary Russell is more than competent. Why not sign a kick returner instead of a big back who plays small like Davenport? Do you anticipate Davenport getting released? I'd much rather have Patrick Baily back on the roster anyways.
Ed Bouchette: Davenport is more than a kick returner. He is insurance in case another RB goes down. With Mendenhall on IR, I would expect Davenport to stick the rest of the season. And, if there's a kick returner out there who is all that good he would not be unsigned.
Griswald: Ed, what is with the terrible calls by the officials in Jacksonville Sunday night? I attended the game and saw the following plays were disasters: The pass interference that put the Jags at the 1 yd line? The roughing the passer on James Harrison in the 4th? The delay of game before the 2 pt conversion? The 15 yards against Nate Washington for showing the ball he caught, the unsportsmanlike on Matt Jones. I mean, come on, do the Steelers ever get that many calls FOR them?
Ed Bouchette: I'm sure Jax fans can point to a few they did not like either. However, I don't think that crew did a very good job. I asked Mike Tomlin today about the call on Harrison and he said he would not comment on the officials. That means he does not want to get fined.
Terrible_Trousers: Big Ed, 5 games in and #92 and #56 have combined for 12 sacks and look stronger each week. What's the over/under for the end of the season?
Ed Bouchette: Three times 12 equals 36, since they're almost one-third of the way through the season. That would be something, wouldn't it. That was their entire sack total on defense last season.
Will_from_Freehold__NJ: Ed, what's the secret to the improved special teams play?
Ed Bouchette: Work? I cannot tell you other than they found some players who want to do it, and the coaching finally kicked in with them a year later.
Terrible_Trousers: Any idea where they are with the Reed injury? Is Gary Anderson's phone ringing?
Ed Bouchette: No, Gary never earned a ring. It looks like Reed will be fine, although you might see Mitch Berger doing some kicking off in Cincy.
Terrible_Trousers: Looks like maybe Balt.'s D is getting old if Kerry Collins is leading drives against them with the Titan O. Are they still the Steeler's biggest competition while still falling back to the pack, or do you expect a Cleveland surge at some point?
Ed Bouchette: I expect the AFC North to muddle along behind the Steelers. However, after seeing Flacco and Baltimore's defense here, I still expect the Ravens to put up a fight. Flacco looks as though he can be a decent QB.
Jacque_Strap: If Stapleton continues to improve, is it possible Simmons could lose his job? That way we'd have two highly paid O-linemen riding the pine.
Ed Bouchette: Simmons is out for the season, so it would have to wait until next year to come to that. Plus, Chris K's contract is up and Stapleton might be their next starting LG.
joshwolfe: Hi Ed! With Moore being more of a double threat, has he earned more of a split with Willie when he's healthy?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, and also he's earned the right to be the third-down back, and a useful one at that. They signed him as a UFA from the Vikings to be their third-down back, saying he could run, catch and throw, and through 3 games, they did not use him. He had one catch, no carries.
Jerzey_Steel: Chris Hoke - could he supplant Hampton? Know it is unlikely, but Pittsburgh could take some of that big $$
Ed Bouchette: No, he won't supplant Hampton.
natew: Ed, what are your thoughts on the Harrison penalty? My thought is there is no way that should have been called.
Ed Bouchette: I agree, and I put those thoughts in my daily Q/A the other day. This league is so inconsistent on those calls it makes everyone crazy.
lambert58: What is your thoughts on our OLB's could this be one of the best in the league or is it already?I think its time to start seeing more Woodley jerseys in the stands, what do you think?
Ed Bouchette: I'd like to know who has a better pair of outside linebackers, or a better group of 4 or 5 linebackers in total.
Google_Fabled_Enemies: Hello Ed, What was the deal with Gerry Sunday night? He looked like a million bucks my wife said to tell him and you to ditch the sweater vests and listen to whom ever picked out Gerry's suit.
Ed Bouchette: You'll catch me in a suit when I'm in the casket.
Obama-Bouchette-In2012: Not to sound like a total homer, but 4-1 at this point is awesome. Fast Willie coming back after the break. Defense has been stellar all season. Looking like Pittsburgh is primed to make a deep run this year. Whom do you see as the biggest obstacle in the AFC?
Ed Bouchette: Tennessee, and the Steelers have to play there.
LouisLippsSinksShips: Hey Ed, after the Philly debacle, & Coach Tomlin getting a lot of grief, including some from me, I thought this was his biggest win, do you agree?
Ed Bouchette: Yes.
Count_Chocula: Big Ben's best performance, save the 3 week playoff run to Super Bowl XL?
Ed Bouchette: He's had too many for me to call this the best, including last year vs. Baltimore.
WoodleyIsAGod: Hey Ed, first time chatter here. With Woodley and Harrison, do you think we have the best outside linebackers in the league?
Ed Bouchette: Second-time answer: Yes.
Lambert_s_Teeth: Has the DL just turned into a strength of ours ?
Ed Bouchette: Funny, huh? It was one of their biggest unknowns entering the season -- not their starters but their depth and here the depth shines.
WoodleyIsAGod: ESPN has stated that with the win on Sunday, the Steelers can be considered one of the "elite" teams in the league. Are you ready to make that designation?
Ed Bouchette: Until their next loss, when ESPN likely will rate them overrated. It's week to week in this league. One week you're Super Bowl favorites, the next on way to graveyard.
JMF213: Deshea Townsend doesn't seem to be playing at his usual high level. Is his foot still bothering him or is he a little rusty?
Ed Bouchette: I'm not sure, but he's missed a few tackles the last two games.
BONESAW: Ed, will the coaches ever teach Big Ben to get rid of the ball? I'd say 2 of the 3 sacks were not the O-Lines fault. Even tho he did make great plays a couple of times when holding it longer than expected. Is it worth Ben getting beat up so hard?
Ed Bouchette: It's a fine line, as Bill Cowher would say. You want him to make those plays and holding onto the ball helps him do that. You don't want him to get killed, and holding onto the ball may do that. You start messing with that karma, and you might not like what you see. It's something he'll have to work out on his own, I believe, because if a coach gets in his head too much about getting rid of the ball, many of those great plays like the 18-yard pass on third down Sunday night could disappear.
IsraelP: Is Darnell Stapleton the only candidate left for team rookie of the year?
Ed Bouchette: If he were a rookie, I'd say yes, but he's a sophomore. Let's see . . . How about Dennis Dixon?
Tom_M.: Will McFadden be the starting DB all year? And will the Steelers try to re-sign him?
Ed Bouchette: I'd say yes to both of those questions, strongly on the first one. They'll try, but if he has a great season, will they be able to sign him?
Surgical_Steel: Who is to blame for not getting Mewelde Moore more touches before Sunday? We feel vindicated now, but my brother and I were begging them to throw Moore in when alleged "3rd RB" Carey Davis was plodding away against Ray Lewis. Sprained ankles should not help teams identify the better talent accidentally. Did they not know his resume from Minnesota?
Ed Bouchette: You been reading my thoughts?
Surgical_Steel: Ed, why was Nick Eason inactive on Sunday - to open a spot for Paxson? Seems like Eason's played well enough to dress for every game.
Ed Bouchette: Yes, to open a spot for Paxson.
BumShoulder_: On the interception, that was more of a case of Holmes slipping, right? Seemed the announcers put the blame on Ben. Looked to me like the ball was on the money if Holmes doesn't slip out of his break.
Ed Bouchette: I can't imagine anyone watching that game, especially a professional broadcaster, who thought that was Ben's fault. Yes, Holmes slipped and the ball went right to where he would have been.
LouisLippsSinksShips: Has there been any update on how Brett Keisel's injury is coming along?
Ed Bouchette: Brett went through a full practice today and will start vs. Cincy next.
Obama-Bouchette-In2012: My pick for Steelers defensive MVP so far this season is McFadden (with Woodley a close second). Agree?
Ed Bouchette: There has been some good play from a number of defensive players. James Harrison, Troy Polamalu, Woodley are high on my list. McFadden has played well but I would not put him at the top yet, but he has time.
Tom_M.: Will Limas Sweed play this year and represent the draft class of 2008?
Ed Bouchette: The draft of 2008 went down with Rashard Mendenhall.
WoodleyIsAGod: Ed, It seems that Ike Taylor has been struggling. True or is it just because he is covering the #1 receiver every week?
Ed Bouchette: Ike does not cover the No. 1 receiver every week. They keep him on the right, after moving him from the left side because they felt Townsend/McFadden could better cover that side.
StlrfaninAustin: Ed, you apparently didn't listen the Madden and Michaels, Madden called the interception "just a bad pass by Ben". That is when I turned off the sound.
Ed Bouchette: Madden also thought Jack Tatum never touched the ball, and still thinks so.
Steeler_Fan_in_Texas: It's great to see Santonio establishing himself as a prime receiver, but he is also taking after Hines Ward, There was two awesome hits I saw him lay out linebackers!! Your thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: That's what happens when players pass down their culture. When Burress was here, he also took some pride in his blocking because of Ward. There are many instances of that at many positions. In baltimore, that defense has benefitted from having Ray Lewis around, not just for what he does on the field, but his work ethic. Pittsburgh has benefitted from having guys such as Dermontti Dawson, who passed things along to Faneca, who passed them along to others. Same with the linebackers and defensive linemen. It's a difficult thing to establish, but once you do and keep it going, it's a hidden factor in why certain franchises do so well and others flounder.
Y_Thigpen: Ed, Steelers are 4-1 despite getting next to ZERO contribution from this year's draft class. i know Mendenhall is hurt, but why can't Sweed & any of the others sniff the field? Do you think we misfired on some of those picks?
Ed Bouchette: They play the best players, is what they say, and perhaps some rookies just aren't ready while some just aren't good enough.
Steely_McBeam: How will you spend your bye week?
Ed Bouchette: I'm trying to determine that right now. Any suggestions?
BONESAW: Ed, what is the status of Marvel Smith? I'm assuming it was minor since it was cramps. He should be ready for the Bungles game, right?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, I believe he'll be ready.
MarkMadden: Are you ignoring me because of my name?
Ed Bouchette: No.
oldschool: Ed, any special plans for the bye week?
Ed Bouchette: I'll be preparing for my next chat.
7MStarks: Is the Max Starks transition tag one of the worst Steeler blunders you can recall?
Ed Bouchette: It wasn't the brightest thing I've ever seen this organization do, but at least it was an aggressive mistake. They're not exactly known for wasting money, so when they do it sticks out more than maybe such a mistake on another team might -- like the Jaguars giving WR Jerry Porter a $10 million signing bonus as a UFA this year.
Count_Chocula: I saw Gary Russell wearing #33. I thought that number was retired for the great Frenchy Fuqua?
Ed Bouchette: Right number, wrong team in the building. You won't see it at Pitt because of the great Tony Dorsett.
Google_Fabled_Enemies: Ed, If John Madden watches the actual NBC footage of the game it clearly shows the ball hitting Tatum... Do you think he just enjoys the questions all these years later?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, the way I enjoy some of the questions here.
Jim66: Destin Florida is a great weekend get away.
Ed Bouchette: I'm as excited about getting back on a plane on my weekend off as I am doing an extra chat.
MarkMadden: Suggestions for bars in KY and/or Cincy?
Ed Bouchette: Yes.
PhillyMarty: I don't remember Ben holding the ball this long before the concussions. Still think he was better in 2005, your thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: I thought he was better at Findlay, but we must all move on.
Special_Ed: Ed, you won't be texting reporters from Cincinatti next week saying you're going to have a big article about the Steelers will you?
Ed Bouchette: Are there any reporters left in Cincinnati?
ouch_that_didnt_hurt: Ed: you buying the line that we haven't yet broken out the 'exotic' blitzes so far..mostly just vanilla stuff?
Ed Bouchette: I don't know that it's "vanilla," but, yes, I believe they have not done a lot of the exotic stuff yet.
Daquido_Bazzini: Suggestions for bars in Pittsburgh?
Ed Bouchette: Yes.
Surgical_Steel: What's the word on Dallas Baker's injury?
Ed Bouchette: He had his arm in a sling today.
PhillyMarty: Do you think Timmons should be playing more?
Ed Bouchette: I think you will see him more and more.
Ed Bouchette: You don't know how sorry I am to see this chat end. I even went overtime today because I enjoyed it so much. See you all next Tuesday, I think.
First Published October 7, 2008 2:32 pm