Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 6.8.2010
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Ed Bouchette: Welcome to our last chat from now until the week before training camp begins.
MIKEY_FACEBOOK: Ed: in view of O LINE skill sets, what is difference of a GUARD vs CENTER? please explain.
Ed Bouchette: It's not so much the skills as it is the center has to make the snap and THEN block, and he's also responsible for calling out the protections. The guard just does what he's told and doesn't have to snap. Normally, guards are more mobile too but the Steelers have had mobile centers, for the most part, for a long time.
cburgstiller: Just curious - during Ben's suspension, could he meet with receivers somewhere off Steeler property to get work in, or would that be in violation of the terms of the suspension?
Ed Bouchette: It might be a violation of the spirit of it, but it does not matter because that won't happen.
Cincy Chris: CB seems to be the most unsettled position at this point. I've heard rookie Crezdon Butler has looked promising. If you had to pick who makes the team at CB right now who is it?
Ed Bouchette: I would say Ike, McFadden, Gay, Keenan Lewis for sure. Joe Burnett and Butler probably.
Illinois Steelers Fan: Why the change in long snappers?
Ed Bouchette: They thought Stewart was an upgrade over Retkofsky because he also can play linebacker. Greg Warren, though, remains on the team.
Cincy Chris: I'm worried Mike Wallace could see a sophomore slump with defenses probably keying on him more... do you think he breaks out, has a season similar to last, or slumps?
Ed Bouchette: I see nothing that would say he would slump. Doesn't mean he won't, but I don't believe in sophomore jinxes. If you can do it as a rookie, you should be better at doing it with one year under your belt.
Cincy Chris: How has Keenan Lewis looked? I think he could be a pleasant surprise this season.
Ed Bouchette: He's running with the second team on the left, behind Bryant McFadden, and shown he knows the defense better, for one thing. His speed and quickness have come out and he's made a couple of good plays that I've seen knocking a pass down.
Cincy Chris: Even you have to admit it's a little strange Tomlin hasn't been extended, could the front office be waiting to see how this season goes?
Ed Bouchette: Indeed, they might be. There is no talk of any talks going on and the longer it lingers, the less likely it will get done.
Mburg Mike: Ed, love the chat. Tomlin says he doesn't mind the circus atmosphere. Do you believe him?
Ed Bouchette: I've been around long enough to know that coaches hate distractions. However, when they occur they must be dealt with and I think Tomlin takes it as a challenge.
Steel Curtain Rising: Ed, might I pick your brain on a matter of Steelers history? The public first glimpsed the rift between Tom Donahoe and Bill Cowher with the former's comments on the heels of Fog Bowl II. Based on your reporting, was that the actual beginning of the rift and if not, when did their relationship actually begin to break down?
Ed Bouchette: I believe it was a gradual thing that intensified and, yes, that was one very public instance of it.
ER: Ed, Is Bill Cowar coming back to Steeltown the reason Tomlins contract has not been extended?
Ed Bouchette: Bill Cowher is not coming back to coach the Steelers, if that's what you mean.
ER: This is a hitting league and the Pirates have always been a hitting team. Why would they take a chance on a pitcher when few want to watch a 1-0 gam?
Ed Bouchette: I think fans here would love to see 1-0 victories by the Pirates. I think the PIrates need to run more consistently, though.
Chris: Is Matt Stewart our missing piece of the puzzle for a 7th Super Bowl?!
Ed Bouchette: You mean there is only one missing piece?
Polamalu43: Ed, have you heard on any contracts being done soon with the rookies?
Ed Bouchette: Maybe one or two by next week. Don't fret. They will all be done by the start of training camp with the first-rounder a day or two before July 30.
Mburg Mike: How's your handicap?
Ed Bouchette: I'm about halfway through this chat, so I apparently am overcoming it.
SteelTackle99: What do you think of a possible Bob Costas interview for Ben? I"ve not heard this suggested -- I just think he's a great interviewer and would do a good job.
Ed Bouchette: I would think that BR will give a local TV interview or two first before he goes national.
Amos_P_Swanson: If there is no CBS agreement and there is a lock out in 2011....How does this affect Mike Tomlin's contract status?
Ed Bouchette: He would be free after the 2011 season, if not signed to an extension.
Steelman: Are the Steelers allowed to have any official contact with BR during his supension or is it total isolation for both parties?
Ed Bouchette: No, they can talk to him, he just cannot come to their facility.
ER: Ed, Could Pouncy be the missing link for leadership in the offensive line.
Ed Bouchette: That would be one missing piece, one missing link? I'm not sure the offensive line lacks leadership.
Mike C.: Ed, love talkin' Black and Gold in June!!!! All things being even, say the club maintains it's health all season. I have a hard time seeing anyone keeping up with them. This team is stacked and Ben's got something to play for. Again, everyone stays healthy........do you see Super Bowl number 7 on the horizon?
Ed Bouchette: Not really.
SteelTackle99: Any idea why James Harrison has missed several of the OTAs?
Ed Bouchette: I heard he was in Orlando for something. By the way, I also heard Troy P. went bowling today and will finish out the week at practices.
PhillyMarty: Even if the STEELERS survive Ben's suspension, say 2-2 (or 3-3), do you think the team has done a good enough job of addressing last year's weaknesses that they are not only a playoff contender but in fact a legit SB contender? I don't.
Ed Bouchette: Every team has weaknesses and many teams can be contenders, and I would include the Steelers in the latter. I just believe they have too many problems to overcome to actually get to another super Bowl.
Jackie: Ed do you think Ben has lost his "swagger" like others have alluded to?
Ed Bouchette: I have not seen nor talked to him enough to know and I don't think we will know until later. Many people are hoping he does ditch the swagger in one sense.
Steel Curtain Rising: Which is more likely the CBA getting extended or Tomlin getting a new deal?
Ed Bouchette: I think we'll hit 2011 before either happens.
PhillyMarty: Then if you agree with me, what are the chances that they are going about matters the right way, holding their cards close to the vest, waiting for another top QB to get hurt, and then deal him away, obtaining more in return than if they dealt him now? We do have 3 other NFL QB's on the roster.
Ed Bouchette: The Steelers are not interested in trading Ben R.
g. man: will the us. soccer team win the world cup in africa?
Ed Bouchette: If they're going to do it this year, I suppose it will have to occur in Africa.
Steel Curtain Rising: Ed, you've said there are "no talks about talks" on the Tomlin extension front. Most people think that is because the STeelers are resistant to extending the deal, however, could it be that Tomlin's salary demands are too high?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think the conversation has gotten anywhere near salary.
wallanchor: Do you think Hines ward will be the number three receiver this year?
Ed Bouchette: After catching 95 last season, tying his second-best, no, I think Hines Ward will stay right where he is, starting and producing.
steel_rsd: Hypothetical, if they dont extend Tomlin, would Russ Grimm be the next Steeler coach?
Ed Bouchette: No, I think that boat sailed in 2007.
cburgstiller: Thank the Ravens are looking most dangerous in the North for the coming season?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, and looking historically, this will be a down year for the Bengals, who do not string two winners together.
SteelersPuertoRico: Ed: It looks like someone is trying to test your nerves. This is the fourth chat in a row that you are asked about the poor Pirates.
Ed Bouchette: Wayward souls.
Jackie: Would the end of this year be a good time for Hines to retire?
Ed Bouchette: Why is everyone trying to retire Hines Ward after the season he had in 2009? Let's see how he does in 2010.
wallanchor: do the steelers keep 4 quarterbacks when ben returns, if not who gets cut?
Ed Bouchette: No, I do not think they will keep four and if charlie Batch is No. 3 I would say signs point to him. But there also is plenty of time for an injury to occur.
Steel Curtain Rising: Speaking of question selection, have we now made it almost two chats without questions about the impact of losing Sweed? Or are you just not publishing them?
Ed Bouchette: We almost made it through two chats, didn't we?
steel_rsd: I think you said at one time the Steelers would possibly keep 4 QBs. Why? If only 3, is Batch out?
Ed Bouchette: I was wrong. I'm now told keeping four would be tough. Batch and Byron Leftwich will receive their full 2010 salaries if they are on the roster for the first game.
Jeff: Ed, have a good vacation. I hope you get to interview Ben before you leave but the way your luck has run since the GA story broke, I wouldn't be on it. Looking forward to the chats in July.
Ed Bouchette: Thanks. I don't think BR will do any newspaper interviews this week and I'm out of the loop after that.
Thanks for chatting. See you the last week of July.
First Published June 8, 2010 2:35 pm