View Full Version : Ed Bouchette's chat transcript

09-23-2008, 03:56 PM
Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ed Bouchette: Welcome back to the old chatter and hello to all you new ones. We have news flying all around over here at the Steelers facility, so let's get right to your questions.

dks64: Do you think the o-line meltdown is due mostly to talent or coaching?

Ed Bouchette: Or lack thereof? Both.

jwags222: Although no player after Sundays game said anything directly, I got the impression that there was a lot frustration with the offensive coaching staff. Do you think Steelers players lost confidence in their offensive coaches or Tomlin Sunday? Do you get the impression that the Steelers defense has far more confidence in their coaches?

Ed Bouchette: I don't know if they lost confidence, but I know Sunday was not a confidence-builder for anyone on offense -- coaches or players.

kmiller15211: The coaches should be fired for Sunday's game. If Philadelphia was getting all that pressure, where were the screens, the draws, the 3-step drops? Ridiculous. I would've even put in a hurry up offense - anything to change up the tempo a bit. Is Bruce Arians just an idiot??? Yeah, keep doing 5 step drops when you've been sacked 8 times.

Ed Bouchette: Thank you for that opening statement. I know there's plenty of anger out there. But let's pause here to make sure you all know the news: Willie Parker has a sprained knee and will not play Monday vs. Baltimore. Neither will Casey Hampton, who has a groin injury, and Keisel is still out. Parker likely will miss the next two games. OK, back to the program.

JMF213: Why didn't the Steelers put Max Starks in? Willie Colon seems to be getting beat quite a lot.

Ed Bouchette: You don't just start pulling linemen in the middle of a game unless it's drastic. I don't know that what you saw was all Colon's fault. BTW, Mike Tomlin said there will be no changes in his starting offensive line this week.

JMF213: Why didn't the Steelers have Big Ben go into the shotgun in the second half? He could have seen the field better and may of had an extra half second to find a receiver. Tom Brady and the Patriots did it last year and I feel the Steelers have just as capable an offense.

Ed Bouchette: I write down when Ben goes into the shotgun and I have him in the shotgun plenty of times in the second half.

ouch_that_hurt: Ed: expecting many question on the sacks today? Here's mine: how much of this problem is because our drafted personnel do not fit the new zone blocking scheme implemented by Coach Z?

Ed Bouchette: Sorry, no one asked that question of Mike today.

jwags222: I've always thought that our o-line was weak from a personnel standpoint, but Sunday seemed more like scheme than players. What coaches are responsible for this scheme against the blitz, is it just o-line, or does it involve all offensive coaches all the way to the co-ordinator and head coach?

Ed Bouchette: The coordinator installs the game plan and calls the plays during games. The players must execute it.

pittfan: A lot of the pressure on the QB was from unblocked pass rushers. Why couldn't the Steelers adjust during the game to what the Eagles were doing?

Ed Bouchette: Mike Tomlin said they did.

bigsteel: Why is Bruce Arians our offensive coordinator?

Ed Bouchette: Mike Tomlin promoted him from wide receivers coach. Did you have a problem with him in the first two games?

hinestheman: Ed, how's Ben's hand?

Ed Bouchette: He was not among the injured Tomlin mentioned today, then when asked specifically about him, said he should be fine.

hinestheman: Ed, do you agree with Tomlin with being patient and not go crazy with personel moves? I think I do. The OL (which wasn't the sole problem last Sunday) played well as a unit the first 2 weeks. No need to overreact. Do you agree?

Ed Bouchette: What happens if he makes a gazillion changes, and things don't improve? That's the sign of a panicky coach. I always try to think what Chuck Noll would do, and he'd do the same thing: No personnel moves, just crack down in practice.

Katmandu: Ed, in your opinion, why didn't the Steelers go to a 5 wide receiver set in order to spread the Eagles defense out and loosen them up? It seemed that the Steelers used the same formations play after play and made it easier for the Eagles. Your thoughts?

Ed Bouchette: I don't think 5 wide was the answer because you needed a threat of the run at the very least and someone in the backfield to pick up a blitzer. I know none of that worked, but I think 5 wide would have been a bigger disaster.

Nostradamus: Ed, Bryant McFadden has looked very good this year. When Townsend comes back, will he automatically regain his starting job, or could there be a shake-up, i.e., Ike Taylor taking a seat on the bench?

Ed Bouchette: I think any of that is possible.

Nostradamus: Ed, It looked to me as if Willie Parker was close to finding more running room in the second half--do you think the Steelers gave up on the run a bit prematurely?

Ed Bouchette: Yes, I do.

stlrfannaustin: Hey Ed, love the show. What started this downward spiral in pass protection? It got worse the year after the SB, and shows no signs of improving.

Ed Bouchette: I'm not sure because you had the same coach, virtually the same line from 2004 to 2005 to 2006. Perhaps they are putting TOO much on Ben's shoulders.

Will_from_Freehold__NJ: 16 Points on offense in 8 quarters of football. I believe we all gave the offense a pass against the Browns due to the windy conditions at Cleveland and the Eagles just shut the offense down this past Sunday. What can Coach Arians do to infuse life to this offense again?

Ed Bouchette: Protect the quarterback.

Will_from_Freehold__NJ: Is it me or has anyone noticed how Big Ben get's "Happy Feet" after he's hit a few times? Is it my imagination or are we witnessing a potential reincarnation of David Carr when he played for the Swiss cheese of an O-Line for the Texans?

Ed Bouchette: Tomlin was asked about that today, asked if BB (that's Big Ben) were getting skittish. He said, no, he's not skittish but he acknowledged it's a concern if this continues.

Ed Bouchette: Sorry for the short delay. Dan Rooney just stopped by and we were chatting. OK, let's continue.

Jay: Against the Ravens this week: will the Steelers rack up a lot of points, like the first game in '07, or Big Ben get sacked nine times in one game, like '06?

Ed Bouchette: That's the question of the week. I would not look for them to score a bunch against that defense. I think Monday night next week will go against the recent trend and be low scoring.

robertbugsy: Would it have been wise to kick a FG with 1:26 remaining and all 3 timeouts since 2 scores were needed? You still have plenty of time and a short field if you recover the onside kick.

Ed Bouchette: I agree, but Mike Tomlin disagreed. He said the way his offense was going, he had little confidence they'd get that close again, so he wanted to try to get the TD there and kick a long FG later if they got the onside kick.

steeler3651: I've noticed that the Steelers offense has never had many quick passes in the game plan. Is this because Mr. Roethlisberger is unwilling to throw quickly, because Coach Arians never called such plays, or none of the above?

Ed Bouchette: I don't agree. They threw some the other night, quick slants that receivers dropped.

Free_Tank_Carter: Ed, Is Gary Russell back on the roster?

Ed Bouchette: Gary was signed to the practice squad. However, with only 3 healthy backs this week, I expect they'll seriously consider putting him on the 53. However, they also do not have a healthy backup NT to Chris Hoke. Tomlin said Travis Kirschke will handle that roll but Travis is no NT and Scott Paxson, on the practice squad, is.

Steelerwraiths: Hello Ed, love your spot on answers every week. Do you think that the Steelers should pull a page out of the Dolphins gameplan from this past weekend and direct snap to Fast Willie? It would at least keep Big Ben from getting lambasted on almost every play. Also, is the team forcing Santonio to carry a football around with him everywhere this week with a $100 bounty on stripping it? Thanks.

Ed Bouchette: I know many of your questions are asked before the chat begins, but I want to bring it to your attention again the Parker is OUT with a sprained knee. They did some of that in the preseason, by the way, and I didn't like it.

SCOTT: ED Please help me understand! How can Arians be that blind? Were was the middle screen, were was the draw,were was the roll out pocket? Is there know adjustments in the second half? It was disgusting to watch! Arians was a clueless boob! Shame on Tomlin too for not overriding his clueless coach! By far the worse coaching I've seen period! Your thoughts please.

Ed Bouchette: No, I'm going to let you have your say on this one.

SCOTT: Ed Is it time for our 7 million dollar back up to take some snaps at right tackle? Also it was very apparent parker was going to have one of his 30 yard games, were was the number 1 draft choice for a change of pace? Brilliant coaching again!

Ed Bouchette: I would not look for miracle options at this point, not that Max Starks would be a miracle option, just that I don't know that's the answer.

Blitzed-Burgh: Ed- Troy's INT: Better than Swann's SB X catch against the Cowboys?

Ed Bouchette: No, and I need not explain further.

Will_from_Freehold__NJ: Ed, poor job by Coach Tomlin for not making better adjustments at half time. Where were the screen passes, the QB bootlegs, the quick 3 step drops? The only adjustment I saw was the occasional RB, WR or TE next to Ben.

Ed Bouchette: Thank you for your question and answer.

mit_wobet: I know Mike Tomlin is a defensive guy, but does he ever overrule, or at least question, some of Arians' playcalling? Carey Davis on a sweep from inside the 5? Huh?

Ed Bouchette: If he does not, he's not doing his job.

The_Professor: Does Arians really script the first 30 plays? That pretty much takes us to the second half doesn't it? What's the point?

Ed Bouchette: They script the first 10.

JI_29th: I like the coach, but, between the 12-yard 2-point conversion attempt vs. Jacksonville, the refusal to kick a FG last Sunday, and the multiple blown leads last season, should we be concerned about Mike Tomlin's game management skills?

Ed Bouchette: I agree with the 12-yard 2-point conversion, but let's not keep using that one decision as a typical decision during the game by Mike. While I might have kicked the FG near the end, I don't fault Tomlin in his thinking.

outpost_pattaya: Our local afterhours joint lost its satellite link midway thru the first quarter. From what we read afterwards, the Steelers couldn't protect their $105 million investement at quarterback. Would you say the problem was more strategic in nature such as sticking with longer passing routes and giving up on the run/draws, or more of an execution problem?

Ed Bouchette: I would say you're one of the lucky ones because your satellite link was lost in the first quarter.

bleed_blackngold: Do you ever smile on camara?

Ed Bouchette: Hey, this is a serious business.

Tprod: Ed, When does Kevin Colbert start receiving heat for his mismanagement of the offensive line. Marvel Smith, Chris K. u and Trai Essex are all going to be Unrestricted Free Agents and Willie Colon will be a Restricted Free Agent. Good free agent tackles are the highest payroll position after QBs and teams generally do not let good tackles enter the market anymore. If the Steelers expect Tony Hills to man the left tackle position, they may exceed NFL record for sacks allowed.

Ed Bouchette: After Sunday, maybe he should receive praise for not signing any of them.

JMF213: Is McFadden making a case for becoming the starter?

Ed Bouchette: I'd like to know who's making a better one, including the starters.

wait_a_minute: Do you think Mike Tomlin has enough attention to detail to be a long term success with the Steelers?

Ed Bouchette: Look. I don't know if Mike will be here long-term, but I do know that one loss does not make him a bad coach. Believe it or not, Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher had games like this, or do I need to remind anyone about expansion Houston winning in Heinz Field, or the entire 1988 season?

Don_t_Worry_It_s_One_Game_: Ed, I totally agree with Ron Cook's article today analyzing the AFC North. The Steelers will win the division. Do you agree with his article?

Ed Bouchette: I always agree with Ron Cook.

Don_t_Worry_It_s_One_Game_: Ed, any update on the sale of the Steelers? What do you think would be the best scenario for who the Rooney Bros. should sell to?

Ed Bouchette: How about Dan Rooney.

Tprod: Ed, I understand from your article that sacks are not exclusively given up by the offensive line, but numerous times Eagle players were coming in untouched. This with the exception of Chris Kemoeatu is a veteran line. That many blown assignments must have some repercussion.

Ed Bouchette: When you rush seven or eight and there are only 5 offensive linemen, either others must help out or something else must be done to offset it.

rbird: With regards to the Parker injury, did the Steelers make a mistake by cutting Gary Russell?

Ed Bouchette: He's on the practice squad and available to them if they want to put him on the 53.

stlrfan57: It seemed like it was not just the offensive line but also that the backs/tight ends did not pick up the "blitzers" and the QB held the ball too long at times. Do you agree?

Ed Bouchette: I love quoting Chuck Noll, who said when you lose, all the critics are right.

krollburgh: Is this last game something that this offense can recover from, or did we just open up the flood gates for every other defense to exploit?

Ed Bouchette: I think you'll see them improve in that area Monday night. If they do not, it will be a long season, especially for the QB.

Super_Genius: If I'm Mike Tomlin I'm worried about this game. That Monday Night game last year has to be fresh in the Ravens' minds, particularly the part where Ben came out of the game after a hit but returned to throw a deep pass in the 2nd half with a 5 TD lead. Think that will be mentioned once or twice in their locker room?

Ed Bouchette: Uh-huh.

Mark_Madden: Maybe the Steelers problem is that they need the "best management team in all of sports", like the Pirates, to turn things around.

Ed Bouchette: "Not in our house!"

ATLSteeler: Will the Fed's step in and do a bailout for the Rooney's since they're passing out trillion$?

Ed Bouchette: No, they're too busy worried about bailing out their offensive line.

tom: Do you think the coaches need to find more ways to get Timmons on the field?

Ed Bouchette: Can he block?

rbird: Is Mendenhall ready to carry the load? Will Moore be the backup?

Ed Bouchette: Maybe and yes are your answers. We'll have to wait on the first one because until he does it, you don't really know if he can.

Joe54: How has Ben weathered the punishment he took?

Ed Bouchette: Physically, yes, it appears.

Super_Genius: Are Steeler fans the only fans in the league who don't know the other team tries to win too? Philly had a great scheme and executed it well. It's only week 3.

Ed Bouchette: Thank you for my closing statement. Loved spending time with you again. I look forward to our next engagement. You people are as fanatic as that Eagles pass rush.

Steeler Expat
09-23-2008, 04:21 PM
Steeler Expat: Why are you such a gigantic douche? Because you are a pretentious hack who never provides more than a bunch of rim shot one liners in your responses?

Ed Douchette: Thank you for your question and answer.

09-23-2008, 05:14 PM
I hope this was sarcasm:

Steelerwraiths: Hello Ed, love your spot on answers every week.

09-23-2008, 06:16 PM
He wanted to say spotty answers...

09-23-2008, 06:27 PM
For the unwashed ignorant like me ... who is this EB guy, and how does he get access to the Steelers royalty like he seems to (e.g., "Rooney came by and chatted"). Is he a Steelers employee, media guy ... ?


09-23-2008, 06:28 PM
For the unwashed ignorant like me ... who is this EB guy, and how does he get access to the Steelers royalty like he seems to (e.g., "Rooney came by and chatted"). Is he a Steelers employee, media guy ... ?


He's "the leader of the journalists" for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

09-23-2008, 06:41 PM
Thanks, c2k1 .

You know, I seem to remember last year that we could find the word for word transcript of the HC press conferences on line. No luck for me trying to find them this year - has that changed?

09-23-2008, 06:47 PM
They used to have them last year on Steelers.com but I can't find them any longer...maybe it's subscription thing now.

09-23-2008, 06:48 PM
Now THAT'S fan-friendly!

09-23-2008, 07:31 PM
Ed Bouchette chat responses < magic eight-ball

09-23-2008, 07:37 PM
Wait a minute...EB = Ed Bouchette.

Can EB actually = Eight Ball?

09-24-2008, 12:10 PM
Steeler Expat: Why are you such a gigantic douche? Because you are a pretentious hack who never provides more than a bunch of rim shot one liners in your responses?

Ed Douchette: Thank you for your question and answer.

That's hilarious and spot on. He adds absolutleny nothing to the conversation.

When he smugly replies that no one was unhappy after the first 2 weeks someone should have called him out and asked if 3 - 12 3rd down conversions in the Cleveland game was good. No TD's in the second half?