View Full Version : The highly anticipated Ed Bouchette Chat Transcript

12-23-2008, 04:31 PM

Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ed Bouchette: Merry Christmas all, especially to our troops home and abroad who are among our most voracious readers. It's the final chat of the regular season and no, I will not use a backup here this afternoon, nor will I leave the chat early to rest for what I expect to be some grueling playoff chats. We will approach today's chat just like we do any other, with the intention of answering questions to the best of our ability and let the adjectives fall where they may. So, let's kick this thing off so we can get into the bye week. And, just to show we never quit here, there will be a bye week chat next Tuesday.

James_Taipei: What is your playoff prediction? I am going with the Steelers will lose to the Titans or Colts in the AFC championship game!

Ed Bouchette: Ahhh, an optimist right off the bat. I don't have a good feel for that yet, so let me wait until at least next week. At least then, we'll know the first-round matchups.

irishreb: Hi Ed, The run game has just been plain bad, inside the tackles. Wouldn't a few runs outside the tackles, taking advantage of Willie's speed to call for?

Ed Bouchette: I don't know that anything can save the running game at this point save the return of Alan Faneca, Dermontti Dawson and Jerome Bettis in their primes.

irishreb: Ed, I know one of Ben's strengths is his ability to avoid the rush, and make the big play. But he's trying to do this every pass play it seems, he needs to call a few quick pass plays, 3 to 5 yarders, to stop the rush, and just gain some positive yards. Don't you agree?

Ed Bouchette: If he's so good at avoiding the rush, how did he get sacked 139 times in the past three seasons? They've called quick pass plays, long pass plays, draws, etc. Nothing seems to work.

OneAndDone: Ed, word has it the Titan's beat writer took last weeks Steelers chat transcript and used it to wipe his shoes clean, does that give you enough motivation to make this your best chat effort of the year?

Ed Bouchette: I have bosses who do that.

mwoodym112: What is the health status of Willie Parker this week?

Ed Bouchette: Same as ever. He's been healthy the past several weeks, relative to his sprained MCL and shoulder, which may need surgery after the season.

mwoodym112: Ed, Any word from the coaches on who of the starters and how long they will play against Cleveland this week?

Ed Bouchette: Mike Tomlin was emphatic today that he will play to win this game and use everyone who's healthy and if I answered your question the way he did mine when I asked it, you'd think I was rude. Let's just say he did not like that line of questioning.

James_Taipei: Any chance that Dennis Dixon can get some experience this week?

Ed Bouchette: That is an example of what Mike Tomlin did not like. I asked him about Gary Russell and he said they're playing to win. I had to remind him that Gary was one of his players.

Will_from_Freehold__NJ: Ed, first of all HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and your family! My question is: out of the 5 offensive linemen, which ones, if any, would YOU bring back?

Ed Bouchette: You mean, I have to bring them back? I think Marvel and Chris K. may be gone. Probably Starks and Trai Essex too.

hinestheman: Ed, do you believe in such things as "good losses?" - I hate to see the Steelers lose, but I think in this case, it was a "good" loss. In my opinion, they needed one more loss before the playoffs and I don't think 1 versus 2 seed makes that much of a difference. A little grounding can only do some good. Do you agree or am I in denial? I still think the Steelers can and will go all the way.

Ed Bouchette: I don' t think it mattered that much to the end result, whether they'll get to the Super Bowl or not. A good loss is what happened to the Giants vs. Patriots in regular season last year, looking back on it.

Ed Bouchette: THIS JUST IN: Jason Capizzi re-signed with the Steelers today. It looks as if they plan to replace Marvel Smith with him, although they've said nothing. I don't know yet if Capizzi is on the practice squad or the 53-man roster. You'ns are the first to know.

mwoodym112: Ed, Is Justin Vincent still on the practice squad? I didnt even know that he was on the roster till I read the article in the Sporting News. Why don`t they try him on kick off returns?

Ed Bouchette: Yes, he's still on the practice squad. To put him on the roster, you have to take someone off.

irishreb: Ed, Cleveland should provide that needed boost our offense and defense requires to begin the playoffs. After the first quarter, don't you think it would be best to get the back ups some more playing time?

Ed Bouchette: I do, coach Mike Tomlin may have other thoughts, and he hates it that you asked.

Steelers07: Ed, I know the offense has a number of issues, but don't you think something needs to change? I agree Arians isn't completely to blame, but it is never good when your own players don't believe in your philosophy. And I think that is starting to show.

Ed Bouchette: Next question.

Will_from_Freehold__NJ: Ed, has Lamar Woodley hit a "wall" so to speak? He hasn't had a sack since November 30th against the Patriots.

Ed Bouchette: He has not been as active as he had earlier in the season, has he?

Mwarren18: Ed, Do you think this team can go to the Super Bowl and win with such a inconsistent offense? This team on offense cannot run, block, pass with any consistency and the QB play at times has been simply horrible. And that seems like a recipe for disaster in the playoffs and a waste of one of the great defenses we have seen here in the last 25 years.

Ed Bouchette: Right now, I would not pick them. But, after they beat the Browns 39-0, everyone will feel better about them.

Katmandu: Ed, the team looked a bit tired, and a step behind the Titans on Sunday. Did the Steelers run out a gas a bit? Personally, I think a solid half of football by the starters, then a week off will recharge the batteries. Your thoughts?

Ed Bouchette: They would not have looked so tired, out of gas, pooped, whatever you want to call it had Big Ben not fired two balls into the hands of Titans, and lost two of his four fumbles.

yobowhunter: What is the real reason the running game has faltered so much this year? Willie, the line, or abandonment? Can the Steelers reach the Super Bowl without a running game? Any chance they get it going this year?

Ed Bouchette: It's a combination of all those things you mention, plus injuries. Can they? Yes. Will they? I don't think so, but I would not rule it out as long as the offense does not stand in the way of it's defenses, i.e., turnovers. I don't think you'll see the run game get much better, although FWP can still break one for 60 yards and it will look good on the stat sheet.

Chooch79: Most likely reason to see an early playoff exit? A.) Lack of Running Game, B.) O Line Protection, C.) Poor Punting

Ed Bouchette: Any or all of the above.

tooleman: Ed. Just watched you and Dulac do your Steelers Report from LP Field after the game. Did I really hear you cracking your knuckles at the end? On a more serious note, this looks to be one of the stronger AFC Playoff fields in recent memory. How many of the six teams do you see having a legitimate shot at winning the title and which ones are they?

Ed Bouchette: No, I had gloves on in that 10-degree weather. Those must have been my ears you heard cracking. I think anyone can win this side of the Broncos, Jets or Dolphins if any of those they get in. That leaves the Patriots, Steelers, Titans, Ravens, Chargers and Colts -- any of those 6 can win it.

Holding_is_cheating: Did the Steelers coaching staff, both sides, call this game a little close to the vest in anticipation of a playoff rematch?

Ed Bouchette: I certainly hope not. If they did, they should be fired.

UBU: What exactly was the reason for the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the field goal that led to a Titans' touchdown?

Ed Bouchette: Chris Hoke was barking out hut, hut -- all recorded in Monday's Post-Gazette.

Mwarren18: Ed, interesting article today -- who would you sit and who would you play this week? Do you treat it like, say, preseason game #1?

Ed Bouchette: I rest as many as I can, but I have a different philosophy than Mike Tomlin because he's doing the opposite, apparently.

bg_steel: HAPPY HOLIDAYS Ed, What do you think of Lendale White steeping on a Terrible towel? Will it pump us up if we play them in the Titans in the postseason?

Ed Bouchette: I'm sure it has pumped up the fans and I can guarantee you if they play the Titans, the coaches will use that as motivation.

lv_steeler: Is Willie Parker right or just a whiner? We can't seem to run the ball without a fullback and that weak offensive line.

Ed Bouchette: He's right.

Chooch79: Do you think the competition committee will consider a playoff format change this off-season based on the number of teams with winning records who will miss the post-season?

Ed Bouchette: No, although it likely will be brought up by one of those teams that missed the playoffs while the Chargers get in at 8-8.

CANADIANSTEELERFAN: Hi Ed, Great work on the chats! What would your assessment be of the Chris Kemoeatu and Willie Colon experiments? Do you see both being replaced next year?

Ed Bouchette: No. I think Chris K might leave and Stapleton will move there with Kendall Simmons at RG. I think Willie will stay.

boston_burgher: Ed, Ben seems less evasive and less able to escape pressure this year than in years past? If you agree, what do you attribute it to?

Ed Bouchette: He looks beat-up to me, something 139 sacks over 3 seasons will do to you. Trouble is, he's only 26. What's he going to look like at 30?

Jacque_Strap: In the playoffs, would this team be better off going with 5 wides most of the game, with Mewelde Moore in the backfield?

Ed Bouchette: Here's what I'd like to see in passing offenses: 3 wides, and Heath Miller and Mewelde Moore next to Ben in the shotgun. One or both backs could release depending on the rush or stay in if they send too many.

Black_n_Gold_4_Life: Good afternoon Ed - this is my first chat. I just wanted to comment on how the Titans looked how the Steelers USED to look mixing up the run/pass plays. Question: how come Tomlin wont give Leftwich any playing time to shake up the defense. I like Big Ben but sometimes he needs to sit out a few plays to regroup when he's playing bad.

Ed Bouchette: Like most coaches, the coach stays with his guy unless there's a blowout or an injury.

Away_with_Arians: Coming up from North Carolina for the game Sunday, Edward. Two questions: (1) Wanna buy me a Coke? (2) Who do you expect Tomlin to sit for the game?

Ed Bouchette: Want my seat? I don't drink Coke, at least not straight. He's sitting no one, apparently, other than the injured Ryan Clark -- Carter and An. Smith will alternate there.

jeff_D: Besides, the O and D lines, what other position do you look to upgrade through the draft? WR?

Ed Bouchette: I would concentrate almost all my picks on those two areas, plus a cornerback.

Rev: The National types are all saying the Steelers played so poorly because they were worn out from the difficult schedule - what is your take?

Ed Bouchette: I don't believe in that bunk.

mwoodym112: Who gets in? Denver or San Diego? Not that it matters

Ed Bouchette: San Diego, the Chargers are on a roll and at home and the Broncos are just Yonkos.

steelers366: Hey Ed. A greeting from a Steeler fan in Denmark!!! Which opponent do you think will suit us best in divisional playoff?? Personally I would prefer a team from the AFC East.

Ed Bouchette: You mean, like the Patriots? I think anyone they get is going to be a difficult test, whether it's the Pats, the Ravens, the Colts or the Chargers. Root for the Dolphins and Joey Porter to come to Heinz Field, but that's a long shot.

BigBob: I have to ask, who was the Santa at the press conference? And more importantly, why?

Ed Bouchette: You will have to ask the Steelers that because they approved of that schtick, turning it into the most embarrassing coach's press conference that I've covered in 24 years. I will keep his name out of this chat, because he's actually a friend of mine who should not have been permitted on that stage because he did nothing for himself, the Steelers nor coach Mike Tomlin, who was unbelievably gracious. Bill Cowher would have conked him.

PittsburghPete: Beating a dead horse, Ben holds the ball too long, the OL line is awful, they have no running game, realistically Ed can they ride this dead horse all the way to the Super Bowl?

Ed Bouchette: The defensive chariots are capable of dragging him.

SteelersFanatic: Hi Mr. Bouchette. Did you enjoy Santa today at the press conference?

Ed Bouchette: Ahem. Let me put it this way: I enjoy these chats much more.

Steelyourface: How's this for optimism, AFC Championship in PA after the Titans lose to the Chargers?

Ed Bouchette: It's happened before to the Steelers -- and I assume you mean it will be in Pittsburgh, PA.

capecodfan: Why is the offensive line making the same mistakes now that they were making 3 months ago. I see little to no improvement in the blocking schemes against 4 and 5 man fronts.

Ed Bouchette: Could it be that they are just not that good?

RocketMan: I know it's a crap shoot sitting players out or letting them play, but, personally, I think momentum going into the playoffs is better than 3 weeks off. Your thoughts?

Ed Bouchette: Momentum is in the eye of the beholder. Get James Harrison hurt and see how much momentum means.

OldSchoolPatriotFan: Any chance the Steelers would be interested in Larry Johnson?

Ed Bouchette: Oh, that they could get him right now.

daquido_bazzini: Deep inside the locker room...What is the feel of the players after the way Chris Johnson waved at Troy...and several of the other thugs made fun of the towel?

Ed Bouchette: I took my shovel and tried to go pretty deep but really could find nothing other than they made mention to the fact that T.J. Whosyourmama did the same thing in '05 and it came back to haunt him. I am looking for a backhoe, though, to go a little deeper on this and will report the findings.

Ed Bouchette: That's a wrap. Remember, It's a Wonderful Life is on Christmas Eve, I believe, and the old Miracle on 34th Street is on early, early Christmas morning, 6:30 I think. No need for a MIracle on Art Rooney Drive this year, unless you're asking for a running game to be delivered under the tree. Sorry, Santa's rein deer only fly and that appears the only way the Steelers can move the ball as well. That's enough from me. Merry Christmas to you all and we'll return next Tuesday right here, provided I'm not rescued before then.

First published on December 23, 2008 at 2:40 pm

12-23-2008, 05:21 PM
yobowhunter: What is the real reason the running game has faltered so much this year? Willie, the line, or abandonment? Can the Steelers reach the Super Bowl without a running game? Any chance they get it going this year?

Ed Bouchette: It's a combination of all those things you mention, plus injuries. Can they? Yes. Will they? I don't think so, but I would not rule it out as long as the offense does not stand in the way of it's defenses, i.e., turnovers.

That about sums it up.

12-23-2008, 05:57 PM
Why does he treat the fans with such disdain?

It's annoying.

We should all write letters to his editor asking them to replace Ed with someone who likes the fans.