View Full Version : CHAT: By Popular Demand: Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat tran

12-30-2008, 04:01 PM

Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Ed Bouchette: It's the bye week, so don't expect me to have my game-face on.

B_G: Ed, Thanks for chatting each week; I'm a big fan. Jack Kelly and you mentioned Dr. Joseph Maroon, team neurosurgeon for the Steelers, in your article about Big Ben's testing at UPMC. Was Dr. Maroon riding on the cart as Ben left the field Sunday? What will his role be in treating & monitoring Ben? How has Ben done on the ImPACT testing?

Ed Bouchette: Wow, you sound as if you are a neurosurgeon with all those pointed questions. Yes, that was Dr. Maroon on the cart in the photo on our front page Monday. Ben's doing OK, but they have not yet delivered me the ImPACT tests. Dr. Maroon will be front and center in treating and monitoring Ben. I will tell you all this, though: It appears he will be fine and will start next week.

Will_from_Freehold__NJ: Ed, First off I want to wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year! Despite Ben's concussion I agree 100% with Coach Tomlin to play his regulars and finish off the season with a victory. When Ben was hurt, how did you react? Did you start to question Tomlin's decision?

Ed Bouchette: I always questions coaches' decisions. It's in my contract. Having said that, I think everyone's reaction was similar: Hurt in a nothing game. The CBS announcers wondered the same thing. But Tomlin does not coach scared, and I doubt he second-guessed his decision.

Will_from_Freehold__NJ: Willie Parker got his wish to run behind a fullback, can we expect that formation to be used in the playoffs?

Ed Bouchette: Yes. Now the next question is how often? I can't answer that.

James_Taipei: With the Steelers offense sputtering against anyone besides Cleveland, do you see the Steelers trying some trick plays in the AFC divisional playoff round?

Ed Bouchette: No

Nosmo_King: Halleluiah for the return of the I formation! I realize I may be preaching to the choir however Carolina and Miami both benefitted greatly from the addition of rookie OTs Otah and Long respectively to their teams. They are now both playoff teams following less than stellar years in 2007. Since the Steelers will be picking at the end of the round again doesn't these examples merit consideration for the Steelers to bundle a 1st and a 3rd rd pick to trade up and get a premier OT in the 2009 draft?

Ed Bouchette: The Steelers are heading to the playoffs as the No. 2 team and we're getting draft questions. Only in Pittsburgh. Let's hold those for after the season.

Mile_Hi_Stiller: Hey Fast Ed, There was a Limas Sweed Sighting during the Cleveland game. Although he can't catch a pass nor block, he was very effective at holding. I just hope that we don't have to use him in the playoffs. Have the coaches given up on this draft bust? Do you think that he will be around for next season?

Ed Bouchette: If they had given up on him, he would not be out there trying to catch passes. However, I would look for them to try to find another receiver to add to the group next year.

Mile_Hi_Stiller: Hey Ed, I thought Byron Leftwich's performance against Cleveland was solid although not sensational. Although I am a Ben fan, with all of the punishment that Ben has taken, What do you think of starting Leftwich, with a fullback for Willie in a run oriented offense?

Ed Bouchette: You have to start Ben if he's deemed healthy.

Bob_in_Virginia: Ok, keep it simple. Ben is the number one quarterback and should be. No question. Then why does the offense seem to run more smoothly with Leftwich? Sunday was a perfect example, rough with Ben, smooth with Byron. Redskins, rough with Ben, smooth with Byron.

Ed Bouchette: So you want to bench the big guy based on two halves of play?

steelguin: Since Cowher doesnt want the Jets job because he wants to bring his own personnel director, is it possible he is talking about Kevin Colbert?

Ed Bouchette: It's possible, but as I've written, I think Kevin will stay put.

Jerry_Olsavsky_fan: Type here Mr. Bouchette, Lifelong Steeler fan from Nashville. I'm making my first visit to Heinz Field for the playoff game on the 11th. Is there a must-see place for me to visit the day before? Is there a place where I can visit to spend a little time with the fans on the night before the game?

Ed Bouchette: I don't know because I don't spend the night before games with fans. However, if you go anywhere on the South Side of Pittsburgh, I'm sure you'll find more than what you're looking for. Walk up and down Carson Street, there are so many joints they won't allow any more.

hinestheman: Ed, does Miami have a shot this week?

Ed Bouchette: Yes, just ask Joey Porter. I like the Ravens but at this point I would not underestimate the Dolphins and remember what rookie Ben did in the playoffs. Flacco could hit a wall.

steelman43: Big Ed- 800 receptions in the NFL. Couldn't happen to a more classy guy and a player that represents Pittsburgh and the Steeler organization, don't you think?

Ed Bouchette: You mean T.O.? Oh, Hines Ward, yes.

hinestheman: Ed, will Ryan Clark play on the 11th? and if so, will he be fully healed?

Ed Bouchette: He will play. Nobody is fully healed but good enough to go.

steelman43: Ed-Loved the return to the I formation. I know the season numbers are horrible however, if we do get FWP moving just how dangerous are we going to be in January?

Ed Bouchette: Unfortunately, I don't regard this offense as dangerous any more. They must just not get in the way of the defense and perhaps score a TD or two.

sinmusic: Ed, Who would Bill Cowher attempt to take from the Steelers if he were back as a coach?

Ed Bouchette: James Harrison, but he's not available. I'm sure he'd like a few of the coaches here, starting with Dick LeBeau. I think it's a moot point because I don't think he's going anywhere.

rbird: Ed, what's your opinion on the meltdown in Dallas? Aren't you glad that kind of thing doesn't happen in Pittsburgh?

Ed Bouchette: You mean like 2003, when they went 6-10? Or 2006, when they followed their Super Bowl victory with an 8-8 season?

rbird: Hey Ed, The Chargers are playing pretty good football right now and are getting hot at the right time. Would you rather the Steelers face the Colts than the Chargers?

Ed Bouchette: I think the Chargers, Colts and Ravens would all be worthy opponents. Of course, if it's the Ravens, it would have to take place in the title game. But Chargers lost here by one, Ravens lost in OT here and Colts beat the Steelers here.

rbird: Ed, I know earlier in the week you voiced your displeasure with Tomlin going with the starters against the Browns. Did he have anything to say today concerning the issue during his press conference?

Ed Bouchette: He strongly stands by his actions. I don't blame him. It was a good debate, with good points to be made on both sides of it.

norcalfan: If you knew that the Steelers offense would not turn the ball over more than once a game in playoff games, what would you say would be the likelihood that the team would reach the Super Bowl?

Ed Bouchette: I'd like their chances better than the 4 turnovers they had in Tennessee.

rbird: Ed, I have tickets to both rounds of playoff games but I'm only going to be able to make the trip one week. Do I take the chance that the Steelers will be hosting the AFC Championship game?

Ed Bouchette: Yes. They have a good history of winning their first playoff game at home. Plus, there's nothing like a championship game, especially if your team wins at home. It's one big party. I know, because the Steelers have done it once in the past 29 years.

Katmandu: Ed, based on your expert opinion, please rank the teams that would be the most favorable match up for the Steelers (Colts, Chargers or Dolphins) for their first playoff game. Personally, I'd like to see the Colts again, as I don't see Miami beating Baltimore, or SD beating Indy. Thoughts?

Ed Bouchette: Dolphins would be my first priority, especially with JPeezy. San Diego would be second, and Colts last.

Chooch79: Do you have to work this Sunday Ed, or do you get a bye week?

Ed Bouchette: I will be working extremely hard to get you the information you deserve in Monday morning's Post-Gazette.

Chooch79: The temperature in Hades when the Browns will finally beat the Steelers?

Ed Bouchette: Is that Hades, Ohio, or Hades, Pa.?

Chooch79: After deciding to finally use a FB in the last game of the year, what's next -- the Wildcat formation?

Ed Bouchette: Is this Sam Wyche?

CT_Stiller: Any chance of the Steelers going after Jordan Gross or Khalif Barnes? Which guards/centers do you see as being possibilities in free agency? If there's one area that that this team has been lacking in recent years, it's drafting OL. Maybe it's time to sign big name guy(s) and get a decent line coach in there. Your thoughts?

Ed Bouchette: I don't think they will pay top dollar for a left tackle in free agency. It's just not been their style.

docsjc: Ed: Based on the two Steelers teams that have played the last two weeks which one do you think will show up for the playoffs? How deep will they go?

Ed Bouchette: They'll go deep to Santonio Holmes. I would expect the Steelers from last Sunday will show up January 11. Unfortunately for them, Cleveland won't show up as their opponent.

steelman43: Ed-Which current Steelers defender would you have liked to see on the Steelers of the 70's? I think that Polamalu or Harrison would have made them Super Scary?

Ed Bouchette: Different defenses. I don't think James would have fit the 4-3. Polamalu would have been a nice fit; of course, he'd have to beat out Donnie Shell. I also like Aaron Smith, but he would have had to compete with Joe Greene and Ernie Holmes.

AZ_Steeler: Ed, have you picked out a nice sweater vest for the home playoff game?

Ed Bouchette: These are tough economic times.

SteelersFanFromMD: Will we see more use of a fullback next weekend?

Ed Bouchette: No, but perhaps the weekend after next.

ajt123: Where are you when you do these chats? The comfort of your own home? Office? Steelers facility?

Ed Bouchette: You sound like an old girlfriend who wanted to see where I worked. Don't worry about it, I told her, it's work. I will tell you I sit in front of the computer, tears running down my cheeks, and a sharp pain in my head. Magically around 2 p.m., the pain clears.

steel43: Ben has startling numbers outside the pocket. Why has there been a lack of designed rollouts to play to his advantage?

Ed Bouchette: I don't believe Ben is as mobile as he used to be. 139 sacks over 3 seasons will do that to you, even at 26.

Steeler_Rage: Do you believe Arians will actually commit/stick to trying to establish a running game in the playoffs?

Ed Bouchette: Part of it might depend on who they play. As I said, the Browns won't show up to help them out there.

black_gold: Ed, do you plan on taking the imPACT test?

Ed Bouchette: I do it every Tuesday between 1:30 and 2.

VegasTownsendFan: If for some reason Ben wont be ready, you think Leftwich can produce like he has this season, with a playoff team?

Ed Bouchette: Yes, I believe BL is a good quarterback and the Steelers are fortunate to have him as a backup, considering what happened to Charlie Batch. He has that certain something about him, probably because he's been a good starter in the past. I believe Jax made a mistake letting him go and he will get a chance to start somewhere next season.

jerry_olsavsky_fan: Life-long Steelers fan from Nashville coming to my first game ever at Heinz Field for the playoffs. Where can I go Sat. night to spend a little time with the local fans? Thanks.

Ed Bouchette: See answer above. Hint: Carson Street on South Side.

Philly_Scott: I can't imagine the Dallas drama here. Sure, the Steelers have had some poor years, but I've always gotten the impression that we have had one of the more solid examples of team unity under both Cowher and Tomlin. Is this just an illusion?

Ed Bouchette: No, you hit the head on the nail.

lamberts_lunatic: Kudos to Tomlin for playing starters. Don't you think that is a better way of going into post season then say the Titans 23-0 loss to Indy?

Ed Bouchette: No, I don't think it matters. But that's just me.

Scritdog: Do you think Leftwich has the skills and leadership qualities to lead this team to a Super Bowl in the event that Ben doesn't recover for the playoff push?

Ed Bouchette: yes

BigJoePolkaShow: Please give Smizik a huge "Thank You" from all Pittsburgh sports fans and best wishes for a relaxing retirement free of maniac Steeler fans!

Ed Bouchette: I'm sure he'll appreciate that. By the way, he's one of our biggest chat fans and now that he has little else to do, he may be in this room asking questions under a non de plume.

docsjc: Ed: What's with Belichick's disciples: Charlie Weis, Mangini and Romeo? They achieved nothing respectively without their boss' camcorder.

Ed Bouchette: There's only one true genius in that organization.

43headhunter: It's been a long rough year for the Steelers,but not like what Aaron Smith went through. How is he doing by chance?

Ed Bouchette: He's doing great. In fact, I congratulated him today on the blood drive turnout last Friday and he said to me, "that's Pittsburgh!"

cbinmemphis: Ed, when you see the conflicting answers Cowher gave to the Browns and Jets, do you get the feeling he might coach in 2009 in the right situation?

Ed Bouchette: First off, I did not hear from Bill Cowher, I only heard others giving reasons for him turning down jobs. I've written and said, I don't think he'll coach this year.

Chris: Hi Ed. Was it weird not having Smizik in the press box with you on Sunday? I miss him already.

Ed Bouchette: Yes, it was. Plus, he always would help me with a few notes for my notebook after Sunday's game. It's almost like when Chuck Noll retired, although I think you'll see Bob doing some stuff.

Silverback4MVP: Three head coaches fired this week. Who else do you see getting the axe?

Ed Bouchette: I'd worry if I were the coach in KC, and I think Marvin Lewis would like to get out of Cincinnati but they won't let him go.

Special_Ed_The_Actor: What was your favorite attribute of Smize?

Ed Bouchette: His haircuts. No, the fact he could write what he thought and felt to be true, no matter the consequences.

Philly_Scott: For next year, would you prefer a more competitive Browns team that occasionally beats us or do you have too much fun watching them get trashed time and time again?

Ed Bouchette: Just as long as they stay in Cleveland, just two hours away, I don't care if the Browns remain doormats.

USCguy: Don't you wish everyone would stop asking questions about next season before this season is even over?

Ed Bouchette: This season isn't over, but this chat session is. Happy New Year everyone. And I have a real treat for you. Although it pains me greatly to tell you this, we will have two chats next week. The usual on Tuesday and one on Thursday, probably at 2 p.m. on Thursday. To rephrase an old Beano Cook saying, Haven't I suffered enough?

First published on December 30, 2008 at 2:28 pm

12-30-2008, 05:42 PM
Thanks, Stanz, nice read :D

A little concerned about discussion of Cowher snatching Bad Word Lebeau and other coaches/players if he coaches somewhere, like the Jets, etc. Hopefully he stays fat and happy in the broadcast booth.

12-30-2008, 08:26 PM
The only genius in the Pats* organization is the camcorder operator.

12-31-2008, 09:23 AM
i very much doubt lebeau would leave when cowher returns to coaching.

12-31-2008, 02:23 PM
i very much doubt lebeau would leave when cowher returns to coaching.

Yeah, I doubt that as well. Also Cowher's been talking about bring his own personnel men, but I don't see Colbert walking away from what he knows is a good thing with the Rooneys (plus Pittsburgh is his hometown). Perhaps Cowher would want Bruce Arians to be his offensive coordinator somewhere?

12-31-2008, 04:22 PM
i very much doubt lebeau would leave when cowher returns to coaching.

Yeah, I doubt that as well. Also Cowher's been talking about bring his own personnel men, but I don't see Colbert walking away from what he knows is a good thing with the Rooneys (plus Pittsburgh is his hometown). Perhaps Cowher would want Bruce Arians to be his offensive coordinator somewhere?

i doubt colbert would leave as well, no one in their right mind would if they were him. wow i had no idea he is from the burgh