View Full Version : Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript

03-03-2009, 10:34 PM
Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Ed Bouchette: Welcome back -- to all of you and to Chris K.


epper: Ed, with the strong play of William Gay last year and the return of the ageless Townsend might the Steelers be better served by saving the cap money on McFadden for use at other positions that lack some depth. Namely O line and WR?

Ed Bouchette: You're always going to be caught a little short at some positions. The Steelers will need to draft a cornerback if they don't sign McFadden

Steadyb23: Hi Ed, do you think it was a good move re-signing Willie Colon?

Ed Bouchette: That was a no-brainer. He's a restricted free agent and they put the tender on him that allows them to match or receive a first-round pick in return. Plus, if there's no new CBA, he'll be restricted again next year and they can do the same thing.

Freehold_Will: Greetings Ed. Regarding the draft, when does the NFL announce compensatory draft picks for free agents lost (Alan Faneca for one)?

Ed Bouchette: It's usually during the NFL meetings, at the end of March. remember, they also signed a few free agents like Mewelde Moore and Fox, so they're not going to have a big load of comp picks.

hinestheman: Ed, obviously as a fan, we can be biased. But, why haven't the Snyders of the World learned from teams like Pittsburgh that you don't build a winning franchise by overpaying stars? I love how the Steelers know how to get value both in the draft and free agency. Don't you think that's a big part of their success? Why can't the Redskins or Cowboys learn from that?

Ed Bouchette: Shhhhh, don't let on.

Freehold_Will: If the Steelers lose McFadden will they draft CB in one of the first two rounds?

Ed Bouchette: It's hard to say what position they'll draft in the first 2 rounds, especially when they pick 32nd. Who's available? You don't just draft a corner to say you drafted a corner. He better be of value where you draft, otherwise, draft a OL, DL, WR.

Freehold_Will: I was very happy to see that the Steelers were able to keep Chris Kemoeatu and sign Max Starks. Do you think that Darnell Stapleton will remain at RG? Why not work Tony Hills at guard?

Ed Bouchette: Tony Hills is a tackle. Stapleton's at right guard unless someone else comes along better.

PhillyMarty: How many years do Holmes and Ward have left on their contracts?

Ed Bouchette: Ward through 2009, Holmes through 2010.

PittsburghPete: Hi Ed. Good to have you back sharing your insight with us. We all know how much you love these chats. Appears the thought was to keep only one of them, so why Kemoeatu over Simmons?

Ed Bouchette: One's on the rise, the other the decline. One's healthy, the other is not.

Freehold_Will: No matter what the Steelers do in free agency I have to admit that I trust there judgement. Seems like every year we lose players and someone else steps in and produces. Do you think this is one if not the best organizations regarding player personnel?

Ed Bouchette: The proof is there, yes.

hinestheman: Ed, how are the Steelers doing with 92's contract extension? Are they close? Please tell me they'll find a way to get it done ...

Ed Bouchette: I don't think they're close. One thing everyone has to remember is that he has one year left on his contract. Anyone thinking that James Harrison will get anything close to what the redskins gave Haynesworth, does not know the system. Haynesworth was a free agent, Harrison is not. If they don't reach a contract, he plays for 1.5 million or whatever next year and they also could franchise him the year after that.

Silverback: Gerry Dulac reported that the Steelers will likely draft a WR mid to high. Do you think they'll look specifically for a deep threat to replace Washington, or just any available WR for whom they have a good grade?

Ed Bouchette: I think they'll try to find a speedier guy who also can return.

cander: How is Rashard Mendenhall recovering?

Ed Bouchette: I'm told he's fully recovered and has been so for awhile.

libyre: I'm not surprised (but still disappointed) the Steelers didn't go after Derrick Ward, but do you have any idea whether they plan to go after a power back in F.A. or the draft, or do they think R. Mendenhall will fill that void?

Ed Bouchette: I know that you're not supposed to have too many running backs, but they already have enough.

Silverback: If the Steelers don't sign Starks long term, can they use the tag next year? I fear they might need to franchise Harrison to keep him from becoming a Redskin.

Ed Bouchette: Yes, they can use the tag next year.

HappyValleyChris: I have heard that the Steelers have offered McFadden 5 years but the Cards are only offering 4 - any chance he stays in the Black and Gold?

Ed Bouchette: There's always a chance, especially when the Cardinals not knowing what they have to work with until Kurt Warner decides what to do. They also have Boldin.

BPiccolo: Ed, Do the Steelers have any free agents scheduled to visit? I haven't really seen anything.

Ed Bouchette: Not that we know of, yet.

omar_epps: Is there any chance that the Steelers would try to sign Marvel Smith on the cheap if he does not get picked up by another team?

Ed Bouchette: I don't think so.

mg: Do you expect the Steelers to sign a Cedric Wilson type FA to be the new #3 WR, or do you think Sweed or Baker will improve enough to fill that role?

Ed Bouchette: I think Sweed moves up. He was drafted in the second round and it's his turn.

Chooch79: What are the most troubling concerns to the Steelers if no CBA in 2010?

Ed Bouchette: Actually, I don't see any detriment to them. They will operate as they always have and perhaps laugh as they see others throw money around. It won't be a bonanza the players think it will be. Some teams -- Jax, Cincy, Buff, etc. -- will spend so far below the cap to make up for those who go over. Plus, it may not be the best economic timing for the players to have a no-cap, no-floor season.

RichP: Do you think Mendenhall will be a bust long term?

Ed Bouchette: It's wayyyyy too early to make any kind of assumption on that. He was hurt in the fourth game of the season.

praveen: Do you think the Steelers will finally realize Matt Spaeth should not be counted on as a blocker? All they need to do is watch game tapes.

Ed Bouchette: They should have seen enough on that first series in the SB when, on first down at the four, his pathetic attempt at blocking cost a 4-yard loss. But then, it's not his fault he was put in that spot. He is not a blocker.

steel_curtain: Will Ray Lewis still a be a Steeler nemesis next season in Baltimore?

Ed Bouchette: The best thing that happened to the Steelers in Baltimore was Bart Scott left and Ray Lewis stayed.

libyre: Why hang on to C. Davis and G. Russell for yet another season if they are not going to get on the field, and the need for a short-yardage back is so obvious?

Ed Bouchette: Gary Russell scored the game's first touchdown in the Super Bowl. I don't think it's the short-yardage back, but other factors.

RichP: Would it be smart to offer someone a deal in which all the money is paid in 2010? Like resign harrison with 40 million being paid in 2010?

Ed Bouchette: No.

praveen: People who are content with our line because they won the SB should also be content with Mitch Berger then because he "won" the SB too ...

Ed Bouchette: You make a good point. But then, it's a point I was making about punters for years. They are overrated. Having said that, Berger really was bad -- he was hurt and old, after all -- and they will welcome Daniel Sepulveda back.

steel_curtain: What was your reaction to the Matt Cassell/Mike Vrabel trade for only a number 2 pick?

Ed Bouchette: I had to laugh at some of the ESPN broadcasters who said New England did not want the 12th overall pick because it would cost them too much? What were they smoking? You get the 12th pick, that is so valuable, not only because it does not come with the costs of the top 10, but you could trade it for a second and a low first, at the least.

PhillyMarty: Would you have advised releasing Foote to free up cap space to enable re-signing McFadden or Washington? Foote is no more than a 2 down player, Timmons moves up and we draft a back-up.

Ed Bouchette: That's all well and good, except when you want to go to the nickel or if someone gets hurt. Foote is more valuable than you might think and they have not lost McFadden yet.

michsteelrfan: Do they view Spaeth as a bust and will look to draft another TE, or look for a FB and move McHugh to TE?

Ed Bouchette: Yes, yes, let's use more third-round picks to draft backup tight ends while ignoring the offensive and defensive lines. I love that strategy.

praveen: Feel better Ed. If the Steelers wanted Kemo that bad, why didn't they try to lock him up last year itself? It's not like his performance exceeded their expectations. Faneca looks like a bargain at 7.5M a year by comparison.

Ed Bouchette: I'm told Alan did not have a good year by New York guys. Anyway, they tried but he was not yet a starter and no one had anything to go by before last season. And, it's not as if theirs was the only offer. He turned down a better one from the Jets.

Chooch79: How much does the offense lose without Nate in the lineup to stretch the defense?

Ed Bouchette: It loses a lot, unless Sweed can make up for it.

praveen: Why do you think the Steelers just didn't let Starks out in the free market and bid against other teams instead of bidding against themselves with the tag?

Ed Bouchette: I think they were desperate and worried if they lost him, they'd be left without any tackles.

nate: From what your hear from Steeler brass, do they think they have a realistic shot at resigning McFadden?

Ed Bouchette: They thought they did, and the fact he has not yet signed gives them hope.

Doc_Holliday: Any player jump out at you at the NFL combine? How far up or down do you think Pat White will move REALLY? Something makes me think he will end up being a steal for some team in the 2nd round.

Ed Bouchette: I did not attend the combine, thank goodness. It's the most overrated sports event in history. It's also the only sports event that newspapers, TV and radio keep covering without being allowed to watch. It's ridiculous. Pat White, I was told, had a tremendous combine. The STeelers believe he'll go in the second round but should go in the first.

steel_curtain: What are your thoughts on what the Steelers use their number 1 draft pick on?

Ed Bouchette: BAA who is not a QB, RB, TE.

Ed_Bouchat: How do you think they'll address the 4th WR spot, FA or draft? If we take a wideout in the draft, how high?

Ed Bouchette: That's the best news Steelers fans can receive, asking a question about who is going to be the fourth wide receiver for the Super Bowl champs. It means they should be able to compete again.

Taz: Ed, who does the actual negotiating with agents? Is it Colbert or Omar Khan?

Ed Bouchette: Omar, with input

praveen: Most ridiculous contract so far this offseason: DeAngelo Hall - $54M over 6 years. Haynesworth's contract is essentially 4 years 48M after which Redskins can opt out

Ed Bouchette: Thank you.

hinestheman: Ed, do you expect Max Starks to sign a long term deal before the season starts?

Ed Bouchette: No. There is little incentive for him to do so when he's guaranteed $8.5 million for one. You'd have to start with a signing bonus of $15 million to get him interested.

hinestheman: Last question - actually this is a request ... Can we do these bi-weekly instead of monthly? I know you would love to ...

Ed Bouchette: I'm trying to get them to do it bi-weekly DURING the season. Thanks all for the participation. See you in April.

First published on March 3, 2009 at 2:15 pm