Steelers chat with Ed Bouchette
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
WoodleyIsAgod: Ed, it looked like a touchdown to me and the NFL did publically agree with the oveturned call, but if you were making the call ... Overturn or The play stands?
Ed Bouchette: Play stands, but then if I were ruling, I might have called it a TD at first. Look, it's like a bang-bang call at first base; there really was no wrong call on this matter, so let's move on.
NvSteelerfan: Will the Steelers running game show up for the playoffs?
Ed Bouchette: It'll show up, but it might be up in one of those private boxes at Heinz field.
Will_from_Freehold__NJ: What can Coach Tomlin do to keep the team focused on the ultimate task at hand? Winning a division title is great but not the ultimate goal. Your thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: If you have a team that cannot keep focused, then you are not 11-3, you are the Cleveland Browns.
Willie_ran_over_Ray: Ed, I can't see the Steelers losing to the Titans this weekend--how will Tennessee ever score? Wanna predict a score?
Ed Bouchette: No.
AmericanU_SteelersFan: Ed, Big Ben was "only" sacked 3 times by the Ravens, is that a moral victory for the offensive line or do they still have a ways to go?
Ed Bouchette: I think they're getting better, but they have a ways to go. They are never going to be a great offensive line, so you must hope for competent.
Will_from_Freehold__NJ: Ed, I don't agree with the First Down spiking of the ball prior to the eventual game-winning touchdown. There was about 50 seconds left in the game AND they had a time out. What was your reaction to that? Did you agree with the explanation given later on?
Ed Bouchette: I went nuts in the press box -- you should see when I do that -- and wondered the same thing. Why waste a down? Ben said they wanted to settle down and think of what they actually were going to run, but why can't you throw a quick slant or something in the meantime? If it's complete, great. If it's incomplete, then you are right where you would be after spiking the ball -- second down, with time to think.
Away_with_Arians: Imagine the referee doesn't overturn the Holmes TD. Two questions: (1) Does Tomlin go for it? (2) If so, what's the play call? Got a hunch, Ed?
Ed Bouchette: I can answer No. 1 for sure, they were going to go for it. As to No. 2, I don't know that I like any of the calls other than a quick pass to either Heath Miller or Hines Ward. Yes, from the one inch line because I have no confidence anymore that it's automatic they make that.
Will_from_Freehold__NJ: What was your assessment of the offensive line play this weekend? When they had to block for Big Ben in the clutch they came through, not bad.
Ed Bouchette: Not bad is about how I would describe it too.
HarrisonForMayor: 23 quarters without offensive holding called against a steelers opponent - any chance at all the league does anything about it?
Ed Bouchette: You just brought it to their attention and I'm sure all the offensive linemen would like to thank you for that.
Mike-E: Ed: As we get ready for the playoffs at Heinz field with either 1 or 2 games, we need to continue to develop our running game. Which side of our offensive line is the better run side and how does it compare to 05 when we used Faneca-Smith and Simmons-Starks?
Ed Bouchette: That takes some time to deliberate. I will alert my accountants. No, I think what you see is what you have and this is no time of the year to start developing your running game. Maybe you should do just the opposite and go to a more pass-heavy offense.
Will_from_Freehold__NJ: Ed, this whole Mitch Berger punting situation has me a bit stressed. The weather at Heinz Field will not get better as January comes rolling in. What can they do? Is there no one else out there?
Ed Bouchette: What I do for stress is get a rubber ball and squeeze it. Or, sometimes, I just go on one of these chats.
Lefty_Leftwich: Ed, the stars seem to be aligning nicely for the Steelers with Haynesworth and Vanden Bosch out. Do you feel the Steelers would be better with the number 1 seed?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, despite their history, I believe the No. 1 seed is the absolute best ticket to the Super Bowl.
T22POST: Ed, yes or no, are you worried we are going to waste one of the greatest defenses of all time, with terrible offensive play?
Ed Bouchette: If I worried, that might worry me, but look at it this way, if they did not have a great defense, they would not be where they are today. So, it's not really a waste. Remember, they "wasted" THE best defense of all time in 1976, when they lost to Oakland in the AFC title game.
AmericanU_SteelersFan: Ed, what do you think the reason was for the Steelers 1-4 record during home AFC Championship games under Cowher? Bad coaching, arrogance by players, or something else? Do you think the same thing could happen to this squad?
Ed Bouchette: I think it was a combination of good competition, over-confidence (remember the Super Bowl rap video?) and maybe a tone of relaxation set by playing at home. No, I do not see that in this team. It's a different era, different players for the most part and different staff.
Google_Fabled_Enemies_Watch_It: After the game Sunday Ray Lewis gave an interview in their locker room with a strange, sallow & gaunt little fellow standing next to him (with FOX mic), practically breaking his neck nodding in agreement with everything Ray was saying. At one point Lewis turned to him and extended his tongue for a disturbing moment ... who is that guy & what was Ray doing?
Ed Bouchette: I really do not know what you are talking about because I did not see that and I was not in the Ravens locker room. Perhaps the guy from Fox asked Ray to open his mouth and say ahhhhh.
AmericanU_SteelersFan: Ed, which team would win if they played today: 2005 Steelers or 2008 Steelers?
Ed Bouchette: Which team would Ben play for?
Steelersfan-n-Austin: Hello Ed, Does is appear that Woodley and Harrison are wearing down a bit, or are offenses just finding protections that work against them?
Ed Bouchette: It seems to me that they've dropped them into pass coverage more of late.
AmericanU_SteelersFan: Ed how does it feel to know that you'll be doing these chats until at least the second week of January?
Ed Bouchette: Believe this or not, it was the first thought I had when the Steelers beat Baltimore. You could hear the Yippeee probably all the way back to Pittsburgh.
Will_from_Freehold__NJ: Today the Pro Bowl rosters are being announced, what are your predictions? I say: Polumalu, Harrison, Woodley, Farrior, Hines and Aaron Smith.
Ed Bouchette: I think there will be no one on offense but all of the others you mention belong in the Pro Bowl.
AmericanU_SteelersFan: Ed which team would you like to see the Steelers play in the first round of the playoffs: Indy or Baltimore?
Ed Bouchette: Buffalo. Are they still in it? If not, then Baltimore.
SuperJudd: Are you as surprised as me that the Ravens weren't running their yaps after losing on Sunday? I figured for sure they'd still be thumping their chests saying they are the better team or that the Steelers cheated or something.
Ed Bouchette: Give them a day or two.
mikeflores16: Great articles the past two days, Ed. Given how the situation has played out this year, does this year remind you more of 2005, or of the AFC Championship losses of '04, '01, '97, '94?
Ed Bouchette: Neither. That 2005 team came out of nowhere at 7-5, and I believe this team can win the AFC title.
praveen: ESPN's Gallo wrote an article ranking our defense higher than Baltimore's 2000 defense. I disagree. As consistently great as our defense is, our defense can't win 3-0 or 6-3 games like that Baltimore defense was capable of. Their offense made our offense looked prolific by comparison. That defense had a few shutouts too.
Ed Bouchette: That's what makes it a great debate.
weinberg17: Easy Ed. Don't you find it quite annoying that Ben's amazing 92 yd drive is bieng completely overshadowed by the questionable TD call?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, I do. As I said, it was like a bang-bang play at first base. It's kind of how their last Super Bowl victory was "tainted" by people ripping the officials, even to the extent to question whether Ben R. scored when replays showed clearly he did.
SuperJudd: What is your prediction for the Steelers v Titans game? Will the Steelers walk away the #1 or #2 seed in the AFC?
Ed Bouchette: Right now, on Tuesday, I like the Steelers, but I reserve the right to change my mind as the week goes on, although I don't see that changing.
Terrible_Trousers: Ed, It was tough to tell on Sunday, is Townsend the #4 corner now with McFad starting and Gay #3, or is this a fluid thing depending upon the defense and situation?
Ed Bouchette: Townsend played the nickel while Gay on certain series replaced McFadden in the 3-4. So, take your pick and you're right either way.
AmericanU_SteelersFan: Ed, 2005 Steelers vs 2008 Steelers: who wins?
Ed Bouchette: Steelers already won the Super Bowl in 2005, so I will take them. Plus, they had the Bus.
purplbrownzsuk: Ed, the first call on the TD was wrong (it did enter the goal line plane) and then the reversal was wrong (no indisputable evidence). So, was my mom lying when she said 2 wrongs do not make a right?
Ed Bouchette: If I wanted to steal a line, I'd say Pay the man, Shirley.
Boston_Burgher: Ben threw forty times against the Ravens. Would you prefer to see him throwing 20-25 times and increase the number of running plays?
Ed Bouchette: Not if it were to have a different result than the one on Sunday. As I said, maybe we should think out of the box on this and instead of "Steelers football" think of what Mike Tomlin likes to call it, winning football.
BenchBenROFL: Ed, guys on ESPN spent the WHOLE time devoted to the Steelers/Ravens game talking about the call controversy instead of the great defense from both teams. Have they completely sold themselves out to catering to the drama instead of the sport?
Ed Bouchette: You mean you just noticed that?
weinberg17: Easy Eddie. Do you think we are SB favorites now? What do you personally think?
Ed Bouchette: "A" favorite, not "the" favorite, and keep an eye on those Colts, who won in Heinz Field this year.
Mike-E: Ed: Will Keisel be shelved until the playoffs to allow him ample time to heal?
Ed Bouchette: I think he might play this week.
mg: If the Holmes call not been changed to a TD and you had to make the decision, would you have gone for the TD on 4th and inches or kicked the FG?
Ed Bouchette: Go for the TD.
NJSteelersnut: I know Santonio caught the game winning TD, but he continues to make numerous mistakes. Is this his last year in Pittsburgh?
Ed Bouchette: No, it's not his last year. Who do you plan to replace him with, Limas Sweed?
todd_the_steeler_maniac: Hi Ed, if you had your own power rankings who would your top 5 teams be right now?
Ed Bouchette: 1. Tennessee, 2. Steelers, 3. Colts, 4. Carolina, 5. Baltimore.
SteelersFaninMD: Will McFadden start this weekend?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, I believe so because nothing has changed and he started last Sunday.
CS: Ed, given the way they've handled Marvel's injury, is it just an understood thing that he's going to jump right back into the starting lineup if he's healthy? Max Starks has played well thus far, and the line seems to be playing more cohesively than earlier in the year when Marvel was in there.
Ed Bouchette: At this point, I believe he is a safety valve.
ai032003: Ed, This defense needs a nickname! How about the Lebeau-o-constrictors
Ed Bouchette: You must have something that is easy to pronounce and not in French.
Democrat_Dan: As Baltimore was huddling before their 3rd & 8 play from the Steelers' 27, I said to my son that they should have handed the ball to McLain, hoped for a first down and accepted a field goal attempt from a pretty reliable Stover if they came up short. Dropping back to pass was a strategic mistake. Your thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: It looked like one of those dumb plays that coaches call sometimes, like the Buffalo play rolling the QB out when you have the game in your hip pocket if you just run the ball.
jhaugjr: How could the officials have totally missed a spitting incident? IS there anything likely to come of it, besides queasy stomachs?
Ed Bouchette: I have seen nothing yet, but unless there was a camera that caught it, it will be a he-said, she-said thing. The officials can't catch everything.
nhsteel: Ed, the Pats won three Super Bowls with no great running game, a pass heavy offense and a defense that wasn't as good as this one. Sound good for this Steelers team!
Ed Bouchette: Tom Brady is different, though, in that regard than Ben R.
Beef33: I know the advantages with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, but based on prior history wouldn' t the Steelers do better going on the road? I ask because they seem to play with a bigger chip on their shoulder during road games.
Ed Bouchette: I believe that was a different team. Playing at home, historically, is the way to go.
JamesHarrison4MVP: Ed, did Tomlin say anything about Berger being spit at by Frank Walker and the Jeff Reed personal foul that followed? In my opinion, good for Reed for sticking up for his teammate.
Ed Bouchette: I asked him about it, and he said he had no take on it. Sounds as though he did not want to get involved.
weinberg17: Eddie. I havent hear any Leftwich talk lately. Thats a good sign, right?
Ed Bouchette: I talk to him almost every day in the locker room. He's a fine fellow, and he will make some team a good starting quarterback next year.
Ludachris: Hi Ed. Who scares you most in the playoffs? I hear everyone saying Indy, but I do not want to see Baltimore again. We'd have to beat them for a 3rd time in the same season, and they would be fired up to get back at us for the Santonio touchdown call.
Ed Bouchette: I don't scare well, and I think the Steelers don't either, especially with Cincinnati and their Halloween uniforms not involved this season. However, I do think Indy looms as their biggest threat with Baltimore a close second.
Ed Bouchette: Thank you for all the sane questions today; there were a few. We will have this Christmas week next Tuesday, as much as I tried to beg off, and right through the end of the playoffs.
First published on December 16, 2008 at 2:27 pm