Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 3.30.2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Ed Bouchette: Welcome back. These are interesting times. No truth to rumors the Steelers are installing barbed wire atop the fence at their practice fields. Let's begin
Pappy Joe: Ed, When a Super Bowl champ opens a season do other teams have the right to refuse to play them on the opening Thursday night? Can you explain how this works?
Ed Bouchette: No, they cannot refuse to play them but they can request not to. The NFL issues the schedule after consulting with their TV partners and after taking requests from their teams. Denver, in 2006, and Baltimore, in 2009, each requested not to be part of the opening kickoff game in Pittsburgh and the NFL did not schedule either to do so. All kinds of requests are made. For example, if the Steelers want the NHL Winter Classic to be played in Heinz Field Jan. 1, a Saturday, they must request not to be scheduled to play at home that weekend.
polamalu43: Ed, I heard you on ESPN First Take last week and you said the Steelers like Mike Iupati from Idaho, do the Steelers not believe in Foster and Urbik??
Ed Bouchette: This was explained to me a long time ago: Just because they draft someone does not mean they do not like those at his position. They play two guards. Foster played tackle in college. Iupati, I'm told, also might be able to play tackle. And, I picked him a month before the draft. As I wrote today on PG Plus, I reserve the right to change my mind over the coming weeks.
SgtStlr: How are you adjusting to your move from the Sports Desk to the Police Blotter Desk at the PPG?
Ed Bouchette: I've had experience with this kind of stuff through the years.
Amos_P_Swanson: Hi Ed....In regards to the rash of conduct problems....could it be possible that the Steelers use someone as an "example", and trade them at draft time?
Ed Bouchette: They tried making an example of Cedric Wilson and apparently it did not work on the big names.
B&G_Fan_Stuck_In_Ohio: Listening to some other "talking heads" speaking about the Steelers, they seem to think our offensive personnel no longer lends itself to the smash-mouth power running game of a few years ago. Do you agree or do you think attitude and dedication/commitment can rejuvenate the running game to where opponents must give it more respect than they have recently?
Ed Bouchette: I agree that they do not have the road-graders up front and the Jerome Bettis-style running backs. However, you do not have to be "smash mouth" to run the ball when you need to.
Tprod: Ed, with the possibility of Denis Dixon starting as QB because of Roethlisberger legal troubles, I think Mike Iupati, G Iowa, may present the best value for the Steelers at 18. He should definitely help with both the Red Zone and third Down conversion issues which plagued the Steelers last season. Jerry Dulac prefers trading down and taking Maurkice Pouncy, C Florida. You make the call, Iupati at 18 or trade down assuming you have a trading partner and take Pouncy and a third round pick.
Ed Bouchette: They will need a center in the coming years and can start grooming him. They also will need a guard. I'm all for getting a good player you want plus an extra draft pick if that's what someone is willing to give you.
Kiere Bulls: Is cornerback the largest need for the Steelers going into the draft?
Ed Bouchette: It's certainly the largest need going into the 2010 season. I do not know how the two rookie corners from last year will turn out, but finding good corners is hard and their best, Ike Taylor, also enters the final year of his contract.
polamalu43: Ed, I know you said previous that you would draft a CB in the first round BUT Joe Haden from Florida is worthy of a top 15 pick, if he would fall past #11 would you trade up to get him and what kind of compensation would it take to move up?
Ed Bouchette: It might take a second-round pick, minimum third. If it's a second, I would not do it. If it's a third, I would.
Amos_P_Swanson: I read that the Steelers were at Kyle Wilson's workout, and spent a good amount of time interviewing him. Any thoughts on him?
Ed Bouchette: Do not read into those kinds of things. The Steelers attend most of these workouts. Much was made of Mike Tomlin at "Tim Tebow's" workout, although there were plenty of other good talent at Florida that day.
B&G_Fan_Stuck_In_Ohio: Do you think Willie Parker is so upset with the way he was treated last year that he would rather sit out than reconsider signing back with the Steelers?
Ed Bouchette: I know that Willie was not happy about the way he was used -- not how he was treated, which is different. And I know that's how he was thinking recently and still may be. We will see.
Amos_P_Swanson: Do you think the conduct problems could pose a problem for Mike Tomlin being extended?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think the actions of a couple of players off the field will have any impact on whether the Steelers and Mike Tomlin agree on a contract extension for the coach.
THE_NOSEY_ONE: Ed: since the MODERATOR hand picks your questions, how does he or she know what questions you'd feel comfortable to answer? ( do you ever skip questions picked by MODERATOR?)
Ed Bouchette: No one hand picks the questions. I do choose which ones I want to answer.
THE_NOSEY_ONE: ED: when draft prospects visit: who foots the bills for their air fare and itineraries?
Ed Bouchette: The team.
THE_NOSEY_ONE: ED: if you criticize Tomlins / Cowher or any of Steelers old coaches thru your blogs or articles: do you feel awkward when you see them in person the next day? (even tho it's your job to critique for the good of the team)?
Ed Bouchette: You can always feel awkward upon seeing someone you "criticize,'' player, coach or even friend.
Tprod: Ed, do the Steelers resign Holmes or will he be the fall guy for the legal escapades of the Steelers players the past couple of seasons?
Ed Bouchette: I would guess they will be in no rush to negotiate a contract extension for him.
B&G_Fan_Stuck_In_Ohio: Do you think the Steelers have about as many, more or less off-field incidents as the rest of the NFL? It is not always a good combination when young men have money, fame and an inflated sense of entitlement.
Ed Bouchette: All of them have money and fame. No doubt many have a sense of entitlement. Most of them, believe it or not, manage to go through their careers and the rest of their lives without ever seeing their names on a police blotter or being sued.
Rob H.: Do you think the Steelers may trade up to the 10th spot and swap picks with jacksonville? I think they might do that and draft Joe Haden at the spot.
Ed Bouchette: All is possible.
Jopa-n: Considering how slow the investigation is going, do you think this is making the Steeler Brass and league upset more at Ben?
Ed Bouchette: I can tell you both with there was some kind of resolution one way or the other -- drop the charges or charge him. This twisting in the wind is good for no one.
Springfield Ill: Does the Roethlisberger/Holmes situation reflect on Tomlin's inability to mange or do the Rooney's hold the player or others more accountable?
Ed Bouchette: Look, these two's actions, whatever they were, is absolutely no reflection on the coach any more than it was a reflection on Chuck Noll when Ernie Holmes decided to take aim and shoot at a police helicopter.
jmf1177: Was Farrior at Steelers facility yesterday?
Ed Bouchette: No, many vets were not.
Jopa-n: Are you still staying with your pick of Iupati as the number 1?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, unless I change my mind.
Chooch: If Ben can throw TD's and Santonio can catch TD's, why do I care what they do when they are not on the field?
Ed Bouchette: Because it's possible do to their actions they will not be on the field when you want them to be.
Ed Bouchette: Due to their actions, that would be.
screenwriter: Ed, Ron Cook is right, we're looking like the Bungles of old. Do you think Art Rooney will discipline players ala Roger Goodell with fines or suspensions? Perhaps even saying, beginning April 1...
Ed Bouchette: I think we need more information and action before we can try to determine that. If Ben R. is not charged, I see no discipline.
jmf1177: Any chance Steelers draft Toby Gerhart if available in 3rd round?
Ed Bouchette: Maybe the fourth.
black_gold: ed when did we become the bengals did i miss something because of what is going on it sure seems like a dream to me or a nightmare
Ed Bouchette: They became the Bengals on and off the field.
Jeff: Ed, can the organization suspend either Ben or Holmes if neither are charged? Better question may be what can the Steelers do if anything.
Ed Bouchette: I do not see how they can suspend either player without them being charged with a crime. It would open a can of worms that would lead to too many problems. However, if they really thought a player or player was either a bad influence on the team or sullying the reputation of the team, they would not have to suspend him. They could merely release him, especially in a non-capped year that would have no repercussions on the salary cap.
Illinois Steelers Fan: I am a conflicted fan. I want to see the Steelers win and I like the play of Ben and Santonio. I just hate to see what is going on with them and it disturbs me to root for them right now. Any advice?
Ed Bouchette: Ray Lewis remains one of the most popular players ever in Baltimore.
Amos_P_Swanson: Have you seen Ben lately?
Ed Bouchette: No, I have not.
Hombre De Acero: Were you surprised to learn the Mike Tomlin is in daily contact with Ben?
Ed Bouchette: Not really. I just wonder, legally, if Georgia authorities can subpeaona anyone who has talked to Ben about the case other than his lawyers. That might be another reason Ben, his lawyers and the Steelers decided not to have him hang around his teammates this week.
Marty: Enough Ben, Santonio, police already. What is your feel for the Steelers outlook on Dixon. Does he have the arm, the head, etc.?
Ed Bouchette: Like you, I have seen Dennis play one real game and he did well in that. I know they like him. I do not know if they are prepared to turn the offense over to him.
NJ_Steeler: Have you heard of any other team's interest in FWP?
Ed Bouchette: No, I have not.
ironcity93: One of the Fox Sports journalists claims that Big Ben will play out the 2010 season, barring any legal barriers, but the Steeler organization will eventually dump him and Big Ben will be history for 2011. What's your opinion, can the Steelers make a go of it without Big Ben?
Ed Bouchette: That scenario is a stretch. Can they make it without him? Not to the Super Bowl, not now anyway.
DCSTEEL: Are QBs and receivers allowed to work on throwing/routes during these workouts?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, they can do that and do. You cannot have the team practicing but players can certainly throw passes to each other.
Guest: Do you know if there's a way to let the Rooneys know we'd rather have a losing team than a criminal one?
Ed Bouchette: I would bet that is not true. In fact, I would bet fans would trade a few arrests of the Pittsburgh Pirates for a chance at the World Series.
Ed Bouchette: OK, I've gone overtime and have to run. It was fun. And as Santonio Holmes would say on his web site, it's all about having fun. See you next Tuesday.
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