Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin.
Ellie Mae: Hi Mr Bouchette, who would be the starting OLBs for Monday's game in San Fran if Mr Harrison's suspension is upheld on appeal? What are the chances that Woodley will be back to play?
Ed Bouchette: Jason Worilds if Woodley plays on the left. If both are out, Timmons goes to Harrison's spot and Worilds stays on the left.
JamesinNYC: Any chance Harrison wins his appeal?
Ed Bouchette: Blutarsky chance.
s1refrosty: Ed, When can we expect a ruling on Harrison's appeal?
Ed Bouchette: Not long after he appeals, before the game Monday.
Casper: Hi Ed, you mentioned in your slog today that Ed Hoculi may have had a better view of the overturned Brown catch than us. So, the replay officials have more views than they show us on TV? I thought they had the same views the networks show us?
Ed Bouchette: They only have the feed from TV, I was wrong. They can, however, look longer at it.
David: What is Mendenhall's contract situation? Will the Steelers try to re-sign him or draft his replacement?
Ed Bouchette: This year and next, so they have two more drafts to replace him.
Adgrad425: Hello Ed...Where do you see the Steelers finishing before the playoffs ? #1 Overall Seed (if B-More & Texans drop a Game) or as the #5 with a trip out west to play at DEN or OAK....
Ed Bouchette: I see them playing at Denver as the No. 5 seed.
JamesinNYC: Ben still in the boot? % chance he will play?
Ed Bouchette: He'll be in that boot until at least Thursday. I like his chances but we have to see how his foot reacts. Friday, to me, will be the key day.
ryan: I got impression that Mike Tomlin agreed with league and wants Harrison to change. You get that impression?
Ed Bouchette: Yes. "He hit him, he hit him illegally and has to suffer the consequences,'' MT said today.
But so does the team suffer those consequences.
Mike: anybody else soundly disappointed by Tomlin's canned response?
Ed Bouchette: The man was hauled into the commissioner's office a few weeks ago when he backed Ryan Clark. He doesn't want that again.
Gil: Hi Ed... Do you think Jim would call John (Harbaugh) for some advice on how to beat the Steelers? Do you still think Ravens can lose 1 game (SD or CIN)??
Ed Bouchette: Of course he's going to call. They probably will go on Skype too. yes, I think the Ravens have one more loss in them.
kadrilaw: Ed, Is James being made an example of? I know he didn't help himself by going off on Goodell and all the other ill-advised comments he makes that gives the impression he cares nothing for the establishment. At the end of the day, don't you think the league took Harrison and made the example out of him? His hit on McCoy was not worthy of a suspension. It was the least egregious of all his past transgressions. He has not been fined all year. This was BS! Don't you think this shows that the league can be heavy handed and inconsistent in its discipline.
Ed Bouchette: He really didn't help himself by leading with his helmet on Colt McCoy. Had he not done that, he would be playing Monday night.The Wiz: Saw your note that Troy is questionable with a hammy...seems like big news that went under the radar, do you have any more info?
Ed Bouchette: The Steelers could have five Pro Bowl candidates not playing in San Fran: Harrison, Ben R., Troy P., Woodley, Pouncey. Also, Emmanuel Sanders.
Mike: It is feasible/reasonable that Dan or Art II tell Goddell that he's not welcome at any team facility/function?
Ed Bouchette: Another Blutarsky. 0.0 chance.
Fowler: Ed...MT said today that if BR doesn't practice he doesn't play...Would the same apply to Harrison if they don't get an appeal decision until Friday?
Ed Bouchette: They have practice Saturday this week because of Monday game.
JamesinNYC: I would love to see Hines come back for one more year...do you think he would take a necessary paycut and come back?
Ed Bouchette: I do.
Mike: How much impact will the result of the Bal/SD game have on 7's playing status?
Ed Bouchette: Blutarsky chance, 0.0
JerseySteel: Ed, what percentage chance do you give Woodley playing on Monday night?
Ed Bouchette: Better than even
Steel city Man: Ed, In your opinion, do you think Ben will play on Monday? If he cannot go would Charlie get the start? I have always liked Charlie, but the 3 series he played on Thursday were not very productive. Is there any chance Dixon could start?
Ed Bouchette: I do believe he'll play but that's not a strong conviction. I think Batch would start but you might see a little Dixon mixed in.
jon from robinson: Curious about the timing of the suspension. Seem a little earlier than usual to you? The conspiracy theorist in me says it was brought down early so the appeal could be heard and denied before the Niners game. Your thoughts...
Ed Bouchette: No, I think it was done so the Steelers know and can prepare for life without James Harrison this week.
Stuck in Baltimore: At this point, doesn't it make sense to rest Ben next Monday?
Ed Bouchette: Why? There are only two reasons to rest him: If he can cause more damage to the foot, or if they believe he cannot play up to an ability he needs to in order to both help them and protect himself.
JWANDburgh: Ed, in a scenario that Steelers win out and Balt. loses one and NE AND Houston also win out leaving a 3 way tie between PIT NE & Houston at 13-3, don't the Steelers lose out a bye and get the 3 seed based on AFC record?
Ed Bouchette: You are correct. You either read by slog on PG Plus or saw me on Root Sports after Mike Tomlin's press conference today because I discussed it in each arena.
Stuck in Baltimore: Who is least likely to be a Steeler next year - Ward, Batch, Dixon, or Leftwich?
Ed Bouchette: Dixon. He's a free agent and wants to at least have a shot somewhere to be No. 2.
The Wiz: Do you think this suspension boxes the league in at all? Would Ray Lewis get suspended next time he does something similar to what Harrison did since he's a repeat offender?
Ed Bouchette: You'd think he would but I stopped trying to guess what the league will do anymore.
Mile Hi Stiller: Charley Batch looked like he had quite a bit of "rust" playing against the Browns. is it time to get Dennis Dixon ready for SF?
Ed Bouchette: So, after getting hardly any snaps with the first team all season, without a warning that he'd have to go into the game, he enters in the middle of the season and you expect Joe Montana in his prime?
Ed Bouchette: that would be in the middle of the series.
adamill: Hi Ed, if you think the Steelers will be the 5 seed and you think the Ravens have another loss in them, then you must think the Steelers lose Monday night?
Ed Bouchette: You get an A in Logic 101.mikeflores16: Is this game more winnable now what SF has lost to AZ? I don't see SF as truly being as tough as other teams in the AFC.
Ed Bouchette: They aren't, but playing them out there will make it tougher. Baltimore, for example, is much better than San Diego yet the Ravens are only 2-point favorites because they play in SD.
Ed, I think trotting an injured Ben out to play @ San Fran is subjecting him to a season ending injury. If we are probably going to be a wild card anyway, I think the prudent thing is to sit him til the playoffs, or until he's near 100%
Ed Bouchette: So you're just going to assume the wild card? I wrote that I "think" they are going to be a wild card, but I'm not assuming it. I presume then you believe the Steelers did him wrong by playing him in the second half last Thursday against Cleveland, or playing him when he had his broken foot, or playing him when he had his sprained foot, or playing him when he had a broken thumb. If you want to play Ben when he's only 100 percent, you won't see much of him.
robert from thomaston,ct: I understand why the NFL wants to enforce these rules on hitting . but this has to go all the way back to pee wee football and to enforce and show those younger players how to tackle. but when you get someone like harrison who all his life is instructed on how to hit so makes it harder for current players to adjust if possible to these new rules . your comment please ...
Ed Bouchette: I played football a long, long time ago in high school and they did not teach us to tackle with our heads. I can never remember Jack Ham tackling with his head even when it was legal to do so. Seems to me, he had a little bit of success tackling in his day.
Phebs: What action will NFL take against Browns for putting McCoy back in? In my mind that is an even bigger offense than Harrisons.Ed Bouchette: They should throw the book at them -- just not at their heads.
trinisteel: Will they dress 3 QBs for Monday?Ed Bouchette: I would think they have to.
MileHighStiller: Why did we run Mendy four times from the two yard line against Cleveland when Redman is our short yardage back? Or isn't Redman our short yardage backEd Bouchette: Don't you know? Redman is the short yardage back until they need their most precious short yards near the goal line, then they make sure Mendenhall is in there because they want to "reward" him with a touchdown. Some reward on Thursday.
mikeflores16: You seem resolved to the fact that we are a #5 seed. To quote Animal House, "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?".. I believe that the Ravens have a tougher road ahead than the Steelers. SD once again is playing well in Dec, and Cin may be looking for some revenge..
Ed Bouchette: They do have a tougher road. They also have the tiebreaker in their hip pocket. If the Steelers lose, the Ravens can afford to lose twice.
Ed Bouchette: Check that. I mean if the Steelers lose, the Ravens HAVE to lose twice.
WyoBowhunter: Ed, I am having trouble navigating through PG+ and the Steelers site. Any suggestions?
Ed Bouchette: Bug the bosses. You can find their names and emails either in the newspaper or online. I'm done complaining because they don't seem receptive to it.
robert from thomaston,ct: Who do you see making the pro bowl from the Steelers this year ?Ed Bouchette: Pouncey, Roethlisberger, Polamalu, Wallace, and either Harrison or Woodley.
Steel Curtain Rising: Ed Mike Tomlin only seemed to offer lukewarm support for Harrison, esp. compared to the way he came to Ryan Clark's defense. Is Tomlin merely trying to avoid running afoul of the commish, or is something else afoot?
Ed Bouchette: That wasn't lukewarm, that was agreeing with the punishment.Guest: Looks the the NFL is getting what it wants, all offense and no defense. Most of the top teams, Saints, Packers, Patriots, have some of the worst Defensive stats ever!!! Do you agree that the nfl is going through a major overhaul towards a, shall we say fair weather fan or casual type of fan league?
Ed Bouchette: Don't know how you want to describe the fans, but the numbers keep climbing.
The Wiz: Maybe I'm parinoid, but if we win the game Monday, I'm actually more worried about the short week and a letdown against the Rams than losing in Cleveland. Thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: You are paranoid.
JerseySteel: Ed, which of the teams that are probably going to make the playoffs do you believe give the Steelers the biggest problem(s)?
Ed Bouchette: at New England, at Baltimore.
Steel Curtain Rising: What is the word on Ramon Foster, will he play next week?
Ed Bouchette: MT did not mention him on his injury report today.Ed Bouchette: Thank you all. Won't see you next Tuesday becasue I will be flying home from San Francisco.
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