Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin
Mike: Is it safe to assume that the steelers and bengals had sufficiently different "grades" on DeCastro since cincy was comfortable passing him up to get the guard from Wisconsin instead?
Ed Bouchette: No. they picked a cornerback at No. 17 and then took Zeitler at No. 27, after the Steelers drafted DeCastro. It's safer to say they wanted Kirkpatrick over a guard.
Okiesteelerfan: Ed what do you hear about Colon?, Is he healthy and do the Steelers plan on moving him to guard?
Ed Bouchette: He's healthy and I think he'll stay at tackle this year.
Taz: Hi Ed! So what's the story behind DeCastro's #66?
Ed Bouchette: He said he wanted that number is all.
Jim in VT: Are there any more major renegotiations expected to take place for cap purposes?
Ed Bouchette: It probably depends on whether they get a multi-year deal with Wallace or not.
Mike: Your thoughts on Myron Rolle's chances to make the team, please. It's been stated he is potentially a substitute at either spot, but is he more of a FS or SS?
Ed Bouchette: He is a strong safety now, where he played in college. It's up to him whether he makes it or not. He has a shot.
Mike: Are the steelers concerned with Chris Rainey and his fumbling problems? I did not know until recently that he fumbled 6 times last year.
Ed Bouchette: If he starts fumbling with the Steelers, they will be concerned.
Dude_From_Cali: Your gut feel,
Ed: Wallace shows up on time or will there be "Drama"?
Ed Bouchette: It depends on what you mean by on time. I think he'll skip the OTAs and minicamp and my bet is he shows for training camp, but that's just my opinion.
Mike: Is the number 5 wr spot (assuming they keep 5) Toney Clemmons to lose?
Ed Bouchette: No, I think he has to win it.
chuck: Will the loss of Chuck Pagano (new Colts coach), Ravens former DC, affect their aggressiveness on defense??
Ed Bouchette: Not with the kind of players they have on defense. they will be more affected in that area by the loss of Suggs.
Taz: Hi Ed. Now that the rookie salary scale is locked thanks to the new CBA, there should be less preseason drama. Does that mean a better chance for some of the new guys to make an impact sooner in the season?
Ed Bouchette: There has been very little drama over the past 10 years with rookie signings
Ed: Had Decastro been gone @#24, your guess as to who Steelers would've picked?
Ed Bouchette: Hightower
DallasBlackNGold: 1) do you think Redman will win the feature back spot?
Ed Bouchette: I think he will start, yes.
DFWSteeler: Outside of Shard and Isaac, who do you see as the RBs making this team? Thoughts on Clay and Dwyer......and does Mewelde hang on?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think Mendenhall will open the season on the roster. He'll be on PUP and there remains a question whether he will be on the 53 at any point.
Mewelde Moore remains a free agent and I don't see him returning. There are probably 4, maybe 5 spots for RB. Redman, Dwyer, Clay and either Batch or Rainey would be my guess.
Richard: Word around town was the Sean Spence was as advertised playing football in shorts last weekend. Is that your perception as well?
Ed Bouchette: That's what I was told.
Stuck in Baltimore: Who is poised to have the better year, offense or defense?
Ed Bouchette: Good question. The defense has been more consistent, so I'll go there, but there is plenty of potential with this offense, unless the RBs do not come through.
DallasBlackNGold: Is there any indication 7th round pick Beachum will be something special? I haven't heard much about him.
Ed Bouchette: He was the 248th player drafted, so if there was something special about him, 32 teams didn't notice it. However, that does not mean he cannot develop into a player, even a good one. Brett Keisel also was a seventh-round draft pick.
Richard: No fullback again in 2012, huh?
Ed Bouchette: Maybe they should take a look at veteran Ovie Mughelli, just released by Atlanta, mostly because of his salary.
Kordells Revenge: Hi Ed, great chat as always. Why wouldn't they sign Limas Sweed to a 2 year contract, just to provide some juice at WR?
Ed Bouchette: You want juice or a wide receiver?
Richard: Do you think that Marcus Gilbert is keeping the seat warm for Mike Adams at LT and then will move back to RT, or is it possible that Adams will play RT assuming he can beat out Colon?
Ed Bouchette: I think Adams is a LT. Gilbert can play both. They ultimately could both wind up starting, although I think that's at least a year away, barring injuries.
DallasBlackNGold: William Gay is gone. Do you think Keenan Lewis would have had a good chance of unseating him for a starting position this year had Willie stayed with the Steelers?
Ed Bouchette: I think both Lewis and the two rookies from last year will and would compete to start.
DFWSteeler: Been lots of attention written about Sylvester, not much being said about Chris Carter - thoughts? (he seemed to play well in spots last year)
Ed Bouchette: Carter is an outside linebacker stuck behind some good ones. We'll see how he does in his second season with the team and his first full one with OTAs.
Stuck in Baltimore: Is the coaching roster set for this year, or might there be some summer changes?
Ed Bouchette: It is set.
Guest: Hello, i know you've been asked this a bunch of times over the years, but what is the reason behind the retired #70..i understand he was a good player and close with the org and you can only retire so many numbers but what set him apart from the other HOFs whos numbers havent been retired?
Ed Bouchette: Ernie Stautner was more than a good player. He's a Hall of Famer and when the Steelers retired his number, they didn't have many of those. They rightly figured that those great teams from the 70s would produce HOFers and some day they might run out of numbers if they retired them all.
rob from ct: ed, i have been reading alot of post about how DeCastro will be the starter at tackle and some people are saying he will be in pro bowl his first year . you know as well as i do the nfl is a totally different animal when its time to play the game .how can they be saying that about him when he hasnt even taken an nfl snap against much more stronger and talented players! who knows he could have difficulties playing.
Ed Bouchette: True. No one knows for sure, it's simply predicting that course of events.
Richard: What are the chances that either Jonathan Scott or Trai Essex are not on the 53 man roster come September?
Ed Bouchette: One might not make it.
Ryan W: Ed, I know the Steelers dont retire numbers or have a "ring of honor" but do you know if they do anything similar to honor former players? something like a "wall of fame"?
Ed Bouchette: No, but they did pick their 75th Anniversary team. Their Wall of Fame is in Canton.
DallasBlackNGold: Is Wesley Saunders on his way out? Which 3 TE's make the team?
Ed Bouchette: Saunders might have trouble making it. They have Miller, Pope and David Johnson.
DFWSteeler: Off subject, please pass along - not looking the new PG online sports page. Layout is not very user friendly, and content does not stand out.
Ed Bouchette: Give it some time.
Martin: Were you surprised that they let the new NT pass them by in round 3 of the draft before trading up to get him in round 4?
Ed Bouchette: I did think they might go for a NT in the third round. I also think they know what they're doing better than I do.
DallasBlackNGold: I've heard Casey Hampton doesn't watch film (I wouldn't accuse him of that to his face). Do you know if this is true?
Ed Bouchette: He watches film, maybe not fanatically. He also won't have Chris Hoke to lean on this year in that area because Hoke did watch it fanatically.
Willis: Do either of the undrafted FA specialists have a legitimate chance to unseat the current P or PK?
Ed Bouchette: I would think not, but again, performance means everything.
DallasBlackNGold: When will you posit your initial W-L guesstimate for 2012?
Ed Bouchette: Around the morning of the regular season opener, by tradition.
chucksberries: Ed, since Big Ben just got his degree, shouldn't he have been banned from OTA's and Mini-camps since he was drafted?
Ed Bouchette: It has nothing to do with getting a degree. If so, there would be many, many of them banned. It merely is when that semester's classes end at their schools. another hypocritical NFL rule.
Jake: There has been some talk about Jason Worilds moving to ILB. Is that a legitimate possibility? Would even trying that be advisable b/c it would take away his time to develop as a backup OLB?
Ed Bouchette: That was speculation, especially if they didn't draft anyone. But, of course, they did.
Jimmy D: Is Cameron Heyward ready to start this year?
Ed Bouchette: I believe he will give Ziggy Hood a run for his money.
Addie: Will the new seating be in place by the start of the new season at Heinz field?
Ed Bouchette: No, not until 2013.
Addie: Are the steelers going to have a retirement ceremony for 86, 51, and 91 at any point in the season?
Ed Bouchette: They had one for 86, at least a press conference. I don't see Aaron Smith having one, and James Farrior hasn't retired yet.
rob from ct: i know its early and we have not even had any pre season games yet but do you see baltimore sweeping the steelers again this year with the loss of suggs ?
Ed Bouchette: It's early and we haven't even seen any OTAs yet.
tennbob: will any players or coaches go to the HOF ceremony to support Dawson and Butler?
Ed Bouchette: They did for LeBeau. Not many left who were teammates of Dawson. Check that. Not ANY left who were his teammates. however, I haven't asked anyone that question.
Jason: What starting positions will realistically be up for grabs going into training camp?
Ed Bouchette: Guard(s), left cornerback. Running back(s). Left defensive end. If Hampton's not ready, nose tackle.
Bryan K: I understand that David Johnson is a capable h-back in regards to blocking, but in my opinion he has stone hands and isn't dependable making the important catches in clutch situations. Why do you think he would make the team over Saunders (who obviously has limited field experience, but seems to have good hands to go along with a tall target)?
Ed Bouchette: Let's not forget that Saunders will be suspended the first four games of the season and that the Steelers put a $1.2 M tender on RFA Johnson.
Guest: Have you heard of any interest by teams around the league in some of the Steeler vets who were cut recently?
Ed Bouchette: No, I haven't. Smith is retired, if unannounced. Ward retired. Hoke retired. That leaves only Farrior and Bryant McFadden.
Chad: Does the Dan Sepulveda disaster mean never ever ever drafting a Punter or kicker again?
Ed Bouchette: No. I thought they might draft a kicker in the seventh round.
DFWSteeler: Hate hearing about any injuries, but huge sigh about Suggs. Do you believe he can make it back this year or is that just media chatter to keep hopes up?
Ed Bouchette: Willie Colon blew out his achilles in June and missed the whole year. Has anyone investigated whether there was a bounty put out on Suggs in that basketball game?
Chad: Do you think Cincinnati will be improved this year or will they bungle up the process and fail to make the playoffs like they typically do?
Ed Bouchette: The Bengals have a long history of flubbing the next year after making the playoffs. they should be improved, however.
Ryphia: What were the results when Te-Amu and DeCastro went head to head in college? Have they discussed going against each other in Pac 10?
Ed Bouchette: It's Ta'amu. DeCastro won, hands down.
Jason: Ed, is Dan Rooney back with the Steelers? If not, when do they expect him back?
Ed Bouchette: By training camp. He will host his annual football game on July 4th on his lawn in Dublin.
Phebs: What have you observed about Todd Haleys style interacting with the staff and players? Have the play books been distributed yet?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, they have the books. Haley is a very personable man, and I think most people like him.
Guest: What's your take on the story in the New Orleans paper indicating the NFL may not have been totally honest about player comments that led to the suspensions of players involved in the bounty scandal?
Ed Bouchette: That doesn't interest me.
Bryan K: Could Sean Spence eventually be converted to strong safety to back up Polamalu or even become his replacement after he retires?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think so.
Ed Bouchette: Thanks for another good chat. See you next Tuesday.
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