Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, Live, from OTAs, let's begin.
Ryan W: Ed thanks for your time, Do you know if players such as DeCastro and Adams are allowed to workout privately with a coach they hire since they're not allowed to attend OTA's?
Ed Bouchette: Of course. Many have been working out with such conditioning coaches since the end of last season.
SteelersfanSLC: Ed, This year we have CB, RB, DL and OL with changes & battles for starting jobs. Can you remember the last time there was as many positional battles/changes for the Steelers?
Ed Bouchette: Sometimes, that's not a good thing. There have been many "openings" in the offensive line for several years. Wide receiver too. On defense, not so many.
Guest: Decastro will obviously start. But do you think the Steelers would take a chance with two rookie starting o-linemen if Adams is the best in camp?
Ed Bouchette: Have you seen their line play the last couple of weeks. I would say that is a small-risk chance they would be taking.
Ed Bouchette: I meant, the last couple of years?
Guest: Any progress in getting the last two picks signed?
Ed Bouchette: I would not worry one little bit about either of those players signing.
Ed Bouchette: Sean Spence, by the way, practiced even though he has not yet signed his rookie contract.
JamesinNYC: Is Adams right or left tackle when he gets to practice? Wallace hurts or helps himself by not attending OTA? Doesn't matter to me for what it is worth.
Ed Bouchette: Adams will be at left tackle, Marcus Gilbert stays on the right. Wallace probably is neither helping nor hurting himself -- and I mean the latter literally, he cannot get hurt in OTAs.
Guest: Any updates on Mendy's condition and has he spoken to any of you in the media?
Ed Bouchette: He was here today, running. Casey Hampton is here too, rehabbing. No, I did not speak to Rashard, but then we can only speak to players in these things as they are coming off the field. If you're lucky, you might get to talk to two players. Today, I talked to one.
Guest: Having covered the Steelers for so long how would you access the division now versus a few years ago?
Ed Bouchette: The Steelers and Ravens fighting things out, the Bengals up and down, as usual, and the Browns at the bottom. That's how things have pretty much been for awhile with the wildcard the Bengals, who every once in awhile pop up as a contender.
The Chief: Am I the only one who thinks this is one of the tougher schedules in recent years?
Ed Bouchette: I haven't taken a poll but I don't even think about schedules except when I make my plane reservations. Didn't they have the toughest sked in the NFL the last time they won the Super Bowl?
Okiesteelerfan: Ed, I crack up at the comments about how spectacular all the new rookies/players look in OTA. The one was the overly exuberant nature of the report on P Manning in Denver. How do you think he will do against the Steelers D in his first real game in 18 months?
Ed Bouchette: Peyton, remember, had neck problems and there were some reports that it affected his right arm. So, those reports are more newsy than some that merely note how well a rookie offensive tackle is doing. If Manning's arm indeed is sound, he will give the Steelers all they can handle, I would assume, especially in Denver.
PSU fan: Think the ex Penn Stater Derrick Williams can make the team as a returner?
Ed Bouchette: I think that might be tough, especially with Chris Rainey.
Guest: What's the latest on Leftwich signing. If it drags out do they look elsewhere, or perhaps younger?
Ed Bouchette: I assume you missed the fact that he signed, just before the draft. He practiced today.
Guest: Ed, granted we haven't seen these guys yet in camp, but based on the Steeler needs and what you have heard about the guys drafted how many draftees do you think realistically could make this roster?
Ed Bouchette: Start with the first five. I also think there's a spot for WR Toney Clemons.
Guest: Ed, Big Ben recently spoke at a banquet for the first time. He really does seem have changed for the better. Some are still skeptical. Based on what you've seen and how he's done a 180 with the media how would you access the new Ben?
Ed Bouchette: I think he's more at ease with everyone -- us, his teammates and the public.
trinisteel: Who starts next to Timmons at ILB?
Ed Bouchette: Larry Foote
Dirt Dinardo: Think the Steelers will ever look at putting in some new kind of turf, or do you think they will continue to play on sod and put in a new field during each season?
Ed Bouchette: I think they will stick with the real stuff. They have a system now that works reasonably well, rolling out new sod after Thanksgiving.
Jack Fleming: Off topic here, but have the Steelers ever given Super Bowl rings to their broadcasters? Many teams do, some in recent years including the Saints didn't?
Ed Bouchette: Myron Cope told a story about how he was offered one and he turned it down, said he was not part of the team. Later, the IRS came knocking and wanted to know why he did not claim the ring on his income tax because they assumed he got one. He told them he was in the clear. Since then, I do not believe the broadcasters have been offered Super Bowl rings.
Dude_From_Cali: has Sean Spence resembled a "human bullet" in practice or simply run of the mill?
Ed Bouchette: It's one practice, 90 minutes long. I did not notice one way or the other.
Rich from Bellevue: One topic which used to surface from time to time during the Arians era was whether or not they might use a "pony" backfield. So permit me to ask the same thing about the new coordinator's intentions.
Ed Bouchette: I don't know. They won't let us talk to him.
Guest: Ed when people talk about great clutch QB's I think Bradshaw gets overlookd quite a bit, like on NFL Networks top 10 he didn't even make the list, yes the defense was great but when the game was on the line Bradshaw would deliver, Do you think great D sort of hurts Bradshaw when people discuss his career?
Ed Bouchette: There were so many great players on those teams, the plaudits were spread around pretty good. I don't think Bradshaw gets shorted -- he made the HOF on his first try -- but he's rarely listed among the top quarterbacks in the game when people rank them. I think it's because, especially early in his career, he had terrible stats.
Roger Goodell: Ed, have you thought about doing a story with some old-time Steelers to get their take on so many former players suing the league and to see what they think and whether they will join all the lawsuits being filed?
Ed Bouchette: I will tell you something: I've talked to a few of those players and some people in the league. Lawyers are blindly calling every player who ever played football to see if they will join these lawsuits. It's what they used to call ambulance-chasers. On the players' part, they figure they have nothing to do by agreeing to it.
That is why there are thousands of these former players signed up. I talked to Frenchy Fuqua and he joined one of the groups, and he told me 8 different lawyers called him trying to persuade him to join.
Ed Bouchette: that would be nothing to LOSE by agreeing to it. One of these days, I'll learn to type.
Rich from Bellevue: (Bradshaw wasn't a "clutch" QB, and that's a compliment. A "clutch" QB is one who performs late-game heroics to pull out a victory, whereas a truly great QB plays great the *whole* game, and so his team is usually *ahead* late in the game).
Ed Bouchette: He was both. Go look at the fourth quarter of SB 14.
Rich: So if Spence is participating without a contract, what happens to him if he gets hurt?
Ed Bouchette: He better have an insurance policy.
Dude_From_Cali: any reason as to MIke Adam's low bench press number of 19? what would be his normal bench #?
Ed Bouchette: Yeah, it means he wasn't strong enough to bench press No. 20. you'd like to see those guys in the mid-20s at least. However, the Steelers will introduce him to their weight room and that should correct that problem.
Ed Bouchette: Thank you all for another great chat. I'll see you next Tuesday.
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