Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, we're late because of a glitch that technicians fixed and now we're ready to go
kjacksonpgh: Hi Ed, Concerning the lack of depth at Linebacker might we see some 43 schemes to get Cam Haywood on the field to exploit their offensive line and to create some much needed pass rushing.
Ed Bouchette: I don't think you'll see that. By the way, James Harrison just passed me a little bit ago. He had no wrap on his knee. Gerry Dulac and I were recording a PG video and we asked him how his knee was and he gave us the big OK sign.So they should have enough outside linebackers. Inside is the problem now.
kjacksonpgh: Ed, I believe you wrote that Mike Wallace would not start against Denver. If that will be the case do you expect Manny to be able to stretch the field and beat single coverage enough to open up the underneath pass game or run game?
Ed Bouchette: I wrote on my blog I didn't think he'd start, but he and the coach seem ready to prove me wrong. Emmanuel Sanders predicted he would start but the coach remains non-committal
OKieSteelerfan: So Ed when does DeCastro go on IR and we bring back Essex? Will that happen?
Ed Bouchette: I explained that in my story this morning. First, they could not do it until after 4 p.m. today but now it looks like they won't do it this week anyway. Essex's full 2012 salary would be guaranteed if he's on the roster for the first game. Also, they want to possibly keep their options open another week or so.
Dude_From_Cali: What exactly has Mike Wallace gained from the long hold out?
Ed Bouchette: His health, for one, and I believe that was his main concern that he'd be one of the many Steelers who ripped up their knees for the glory of the preseason.
kjacksonpgh: Ed, Do you see the Steelers possibly adding an inside Linebacker for depth. Any update on Sylvester, Stevenson?
Ed Bouchette: Stevenson Sylvester was ruled out of this week's game by MIke Tomlin today. I suspect they will muddle through the first game with just one backup inside.
JAMESH: It seems trivial until you've witnessed James Harrison attempt it, so who would be the backup long-snapper if Warren went down during a game?
Ed Bouchette: I haven't gone that deep in my investigation of the squad. Pouncey would be the first to come to mind.
OKieSteelerfan: How surprised are you Beachum made the squad? He had all sorts of holding penalties in preseason, is he there to replace Keomatu?
Ed Bouchette: A little surprised. I thought he was headed to the practice squad. However, had they cut him and kept Essex, Beachum might have been claimed. Essex did not have to go thru waivers and can decide whether he wants to return to the Steelers if they want him. He also could alert them if someone else wants to sign him in the meantime.
SteelVa: Do you think this will be Dick Lebeau's last year?
Ed Bouchette: I've been getting this question for the past several years. What makes you think it will be? I really have no clue, but I do know he enjoys doing this job and his defenses have been among the best in the league.
dave: Who will start at NT?
Ed Bouchette: It looks like Casey Hampton will start. I don't expect to see too many nose tackles on the field Sunday for the Steelers, though, with Peyton Manning running alot of that no-huddle offense. Look more for the nickel.
ManDarino13: Ed - Latest on Spence? Is he hobbling around the facility? Any rumblings on the long term prognosis? Hoping this won't be a career threatening injury a la Dan Mason at Pitt.
Ed Bouchette: I haven't heard anything, haven't seen him.
WoodleyKills: Ed, who is the breakout player this year?
Ed Bouchette: I like Jonathan Dwyer.
Dude_From_Cali: In hind sight, was it wise to play Sean Spence in the 3rd quarter of the 4th meaningless pre-season game as he's lost for the season??
Ed Bouchette: You have to have someone play in the third quarter of these meaningless preseason games and Spence was not a starter.
70cougar: Do you think that our secondary will be better this year Ed? And, do you think we'll be weaker up the middle on D?
Ed Bouchette: It has a chance to be better. Remember that the Steelers were No. 1 in fewest passing yards allowed in the NFL last season. What they need is more interceptions.
Chris: Why do you think Mike Tomlin spends so much time at the press conferences talking up the other team?
Ed Bouchette: So he has less time to take questions.
Chris: Would they ever consider bringing back James Farrior to add some depth?
Ed Bouchette: I think that ship has sailed.
OKieSteelerfan: When do we get your season record prediction?
Ed Bouchette: Sunday, as usual, and you only get it right here on PG+. Game by game, not just a final.
70cougar: Any comments from Tomlin on how they'll figure out how to prepare for Denver's offense with Peyton there now? Do you think it's an entirely different offense? There'd be nothing on film anywhere or would there?
Ed Bouchette: they have on video what he did in Indy, and I would assume they will be running something similar. Mike does not share his strategic plans with us.
ManDarino13: When exactly is the last time Denver played in Pittsburgh? How is it that the NFL hasn't caught on to the concept of home and away series?
Ed Bouchette: 2006. Yes, I believe in the rotation, they would have come here but they don't want to send a team to two West Coast cities. So San Diego comes here instead of Steelers going there.
kjacksonpgh: Is the reasoning for keeping only 4 receivers this year attributed to the play of Chris Rainey and his ability to catch passes?
Ed Bouchette: I think it's more that none of those after the top four made a compelling case for them to put them on the roster.
DK: What are the chances Wallace gets a long term deal done this week? Any other Steelers restructure or sign long term?
Ed Bouchette: I've written in my Slog that I don't believe they will come to terms and he will play for the one-year deal and become a free agent next year, unless they put the franchise tag on him.
John B: IF Harrison is nagged by injury, you think Worlids will step in or Carter?
Ed Bouchette: No, I think Carter would play this week, although Worilds eventually can overtake him as the top backup. With both healthy, I think Worilds will back up on the left and Carter on the right.
JamesinNYC: Any chance they will have two RB (no FB)on the field at once say Batch and Rainey? Obviously Rainey is as much WR as RB.
Ed Bouchette: Yes, particularly in the shotgun.
Shaw11946: Any talk of revenge in Denver? I know it would be hollow, but it would be nice to remove the bitter taste with a nice victory in week 1...
Ed Bouchette: No one is talking about it, and I would not call it "revenge" anyway. Winning a regular-season opener can never make up for losing a playoff game.
mikeflores16: How much no huddle do you expect so see from the Steelers on Sunday?
Ed Bouchette: I expect to see more from the Broncos.
Matt: Ed, Wow, has there ever been a rookie draft class that started training camp with such high expectations only to have them dashed before the first game? At this point, which rookies do you seeing making the biggest impact for the Steelers this year?
Ed Bouchette: Chris Rainey
Bubs: Ed: I noticed a kind of funky formation a few times this preseason where Keisel would line up in a two-point stance - any insight into what that was?
Ed Bouchette: He's done that on occasion. Maybe they will do it on more occasions in 2012
FoolBack: Ed, I was most surprised the team kept a fullback, AND a 3rd TE. I thought those two positions would be interchangeable. Won't that 3rd TE (Paulson) mostly be inactive on gameday?
Ed Bouchette: You would think so, but with only four wide receivers, there was room there.
ManDarino13: What Wallace do we see this year? The unstoppable force from 2011 weeks 1-8 or the invisible man from weeks 9-17 + wildcard? DO you think his disappearing act last year had something to do with the Steelers' negotiating posture this yer?
Ed Bouchette: You ask some of the questions we all await answers to. Not sure the Steelers did not offer him good money and it just wasn't enough for him.
steeltexan: do you think Adams will overtake Starks this season as the best LT?
Ed Bouchette: I think if Starks plays well, he will remain the starting LT
Kordells Revenge: Why do you think Kordell isn't remembered a great steelers QB?
Ed Bouchette: Because he wasn't?
Ed Bouchette: Thanks all for participating. Sorry for the slight delay. See you next Tuesday.
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