rcd: Ed, any update on the injuries to Gilbert and Foster?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, I posted those to both PG + and the PG more than an hour ago. Both "should be fine,'' according to Mike Tomlin.
Kordells Revenge: Ed, great chat as always. I know they've won two superbowls with him (maybe despite him), but why do you think Ben doesn't seem to be a real playmaker at QB?
Ed Bouchette: Thank you for the advance grade on my chat before it even begins. And thank you for what I assume is a facetious question.
Chris: Why do you think Chris Rainey wasn't used more?
Ed Bouchette: I thought they would use him on punt returns, but it's never bad having a Pro Bowl punt returner do it instead. I could have been back there on kickoff returns because none was returnable.
Scott: Ed, with the running game struggling early in the game but Haley continuing to call running plays nevertheless, were you surprised he didn't try to mix things up with a play action pass or two to throw the defense off? It seemed obvious to Denver at that point that the Steelers were going to run one running play after another and it looked like they were ready for it.
Ed Bouchette: I didn't analyze it that much. I thought overall he and Ben called a good game on offense.
Weegie: How much more time will Dwyer get this week? Do you think he'll start over Redman?
Ed Bouchette: I do not not who will start but Mike Tomlin did say Dwyer earned more chances because of the "spark" he provided them Sunday.
Dishes: Ed: Clearly the demise of Peyton Manning was greatly exaggerated. But I also think it's too early to say the same about the Steelers. They let this get away from them, clearly, but a play here, a play there and the outcome is markedly different. Too early to throw out the baby with the bathwater as the saying goes?
Ed Bouchette: It's never too early for some Steelers fans to predict the demise of the Steelers. They buried them after the first game last season and they had more reason to. I picked them to lose this one; I also picked them to go 11-5 despite it.
Kordells Revenge: It wasn't fecetious - I realize he escapes pressure better than almost anyone, but he puts up pedestrian numbers and doesn't have the lack of playmakers excuse that past Steelers QB's did. They win, I know, but it's mainly because of defense. No one would say Mark Sanchez was responsible for the Jets 2 AFC championship game appearances
Ed Bouchette: You apparently know way too much football for me to discuss the merits of having a quarterback like Ben Roethlisberger compared to what they've had here in the past and were unable not only to reach Super Bowls but to win them despite having some of the great defenses and running games in the league.
dave: Do they anticipate the new DB challenging for a starting spot?
Ed Bouchette: No, at least not anytime soon. He's more special teams.
Scott: How close is Mendenhall to returning as a starter? Any word on how he's progressing?
Ed Bouchette: He looks good in practice. I would not expect him to play this week, but I didn't expect Adrian Peterson to play last week and he scored a TD.
Chooch: Now that the season has started and Wallace has no new deal, what do you think the chances are that this will be his last year as a Steeler?
Ed Bouchette: Maybe 50-50.
Weegie: Do the Steelers have a coach dedicated to deciding whether or not to challenge a play? Tomlin's record on challenges is not very good.
Ed Bouchette: Yes, the coach's name is Mike Tomlin. He takes input from his coaches in the box who have access to TV, but it's his call. I don't have his stats on challenges, but I think generally he does a good job. The wrong ones always stick out more.
Wild Bill: Hello, Ed - Was week 1 a win by the NFL over the refs, and do you see anything changing in that lockout soon?
Ed Bouchette: I haven't paid that much attention. I will say that the crew Sunday night did a poor job spotting the ball, even marking off four yards on five-yard penalties. Overall, nothing big.
Dishes: Heath had a nice game and Ben missed him on a few other targets, including a sure-fire TD that could've changed things. Is this finally the year -- his 8th in the league -- that he's heavily used in the passing game?
Ed Bouchette: You might want to check with his 2009 season when he caught 76 passes, more than any tight end in Steelers history, for 789 yards, six TDs and made the Pro Bowl. He's shown he can do it, but with all of those other good receivers, there's plenty of people and one ball.
War18: Ed, Ben really took a bunch of the blame on this game. How do you feel about that?
Ed Bouchette: Sounds like a stand-up guy and, based on a few plays, there was some truth to it. Overall, though, I thought he did a good job.
Chooch: What topic will get more hype this week?
Ed Bouchette: Clint Hurdle pulling Wandy with a 3-1 lead in the 7th and 2 out?
Tprod: Ed. first down at the three and three straight pass plays; where's the "run the ball when you have to run the ball" game plan considering your playing the worst run defense in the NFL—last year's stats, but basically the same defense? Different OC, but the same Red Zone result.
Ed Bouchette: Seems to me they did quite well when throwing to Heath Miller from the 4 and to Mike Wallace from the 3. Should they have run on those plays? Here's how you judge a play and the coordinator calling it: Doesn't work, bad play call. Works, good play call.
steeltexan: what's your prediction for the home opener against the jets?
Ed Bouchette: My predictions for the entrie 16-game season was posted on my blog/slog Sunday. I picked them to lose in Denver and I picked them to bounce back and beat the Jets.
Tprod: Ed, is J. Scott still available, now that Trai Essex is playing at Indy? Scott played some guard, briefly, in game situations, so he has some position flexibility.
Ed Bouchette: No, Jonathan Scott plays for the Bears.
Guest: Any concern over the lack of QB pressure (Keisel, Hood, Timmons, and Woodley were nearly invisible) or just a by-product of the Broncs' short-passing game?
Ed Bouchette: Peyton Manning doesn't often get sacked. They sacked him twice in the first period. That's usually about all you can ask for. Plus, let's see when James Harrison lines up out there too.
Guest: In this day and age of tremendous technology, how can Ben not hear the play being called in no matter the crowd noise?
Ed Bouchette: Plug in your Ipod, put on a tune and then walked into a place where there are 75,000 screaming people. Tell me what song you heard.
Joey D: How's Antonio Brown?...He took a big hit Sunday night.
Ed Bouchette: He's fine. In fact, I just did the post-Tomlin news conference show with him on Root TV and he was excellent.
Ed Bouchette: Thanks, all. Maybe next week Coveritalmostlive will let us start on time. See you then -- or 10 minutes later.
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