Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin
Tprod: Ed, while Mike Adams needs work on pass protection, his run blocking has been generally quite good—nice seal block on Rainey's run. If his pass blocking continues to improve, could he supplant Marcus Gilbert when he returns from injury. Gilberts play has been inconsistent especially his run blocking where he lacks physicality and leans on people rather than drive them.
Ed Bouchette: Yes, judging by how the coaches, including MT, have praised him, I would say if he keeps it up, the job could be his.
Jesse: Do you thing the Steelers should use the FB more in running plays?
Ed Bouchette: I have mixed feelings on that. The fullback they have is a different type than the one many Steelers fans became accustomed to seeing in Dan Kreider.
SSA76: So with Dwyer's resurgence, what running back doesn't dress?
Ed Bouchette: That's the great unanswered question. Health reasons could solve that for one more week but when all are healthy, all have a right to claim a stake to a uniform.
Go Steelers: Hi Ed, What are the odds that the Steelers don't even want to sign Wallace by the end of the season? Brown and Sanders are awesome, Wallace has looked bad in multiple games. The offer the Steelers made to Wallace looks way too high at this point.
Ed Bouchette: I would think we'll have to wait to see how all of this plays out, since there are still 10 games left in the regular season and plenty of time for Mike Wallace to reassert his position.
War18: Ed, What do you think of Lewis's play so far this year?
Ed Bouchette: It's been up and down, up this past Sunday, I thought, including a nice knockaway from a deep pass headed for A.J. Green in the end zone.
Sweet Suzie: How can the Steelers defense be ranked number 2?
Ed Bouchette: It's ranked No. 2 by fewest yards allowed because, you know, they've allowed the second-fewest yards on average per game.
T22POST: Ed, you mentioned that Wallace only had one drop before last game, I believe he's dropped more this year ... thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: I have no thoughts. I pulled that stat from profootballfocus.com, people who keep pretty good track of such things.
Guest: Ed, is this the week we get to see the dreaded bumble bee uniforms?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, the first of two. Some call them the prisoner uniforms. I, though, will wear my normal home outfit on Sunday.
By the way, those uniforms were worn only during the 1934 season, so they must not have been popular back then either.
T22POST: Ed, All the rumors about Haley and Ben not seeing eye to eye have any legs?
Ed Bouchette: In my opinion, that stuff has been overblown. I think some people are looking to make it an issue and so far it has not been one.
War18: Ed, Do you like what you have seen from Paulson so far?
Ed Bouchette: Sure. He's done well enough to surpass Leonard Pope in the tight end pecking order.
chris: If it weren't for injuries, who would they add to the special teams?
Ed Bouchette: I have no idea but they cannot stay pat with all those penalties.
Atlanta Dan: The Sunday night broadcast had interesting video that showed James Harrison getting leverage on a lineman by his body getting low at a 40 degree angle to the horizontal, which stresses the knee, before his latest injury but now coming in at a 60 degree angle with less leverage - is the assumption what the Steelers are seeing now is what they will be getting in terms of performance from James Harrison or is it still hoped/anticipated his leg strength will improve?
Ed Bouchette: I think they have 60-40 chance of it improving.
Wild Bill: Has DeCastro been cleared to do any practicing as yet?
Ed Bouchette: No, and even if he were, he cannot practice until they take him off IR and put him back on 53, which they cannot do until after the eighth game.
dave: Do you think it was the right decision to go for the 2-point conversion?
Ed Bouchette: In hindsight, yes because they made it. I thought it was the wrong decision before they did.
War18: Ed, How much help did Ike have on Sunday night? or did he just play better?
Ed Bouchette: I haven't gone back to look at what defenses they were playing on my NFL Rewind, but I can tell you he flat-out played better.
Guest: I've never liked the "rankings" for Off / Def based on yards. A better stat is points allowed / scored after correcting for Def / ST points. What do you think?
Ed Bouchette: They should come up with a convoluted ranking, like they do for passer ratings.
ToddinSyracuse: You mentioned this morning that Steelers consider Colon their second best lineman. Is that speculation or is it attributable to a source? Many strong negative opinions out there on Colon.
Ed Bouchette: Are those opinions speculation or attributable to a source, meaning a knowledgeable one or two or three.
War18: Ed, in your column today I saw that Ike has the second most consecutive starts at corner in the NFL. Not shocking but it was shocking to see who was number 3, our dear friend Bill Gay, are you surprised that gay has started that many games considering how bad he is?
Ed Bouchette: Those are consecutive games played, I believe, not starts. Ike is No. 1 for corners now that Ronde Barber has been moved to safety.
Dale Klima: I bet that I could play defensive end better than Ziggy. He is bad.
Ed Bouchette: Well, to paraphrase a comment Bubby Brister once made during the 1988 season, then come on down to the South Side.
Duds: How do you see the next three games? 2-1 with loss at N.Y.?
Ed Bouchette: Except on the first day of the season when I pick every game (I picked them to go 11-5), I take them one game at a time.
dave: Why do they have their best receiver returning punts?
Ed Bouchette: Probably because he's their best punt returner and there must be something about Chris Rainey returning punts that Mike Tomlin just doesn't trust.
War18: Ed, have you seen the Pittsburgh Dad clip where he visits with coach Tomlin?
Ed Bouchette: No.
ToddinSyracuse: Because of RGIII's mobility, will the nickel/dime be used more?
Ed Bouchette: You would have to bet there will be plenty of nickel defense on the field for the Steelers Sunday.
War18: Ed, do you ever give the grades on the report card or is that all Gerry Dulac?
Ed Bouchette: No, that is Gerry's department.
Guest: Why did Tomlin fire Everest again?
Ed Bouchette: He didn't fire him again. He only fired him once. I'm told it had nothing to do with a difference in coaching philosophy and I will leave it at that.
SSA76: Is it pathetic that getting a question answered by you is the highlight of my day?
Ed Bouchette: Not if it's pathetic that answering them is the highlight of mine.
Sujit: Who are the primary culprits for the ST penalties? Do we have any viable replacements? We're getting killed by lost hidden yards.
Ed Bouchette: One main culprit has been DeMarcus Van Dyke.
War18: Ed, How much better can this offense get, doesn't it feel like they are just scratching the surface of their ability?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, but they need to continue to get better in the run game if they are to continue to mature as an offense.
T22POST: Ed, Do you believe the NFC is that much better than the AFC this year?
Ed Bouchette: Yes.
Wild Bill: Besides RGIII and the 'skins main running back, what other threats does Washington bring?
Ed Bouchette: Congress.
JamesinNYC: Is RG3 going to present major problems running?
Ed Bouchette: I would think not only running but in his overall ability.
War18: Ed, love to see Chris Rainey's role increased, can you see him being used even more a the season wears on?
Ed Bouchette: No, I thought they had him in there a little too much Sunday night. He has yet to break a big play and most backs would have scored through that gaping hole for the 7-yard TD run in Cincy.
Kordells Revenge: Hi Ed! Thoughts on why Hines is stirring up trouble from the booth? Just can't stand to be out of the spot light huh?
Ed Bouchette: You call it stirring up trouble, I bet Hines Ward would call it doing his job.
Dude_From_Cali: I blame Tennesee game partially on 3 day rest. Thoughts? and the 2 yd run loss when he could've gained 3-5 yds hitting wrong hole.
Ed Bouchette: How much rest did the Titans have before that game?
NJ Fan: Ed, I saw a lot of Curtis Brown Sunday night - more so than any other game this season? Was it solely based on the defense or are the coaches looking to give him more playing time?
Ed Bouchette: They used some dime defense in which six DBs play and he plays in that defense. By the way, he is the nominee from the Steelers for Pro Bowl special teamer.
War18: Ed, Larry Foote has played pretty darn good for a guy that is supposed to be done, are you surprised at his play?
Ed Bouchette: No, I've always thought Foote was underrated on a defense with a lot of good players on it. He leads the team in solo tackles, total tackles, has four QB pressures and leads with two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Ed Bouchette: Thanks all for another great chat. We'll do this again next Tuesday at 1:30.
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