Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin.
DormontyDawson: Ed, Are you going to the Combine later this month? You should race Rich Eisen in the 40 yd dash – you'll beat him, easy. Also, do you think LSU's Honey Badger (Tyrann Mathieau) is completely off Steelers' board due to marijuana issues? He seems to me like a nice 3-4 round pick.
Ed Bouchette: Gerry Dulac will be at the Combine. As for anyone who may have marijuana issues, the Steelers will evaluate individual cases as they did with Mike Adams last year. So, right now I really have no answer for you.
Alan Gifford: Good chance they get Keenan signed?
Ed Bouchette: I would say the Steelers have a chance, I'm not going to say a good one though
Justin: Why would the Steelers not consider tagging and trading Mike Wallace like teams like the Patriots have done in the past with Matt Cassel and Tebucky Jones? You would think that they could pick up a second round pick from a team like Miami or the Rams, no?
Ed Bouchette: First, they'd have to get under $10 million of the cap to do that. All I know is that Kevin Colbert said they would not use the franchise tag on anyone
rcd: Ed, probability that Colon is brought back?
Ed Bouchette: Not high.
OKie Steelerfan: Hi Ed, when do you think the Bus finally makes the HOF. Next year? within 5 years?
Ed Bouchette: I would hope earlier than 5 years. I thought he'd make it this year. You just cannot predict some players. However, I believe he'll be in within two years.
Ken: The Ravens don't seem to be a dynasty in the making. Your assesment of them going forward? I saw where Kreuger is a free agent and Flacco is going to be an unprecedented cap hit.
Ed Bouchette: You are right on both counts. No, I don't believe they are anything close to a dynasty. I don't know that we'll see those anymore. The Patriots were the last, closest thing to one and the Steelers were on their heels after that. Baltimore has been very consistent the past five years but they're not even the favorites from the AFC to repeat next year.
Dude_From_Cali: Rainey had some returns for TDs called back in preseason. Was part of reason he's deemed too small, too fragile to win a roster spot, on top of breaking the law. (he seems to weigh around 170#)
Ed Bouchette: Well, no. He won a roster spot last year on a team coming off a 12-4 season. He also was the only back who did not miss a regular season game with an injury.
Sam: Hi Ed, how much credit would you give Jim Caldwell for the performance of that Raven offense in the playoffs? Did he have a great shot of becoming the Steeler's OC last year?
Ed Bouchette: No, he had no shot at becoming the Steelers OC last year. I was told Mike Tomlin gave him a courtesy interview because they had coached together at Tampa Bay. Caldwell had not called plays in the NFL, even though he became a head coach. However, after his success with the Ravens this half season, he looks as though he knows what he's doing.
Februaryblues: Steelers at Ravens to start the NFL season? Seems like a ratings no brainer to me.
Ed Bouchette: That's possible, but also possible is a repeat of the AFC championship game with New England.
TomLew: I like how Joe Flacco has only won one super bowl, and Ben has won 2 an has been to three. An there calling flacco elite, but you never hear anyone talk about Ben. Steelers vs Saints Super Bowl 47
Ed Bouchette: I would disagree with you that no one talks about Roethlisberger. Generally, I believe most observers feel Roethlisberger is ahead of Flacco. However, Flacco did just take his team to a Super Bowl and his performance is the reason they won. He also is 2 years younger than BR so he has time to make up some distance.
TomLew: Wow the Bus got snubbed this year in the HOF. How did warren sapp make it but now the bus?
Ed Bouchette: That seems to be the burning question in Pittsburgh. I don't call not making it a snub because the voters vote for people, not against them. Sapp was one dominant player, no matter what you might think of him as a broadcaster.
Andy: I keep hearing what an incredible QB Kaepernick is. He has looked good. What am I missing? To me he is who Kordell could have been had they tailored the offense for him and stopped trying to make Kordell prove he can be a pocket QB. Can you tell me how special you think Colin K. looks to you?
Ed Bouchette: He is tall with a good arm and can run. The running part won't last. He will need to develop as a passer but from what I saw, he has all the qualities to be a good one.
Tprod: Ed, the Steelers are usually big players in free agency, but could they go after Paul Kruger, OLB, from the Ravens? This would require releasing James Harrison, but Kruger is 27 and had 9 sacks. Ravens have to pay Flacco and may not afford Kruger and Mike Adams will definitely sleep better before Raven's games.
Ed Bouchette: Don't hold your breath on that one. He is too good and the Steelers already have sunk investments into their DE position. And I believe you meant the Steelers usually are NOT big players in free agency.
TomLew: Key free agent the Steelers might have there eye on?
Ed Bouchette: None. They do not have the cap room.
Justin: by what date does an NFL team need to be at or under the cap? Is there time to tag Wallace and trade him before that date?
Ed Bouchette: March 12 and while there is time, it won't happen.
TomLew: Favorite Super Bowl commercial?
Ed Bouchette: I was at the game and did not see any. That blackout thing got my attention though.
Justin: Is there a chance that if the guard from Alabama, Chance Warmack falls to #17, the Steelers would take him and allow Beachum to serve as the #6 OL swingman? Or are they committed to starting the current young 5 guys on the roster.
Ed Bouchette: I don't think the Steelers will draft another offensive lineman on the first or second rounds this year.
TomLew: Hows Heath Miller doing? Do you think he make it back like Adrian Petterson did?
Ed Bouchette: I have seen no players since the first few days after the season ended other than I saw Brett Keisel in New Orleans last week.
Andy: Bigger priority finding a top RB or WR?
Ed Bouchette: I've been turning that over since the end of the season and I think RB. However, there's not a RB available worth the No. 17 pick, while there is a receiver or two.
Februaryblues: HOF process question. Do you, as the Steelers' beat writer, 'present' a Steeler (aka Bus)? Or does the candidate's name come up and it is open debate?
Ed Bouchette: I wish it were the latter because I don't like the "advocate" process, but yes, I initially present the case for Bettis -- and, actually, for Kevin Greene too -- and the discussion is picked up from there.
Guest: watching the playoffs it was almost eye opening to see the big receivers on other teams, guys who go up, fight for the ball with strength, and make the catch even w/ great coverage. seems like the steelers are missing that even if wallace is around. think that's the kind of receiver they'll look for in the draft?
Ed Bouchette: Those are tough to find. Ben R. has asked for one of those for a long time and the last one they had was P. Burress.
Guest: Can you explain how a safety is supposed to tackle a WR so that the WR is not defenseless? Are they supposed to wait until the wr catches the ball?
Ed Bouchette: Basically, yes. Or, they can go after the ball. Or just don't hit them hard.
Ed Bouchette: Thanks, all. See you next week.
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