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Gerry Dulac: OK, everyone, I'm ready to go. I got delayed in the locker room because they're building a new recreation room between left tackle and left guard in the offensive line.
Nate: Gerry, although I am a believer in 2nd chances, is Starks really the answer seeing that he couldn't cut it in preseason and failed with multiple other teams? Is he being viewed as a starter or insurance.............or does it even matter?
Gerry Dulac: No, nor do they think he is the answer. But they need some players in their offensive line who know what they're doing, and Chris Scott was too young and Jamon Meredith is too new. Picking up Starks for the veteran minimum of $810,000 was a good move. I think.
Growlinstein: Gerry, how's Mendenhall? Think we might see Dwyer on Sunday?
Gerry Dulac: You will see Dwyer one way or another on Sunday because Mewelde Moore has a high-ankle sprain and won't play. So Dwyer will be the third back. The bigger question is, will we see John Clay activated from the practice squad? If Mendenhall can't play because of his hamstring -- and my guess is he won't -- then the Steelers will be down to only two healthy backs for the game. So Clay would have to be signed to the 53-man roster.
t: hey gerry - good to see the steelers trying to do something by resigning starks. when will he be ready to play?
Gerry Dulac: Well, I expect to see him uniform on Sunday, but only as an extra lineman. And the reason he will likely dress is because LT Jonathan Scott is not fully recovered from his ankle injury, even though he will likely start. Otherwise, Starks faces the very real possibility of being one of the two O-linemen who typically sits out each game.
Tunch Wolfley: Who has more pressure on them in Harrison's absence, Timmons or Woodley?
Gerry Dulac: It is easy to say either one, but the players and coaches will tell you neither. They will say that because they don't want any of their players thinking they need to do more to make up for someone's absence. They already think some players are trying to do too much and are getting out of position, rather than just doing their job and playing together. But, no question, the Steelers need to get more pressure on the quarterback, especially an accurate passer like Matt Hasselbeck. And Woodley has not done that conistently.
TheDude: Were you able to detrmine where the breakdown was on the blocked field goal?
Gerry Dulac: Up the middle, past Ziggy Hood.
Hombre De Acero: Seeing Chris Scott cut instead of Meredith I think caught everyone by surprise. What is the inside story?
Gerry Dulac: No inside story. But, the Steelers can stll re-sign Chris Scott to the practice squad. I'm not sure Jamon Meredith is practice-squad eligible. Let me check on that.
Nate: Can you explain how Harrison got hurt Gerry? Was his facemask pushed up into his eye area? And how common of an injury is this in football? Never heard of it.
Gerry Dulac: Harrison was hurt when Texans LT Duane Brown hit him aove the facemask with his helmet on a running play. Harrison said after the game that the padding inside his helmet came down and hit him in the eye, but obviously it was something more than that. And, you're right, it's not common, which would explain why you haven't heard of it,
MiStlrFan1: Gerry, how is Mendenhall viewed among his teammates? Meaning, is the OLine blocking better for Redman & Moore, or is it all on Mendy?
Gerry Dulac: It's all on Mendenhall. The line doesn't care, nor does it always know, which player is carrying the ball. They're more concerned with executing their assignment. It is up to the running back to execute that assignment properly. I know what you're asking, and all I will say is that Mendenhall has to do a little better job of hitting the prescribed hole quicker. rather than stutter-stepping toward another.
Marc Diddy: Pouncey and Chris K. are the only guys who seem like legit NFL starters on our O-Line currently. I have heard a lot about Pouncey, but how is Chris K. doing?
Gerry Dulac: Chris Kemoeatu is Chris Kemoeatu -- can really look good and powerful pulling on those counter plays, can get pushed back and miss assignmentrs on pass plays. I have never thought he was a liability, just a player who commits some mental mistakes that a veteran shouldn't commit.
What PassRush??: Gerry, if McFadden is good to go, who gets the start opposit of Ike?
Gerry Dulac: Mike Tomlin indicated the other day he wll not change his cornerbacks, even if McFadden is healthy to play. That means William Gay will continue to start at LCB and will move to the slot when Keenan Lewis comes in as the fifth defensive back. They have been playing pretty wel so there is no reason to change.
Steel Curtain Rising: Gerry as recently as last week Mike Tomlin made a commitment to "playing the guys we have." But now they've signed Max Starks. Where did this change of heart originate? Was it just the coaching staff, or did the push come from the front office?
Gerry Dulac: First off, it is not Mike Tomlin's job or responsbility to inform the public via the media that they are contemplating adding a player to their roster. Also, some things change on a daily or weekly basis, necessitating a roster move.
Also, no moves are made independently. The front-office doesn't sign a player unless the coach indicates the need to do so, and vice versa.
Steel Curtain Rising: A friend of mine has observed that the new limits on contact in practice (and during camp) are hurting teams built on being physical, such as the Steelers. You've seen practice every day for a long, long time, do you think there might be something to this argument?
Gerry Dulac: Let me say two things: First, the Steelers practice no differently this year than they have any other year, pads rule or not. So the restrictions have had no effect on how they prepare each and every week. Same with training camp.
Second, if your friend knows that, tell him to apply for a spot on the CBS pregame show.Gerry Dulac: That's all the time we have today kids. Have to go count the pounds Max Starks has lost since June. Bye now!
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