Gerry Dulac: All right, everyone, after a week at the Masters, I'm back and ready to answer your questions.
Let's get started.
Steel Curtain Rising: Gerry, Ed really turned heads (or at least my head) with his suggestion that attitude issues might have played a role in the mid-season drop off in Mike Wallace's production. Last week in his chat he expanded on that that thought. What is your take on the issue?
Gerry Dulac: Ed always turns my head, especially when he calls my name from his seat next to mine.
I didn't see Ed's chat, but I am aware of what he speaks because he and I have discussed many times. My biggest concern with Mike Wallace, now that Hines Ward no longer sits next to him in the locker room, is that Wallace will become even more pithy and perhaps even petulant without a veteran watching over him. We saw at that times last season, especially late in the season when he wasn't getting all the attention, and I'm sure the Steelers are well aware of it too.
Look, I am a big fan of Wallace and his production. How many players you know who have never had a drop off since they came into the league? Wallace hasn't even flat-lined in three years. His numbers go up every year, and that is testament to him.
But attitude can sometimes get in the way, and let's hope it doesn't continue with Wallace. Otherwise, it will become a big problem, just as he is for cornerbacks.
Hombre De Acero: The Steelers, as far as I can remember, have never kept more than three tight ends. Do you think that Saunders' is not the odd man out given that Pope is here?
Gerry Dulac: Not that I am aware of. I want to say the Packers have had as many as five on their roster at one time, which is crazy. The Steelers will keep three again, and, if they like Pope, then yes, Saunders is the odd-man out. By tendering David Johnson a $1.2 million offer, they indicated they want him back, even though he is more of a fullback/H-back. And why keep a player on the roster who will be suspended for the first four games? Especially one who has done so little?
JAMESH: Good morning, Gerry. Both you and Ed seem to imply that Weslye Saunders is already as good as gone, yet most of Steeler Nation has high hopes for him and wants him to be a part of this team. What does he need to do to stay, or is it indeed already over for Saunders?
Gerry Dulac: Steelers Nation does not make decisions. This isn't a reality show where you can text your vote. I believe it was a good inference on your part James.
kjacksonpgh: Hi Jerry, Do you see the Steelers drafting a kicker this year to replace Suisham?
Gerry Dulac: It wouldnt surprise me. At the very least, they will bring one to camp to challenge him. After what I saw on the 16th tee on Friday at Augusta, i think Tiger Woods would be a good candidate.
Steel Curtain Rising: Gerry, Ed reported that at the NFL owners meeting Mike Tomlin had to be prompted to even mention Keenan Lewis' name when the question of replacing William Gay came up. Do you think Tomlin is trying to keep Lewis motivated or do Brown/Allen have a legitmate shot at starting?
Gerry Dulac: No question Cortez Allen and/or Curtis Brown have a great chance at starting. Allen showed last year he is ready to play and I'm not sure I can remember coaches and players raving about a player (who wasn't a regular) as much as they do Brown. I think Lewis will be the starter when they go to camp: I'm not so sure that will be the case when the regular season starts. But Lewis showed last year he has taken a big, big step.
Hombre De Acero: Are you surprised that James Farrior has not attracted any more interest as a free agent?
Gerry Dulac: No. Farrior, at age 37, is one of those guys who won't be signed until June or July, after teams have a chance to assess their rosters after the draft and free agency. I think he'll land somewhere, especially Arizona.
Chooch: Would you consider Sepulveda to be a "bust" pick?
Gerry Dulac: No fourth-round pick is a bust pick. Too many variables involved. And, in his case, injuries. But a fourth-round pick is a high one for a punter. I thought at the time it was worth the risk and I still do.
Hombre De Acero: Gerry, Ed has made the point, pretty convincingly, that the Steelers need to focus on offensive line, do you see that acutally happening?
Gerry Dulac: I do, but not in the first round. To me, they need guards, and after the first couple good ones, all the rest are second- and third-rounders. And the Steelers think there are enough of them available in those rounds. Kevin Colbert thought there were a lot of good guards, just not many great ones.
kjacksonpgh: Gerry, sorry for the spelling before excited I guess. Any insight on what syle of offense Haley will bring to the Steelers?
Gerry Dulac: Not really, not now. I think we have to wait till training camp to get a better idea of how he wants to utilize the Steelers talent. Safe to say, with Ben Roethlisberger and three talented young receivers, it's not going to be a heavy emphasis on the run, nor should it be. One thing about Todd Haley: He has done it both ways. He threw the ball in Arizona to accomodate that talent and he ran the ball in KC to accomodate that talent. My guess is that he will be very accomodating to what the Steelers do best.
Steel Curtain Rising: Gerry, do you find it slightly ironic that guys like you and Ed, who are at the South Side nearly every day, have to travel to NFL owners meetings to get sit-down access to Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert?
Gerry Dulac: Ironic would not be the word. You're close, though. Starts with an "M." Sounds and ends the same.
Chooch: Did you see the double Eagle in person last week?
Gerry Dulac: I did. Was right there, behind the green. Coolest thing I've witnessed. Next to Santonio's catch in the Super Bowl, of course.
kjacksonpgh: Do you believe if available that Jerel Worthy DT could be our 1st round pick. I saw an article were the coaching staff atended the Michigan St pro day. They would not dare bring in a possible 1st round pick to tip their hands.
Gerry Dulac: I don't, because he is more of 4-3 tackle or a 3-4 end. He is not a nose tackle any more than Ziggy Hood is a nose tackle. And after drafting Hood and Cam Heyward with No. 1 picks, I don't think the Steelers need to draft -- or want to draft -- an end. Not like they do a nose tackle.
Gerry Dulac: Well, that's all the time we have today kids!! Thanx for the questions. We will chat again next week.
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