Gerry Dulac: OK, I'm all set to go for today's chat. Fire away...
Dude_From_Cali: Gerry: Mike Wallace played entire season without long term contract deal, (fear of catastrophic injury) and THAT HAD TO have affected his "production", agree?
Gerry Dulac: No, disagree. If anything, players in the final year of a contract typically "play" for a contract, not to not get hurt. I think the style of offense hurt his production more than anything. Let's face it, Mike Wallace is a one-trick pony. OK, maybe 1 1/2. His signature is speed, the deep ball, a game-breaker, Having him run out patterns and curl routes is like asking a Mercedes to perform in a truck pull. If you have Mike Wallace, you use him deep and across the middle. If you want to ruin those other routes, go get a possession receiver.
Taz: Hi Gerry. Ed reports that Colon will be released - can you confirm?
Gerry Dulac: Well, I can't confirm it because it hasn't happened. But there is a very good chance that will happen. I don't know how or why the Steelers would want to keep him because of his history of season-ending injuries. I feel bad for the guy. He's a hard worker with a great attitude. But he falls into the Byron Leftwich catgeory -- why would you pay a guy who is injured every year?
Plus, the idea to move Colon to guard proved to be a mistake. Despite his ability to power block, he can't run well enought to pull and get out of the edge. And how many edge runs did you see this year? The Steelers want to get lighter and more athletic on their offensive line with body-type guys like Pouncey, DeCastro, Kelvin Beachum and even Mike Adams. If Ramon Foster comes back, he will have to lose 20 pounds to play on the line next year. Todd Haley had a small line in KC when the Chiefs led the league in rushing. He will do the same here.
And how could anyone complain after the Steelers averaged 3.7 yards per rush this year, which is nearly a yard less than they averaged last year under Bruce Arians?
Bill: Tomlin interviewed any new assistant coaches yet?
Gerry Dulac: No. I'm told Todd Haley has been appointed the point guy in identifying the offensive line coach to hire, though Tomlin obviously will be the person who does the hiring. But I'm sure they have candidates in mind for that and special teams coordinator. And don't be surprised if you see a firing on the offensive staff.
JAMESH: If Haley leaves for Arizona, are the odds at least 50-50 that the front office will be glad he's gone?
Gerry Dulac: I don't know about the front office, but the ratio might be greater than that in other parts of the building.
tbone: I see from your chat last week that your were recently in Indianapolis. What was the meaning of your visit and how was it?
Gerry Dulac: The purpose was to do a story about Bruce Arians, which ran in Sunday's paper. Obviously, you missed the story. But that's OK. Thanx for asking.
Jim: What are the chances of Arizona hiring Haley?
Gerry Dulac: Decent. 50-50. I wouldn't put him at the top of their list. I think it's more likely his stock could rise if the Cardinals don't like the other candidates they interview.
Andy: Any changes on the coaching staff that you expect? Any candidates that you may know of to fill any openings?
Gerry Dulac: Don't know of any potential candidates yet because the position (other than Oline) has to open. But, typically, whenever the Steelers have missed the playoffs in the past 10 years, some assistant was always fired. And I think that can happen on offense. I know where I would start.
Guest: Gerry, Do you think the Steelers would go with OL lineup that Ed mentioned this morning? That an awfully inexperienced group, not to mention Adams, Decastro and Gilbert have been down with injuries for long periods in their brief careers.
Gerry Dulac: I didn't see what line combo Ed mentioned, but I believe their line next year will be, left to right, Marcus Gilbert, a lighter Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro and Mike Adams. Now, the X-factor is if they move Kelvin Beachum to guard, which isn't in their plans right now. I say that because Beachum was one of the nice surprises of a disappointing season. He would replace Foster. If nothing else, he gives them a nice No. 3 swing tackle.
Bill: Whose the starting outside linebackers next year? I still think it will be Harrison and Woodley. What are the chances its not?
Gerry Dulac: I agree, but Harrison is going to have to take a significant pay cut or restructure his deal because I believe he is owed close to $8 million in 2013. That being said, I believe the Steelers will take a pass-rushing outside LB on the first or second round of the draft. They value that position more than any other on defense. And, if Harrison is not back, the only other viable outside linebacker is Jason Worilds. There would not be a backup.
MiStlrFan: Gerry: I'm tired of hearing my fellow fans complain about the Arians firing. Can we refresh some memories? Ben was on MVP pace until his injury, Wallace was not interested half the time, Brown was hurt, and the O-line got banged up again. Not to mention, they THREW THE BALL TO HEATH, used a fullback, and A. Luck was hit more than any QB in the league.
Gerry Dulac: Good memories. Here are mine: A 4,000-yard QB, two 1,000-yard WRs, a running game that averaged 4.4 yards per carry and an offense that converted 45.9 perecent of third downs in 2011. Oh, yeah, I forgot the three 12-win seasons in four years. And the two Super Bowls. Shame on me..
MiStlrFan: Are the Steelers really expecting Adams or Gilbert to step-in at LT. Gilbert is a below average RT.
Gerry Dulac: Yes they are.
Andy: What's the biggest hole that the Steelers will need to address going into free agency and the draft?
Gerry Dulac: I believe you can forget about free agency, if history is any indication. They don't use free agency to plug holes in the starting lineup. They use free agency, limited as it has been, to provide depth. Now, the draft is a different story.If I'm in charge, my first two picks are wide receiver and outside linebacker, in any order.. On the middle rounds (3-4-5) I look for a guard, backup QB, running back or 3-4 defensive end. Then I come back with another WR in the later rounds.
Gerry Dulac: Well, that's all the time we have today kids. Good questions. Good chat., See you next week.
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