NY Brigade: Do you think the release of 22 was a bit harsh/premature?
Gerry Dulac: Not at all. Personally, I think more guys with a questionable past/history of trouble should be on the same short leash. I a big proponent of the zero tolerance policy, though I understand the fans -- and even some team owners -- have a tendency to gauge the severity of the misconduct on the talent level and contribution of the player. I'm certain Chris Rainey was warned that one more slipup and he was gone. He had already compiled three off-field incidents before this one -- and those are the ones we know of. How many more missteps do you want to give someone?
NY Brigade: I agree with you wholeheartedly. I'm wondering why T'amu is still there. On a different point, what to do with the h-backs considering there is only one under contract? If they intend to sure up the run game, I would imagine that is priority number 1 or 1-a.
Gerry Dulac: I don't know that is is priority No. 1, but it is something they obviously have to address, beginning with what to do with Rashard Mendenhall. I have said many times I do not believe the Steelers will bring him back unless it's on a one-year contract in which they give him a season to prove he is committed to playing and embracing his job. That's the only way. I believe they want Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer on the team because they are both very capable backups. But the Steelers don't believe either is a No. 1 back. I dont think there's any quesytion the Steelers will look for a running back in the middle rounds of the draft, no sooner than the third round.
Dwight: Will Omar Khan still be with the Steelers in 2013?
Gerry Dulac: I don't know. We'll see. He's interviewed twice now with the Jets for their GM spot.
The Man: The situation with the WR's is turning into a BIG mess! Is there any chance of signing Wallace in your opinion?
Gerry Dulac: No, which will make it even more of a mess. To me, that position was the biggest disappointment of the season. You had egos out of control, mental gaffes and tons of drop balls and fumbles. I thought the absence of Hines Ward would be a problem in the locker room, and it was. Nobody to get the wideouts to play the way they are supposed to play. Signing Wallace is all but oiut the window, especially after signing Antonio Brown to a big contrcat in training camp. I will have more on that today in the blog, so be sure to check it out.
JamesinNYC: Best available player so long as it isn't a QB right? What is your % guess that Lewis will resign?
Gerry Dulac: Well, I don't think you will see them draft an off lineman, def lineman, QB or running back on the first two rounds. Everything else, though, is in play, especially a wide receiver and outside linebacker. But I do think you could see them draft a QB on the fifth round to get him ready to be Ben Roethlisberger's backup.
In regards to Keenan Lewis, he will be their No. 1 priority to re-sign, if for no other reason than there is no other key free-agent ahead of him. That is assuming, of course, that they cannot sign Wallace (which is what they believe) and they will not re-sign Mendenhall. So I'd say the percentages are good, if not very good.
Dali: Steelers fans should be pulling pretty hard for Atlanta from here on out, huh? ... What are your thoughts about who we'll see playing in 2 weeks in New Orleans?
Gerry Dulac: Well, yes, if you don't want to see the Ravens because they're the Ravens; if you don't want to see the 49ers have a chance to tie the Steelers for six Super Bowls; and if you don't want to see Tom Brady win as many Super Bowls as Terry Bradshaw.
My picks are already online on the PG website. Go check them out.
JamesinNYC: Do you see them looking at any particular outside FA?
Gerry Dulac: I don't think anyone of significance. That has not been their style. They might sign a free agent or two for depth, like they did with Leonard Pope, Jonathan Scott or Will Allen. But that is the extent of it
The Man: Hayward and Ziggy? Do you feel they make any leap in 2013?
Gerry Dulac: Well, let's hope so. Ziggy has to learn what kind of player he wants to be. He's the strongest player on the team but plays like a finesse DE. He has to learn to use his strength to bull rush and set the edge.
Heyward has shown no signs of progress in two years, even though I think he has a lot of naturaly ability and strength to be a very good player. I just don't think he's a good fit for this system. He has played tentative and looks as though he is still trying to figure out what they want him to be. I think you would see a different Cam Heyward if he played for the Giants or a 4-3 team.
I have contended all year that the Steelers do not need to waste No. 1 draft choices on defensive ends, not with the way they want them to play and for what they ask them to do. You can find guys you want to mold to fit your style on the fourth and fifth rounds. Just look at Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel. And you don't have to spend all that big No. 1 money on them. It's a waste of a top pick and money.
Gerry Dulac: That's all the time we have today, kids. Let's do it again next week. Bye now.
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