Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, Let's begin
Guest: Ed, Gerry's slog post today really blew the top off your kooky conspiracy theory regarding coaching changes. Are you finally going to admit you were wrong and remove your tin foil hat?
Ed Bouchette: Let's see, Scottie Montgomery left as Duke wide receivers coach to take a job coaching the Steelers wide receivers. After three years, he decided to return to Duke to coach their wide receivers and be their co-coordinator. If he had left the Steelers to be an assistant basketball coach at Duke, everyone might understand that. As Bob Smizik pointed out today, what he did was career suicide by going to the punching bag of the ACC to be right back where he was four years ago. Stick that in your tin foil.
Wild Bill: Hello Ed, Peter King offered a couple of scenarios in which the Ravens let Flacco go. Do you think that's a possibility, or would the PR hassle rule it out?
Ed Bouchette: It's certainly possible, but I don't think the Ravens will let it happen.
Toolman: You're a Red Sox fan who lives in Pittsburgh...who do you think got the better end of the Hanrahan trade?
Ed Bouchette: The Red Sox have not been thinking clearly the past few years. I think the Pirates got the better of the deal.
Ken: Ed, scale of 1 to 5, how will Wallace impact his new team. I say a 3, perhaps a 2.
Ed Bouchette: It depends on the new team. If, as some speculate, he would go to Cleveland, he would need a quarterback to throw him the ball and right now the Browns don't seem to have one.
tbone: My cousin just texted me and said that he read Flacco and M. Wallace are headed to Cleveland to play next year. Can you confirm this? I'm a little skeptical because my cousin has been drinking.
Ed Bouchette: I cannot confirm that your cousin has been drinking, but it's a theory others have mentioned in speculation, certainly a long-shot but nevertheless an intriguing one.
Dude_From_Cali: Are there any safeguards in NFL contracts to prevent Woodley type of production-drop off after signing huge contract? ( signing bonus being non refundable)
Ed Bouchette: Only incentive bonuses and fines for weight clauses, which amount to little. Kevin Colbert gave Woodley a pass when he said he was in shape the past season and weighed no more than he did when he was producing at a Pro Bowl level.
Jack Splat: Hi, Ed, Is there any truth to the idea that the Steelers think Steve McLendon may be a better fit at DE and Ziggy Hood a better fit at NT or is that just fan/media wistful thinking? At any rate, looking at the cap space Hampton and Harrison are both gone and possibly Keisel. Whatever the line combination in 2013, McLenden, Hood and Cam Heyward really need to click.
Ed Bouchette: There is some grain of truth to it because of McLendon's quickness and Ziggy's strength. I would not predict they will make that switch but I'm sure it's an option they would look at as they analyze everything in this long offseason.
lou: Ed, any big valentine's day plans? My sister knows a great gal in town you might like if you want to be set up.
Ed Bouchette: I'm spoken for, thank you.
Eleven: Which players of note have agreed to take a pay cut to remain with the Steelers in recent years?
Ed Bouchette: Casey Hampton and Jerome Bettis come readily to mind.
church ball: Would you mind putting together a first round mock each week until the draft? It would be fun to read and I know you'd love doing it.
Ed Bouchette: I'll leave that up to Mel Kiper. He does such a good job of it.
Chooch: You previously mentioned that you thought that Bettis would make the HOF this year. I'm interested in what the committee's feedback was regarding his exclusion?
Ed Bouchette: He wasn't excluded, others were elected instead. I thought he had a 50-50 chance, he made it to the final 10. As he did so many times with the Steelers, he'll score eventually.
GjSteel: Hi Ed...any chance that the Steelers will be able to upgrade something in Free Agency?
Ed Bouchette: No. They won't have the money to do so.
Ned Roulette: Do you and Gerry have a rivalry with Brink and Sanserino? Do you have separate lunch tables at the PG Cafe and snap at each other when you cross paths in the hall?
Ed Bouchette: I think I've seen those fellows two or three times in my lifetime. We don't hang out at the PG because that's not where stuff happens, at least not the kind I'm supposed to write about.
Will: Talk about desperation moves. The Eagles resigning Vick for one year? As always, we can be thankful that we're not fans of South Jersey/Eastern PA's team
Ed Bouchette: Don't underestimate the dynamics of that new coach in Philadelphia and how he might use Vick and his running game.
R. Brockley: Have you seen Flight? John Goodman's character kind of reminded me of you.
Ed Bouchette: Rented it Sunday. Goodman can't carry my chinstrap.
Sam: Ed, I only recall a few players who leave the Steelers as free agents who go on to better and brighter futures such as a Hardy Nickerson, Joey Porter for a year, maybe Rod Woodson for two more years... do you think this year's free agency class will become more or equally as productive with another team such as Wallace, Mendenhall, possibly Lewis?
Ed Bouchette: The Steelers rarely let their productive players go in their prime. Porter/Woodson were not in their prime, but they did go on to have some productive seasons after they left the Steelers. This could be quite different because guys like Wallace and Lewis are in their prime.
Eleven: Who is retained in 2013, Batch or Leftwich?
Ed Bouchette: I would think Batch has the inside track after his performance last season and another injury to Leftwich.
Wild Bill: Projections of Gilbert at LT give me the willies. I don't think he was doing all that well at RT, which is supposed to be less crucial. Do you think the next LT will be Giilbert, or someone not now on the roster?
Ed Bouchette: Gilbert.
Go Steelers: Hi Ed, do you see OLB as the Steelers biggest need in the draft? 1st round pick.
Ed Bouchette: It certainly is among their biggest needs. That, RB and WR.
Steel26: I am a Steeler fan stuck in Cleveland- much talk here about Jimmy Haslem- did you ever have the chance to interact with him while he was minority owner of the Steelers?
Ed Bouchette: No.
Bill L: Why are the Steelers not cutting a salary now as opposed to next month?
Ed Bouchette: It really doesn't matter. Maybe they haven't yet decided which way they want to go.
Eleven: Now that the dust has settled, who was responsible for benching Ward for all of those games in 2011 and who decided to let him get his 1000 receptions in the last game of the season?
Ed Bouchette: The Steelers head coach is named Mike Tomlin.
kjacksonpgh: Hi Ed, Do you believe that this team of veterans has made its final run at a championship and now will be blown up for younger talent?
Ed Bouchette: Blown up is too strong of a word. They've been in transition since last year and it will continue. Baltimore showed again that you can make a run at a championship by being decent and lucky, so I wouldn't rule it out for the Steelers.
PTB: Are there any specific free agents that you think the Steelers are targeting that would immediately boost their talent on either defense or offense? I am thinking of situations like when James Farrior was picked up in free agency.
Ed Bouchette: Here is the entire list:
Wild Bill: We haven't heard much about Ben during the offseason. Is it your understanding that his shoulder/arm will be good for this coming year?
Ed Bouchette: There's no surgery involved, just healing. I'm guessing he'll be 100 percent.
Sam: Ike Taylor is back in Florida to train with Mr. Shaw. Have you heard of any other Steeler members joining them?
Ed Bouchette: Mr. Shaw has a great PR machine that so many can name him as a trainer. There are all kinds of trainers out there who do good jobs with their clients and some even manage to keep their names out of the media.
Guest: Hey Ed, why won't the steelers just release Harrison and quit playing games.
Ed Bouchette: They quit playing games on Dec. 30. How do you know they plan to release him?
Sports Authority: Will the new seats at Heinz field be in place for this coming season?
Ed Bouchette: No, they're in court to try to decide how/who to pay for them, but the expansion has been scrapped for 2013.
Dude_From_Cali: Ed: after each grueling chat, what do you do to recover?
Ed Bouchette: Ice.
James: Hey ED, Why haven't the Steelers addressed the biggest need for the past 6 years. A new Coach.
Ed Bouchette: So, you have a problem with a coach who has won a Super Bowl, been to another and made the playoffs four times in his six seasons without a losing season on his record? Just asking. Did you have someone in mind who maybe would have won three Super Bowls during that period?
leon: Rank this chat vs. others in 2013.
Ed Bouchette: Has to be top 10.
yo teach: Ed, it it an eternity until Week 1 - 2013!!! What is a good hobby to take up until then?
Ed Bouchette: Anything, pray tell, except mock drafts.
Ed Bouchette: Thanks all, for another great chat. Slogs continue daily at PG Plus. Next chat next Tuesday.
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