View Full Version : Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript

10-27-2009, 05:45 PM
Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ed Bouchette: Hello to our bye week chat. The Steelers met today and then Mike Tomlin gave them off except for rookies until Monday. Let's begin

Freehold_Willie: Good afternoon, Ed! Seems like the game plan on offense was to not let Ben drop back deep in the pocket. I guess they were trying to neutralize the Vikings D-line but seeing how quickly they scored before the half, why didn't they change the game plan in the second half? The Viking were missing Wingfield in the secondary; why not be more aggresive?

Ed Bouchette: I too did not like the 3-yard passes that seemed to be thrown so often. I also thought they could have run more. Mendenhall had a 6.9-yard average in that game.

James_Taipei: Will the winner of the Nov. 15 Steelers vs Bengals game go on to win the AFC North title?

Ed Bouchette: I still think Baltimore will be involved.

SteelyDave: Mike Wallace has been tremendous. Does he make Limas Sweed expendable, or do the Steelers still have hopes for Sweed?

Ed Bouchette: Sweed is an interesting case. He has not even dressed for the past two games. I say they give him at least one more training camp, plus it's a long season and if any of the other 4 receivers are hurt, he will play.

Steelers_Fan_Stuck_In_Ohio: When must Ryan Clark let the Steelers know if he will play in Denver?

Ed Bouchette: I would think by Monday, so they can practice accordingly.

TimFromChester: Ed, do you think if Harvin was wearing a police uniform Reed would have put in a better effort at making a tackle?

Ed Bouchette: It's my understanding he went down to the cops too.

50_JohnReger: Does Keyaron Fox have a long-term contract with the Steelers? When will he be eligible for free agency?

Ed Bouchette: He signed a new 2-year deal this year.

Mass_SteelersFan: With two returns for TDs against our special teams unit in two weeks, would activating Limas for that unit help or is he too deep in MT's doghouse?

Ed Bouchette: I don't know that Limas is that good of a special teams player. I think they missed Andre Frazier more in those 2 returns.

RaBarry_MendenFoster: While Woodley got a touchdown Sunday, we haven't seen him play to last year's level. I've yet to see him beat a tackle one-on-one. Has he gotten overweight and out-of-shape, ala what happened with Levon Kirkland?

Ed Bouchette: You cannot be out of shape and run 77 yards for a touchdown. I think he's a little bigger and that may have cut down slightly on some quickness.

san_diego_steeler_fan: Is there any update on the injuries the Steelers sustained on defense and how could they effect the Denver game?

Ed Bouchette: No, Mike Tomlin declined to talk today and will not until next week.

Mission_Miami: Hey Ed -- I thought Keyaron Fox looked better in the preseason than Timmons. Do you think it may be a bit of an upgrade having Fox in there on first and second downs?

Ed Bouchette: I think you have two good linebackers there and they will continue to play Timmons unless he's hurt.

FOX_on_the_run: Real happy with the game result Sunday -- cheers to the defense for slamming the door shut in the forth. Having said that, Ben looked off his game by alot. Hopefully the week off does the whole team some good -- your thoughts?

Ed Bouchette: I don't think Ben was that far off. He also had a TD pass to Santonio Holmes called back. I know that defense gave up a lot of passing yards to Baltimore, but they played the Steelers differently.

This truly must be an off week. I normally do not have to wait for questions.

pittjohn: My question is in regard to kickoff coverage. On the Harvin runback Sunday, I thought that I observed on the TV coverage, that when Harvin received the ball, there was still no players ... neither Vikings nor Steelers ... in view between the goal and the 20-yard line. It appeared that Reed had minimal hang-time on his kickoff, allowing Harvin a wide open field to set up his run. And I have noted this before on earlier kickoffs. Have you also observed this from your on-field perspecttive? Or are there other factors at work that the TV picture does not show?

Ed Bouchette: I did not look at it that closely. The thing I saw was that no one touched him but Jeff Reed, who made a lukewarm attempt at a tackle.

BUBBYBRISTER: With the division finally looking competitive, do you think there's any chance of three teams making the playoffs from the North? If not, who do you see co-hosting a playoff barbecue with Eric Mangini?

Ed Bouchette: I said no to this earlier but the Bengals seem intent on hanging in there. I suppose it could happen, although I expect San Diego to come on more than it has to possibly grab a spot.

floridafan: Ed, what's your take on Mendenhall? Is all that fumbling just jitters?

Ed Bouchette: He fumbled once, badly, vs. the Vikings. The one against Cleveland was a fluke. I think he'll get better. They're trying to get him to carry the ball more securely.

Homey: If the Steelers have a bye week, won't don't you get to have a bye week from chatting?

Ed Bouchette: I could have. I took off part of my duties today because my back acted up. But neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of the bye week could keep me away from these chats.

theWellHungarian: Looks like my Conor Lee prediction for next season is looking better and better after Jeff Reed's ole' on Percy Harvin, eh?

Ed Bouchette: I would not judge a kicker by his inability to make one tackle on a return.

kyRx: Your thoughts on why Minnesota didn't run Peterson four times after first & goal from the 1?

Ed Bouchette: As I wrote on PG Plus Sunday night, we have a saying in the press box: Their team has coaches too. Trying to out-think the other guys often gets you in trouble and makes you look dumb, which is where Brad Childress was when he did not do just that.

DallasBlackNGold: Hi Ed. What fraction of the Vikes game did Ziggy Hood play? I know its early, but do you think he's showing any improvement yet?

Ed Bouchette: He did not play much. Several plays. No impact. It's hard to tell if he's improving because he plays so little and has done little while in there.

Chooch79: If Clark decides not to play next week, do the Steelers need to add him to their injury list? And if so, how would he be listed?

Ed Bouchette: He would be one of their 8 inactive players on Sunday.

Don't be bashful. This is the second lull I've had in this chat, setting a new chat record here.

nycrob: Ed: How can Tomlin justify giving Mendenhall 10 carries when he was averaging 7 yards a pop? I know that he fumbled in the red zone, but they may not have needed the last INT if the Steelers had been able to grind out more yards on the ground on the previous drive.

Ed Bouchette: I'm with ya.

polamalu43: Ed, your prediction ... Steelers or Broncos?

Ed Bouchette: Well, I had picked the Vikings to have the Steelers go 4-3. I had picked the Broncos -- this all in my preseason predictions on PG Plus -- for them to go 5-3. Let's wait until next week so I have the advantage of seeing what the Broncos do this Sunday against the Ravins.

Ed Bouchette: Ravens

jabobeast: Since Jeff Reid's leg isn't helping us on kickoffs, how about using the punter? Is he capable?

Ed Bouchette: I've never seen Daniel Sepulveda kick off, not in camp or in practice, so I suspect he is not an option. Plus, some of those kicks by Reeds are designed to go where they go.

NHSteel: What is behind opposing teams ability to march the ball against the Steelers D lately? Is it fatigue? Are they dinking and dunking against the blitz?

Ed Bouchette: I thought the Steelers defense did a good job Sunday against a powerful offensive team, which wound up scoring just 10 points.

Harvey_Clayton: Hi Ed, what is your opinion on how the NFL has turned this game into a QB/WR driven game with its rule changes? I sure hate to see CBs playing 10 yards off the line of scrimmage; it's like a track meet, with the fastest WRs and best QBs winning the battle.

Ed Bouchette: This is not my father's football. In fact it's not my son's father's football. I miss some of the old stuff, but I do applaud some of the safety rules. Some.

SteeleredUp: What is going on with Mike Wallace and his forward flip into the end zone?

Ed Bouchette: Better than a backward flip.

Canadian_SteelerFan: Hi Ed -- Just curious as to the number of actual days off the players usual get during a bye week?

Ed Bouchette: Mike Tomlin has pulled a first. Other than rookies, he gave all the week off after this morning's meeting. No Steelers coach has ever done that. Rookies will be in Wed. and Thurs.

Busted_Streak: Ed, is the lack of deep kickoffs by Reed a reason the Steelers may not sign him to a new contract or is it all the off the field incidents?

Ed Bouchette: Jeff Reed has never been a deep kickoff man and that will have no bearing on whether they sign him or not.

10-27-2009, 05:46 PM
hoosiersteelerfan: There seem to be a lot of mental errors that are keeping this team from absolutely dominating their opponents. Do you think this team will be able to reach that potential this season?

Ed Bouchette: I'm not sure what that potential is, short of the Super Bowl. Do I think they can get to the Super Bowl? Yes. They are making no more mistakes than most NFL teams, such as the previously unbeaten Vikings did on Sunday at Heinz Field, mental and physical.

zach_in_philly: I've really enjoyed watching Ryan Clark play the past few years -- what a nice free agent pick-up. Do you think anyone will question his toughness if he decides to not play in Denver?

Ed Bouchette: If they do, they must be really tough guys, or at least think they are. I have received a ton of emails, plus many comments to my post on Ryan at PG Plus and they were unanimous that they do not believe Clark should play in Denver.

Man_Darino: Boy, it sure seemed like the Vikes' game plan going in to Sunday was run, pass and generally attack William Gay. The amount of success Favre had leads me to believe we're going to see that every week until the Steelers can stop it. Is this the difference between what a bigger/more aggressive McFadden brought to the position vs. a smaller William Gay? What are Lebeau's options to stop it?

Ed Bouchette: The did go after William Gay a lot and he expects that with Ike Taylor on the other side. He's the best option they have at corner. Any time you lose a good player like McFadden you lose something, but he did alternate with Gay last season.

Tim_Krz: Hello Ed -- have you heard anything among the Steelers coaches regarding Logan's lack of production in the return game? Any chance he could be released if there is no improvement?

Ed Bouchette: He's been good on kickoffs, not so good on punt returns, where he looks uncomfortable fielding the ball. That is why you see Mewelde Moore return some punts. No, I think he'll keep doing it, especially on kickoffs.

steel_rsd: Ed, I'm going to Denver for my first Steelers game. Can I come share a beer with you in the press box?

Ed Bouchette: Sure, you bring the beer.

steel_rsd: Does Denver beat Baltimore next week and go into the Steelers game undefeated? I'd love to see the Steelers knock off another one.

Ed Bouchette: That will be a good game worth watching. I think Baltimore will win.

ReedsTacklingDummy: Ed, why are the abuse for Jeff Reed's attempted tackle. It appeared he got caught flat-footed by a very slick return man. How many kickers would have made that tackle?

Ed Bouchette: Daniel Sepulveda

DAT_DUDE_B: Is William Gay OK after that semi hit him?

Ed Bouchette: Yes, he stayed in the game. Adrian Peterson has done that to others but not quite like that one in the open space like that for all to see.

saltsburgscrubs: Hey Ed, any chance Tomlin makes personnel changes on the special teams to prevent returns like the ones we've seen the past two weeks? The last time I checked, Denver has a good return man in Eddie Royral!!!

Ed Bouchette: He said he would. Adding a healthy Andre Frazier would be a start. Maybe they could put James Harrison back there.

roethlisbergh: It's known that Santonio has the sickle cell trait (and his sons have the disease). How is santonio's situation different from Ryan Clark's?

Ed Bouchette: Santonio's son has it, not Santonio.

Steelerfan-Syracuse: Ed, what qualities seperate Moore as a player from others that he always seems to get the necessary yards on third down?

Ed Bouchette: He does not always get them. Seems I remember a play or two earlier in the season at the goalline in which he did not. He is not a tall back, which I think sometimes helps, and he's a no-nonsense runner. He makes his decision and hits the hole quickly.

steelers: William Gay or McFadden?

Ed Bouchette: You have no choice on that one. McFadden plays for Arizona.

excalibur: Thanks for working on this chat during the by week My question is this.. were you a Steeler fan before you became a writer covering the team, or did you become a fan once you started covering the Steelers?

Ed Bouchette: I grew up a fan of many teams not in Pittsburgh, because I did not live here. My first intro to the Steelers came in 1969 as a freshman at IUP. I went to a fraternity house to watch the game -- the World Series game -- and was horrified that on the only TV they had was the Steelers. I said, where's the World Series game? They said "We watch the Steelers here.'' That was my first clue. Once I went to work here, in 1974, I covered every home game and was never allowed to be a "fan.''

SteeleredUp: Why didn't we call a timeout after Woodley's return in order to give the defense a breather and to make sure that the special teams were ready for the kickoff?

Ed Bouchette: Good question and I never thought about that but I would bet that someone else would have gone in at left OLB -- Patrick Bailey? -- for a few snaps at least to let Woodley catch his breath.

Mwarren18: Ed, were you surprised how ineffective the Steelers offense was against the Vikes?

Ed Bouchette: I thought they'd be able to pass more effectively on them, yes.

roethlisbergh: What did Casey Hampton yell at Jeff Reed after the Percy kickoff return?

Ed Bouchette: Did not see that one.

saltsburgscrubs: Ed, the no huddle seems to work extremely well week in and week out. Why don't they go to it more often?

Ed Bouchette: They believe they have a good mix now and do not want to go strictly with the NH.

steel_rsd: Ed, I hear the national media all week making excuses for the Vikings such as a bad tripping call that nullified a TD. What about the call on Miller that nullified a TD? Was that a correct call?

Ed Bouchette: I think both calls were correct but ticky-tack.

Hambo: How bad is Kirscke hurt? Is Hood anymore ready this week to pull his first-round-pick weight than he was when Aaron Smith got hurt?

Ed Bouchette: Kirschke could play in Denver. Nick Eason would be up next and then Ziggy.

10-27-2009, 05:46 PM
DJSWSP: The passing game seemed off against Minnesota with Ben missing passes. Is the Minnesota pass defense that good or just an off game? If they were taking away the deeper pass, why not more check down passes to TEs and RBs?

Ed Bouchette: I don't know if you noticed, but he did check down plenty of times. Heath Miller led the team with 6 receptions for a whopping 6.3-yard average. Even David Johnson caught his first pass, for four yards. Mendenhall caught one for minus-one and Ward a 3-yarder

NYC_Steelers_Fan: Whatever happened to "directional-kicking?!" Can't Reed kick to the extreme left or right when kicking off? If it goes out of bounds, the 40-yard-line, it's better than the kick being returned for a TD.

Ed Bouchette: You cannot play scared, although they did pop a few kickoffs up on purpose Sunday, including the last one.

MikeWallace4Pres: Ed, is Hines Ward still around after this season and if not, does Mike Wallace take his place or is Wallace too much of a deep threat to take over Ward's spot as a short yardage across the middle kinda guy?

Ed Bouchette: Hines Ward will be here in 2010, and perhaps beyond.

Uncle_Buck: I know you're not a doctor, but how close to 100% do you think Polamalu will be following this bye-week period??

Ed Bouchette: No Dr., but I can play one. I don't know that he'll be 100 percent the rest of the season but this week should really help him. He did not practice last Wed. or Thurs. as Mike Tomlin tries to protect him.

Menofpaws: What is a bigger dropoff -- Smith to Kirsche or Kirsche to Eason?

Ed Bouchette: Any dropoff from Smith is a big one.

OldSchoolPatriotFan: Are the Vikings the toughest team the Steelers will face all season?

Ed Bouchette: Toughest? No, that would be Baltimore. Best? Maybe.

Brad: Can fumbleitis be coached out of a player like Rashard M.? Or will this be a continuing problem?

Ed Bouchette: I'm not conceding he has fumblitis just that he needs to learn to carry the ball more securely or others will be trying to pop that baby out the way he carries it.

Hines_86: Why do you think they didn't run more on the right side? Everytime they tried it seemed to work.

Ed Bouchette: I think they should have run it more often, period. And, I do not know why they did not. Mendenhall had 3 big runs around the right.

RichP: Is anyone worried about DLine depth if Kirschke is out an extended period of time?

Ed Bouchette: I think many started worrying about it when they lost aaron smith.

OldSchoolPatriotFan: How does Orton rate compared to the QBs the Steelers have already faced?

Ed Bouchette: Not as high as Favre, nor Palmer, nor Rivers, nor maybe even the guy they traded to Chicago for him.

Mwarren18: Ed, I think the Steelers passed the Vikings test with flying colors; next up are th Broncos. Do you think a win against them makes the Steelers the team to beat in the AFC?

Ed Bouchette: No, I think that honor still belongs to Indy.

roethlisbergh: Will Ambassador Rooney be at the Denver game? How many games has he attended this year?

Ed Bouchette: I don't think he'll be there. He was here last Sunday because his grand-daugher got married. It was his third game and first since the second game of the season.

jabobeast: Do you think Fast Willie will see more touches or has he been demoted?

Ed Bouchette: I don' t know that demoted is the word. He was hurt and the guy they drafted in the first-round performed pretty well. As long as Mendenhall keeps it up, I think you'll see him get the brunt of the carries with an occasional FWP tossed in.

MikeWallace4Pres: Don't we also miss Anthony Madison on the special teams duties?

Ed Bouchette: yes.

IUP_Steeler: If Clark doesn't play in Denver, do you think this will limit Troy's aggressiveness in the blitzing scheme?

Ed Bouchette: No, I think they will let Troy do his thing whether it's Ryan Mundy or Tyrone Carter back there with him.

Ed Bouchette: OK, thanks all. It will be a slow week but not dead, at least not here. see you next Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09300/1008694-66.stm#ixzz0VB8JAzE9

10-27-2009, 06:38 PM
He's kind of a dick sometimes, but I like that he's very straight to the point.

10-28-2009, 04:32 PM
Agree with the above post. I really enjoy his talks but he could answers some of the questions without reposing the question. If that makes sense?! Good read though!

Galax Steeler
10-29-2009, 04:40 AM
Thanks for the read Mesa

10-29-2009, 07:30 AM
He's kind of a dick sometimes, but I like that he's very straight to the point.


Couldn't have said it better myself. :applaudit:

I enjoyed the read, mesa - thanks! :drink:

10-29-2009, 07:51 AM
Geez. The D runs back 2 turnovers for TD's, and all the talk is still about Reed.

Oh, except for the "Woodley looks out of shape comment". *sigh*


What's up Weeeesel!