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mesaSteeler
02-14-2012, 04:33 PM
Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 2.14.12
Tuesday, 14 February 2012 14:33
Written by Ed Bouchette
http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/steelers/114862-ed-bouchettes-steelers-chat-transcript-21412

Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin

Jason: Ed,with Colbert saying Hampton may be on the PUP list to start the season and Hoke's retirement does DT become the clear #1 need

Ed Bouchette: Nose tackle could be a need whether Hampton plays this year or not because he's not here for the long term. However, there has been some talk that if Hampton does not play here in 2012, Ziggy Hood could move to NT.

James_Pittsburgh: Who is mostly likely to be a Steeler when training camp comes around James Farrior or Casey Hampton?

Ed Bouchette: You might go about 50-50 on each.

Bruce: The media seems to be in a feeding frenzy over Ben-Haley and problems with Steeler management. I think the media is making a lot more out of this than they should. Since you're in the media, what do you think?

Ed Bouchette: There is more sports media than ever, more avenues and more immediacy with the proliferation of sports talk, twitter and blogs. People want to talk and listen, even when there's not a whole lot going on. This is a natural for anyone to talk about because of the drama involved. I'm sure the fans in the bars are talking about it as well. In Indianapolis, the topic is all Peyton Manning. The drama between the star QB here and the old and new offensive coordinator is real and as good a topic as any this time of year.

John B.: Should there be worry about Tomlin and "the Rooney decision"? or am i just reading too much into it? I really like Tomlin and I think he's a very capable head coach but this was supposed to be his first major hire since coming here.

Ed Bouchette: Some people make this out to be the first time there has been disagreement between a coach and a Rooney, or the first time a Rooney made a decision that went against the coach's wishes. I assure you, it's happened many times although may not as publicly or as clumsily.

Jason: Is releasing Mendenhall a possibility? If so how does this affect the cap?

Ed Bouchette: No, releasing him is not in the works, especially with an injury that has not healed. Plus, it would not save much under the cap.

Pablo: Ed, is Colbert just being extra cautious in his assessment of Mendenhall's recovery? ACL rehab is usually a 6 month process. Seems like he should be ready for most if not all of the season (although he will surely miss a good chunk of training camp).

Ed Bouchette: Yes, I believe he is being conservative and he pretty much said that. He said he would consider anything less than a year a bonus. We all know examples of players who have come back quickly. However, he's a running back who relies on his quick cutting ability and that could be diminished by this serious knee injury.

Rich: Ed, given the recent statement on Mendenhall... What is the word on Batch and his recovery from last years injury?

Ed Bouchette: Everything I hear about Batch's recovery is excellent.

Andre Hastings: Happy Valentines Day Ed. Who ultimately makes the call on Hines? Do the Rooney's have any input?

Ed Bouchette: I think it will be Art Rooney's call. However, if the coach insists he does not want him on the roster, it could weigh heavily on the decision, especially after Rooney has apparently already made one call against the coach's wishes.

Guest: Any chance the Steelers don't lock up Wallace long-term? And do you think the salary cap could hinder them signing Wallace, Brown and Sanders after 13?

Ed Bouchette: There's a very real chance they may not sign him. For one, what Wallace wants and what the Steelers are willing to pay could be far apart. Also, they have the RFA tender that would likely hold him for another year.

guest: Is Ziggy Hood big enough to play nose tackle?

Ed Bouchette: He would not play it the way Casey Hampton did. He's more Chris Hoke's size.

James_Pittsburgh: Despite management's comments, will the Steelers draft a running back number one if the right guy is there?

Ed Bouchette: I would be surprised to see them draft a RB on the first round.

Guest: Your prediction on if Hines will play next year, and if so where?

Ed Bouchette: If not here, I think Baltimore and Arizona would be interested, to name two.

Tprod: Ed, could the Steelers move Jason Worilds into the middle? Doubtful the Steelers retain both Farrior and Foote and Worilds, while hardly impressive subbing for Woodley, did a far superior job than Sylvester in his one start.

Ed Bouchette: I don't see that happening for a few reasons, mainly they really have no one else on the outside other than Lawrence Timmons to back up the two starters.

Mike: I saw a report about Mike Wallace getting franchised because teams only have to give up a 1 first rounder instead of a 1 and 3. Have you got the feeling from your talks with team officials?

Ed Bouchette: Giving up a first-round pick is something rarely done to sign a RFA. Plus, the Steelers would still have the chance to match the contract. I don't know that not having the 3 included would make that big of a difference if someone really wanted to sign a player.

FoolBack: Given his image as a tough player, would playing special teams be out of the question for Hines Ward? Would he even want to at 36?

Ed Bouchette: I don't know that you'd want Hines Ward back so he could play special teams. I also do not buy the fact that the No. 4 receiver has to play special teams.

Guest: In your opinion did Bill Parcells not make the HOF because the media and their ilk didn't like him?

Ed Bouchette: I think he did not make it because the voters felt the five who did had better credentials, and we could only vote five modern-day candidates in.

Jon from Robinson: Is a blog headline "Todd Haley and Rat Salad" pure amateur gossip rag material???

Ed Bouchette: No, from my understanding it's a true story.

SteelMike58: With Haley having success with passing in AZ and running in KC, is it fair to expect he will always play to our offensive strengths, and be less predictable then in our recent past?

Ed Bouchette: I do think those are good examples that Haley's philosophy is to adapt to the strengths of the offense he's coaching.

Sweet Suzie: If we what to win the super bowl we need a new field goal kicker. The time to get one is now. What do you think?

Ed Bouchette: Yeah, well I don't think you can blame them missing out on the Super Bowl the past season on their kicker. However, they will likely look to see if they can improve there.

Jim in VT: How far over the projected cap are the Steelers as things stand now?

Ed Bouchette: Roughly $10 million or one or two swipes of the pen with a couple of their big contracts.

MiStlrFan: Is it possible the Steelers trade Harrison or cut him? He is a big cap hit and has back issues.

Ed Bouchette: no

Guest: As a beat writer for the Steelers don't you appreciate the honest answers Ben gave you concerning the offense, Mr. Rooney and Todd Haley versus him either blowing you off or giving you some b.s. answer?

Ed Bouchette: I always appreciate honest answers, even in my other lives.

SteelMike58: Who are the favorites to be inside LB's this year, TImmons and Farrior/Foote?

Ed Bouchette: Yes.

Mike: Is it going to be possible to keep both Wallace and Brown?

Ed Bouchette: I believe they can find a way. Brown, of course, has another year left on his contract and then he becomes RFA.

guest: Do you see the Steelers putting a Franchise Tag on Mile Wallace?

Ed Bouchette: No. They have enough cap problems without adding such a big number to it.

Okiesteerfan: With Saunders on his way out of town is TE a draft need?

Ed Bouchette: Yes, I think they need a good No. 2 tight end.

Guest: Dan Rooney has said he will be coming back to the Steelers soon. When he does do you think he will have an active role, or is this Art Rooney's team now?

Ed Bouchette: Art is the boss, but Dan will have great influence as his son's advisor, which he has remained only a phone call away these past 3 years.

Pablo: Any possibilities for the Franchise tag? I don't see any obvious ones.

Ed Bouchette: I'd be stunned if they used it this year.

Joe from Munhall: Would you sign Dwight Freeney if the Colts release him?

Ed Bouchette: no

Okiesteerfan: Ward as a Raven that would be ironic and disgusting don't you think?

Ed Bouchette: Actually, from my standpoint, I think it would be juicy.

Mike: Will Max Starks be back next year?

Ed Bouchette: I would have to guess no.

Pablo: Hines Ward is about as popular in Baltimore as Ray Lewis is in Pittsburgh. Hines as a Raven would be quite an adjustment for all involved.

Ed Bouchette: And had Ray Lewis become available at the right price and there was a need here, they would have loved to have him.

Tom: I understood that Carter was the heir apparent to Farrior?

Ed Bouchette: There are many heir apparents who became outta here apparents, though I'm not saying that applies to Carter, just a general observation.

Bill: Is Jericho Cotchery even in the discussion for next year or do you believe he is looking for the #2 WR contract. Frankly if Hines would be signed by Baltimore I would think he can still play and the Steelers bring him in for veteran minimum. I see him in New England if he gets released.

Ed Bouchette: As someone said to me, why would Cotchery want to come back here? To be No. 4? He left the Jets because he wanted to be No. 2. I read a story where he'd like to sign a 4-5 year contract with the Steelers. I just don't think the Steelers would pay him much as a No. 4, especially with Wallace due and Brown/Sanders down the road.

SteelMike58: With Haley in the fold, might we expect Heath to get a larger share of the passes?

Ed Bouchette: Both Haley, at his press conference, and Ben, to me, mentioned Heath as someone who should be involved more in the passing game.

Ed Bouchette: Thanks for another chat. See you next week.

TRH
02-14-2012, 05:19 PM
some interesting comments.

I'm thinking Wallace is as good as gone. There is NO way we can afford both him and Brown next year, not even possible (unless we dump the rest of the team).

And what would it be like seeing Hines Ward in a Baltimore uniform??!! They hate him right now, but if he signed with them, they would LOVE him immediately before the ink's even dry.
With all the media uproar about Ward over the last week...i'm surprised the organization hasnt' stepped up and made the decision on whether he's staying or going and put that to bed.

Bayz101
02-14-2012, 05:25 PM
Thanks for posting that, Mesa. I only have one comment:

Mendenhall won't take a hand off all of next season. Sure, six months to recover, another three months to get back to full strength. Your looking at a 9 month recovery timeline with Mendy, and I doubt he'll play next year. I've tore my ACL. 7 months before I could sprint.

wera176
02-14-2012, 05:48 PM
"They hate him right now, ..."

In sports, as in many things, "Hate" is the ultimate compliment. The fans and players hate him because he whopped their azzez a couple times... They'd love to have him in black and purple whooping on someone else, they are a physical team just like the Steelers... I recall a couple of their coaches (or players?) saying he's dirty, they hate him, and they would love to have him on their side.

How many other fan bases have ever got to brag "my wide receiver is tougher than your linebacker or safety?" I live in Cincy so I got to when he broke River's glass jaw... ;)

Bayz101
02-14-2012, 06:01 PM
It wouldn't make since to keep Hines from a business standpoint. Not as much because his productivity though. He played most of last season with a ankle injury. It's more the fact that there's so much talent in the receivers corp as it is, and his 14 years doesn't match up well.