View Full Version : Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 9.11.12

Hawaii 5-0
09-11-2012, 04:09 PM
Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 9.11.12


rcd: Ed, any update on the injuries to Gilbert and Foster?

Ed Bouchette: Yes, I posted those to both PG + and the PG more than an hour ago. Both "should be fine,'' according to Mike Tomlin.

Kordells Revenge: Ed, great chat as always. I know they've won two superbowls with him (maybe despite him), but why do you think Ben doesn't seem to be a real playmaker at QB?

Ed Bouchette: Thank you for the advance grade on my chat before it even begins. And thank you for what I assume is a facetious question.

Chris: Why do you think Chris Rainey wasn't used more?

Ed Bouchette: I thought they would use him on punt returns, but it's never bad having a Pro Bowl punt returner do it instead. I could have been back there on kickoff returns because none was returnable.

Scott: Ed, with the running game struggling early in the game but Haley continuing to call running plays nevertheless, were you surprised he didn't try to mix things up with a play action pass or two to throw the defense off? It seemed obvious to Denver at that point that the Steelers were going to run one running play after another and it looked like they were ready for it.

Ed Bouchette: I didn't analyze it that much. I thought overall he and Ben called a good game on offense.

Weegie: How much more time will Dwyer get this week? Do you think he'll start over Redman?

Ed Bouchette: I do not not who will start but Mike Tomlin did say Dwyer earned more chances because of the "spark" he provided them Sunday.

Dishes: Ed: Clearly the demise of Peyton Manning was greatly exaggerated. But I also think it's too early to say the same about the Steelers. They let this get away from them, clearly, but a play here, a play there and the outcome is markedly different. Too early to throw out the baby with the bathwater as the saying goes?

Ed Bouchette: It's never too early for some Steelers fans to predict the demise of the Steelers. They buried them after the first game last season and they had more reason to. I picked them to lose this one; I also picked them to go 11-5 despite it.

Kordells Revenge: It wasn't fecetious - I realize he escapes pressure better than almost anyone, but he puts up pedestrian numbers and doesn't have the lack of playmakers excuse that past Steelers QB's did. They win, I know, but it's mainly because of defense. No one would say Mark Sanchez was responsible for the Jets 2 AFC championship game appearances

Ed Bouchette: You apparently know way too much football for me to discuss the merits of having a quarterback like Ben Roethlisberger compared to what they've had here in the past and were unable not only to reach Super Bowls but to win them despite having some of the great defenses and running games in the league.

dave: Do they anticipate the new DB challenging for a starting spot?

Ed Bouchette: No, at least not anytime soon. He's more special teams.

Scott: How close is Mendenhall to returning as a starter? Any word on how he's progressing?

Ed Bouchette: He looks good in practice. I would not expect him to play this week, but I didn't expect Adrian Peterson to play last week and he scored a TD.

Chooch: Now that the season has started and Wallace has no new deal, what do you think the chances are that this will be his last year as a Steeler?

Ed Bouchette: Maybe 50-50.

Weegie: Do the Steelers have a coach dedicated to deciding whether or not to challenge a play? Tomlin's record on challenges is not very good.

Ed Bouchette: Yes, the coach's name is Mike Tomlin. He takes input from his coaches in the box who have access to TV, but it's his call. I don't have his stats on challenges, but I think generally he does a good job. The wrong ones always stick out more.

Wild Bill: Hello, Ed - Was week 1 a win by the NFL over the refs, and do you see anything changing in that lockout soon?

Ed Bouchette: I haven't paid that much attention. I will say that the crew Sunday night did a poor job spotting the ball, even marking off four yards on five-yard penalties. Overall, nothing big.

Dishes: Heath had a nice game and Ben missed him on a few other targets, including a sure-fire TD that could've changed things. Is this finally the year -- his 8th in the league -- that he's heavily used in the passing game?

Ed Bouchette: You might want to check with his 2009 season when he caught 76 passes, more than any tight end in Steelers history, for 789 yards, six TDs and made the Pro Bowl. He's shown he can do it, but with all of those other good receivers, there's plenty of people and one ball.

War18: Ed, Ben really took a bunch of the blame on this game. How do you feel about that?

Ed Bouchette: Sounds like a stand-up guy and, based on a few plays, there was some truth to it. Overall, though, I thought he did a good job.

Chooch: What topic will get more hype this week?

Ed Bouchette: Clint Hurdle pulling Wandy with a 3-1 lead in the 7th and 2 out?

Tprod: Ed. first down at the three and three straight pass plays; where's the "run the ball when you have to run the ball" game plan considering your playing the worst run defense in the NFL—last year's stats, but basically the same defense? Different OC, but the same Red Zone result.

Ed Bouchette: Seems to me they did quite well when throwing to Heath Miller from the 4 and to Mike Wallace from the 3. Should they have run on those plays? Here's how you judge a play and the coordinator calling it: Doesn't work, bad play call. Works, good play call.

steeltexan: what's your prediction for the home opener against the jets?

Ed Bouchette: My predictions for the entrie 16-game season was posted on my blog/slog Sunday. I picked them to lose in Denver and I picked them to bounce back and beat the Jets.

Tprod: Ed, is J. Scott still available, now that Trai Essex is playing at Indy? Scott played some guard, briefly, in game situations, so he has some position flexibility.

Ed Bouchette: No, Jonathan Scott plays for the Bears.

Guest: Any concern over the lack of QB pressure (Keisel, Hood, Timmons, and Woodley were nearly invisible) or just a by-product of the Broncs' short-passing game?

Ed Bouchette: Peyton Manning doesn't often get sacked. They sacked him twice in the first period. That's usually about all you can ask for. Plus, let's see when James Harrison lines up out there too.

Guest: In this day and age of tremendous technology, how can Ben not hear the play being called in no matter the crowd noise?

Ed Bouchette: Plug in your Ipod, put on a tune and then walked into a place where there are 75,000 screaming people. Tell me what song you heard.

Joey D: How's Antonio Brown?...He took a big hit Sunday night.

Ed Bouchette: He's fine. In fact, I just did the post-Tomlin news conference show with him on Root TV and he was excellent.

Ed Bouchette: Thanks, all.


09-12-2012, 06:19 AM
I can't help but wonder which one of our regular posters here on SFF is "Kordell's Revenge".

09-12-2012, 06:31 AM
Guest: In this day and age of tremendous technology, how can Ben not hear the play being called in no matter the crowd noise?

Ed Bouchette: Plug in your Ipod, put on a tune and then walked into a place where there are 75,000 screaming people. Tell me what song you heard.


Thanks for posting, Hawaii.

09-12-2012, 06:38 AM
My favorite line (and a good example of why I like Ed) is "... there's plenty of people and one ball." Just as in years past Ed has been pretty spot-on with his predictions, refusing to be another Steelers cheerleader, and readers will hate him for it. It's a shame.

Hawaii 5-0
09-12-2012, 01:51 PM
Ed: Where Was the Ground Game?


Good morning,

Winning in Denver is never easy. The Steelers are now 3-8 there in the regular season, and have lost their past two games in Mile High.

This time, however, they at least were beaten by a future Hall of Fame quarterback who answered everyone’s questions: Yes, Peyton Manning still has it.

So does Ben Roethlisberger, although he threw that interception that ended any comeback try in the final three mintues. But on the road in a noisy place, with his ground game not helping much, having lost two starting offensive linemen, he guided that offense well, especially in the no-huddle.

So let’s take a look at some of the things that went well, some that didn’t, and some other observations:

--- Isaac Redman powered his way to a good first down in the second quarter, getting six when they needed three. Other than that, it wasn’t so memorable. He had 20 yards on 11 carries, a 1.8-yard average. Jonathan Dwyer ran for 43 on nine.

--- The ground game, overall, produced just 75 yards on 26 carries. That’s not the improvement the Steelers were looking for when they changed coordinators.

--- Neither was not scoring a touchdown when they had first down at the three early in the second quarter. Heath Miller was wide open in the back of the end zone and Roethlisberger did not put enough air under the ball and it was tipped. They kicked a field goal.

--- By the way, the run-it-when-you-want-to-run-it new offense did not run it at all on three plays from the three that ended with that tipped pass.

--- Before settling for another field goal, from 35 yards, Roethlisberger looked as though he hit Antonio Brown perfectly in the middle front of the end zone with a 23-yard pass. Mike Adams, however, made a nice play to break it up. The Steelers used 16 plays to drive just 64 yards and that field goal.

--- Not having James Harrison, not having Ryan Clark, shifting players in and out of the defensive line, did nothing to help the continuity on defense.

--- Yes, the Steelers had great time of possession from the second through early in the fourth quarter and ran 44 plays to Denver’s 3. But one of those Denver plays was a 79-yard touchdown pass to Daryius Thomas on a short screen. And despite having only two plays in the third quarter, the Broncos outscored the Steelers in that quarter 7-3.

--- Larry Foote had an immense game with a sack, a forced fumble, two quarterback hurries, a pass knocked down, eight tackles, one for a loss.

--- The secondary did not have a good day because of missed tackles and blown assignments coupled with getting beat by receivers and no turnovers, again.

--- Strangely, Chris Rainey did not return a punt. Rainey was not a factor at all. He had two carries for five yards and caught one pass for a yard loss.

--- The Steelers have the Jets, coming off a big win over Buffalo, right where they want them for next Sunday’s game at Heinz Field.

--- Mike Wallace was not much of a target early, but Roethlisberger warmed up to him a little bit and wound up throwing six passes his way. Wallace caught four for 37 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown.

“I didn’t care about any personal things,’’ Wallace said. “That was nowhere on my mind, I just wanted to win. I just wanted to come out and do whatever I could to help my team. It was nothing about me.”

--- Roethlisberger took the blame for the loss, naturally. He said on the interception that Tracy Porter returned 43 yards for a touchdown, he could not hear the play call from Todd Haley in his headset.

“There was just some confusion. We were hanging in no-huddle, but coach wanted the play. I couldn’t hear the play the first time because it was so loud in the headset. Once I got it, I relayed it but we were just getting late getting set up. I really thought he had a step on him, but the guy made a good play.”

--- YOU: I got to thinking after reading your chat this week re what Mike Wallace got out of his holdout and it occurred to me: Given what the preseason did to our offensive line, why do the coaches play any of the starters for more than a series during the preseason? Do the benefits really outweigh the risks? The Steelers came close to losing all three of their first draft picks for the season, while, as you noted, Mike Wallace avoided a serious knee injury. I can see playing borderline players to help determine who fills out the last ten roster positions, but . . . given the investment in Ben, the cost/benefit analysis on having DeCastro out there seems pretty dicey.

ME: You have a point, but if you played none of your starters, while other teams were preparing theirs, it might take you a few real games to catch up. And, those players can get hurt at any time, including the first game of the season. Wallace did avoid putting himself at risk in the preseason, but then he had only 37 yards receiving in the first game too.


Hawaii 5-0
09-12-2012, 03:24 PM
Ed: No Interceptions Again for Steelers


Good morning,

Nothing big, just some small stuff:

--- Larry Foote had an even better game tackling than the gameday stats gave him credit for Sunday night. The coaches review video of the game and keep their own statistics, which the Steelers then use as their quasi-official defensive stats year to year. Those keeping stats in Denver gave him eight tackles. Steelers coaches gave him 12 – 10 solos tackles and two assists. However, the coaches gavfe him one quarterback pressure and not two as they did in Denver. Although many of us thought Foote forced the fumble that LaMarr Woodley recovered, neither the pressbox stats nor the coaches did; the coaches awarded it merely as a team forced fumble.

--- Once again, the Steelers came out of a game without an interception. They did have one turnover, which puts them on an early pace for 16. Last year, they had a franchise-low 15 turnovers, 11 interceptions. They had no interceptions in the playoff game. They now have one interception in their past five games -- they picked off Cleveland's Seneca Wallace in the regular season finale.

--- Rookie Chris Rainey should have a better opportunity to be the punt returner this week because the game is at home. Mike Tomlin has a history of slowly working in rookie return men. You might recall that in 2010, when a punt figured to land somewhere deep in Steelers territory, Antwaan Randle-El would be back there. Then-rookie Antonio Brown only got his shot when the punt figured to land somewhere outside the 30 or 40.

--- Onto your questions:

--- YOU: I have a relatively technical question on the officiating. In the Steelers’ first series against the Broncos, we had a holding penalty at the 16 yd line. The ref claimed it was a 10 yard penalty and marked us back to the 6 making it 3rd and 14. I thought it should have been half the distance to the goal making it 3rd and 12 from the 8. We missed the 1st down on the next play by less than a yard. If the refs had not made such a mistake, we would have maintained possession and maybe gained some momentum. I’m not saying that is why we lost, but I wanted to see if I missed something.
ME: The scab refs were a bit confused in spotting the ball in Denver. That was one among many. It was a holding call on Heath Miller on a second down at the 14. The ball should have been put at the seven. Instead, they put it at the six. The Steelers benefittted somewhat later on their first scoring drive. On first down at the Denver eight, the Broncos defense was penalized for encroachment. Instead of putting it halfway, to the four, they marked off the full five yards and put it at the three. On another occasion, the scabs marked just four yards off on a five-yard penalty near midfield.
Don’t expect any coach to complain about any of this, however.

--- YOU: The Steelers, Broncos and Ravens all ran a lot of no huddle this week. I know Flacco is not Peyton, but do you think LeBeau will have a better answer for the no huddle by the time we play the Ravens?
ME: It’s not always the type of offense a team uses but the execution of it, or the defense. Running the no-huddle is not necessarily how you beat the Steelers defense. However, it will be interesting to see if more teams try it that way.

--- YOU: I wanted to ask an "old-school" question. As a kid I remember reading in an old Steelers' Digest something about Neil O'Donnell having a ridiculous bench press for a quarterback. I know it was well over 350 at Maryland. I am sure you were aware he was a work-out warrior but do did you ever hear a neighborhood his max bench press was in? I remember reading it was over 450.
ME: No, I don’t recall any of it, probably because whatever a quarterback does in the weight room really doesn’t interest me. I don’t think it really matters much to those employing him either. Neil was a decent quarterback for a few seasons and one, I believe, who would have benefitted remaining with the Steelers. However, it would have been hard for anyone to turn down the ridiculous money the Jets gave him in 1996.

--- YOU: What was the story at outside linebacker against the Broncos? It looked like Carter got the start but then they went to Worilds? What was up with that; did Carter play that poorly, and if Worilds was fit to play why didn't he get the start in the first place? Also, you said you saw Worilds play well; what did you see? I didn't notice him do much of anything, except the one sack where nobody bothered to block him (even I could sack Manning if nobody blocked me (well, maybe)). But you probably saw more than I did, so what did I miss? Thanks!
ME: Chris Carter has been practicing all summer and Jason Worilds started only last week. If Worilds were a veteran starter who missed all that time, he might have had a chance to start – as James Harrison would have had his knee not caused him trouble again last week. They also were rotating defensive linemen in and out of the game as well as wide receivers. Worilds had a couple tackles and a sack, and just looked more active in the game. I never said he played at an All-Pro level.

--- YOU: At the time, I took issue with going for two when up 19-14. Why? This isn't college. And it was way too early. You shouldn't go for two unless you HAVE to. I don't care about the "charts." Agree?
ME: You have to take into account each situation. I did not have a problem with what Mike Tomlin did in that situation one way or the other. Now, if there were a 10-yard penalty that put it back to the 12 for the two-point try . . .

--- YOU: Is there any chance that Colon moves back to tackle if Mike Adams continues to struggle? Adams wasn't just bad on Sunday night; he was a complete disaster, and a serious threat to the health and safety of Mr. Rooney's $102 million investment. I realize the coaching staff has made certain promises to Colon, but wouldn't the line be better off with a lineup of Starks-Foster-Pouncey-Legursky-Colon until Castro gets back? Or does the coaching staff think Adams' problems are fixable in the short term?
ME: Fortunately for all involved, Marcus Gilbert wasn’t seriously hurt and looks as though he will return to the lineup. I would not discount Colon playing tackle if the situation became dire.