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Old 07-31-2007, 02:43 PM   #1
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Default Q&A with Bouchette 7/31/07

Ed Bouchette chat transcript 07/31/07
Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Q: Has there been any rookie free agent that has impressed you so far in camp and is challenging for a roster spot?

A: Several. I like running back Gary Russell from Minnesota, the kid who gained 1,000 yards in 2005 as a backup and then flunked out of school. He's lost 40 pounds and looked good in his first week. The big kid from IUP, Jason Capizzi, had a good week as an OT. Derrick Jones, an end from Grand Valley State, appears to have some pass rush ability.

Q: So there's a lot of buzz nowadays about this "Curse of 370" which alludes to the wear tailbacks incur when the carry the ball more than 370 times a season. Guys like Eddie George, Jamal Anderson, and Terrell Davis have burned out quickly - very quickly - in subsequent seasons after toting the ball at least that many times. Now we're talking about Willie Parker, who had 337 attempts last season, wanting even more action. Any sense that this is more than just lip service? Given the evidence, shouldn't these guys be on "pitch counts," so to speak? I love the idea of FWP on the field for passing downs and spread offenses as much as the next guy, but are Najeh Davenport and Kevan Barlow so inferior that we have to start burning out Willie's legs so early in his career.

A: I did not finish your question because it looks as though it took 2 days to write. I don't think Parker will get that many carries. He'll be spelled. I do think he'll play more on third downs. That may involve more receiving on his part.

Q: Have you come around to the Sepulveda pick yet? Has he validated himself yet? Or could he ever?

A: I've acknowledged his a good punter. I think they could have gone with Mike Barr and drafted a real football player on the fourth and sixth rounds.

Q: Great job with the training camp vodcasts, Ed. I'd love to see Bob Smizik try filming those in the oppressive Latrobe heat.

A: The way this business is going, you'll not only see Smizik, we may all be doing a newscast some day soon.

Q: How is the competition for #2 running back looking these days?

A: Najeh Davenport pretty much has that nailed down.

Q: Hi Ed, With the "tough" camp Tomlin is running, are you worried about anyone rebelling, either openly or in private? It seems as if most of the leaders on the team are on board with the Tomlin Train. Personally, I like it. If the players don't like it they need to get tougher. I thought Cowher was becoming soft and I hated the movie outing.

A: No signs of rebellion yet. These guys are more worried about their jobs than rebelling.

Q: I know the flirtation is over, but why was there interest in te first place in Aaron Brooks? It's puzzling to think how he might fit in. Doesn't Batch still project as one of the most dependable backups in the AFC, if not the league?

A: They were looking at him as a possible No. 3. Didn't your daddy tell you it never hurts to look?

Q: Are the Steelers getting away from their traditional running game thats worked so well for so many years? It seems as though they are since Roethlisberger has taken over more offensive duty?

A: They're evolving, I would say. You have to do more than run, and they showed that in the playoffs that led up to the Super Bowl. They passed to get the lead, ran to keep it.

Q: Ed , Some of us Steeler fans weren't crazy about the Timmons pick, has he shown you anything in camp?

A: His sideline demeanor.

Q: At the OTA's Eric Fowler was said to be impressive, how has he been doing so far at camp?

A: Everyone is impressive in OTAs. Fowler is a nice prospect as an undrafted 6-3 FA from a small school. He'll look good on the practice squad.

Q: What are your early impressions of Coach Tomlin? Its hard to get a sense of the guy from the soundbites that run in the press. What has been the players' reaction to him?

A: Everything I've seen and heard about Mike Tomlin is good. Of course, he has not yet coaches his first game, but Tomlin has impressed everyone who has met him and worked for him. Read Chuck Finder's stories from last week and check out Gene Collier's column on Tomlin Sunday.

Q: What are you looking forward to seeing in the NO game on Sunday?

A: The end of my story. Those first games are brutal, especially at night under deadline. They play everyone on the roster and the starters get a series or two. It's tough to watch live. I will probably record it and watch it later.

Q: I visited Steelers training camp last week. Lawrence Timmons seemed to lack the size and strength to shed blockers (unlike Woodley) and may play better in space taking advantage of his athleticism and explosiveness. What do you think the chances are that Timmons is moved to inside linebacker in the 3-4 when he gets healthy?

A: They've talked about playing him inside, but they put him on the outside only for this camp. He's smaller than their new punter, but they obviously saw something in him to make him the 15th pick. We'll see, if he ever gets healthy.

Q: I know it's early, but if you had to guess, which RBs do you think make the team?

continued........
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Q&A with Bouchette 7/31/07

A: Yes, it is early. I'll go out on a limb and say Parker and Davenport. After that, it's way too early. I could see Carey Davis making it as FB/RB and special teams. John Kuhn is reliable. If he can stay healthy, Verron Haynes and maybe Gary Russell. I know that's probably 2 too. You'd probably have to decide between Kuhn and Davis because they're both rb/fb and between Haynes and Russell. Dan Kreider is the fb.

Q: Do you think any other contract extensions will be done before the start of the season?

A: I think it's possible they could work something out with Kendall Simmons and/or Clark Haggans.

Q: What have Holmes and Reid showed so far? As WRs and as returners?

A: You have to understand this is practice and practice is not live, except for goalline. Holmes just started practicing Sunday so I've seen little. Reid seems to pop up on the practice highlight videos that I stash in the back of my mind. He's looked good catching some balls along the sideline, especially. And he has not yet dropped a punt return that I've seen.

Q: Ed, I wish I would have said this last week. I would have looked pretty smart. Timmons is a bust! Draft day, I thought that the Steelers should have taken Paul Pozluszney. You watch, he will be a pro bowl linebacker for the Bills. The Steelers fumbled the ball. This Timmons is too soft. He has no fire. I call him Lawrence "Timids" Woodley will pass him on the depth chart in no time! He is the real deal.

A: Wow. Give me your number and I'll pass it along to Kevin Colbert. He's always looking to upgrade his scouting staff.

Q: If the team goes with 5 CBs, is there any indication Colclough's roster spot could be in jeopardy? There's not much behind him, but do you think Madison or Gay could backup Ike, McFadden, Townsend, and Chidi?

A: I'm not sure about Madison; he's just not big enough. Gay could, which is why they drafted him on the fifth round. That's not a throwaway pick.

Q: I heard a lot of speculation that Travis Kirschke would get the boot as a cap casualty this summer. Is he still in danger of not making the cut? Assuming McBean has a spot, who would take Kirschke's place - Nua, Eason perhaps?

A: Kirschke is a veteran who has been there, but he's also been hurt alot. It would not surprise me if they go with a young player because there's really only two spots open on the defensive line depth chart.

Q: No love for Kevan Barlow, Ed?

A: Oh, did I not include Kevan on that list?

Q: No Barlow in the RB mix?

A: Kevin had a really tough first week of camp.

Q: Ed, you have almost talked me into taking Willie second overall to LT in my fantasy draft. You better not fail me! LOL

A: LOL to you too.

Q: Is Timmons time on the sidelines now going to impact his contributions on the field during the regular season or is there still time for him to catch up?

A: There's time to catch up, but as the coach says, the boat takes off at a certain time and you better be on it. The troubling thing about Timmons is that while his groin does not seem to be a major injury, he was out all spring with it, rested it all through July 24 and two days later stopped practicing again because of it.

Q: Is the displeasure expressed by Alan Faneca his true feelings or would a nice new contract solve everything?

A: You mean a nice, new FAT contract? It's not going to happen, so don't even waste your time thinking about it. On the other hand, don't worry about Faneca's attitude; he'll play as hard as he always has.

Q: I know the team is practicing special teams more than in previous camps. Are they trying to do something different this year or is just a matter of more practice?

A: It would not surprise me if they did not get more aggressive on special teams, even try to block a punt once in awhile.

Q: Ed, Is Timmons going to play this year?

A: The bigger question: Is he going to practice?

Q: Do you think Verron will make it through camp healthy, or does he get cut FINALLY!

A: Sounds as if you wish him ill-will. He has an uphill fight but coaches have always liked him because he has ability and versatility, works hard and does his job with a minimum of mistakes.

Q: Does Willie Reid have a shot to leapfrog Wilson and Washington for the #3 WR slot?

A: Yes and no. If he outplays them, and does better in practice? Yes, especially with a new staff. Do I see that happening? Not any time soon. That's not a knock on Reid, who had a good first week of practice.

Q: Who do you think will start opposite Ike Taylor?

A: Sunday, it will be Deshea Townsend. Soon, Bryant McFadden.

Q: Ed, last year the Steelers let us watch practices on a web cam. Any idea if they are doing that again this year?

A: No. I did not watch them on the web last year. You people are pretty intense.

Q: Ed, I love you're Colcough punt muff impersonation on your video. In fact, I think I heard your camera man Dan laughing!

A: That Dan Gigler is such a pro. He's my personal laugh track. Wait until you see upcoming videos. I may imitate the Willie Parker TD run in the Super Bowl!

Q: From what you have seen so far, what is your opinion of the new offense they are installing?

A: I like it. I think you have to be balanced. It's not completely new, Bruce Arians is adding to it. Remember, the successful offenses are the ones that help produce victories. In that sense, Ken Whisenhunt's worked pretty well in 2004 and 2005 too.

Q: Have a good day, Ed! Please no more acting on the videos!

A: Acting? You call that acting! Thanks everyone. Watch for adjustments to the chat day/time next week because I have off on Tuesday and as much as I love doing this, I love not doing it on my day off even more. -- ed

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07212/805750-66.stm
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Old 07-31-2007, 03:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Q&A with Bouchette 7/31/07

Very nice read, 83 - thanks.

Quote:
Q: How is the competition for #2 running back looking these days?

A: Najeh Davenport pretty much has that nailed down.
I'd have to agree with Bouchette here. Kevan may be a little quicker breaking the line, but Pooper is also an asset with the screen pass - I think he has better hands than Barlow and is a hair better with being able to snare that extra yard or two.
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Q&A with Bouchette 7/31/07

I love the line... Reid has not dropped a punt yet!


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Old 08-01-2007, 11:38 AM   #5
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Default Re: Q&A with Bouchette 7/31/07

Quote:
Originally Posted by Preacher View Post
I love the line... Reid has not dropped a punt yet!


You and me both Preacher.

Also for what it's worth Preacher....

Quote:
Q: Ed , Some of us Steeler fans weren't crazy about the Timmons pick, has he shown you anything in camp?

A: His sideline demeanor.
Now, this is the second time Bouchette has brought up Timmons and his "sideline demeanor". The last time Bouchette commented on Timmons he stated that when the o-line left the practice field, the defense stayed on the field and continued to practice. Next thing you know, Timmons simply got up and left the field with the o-line instead of sticking around and at least attempting to learn something by watching the likes of Farrior, Foote or Haggans.

Now, for all we know Timmons might have went up with the o-line in order to seek medical treatment of some sort. Bouchette added that on after he made the above comments. But it's something to think about when it comes to Timmons. It makes me wonder what this guy's all about off the field.

By no means am I passing judgement on the kid, but you would think that he would stick around and try to learn as much as he possibly could while sitting on the sidelines with an injury.
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Q&A with Bouchette 7/31/07

Quote:
Originally Posted by Preacher View Post
I love the line... Reid has not dropped a punt yet!


You, me and 83.
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Q&A with Bouchette 7/31/07

Damn, fans are being really impatient with Timmons

Quote:
Q: Ed, I wish I would have said this last week. I would have looked pretty smart. Timmons is a bust! Draft day, I thought that the Steelers should have taken Paul Pozluszney. You watch, he will be a pro bowl linebacker for the Bills. The Steelers fumbled the ball. This Timmons is too soft. He has no fire. I call him Lawrence "Timids" Woodley will pass him on the depth chart in no time! He is the real deal.
He hasn't even played a preseason game and they call him a bust. I agree that as of now Woodley seems like the better player, but there's a reason we got Lawrence so early, just let him heal and play before calling him a bust
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Old 08-01-2007, 06:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: Q&A with Bouchette 7/31/07

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Damn, fans are being really impatient with Timmons



He hasn't even played a preseason game and they call him a bust. I agree that as of now Woodley seems like the better player, but there's a reason we got Lawrence so early, just let him heal and play before calling him a bust
Yep.

hey, I am willing to let Timmons be TSM2 this year. He needs to be fully healed. However, that also means that he comes to camp COMPLETELY in shape next year.... or he is canned.
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