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Old 07-15-2009, 07:11 PM   #1
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Default AFCN Chat with James Walker

Steeler questions only
Chat with James Walker

Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com AFC North blogger James Walker will stop by to chat about the NFL and what to expect from your team.

Walker joined ESPN.com in 2008 after three seasons covering the Cleveland Browns for the Columbus Dispatch.

Send your questions now and join James Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. ET!

Barry (San Diego)

Out here in the heart of Steelers Nation, my question is do you think the Steelers will have an improved running game (potent Parker/Mendenhall combo and cohesive "O" line) to take some pressure off the superb defense, clutch passing game and improved Special Teams. Thanks, James.

James Walker
(4:43 PM)
I believe you will see an improved running game in Pittsburgh. But with that offensive line, I'm not sure how much. The fact that the Steelers have a trio of backs in Parker, Mendenhall and Moore should give the team options. But the line needs to come together for them to truly have a great year running the football.

Rocco (Pittsburgh)

Hey James, great blog buddy. I was wondering what kind of impact do you think William Gay and Lawrence Timmons will have on the Steelers? Do you think they'll make it even younger and faster, or will their inexperience hurt us? Thanks!

James Walker
(4:49 PM)
The Steelers have a chance to be more dynamic. I caution to say "better," because they were already No. 1 last year. That's hard to beat. But Lawrence Timmons gives Dick LeBeau so many options that he didn't have Larry Foote. William Gay just needs to do his job and he will be fine. He doesn't need to be spectacular this season.

James Elias (Highlands Ranch, Colorado)

Do you think the combination of Shipley and Urbik would improve the Steelers running game?

James Walker
(4:51 PM)
A lot of people are high on Pittsburgh's rookie draft picks. I'm taking more of a wait-and-see approach. I watched these guys block in shorts and non-contract drills this spring. That doesn't do anything for me. I can't really see much from o-linemen until they're in pads.

dan (Massachusetts)
Will the Steelers resign Heath Miller before the season starts?

James Walker
(5:01 PM)
It still remains to be seen. Pittsburgh's first order of business is getting "Ziggy" Hood under contract, then the Steelers may make one more move. It's probably going to be between Miller and Ryan Clark. Since Clark is more affordable at this point he may have the slight edge.

Pizzy (Pittsburgh)
Jimmy, James, Jimbo...... How you doing brother? Do you think the Steelers are going to eventually nudge out our beloved Dicky Lebeau as D coordinator to make the team more "Tomlin friendly"? Or do you they keep him aslong as he is producing?

James Walker
(5:32 PM)
Not at all, Pizzy. Dick LeBeau will leave on his terms in Pittsburgh. But what I think you will see in the next year or so is Pittsburgh play a little more cover 2. So it won't be so foreign when LeBeau decides to retire.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: AFCN Chat with James Walker

Hope Dick coaches until he is at least 80
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: AFCN Chat with James Walker

Thanks for the read Mesa.
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: AFCN Chat with James Walker

I think Dick Lebeau will be coaching steelers D-fense from the grave!!!!
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: AFCN Chat with James Walker

Let's hope for all of those things posed in the questions
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