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Old 08-18-2009, 08:58 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default AFCN Chat with James Walker

(Steeler questions only - mesa)
http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/27889
August 18, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with James Walker
James Walker
(4:00 PM)

Hello everyone. Let's talk football and have some fun this week.
Joe (Cincy)

Big James,Your opinion of the Steelers OL is well documented and I'm generally in agreement. My question is this - isn't the OL good enough to win another Super Bowl? Granted, they aren't the strongest unit in the league, but they were good enough last year and should be a little better this time around, as should be the skill players around them.
James Walker
(4:10 PM)

That is what the coaching staff suggests, Brian. As most people know by now, I question how high the ceiling really is for this group. I could be wrong, but the first preseason game didn't change my opinion.
Pete (Southern Cali (by way of Bmore))

James - A) You the Man. B) Anybody else feel that Mendenhall (and the whole Steelers offense) is way overrated?
James Walker
(4:12 PM)

A) I'm not the man. I just try to inform and entertain AFC North fans in my blog. B) I don't think the Steelers offense gets much pub. The defense gets it on that team and it's well-deserved.

The Steelers O-Line debate aside, IF Big Ben were to be injured this season, how big of an impact do you think this would have on the Steelers' results for the season?
James Walker
(4:25 PM)

It would depend on the severity of the injury, Matt. If it's a game or two, I think Pittsburgh is prepared to handle that scenario. But if it's more extreme, the Steelers couldn't go on and win a Super Bowl without Roethlisberger.
Keith (Rockvile, MD)

How patient should us Steelers fans be with Mendenhall? Most backs taken in the 1st couple of rounds last year have flashed a lot more than he has.
James Walker
(4:28 PM)

Rashard Mendenhall is lucky that Willie Parker is around and entrenched as the starter. That actually puts Mendenhall in a good spot to come along gradually and without too much pressure. Still, it's time this year that he shows what he can do.
Gregg (Rochester, ny)

Who is the next Steeler to sign a contract? I think it should be Ryan Clark. Your thoughts.
James Walker
(4:30 PM)

It's probably going to happen next year. But Clark is the favorite.
evan (lexington,ky)

In your opinion, who will have a bigger impact on the Steelers defense this year - Lawrence Timmons or William Gay and why?
James Walker
(4:35 PM)

Timmons. Linebackers in Pittsburgh's defense always have tons of opportunities to make plays.

Tom (Maui)

To form an opinion of the Steelers O-line based on the first pre-season game is a bit futile considering they were without Hartwig and Stapleton. How much of an impact will having these two healthy have on the "gelling" of this unit?
James Walker
(4:41 PM)

You misread my statement, Tom. My opinion comes from watching them all last season and not seeing the Steelers make any changes to the o-line in the offseason. I just said the first preseason game didn't do anything to change that opinion I had from last season. Stapleton will have to compete for his spot when he comes back. The Steelers need Hartwig ASAP.

Ben vs. Eli? Winner: Philip Rivers.
James Walker
(4:58 PM)

If Bill Williamson in the AFC West blog is brave enough to debate that point, I'll take his lunch money as well.
Andy (Columbus)

Is there any chance that one of the Steelers undrafted rookies make the final squad?
James Walker
(5:04 PM)

Isaac "RedZone" Redman has the best chance. But Pittsburgh is so deep at tailback (Parker, Mendenhall, Moore) that Redman might have to be good at special teams as well. It will be interesting to see if he can keep up this current pace.
simon (portland)

Are Santonio Holmes days as a punt returner over?
James Walker
(5:11 PM)

It depends on if anyone else can do it. The Steelers want to take some pressure off of Holmes, because this could be the year he becomes Ben Roethlisberger's No. 1 target.
Sean (lyndhurst oh)

what separates team scouts (Steelers, Philly, NE, NYG) from scouts in KC, CLE, STL? How can some teams constantly find talent in low places
James Walker
(5:14 PM)

This is a question that can't be answered in a sentence or two. In a nutshell, the good teams understand its system and which players fit into it. The bad teams have trouble doing so. Some of it also is getting a feel for work ethic and character. Some teams do that better than others.
Jesse (Roanoke, VA)


Everyone, thanks again for your time. Remember to check the AFC North blog for more info on your favorite teams.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: AFCN Chat with James Walker

I love the question about Mendenhall and that most 1st round backs have flashed more than him.

What a dumb question.....Mendenhall was injured for most of the season.

Plus, Darren McFadden is proving to be Reggie Bush, Felix Jones wasnt much different than Rashard, Jonathan Stewart is fearing that his foot injury in college is reocurring. The only guys that you can say were productive were Chris Johnson and Matt Forte.

Have some faith.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: AFCN Chat with James Walker

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Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
I love the question about Mendenhall and that most 1st round backs have flashed more than him.

What a dumb question.....Mendenhall was injured for most of the season.

Plus, Darren McFadden is proving to be Reggie Bush, Felix Jones wasnt much different than Rashard, Jonathan Stewart is fearing that his foot injury in college is reocurring. The only guys that you can say were productive were Chris Johnson and Matt Forte.

Have some faith.
if the titans and bears had parker and moore, it is likely that forte and johnson wouldnt have seen as much time, let alone, even been drafted by their respective teams.

mendenhall was a luxury pick.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: AFCN Chat with James Walker

Quote:
Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
I love the question about Mendenhall and that most 1st round backs have flashed more than him.

What a dumb question.....Mendenhall was injured for most of the season.

Plus, Darren McFadden is proving to be Reggie Bush, Felix Jones wasnt much different than Rashard, Jonathan Stewart is fearing that his foot injury in college is reocurring. The only guys that you can say were productive were Chris Johnson and Matt Forte.

Have some faith.
Uh, while there may be questions about McFadden being one-dimensional, he still flashed big play potential and scored 4 TDs in limited action. Stewart scored 10TDs at 4.5 YPC and hasn't missed a game yet and Felix Jones showed big-time pro-bowl potential on 8.9 YPC (!!!) even though it was only 30 carries.

The question for those guys is "Can they do it consistently?"

The question for Mendenhall is still "can he do it?"
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:30 PM   #5
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The question for Mendenhall is still "can he do it?"
if he couldnt, do you really think the steelers woulda wasted a first round pick on him?
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: AFCN Chat with James Walker

It's hard for me to believe people can judge Mendenhall based on what, half a game and an injury? If he has another season-ending injury THIS year, then maybe you can start to worry he's injury-prone or unlucky or whatever. But it seems to me like a freak accident, and not anything career-changing like an ACL.

I'm not sure if I agree about McFadden. I saw more Raiders games on TV than I would've liked last year, and McFadden's problem was that they barely let him on the field. He kicked ass whenever they actually gave him the ball -- something like 800 total yards on single-digit touches per game.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: AFCN Chat with James Walker

it had nothing to do with being injury prone or unlucky.

the ravens had a bounty out on mendenhall and ward. their main focus was injuring our players as opposed to winning.

probably explains why they lost 3 straight to us, and we won the superbowl.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: AFCN Chat with James Walker

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Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
if he couldnt, do you really think the steelers woulda wasted a first round pick on him?
Tim Worley? Troy Edwards?

It happens. It happens to most teams fairly often.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:54 PM   #9
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Tim Worley? Troy Edwards?

It happens. It happens to most teams fairly often.
yeah.

and winning 6 lombardi trophies happens to most teams fairly often, too.

troy polamalu? ben roelthisberger? heath miller? santonio holmes? lawrence timmons?

thanks, but i will keep rolling the dice with mendenhall and hood.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:00 AM   #10
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Default Re: AFCN Chat with James Walker

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yeah.

and winning 6 lombardi trophies happens to most teams fairly often, too.

troy polamalu? ben roelthisberger? heath miller? santonio holmes? lawrence timmons?

thanks, but i will keep rolling the dice with mendenhall and hood.
As I said, missing on a draft pick happens often to most teams, and the Steelers with their stable front office and 6 SBs are not most teams.

If Mendenhall busts, he would only be the first one since Edwards and that still makes the Steelers better at drafting 1st rounders than probably every other team.

It's a bit of "rah-rah" cheerleading to assume that they must continue to bat 1.000.
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