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Old 02-16-2010, 05:58 PM   #1
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Default Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 2.16.2010

Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 2.16.2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10047/1036265-66.stm
Ed Bouchette: Welcome to another chat from snowy Pittsburgh. It's a little early, but let's begin.

Amos_P_Swanson: Hi Ed. The NT situation concerns me because the Steelers have to get younger there immediately. Any updated thoughts? Not just on Hampton, but what else might be done.

Ed Bouchette: Casey Hampton is 32 and Chris Hoke is a capable backup. I do not regard this as a concern for 2010, but they need to find someone to ultimately take over.

Amos_P_Swanson: Would Doug Whaley leaving for the Asst. GM job at Buffalo leave the Steelers a bit behind in their draft procedures?

Ed Bouchette: No. Doug Whaley was a long-time asset to the entire scouting department. His expertise and his title was as the pro scouting coordinator.

Amos_P_Swanson: Have you heard if Troy is training in California?

Ed Bouchette: Yes, he and his wife moved out there shortly after the season ended.

zach in philly: Hey Ed: If there were going to be any unexpected retirements this year (ie: jeff Hartings), is it safe to say we'd have heard about them already? (ps: re-watched the highlights from last year's steelers/packers game over the long weekend - i had a great time AT the game, but it was great to be reminded of what a game it was).

Ed Bouchette: No retirements expected. We asked that of Kevin Colbert last week and he said he knew of none either, nor of any Larry Foote-like defection on the horizon.

WilliamRodriguez911Hero: Ed, I see Willie Parker as an asset but with what they can afford to pay him do you see him ending up in Detroit or elsewhere?

Ed Bouchette: Willie Parker wants to play a larger role than he did with the Steelers last season, perhaps be given a chance to become a starter again. I do not know where he might wind up, but I expect him to go elsewhere for that reason.

Steel Curtain Rising: How do you interpret Kevin Colbert's "No comment, but I am very happy with my current situation" response to your question about his future with the team?

Ed Bouchette: It did not surprise me and it doe not mean he will not sign another contract with the Steelers. He said he was happy "at this time,'' and that is a general answer that leaves him an out if he really wants to take one.

jason kendall simmons: Can you talk about the disparity in development between Kraig Urbik and Ramon Foster? Should we applaud the scouts for uncovering Foster or chide them for another 3rd round pick contributing so little?

Ed Bouchette: Players advance at their own rates and sometimes flourish in jobs when there are no big expectations, just as many of us do in our own jobs. I would not write off Urbik after one season.

Marino_Knows_Best: Ed, on Dermontti Dawson??? which is the most likely reason he does not make the NFL's HOF??? 1.) Former OL players like Russ Grimm of Redskins/Steelers/Arizona fame are always superceding him? 2.) OL-Center is a relatively inglorious position? 3.) He doesn't have a championship ring? 4.) There are other personal/political machinations going on behind the scenes that we don't know about?

Ed Bouchette: Often, it is just not the right time. Russ Grimm went through a long process as well. I can remember when he was eliminated right off the bat on the first vote in that room, from 15 to 10. Sometimes, you just have to wait your turn. I believe Dawson has all the credentials to be a HOFer and will ultimately be inducted as one.

Marino_Know_Best: Ed, Do you think Heinz Ward's unwarranted, on-field reputation for "thuggery" will affects his chances of being a HOF first-ballot selection or even him getting in the HOF?

Ed Bouchette: I have not seen the word "thuggery" used much in connection with Hines Ward but I do believe his ability to block and play the game with such passion will only enhance his candidacy when the time comes.

Marino_Knows_Best: Ed, where do you think Joey Porter will land once he officially leaves Miami?

Ed Bouchette: I do not know but I can pretty much assure you it won't be in Pittsburgh and not because they have any ill feelings for Porter. They have nothing but good memories of him, in the locker room and in the front office and when they released him three years ago he did not lash out. If they felt they had to move on back then they will not feel it is a better fit for him here 3 years later.

WilliamRodriguez911Hero: Ed, I give speeches all over the world and online and have been disappointed to see that the controlled TV media is now campaigning to make the word "truth" a dirty word. Whom on the Steeler team/ Coaching staff can we count on to give us the absolute truth now?

Ed Bouchette: You want truth? What kind of truth? I've found even fans do not want the truth at times, such as telling them their beloved Steelers might not be the best team of all time. Many of us try to give it to you even while many of those we cover try to keep it from us.

jason kendall simmons: do you expect charlie batch to return? and if he does, will it be as the primary backup or the 3rd QB?

Ed Bouchette: Yes, I do expect Batch to return and I think you could see Dennis Dixon ease into the No. 2 job.

Steel Curtain Rising: You may have reported on this before, but what do you know if the Steelers have attempted to extend Colbert's contractt and/or if they will do so this summer?

Ed Bouchette: Normally, they would do it around now. I have heard nothing either way.

jason kendall simmons: If Farrior retires next year might we see larry Foote return to his old buck spot, with Timmons moving over to the mack?

Ed Bouchette: I would doubt that would happen. Look at the history of players coming and going. Rarely does one leave and then return.

jmf1177: Do the Steelers always work on re-signing their potential free agents around this time?

Ed Bouchette: Yes. They have signed many a veteran in the weeks or even days of him becoming a free agent. They also have signed some a few days after free agency has begun (Brett Keisel, Deshea Townsend, Chris K are recent examples).

Amos_P_Swanson: Any predictions whether or not any of the Steeler FA's resign before March 1?

Ed Bouchette: The date this year for the start of free agency is March 5, a few days later than in the past. I think they will sign Jeff Reed before that date, and I believe Casey Hampton will be franchised.

Hombre De Acero: What do you think of the new hire the Steelers made in the scouting department?

Ed Bouchette: Brandon Hunt served two years in their scouting dept. as an intern after his playing days at IUP. He served the past three years as a pro scout for the Houston Texans. He is intelligent, curious and a hard worker and those are three qualities that often equate to success.

Joe: I don't know if you addressed this but why are the Steelers waiting to resign Colbert? Do you think that they will resign him and is it folly if they don't?

Ed Bouchette: I'm sure Kevin will enjoy the fact there are more questions about his possible free agency than that of Casey Hampton. I do not know if the Steelers are waiting, if there are negotiations going on between them or if they just want to wait until after the draft. There is every reason to believe that both sides are happy, although the Cowher-Colbert rumors persist.

Abrams98: After your conversation with Mr. Colbert the other day do you get a sense that there is real urgency to make changes to the team in the areas of need, or that he feels it was more a problem of injury and poor play last year vs. needing better/different players?

Ed Bouchette: Kevin kept talking about adding to "depth" everywhere. I wrote something on PG Plus today that except for perhaps three spots, you can expect the same starting lineup in 2010 that you saw last season.

jmf1177: Will Dan Rooney offer any opinions about upcoming draft prospects?

Ed Bouchette: Dan Rooney Jr. will because he is one of their area scouts. Dan Rooney is the Ambassador to Ireland and has bigger fish to fry at the moment.

MIKE T: Will Tomlin or the new QB coach address Big Ben's weight gain? Yes he had a great year but lost that escape-ability that made the Steelers Super Bowl champions.

Ed Bouchette: Whatever Ben R. weighs, I would not worry about that being a problem. His "escape-ability" was no worse this season than it was the year before.

WilliamRodriguez911Hero: Rocky Bleier had over a 1000 yards rushing in 1976 and so did Franco, BTW. Rocky has 4 Super Bowl rings and scored TDs in SBs. NFL Films calls Rocky Bleier the NFL's example to live up to... Why isn't he in the HOF?

Ed Bouchette: Rocky Bleier got more out of his talent than most players I've ever seen. However, he just is not Hall of Fame caliber, although one of the great stories and performers in franchise history.

Soho: What is the status of the civil suit filed against Big Ben?

Ed Bouchette: I have read nor heard of anything in months.

asaguy: With the recent signing of punter from Pitt, what are the chance of our beloved Steelers having 3 kickers on the roster for 2010?

Ed Bouchette: It would be a first in my lifetime.

Steel Curtain Rising: How do you interpret Art II's comments about the need to "develop" players more quickly? To where is that critique directed? The scouting department or the coaches?

Ed Bouchette: Well, it certainly is not directed toward the scouting department. Otherwise, he might have said something like "we need to draft better."

asaguy: It's mid February. Are you sticking to your New Year resolutions?

Ed Bouchette: The fact that I am doing this chat today says that I have not.

Marino_Knows_Best: Ed, clearly the Steelers have a Philosophy of slowly replacing aging players, especially on defense, instead of going for all-out "rebuilding years." Who do you think is next to be shelved ... one pick from O and one from D?

Ed Bouchette: As I try to decipher what you mean, I will say that it is not really a "philosophy" to replace aging players slowly but to understand that you have a Super Bowl-caliber team and try to keep it together without bankrupting a future season. I believe they have done that rather nicely and two Super Bowl wins in the span of four seasons bore that out.

Purple Goose Saloon: What is it that assistant coaches are doing at this time of year?

Ed Bouchette: They had the week off before the Super Bowl. They are all preparing for the combine and looking at tape of possible free agents who might become available March 5. They also review the entire 2009 season via tape to see what went right and wrong and what changes they might want to make. Players are working out and they meet with them on occasion to discuss various things or make suggestions as to how to improve for 2010. It's not highly-concentrated work as it is during the season but these guys put in many, many hours during the season with no time off besides the bye week so they all deserve some down time now.

Amos_P_Swanson: How come you're never in on any of the PG video debates with Jerry Micco?

Ed Bouchette: Because these chats are exhausting enough. Plus, Gerry Dulac and I do plenty of video tapes, three per week, during the season that we do not want to over-market the brand! Let others have their time before the camera.

MIKE T: With all due respect re-watch the 2009 Super Bowl and last Cleveland game where Big Ben was sacked 7 times. His mobility is limited due to weight gain. You don't see this as a problem?

Ed Bouchette: If it continues to be the kind of problem that it was in last year's Super Bowl? No. He's been sacked about the same number of times in each of the past four seasons.

Steel Curtain Rising: You wrote in Dawn of a New Steel Age that Art Jr. continued to grade tapes after being fired by Dan.

Ed Bouchette: Yes I did. For a long time, Art Jr. graded tapes and hired a scout to help, but he no longer does that.

Bob C. Ohio: What is your favorite eating establishment?

Ed Bouchette: My dining room table, sometimes the coffee table with the TV tuned to American Pickers or Pawn Stars.

Kiere: What is the supposed number of the Steelers made up salary cap?

Ed Bouchette: That will be a closely guarded secret, but you probably could add 10 percent to last year's.

Ed Bouchette: In response to the uncapped year, I too added 10 percent to my time here today and now will close because I've reached my limit. Thanks to all. Remember, Gerry Dulac has chat tomorrow on PG Plus. And I will conduct our first poll of Steelers UFA and RFA tomorrow morning, Keep 'Em or Leave 'Em, on PG Plus.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10047...#ixzz0fkLL3tAm
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Old 02-17-2010, 03:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 2.16.2010

I don't see where Ben's weight gain has hurt his escape ability he is still pretty elusive.
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Old 02-17-2010, 05:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 2.16.2010

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Originally Posted by Galax Steeler View Post
I don't see where Ben's weight gain has hurt his escape ability he is still pretty elusive.
I think people forget the Kansas City game where Ben was absolutely throwing off guys all game long. Including defensive tackles.
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 2.16.2010

I don't have a problem with Ben's weight gain....didn't appear to be the reason for any of his sacks...If nothing else maybe its extra padding for whenever he get hit.
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 2.16.2010

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Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
Ed Bouchette: Players advance at their own rates and sometimes flourish in jobs when there are no big expectations, just as many of us do in our own jobs. I would not write off Urbik after one season.
]
Does Ed not know that Urbik was a bust pick from the start??
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