Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat: 5.30.17
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Ed Bouchette
1:59
Good afternoon, let's begin our final May chat.
PghPat
1:59
Hi Ed, Regarding Troy Polamalu and the Steelers, in your view, could the Steelers have handled parting ways better?
Ed Bouchette
2:00
You mean, like they did with Franco Harris and L.C. Greenwood? There are no good ways to part ways if the player is not ready to retire.
PghPat
2:00
Ed, Any chance we see 2 halfbacks with Le'veon and James akin to Franco and Rocky? Or is that a bygone era in today's NFL?
Ed Bouchette
2:01
It's a bygone era with the Steelers, who actually were still running two backs into the 1990s -- until Jerome Bettis arrived. After that, they adopted the philosophy that unless one back can block better than the fullback, it's better to just give the ball to the main guy.
Dennis B
2:02
Hi Ed. Any news on the Villenueva contract talks? Do you forsee a deal being completed before the start of the season or do you feel the focus is more on Bells contract?
Ed Bouchette
2:04
You can focus on two at the same time, it's not that difficult. I've said it will be tough to get Bell done because of the $12.1 million he'll be guaranteed this year anyway. As for Al V., he might have to realized that at 29 and under the Steelers control for the next 2 years (counting RFA in 2018), that does not put him in a position of strength at the negotiating table. They may not be offering what he and his agent believe he should get, but they also don't have to give him anything more than the minimum this year and then can protect themselves again in 2018 with a relatively low contract. And then, he'll be 31 when he could finally become a UFA.
guest
2:04
Ed, provided he remains healthy, do you think the odds are that Golson overtakes Gay as the starting slot CB?
Ed Bouchette
2:05
That would be their hope, but he has to show more than his good health, he will have to show some good play because the last time they saw that, he was in college more than two years ago.
TX_Steeler
2:05
How do you feel about Mike Florio and ProFootballTalk quoting your answers from this chat as a source for what the Steelers are thinking?
Ed Bouchette
2:06
I have great respect for the job Mike and Pro Football Talk does.
GregLeaper
2:06
If Golson impresses, would the plan be to have Sutton eventually replace Cockrell?
Ed Bouchette
2:07
The plan is to find the best players. If Sutton is better than Cockrell, he ultimately will replace him. If Cockrell is better, he'll stay put. There's pressure to play first-rounders perhaps a little early, not so much third-rounders.
GregLeaper
2:07
Any scenario where you see Steelers ta king a QB in the first round next year?
Ed Bouchette
2:08
All kinds of scenarios. One would be if Ben retires or has a serious injury. Another would be if it comes their turn and they see a QB who possibly could be their starter after Ben.
Yes, there may be even a good chance.
GregLeaper
2:08
Is Jerald Hawkins looked at as an eventual starter?
Ed Bouchette
2:09
They like what they see, but they haven't had much time to watch because he opened last season on IR and you cannot practice on IR.
Josh from SoCal
2:10
Do you know of any correlation between WR height and QB performance? With the additions of Bryant and Juju, and a presumably healthy Coates, Ben's got some pretty good size at WR this year and we all know how much he likes big receivers.
Ed Bouchette
2:11
That is true, but I bet Ben would have been thrilled to throw to Lynn Swann, who stood only 5 feet 11
TX_Steeler
2:11
Are any Steelers' offseason surgeries expected to impact training camp?
Ed Bouchette
2:12
Not that I am aware of. Le'Veon Bell would be the one. Stephon Tuitt had the cast/wrap taken off his left hand, where he had surgery on a finger(s). Sammie Coates is practicing after groin surgery. Sean Davis is semi-practicing after shoulder surgery.
Josh from SoCal
2:13
In terms of snap count percentage, what would you consider a successful season for TJ? Does he split time at ROLB with Harrison similar to Jones or does he only come on the field as a situational pass rusher?
Ed Bouchette
2:13
I think he'll split time, but it's not so much snap count as it is production that spells success
Josh from SoCal
2:13
2nd year player you're most excited about? I'm partial to Hargrave.
Ed Bouchette
2:13
Sean Davis
Scott in Dallas
2:13
Since I do not think it is possible to come to terms on a Reasonable contract with Bell due to the franchise tag, what is the likelihood that they have to let him test the FA market to set his value next year?
Ed Bouchette
2:14
They can still put the franchise tag on him next year too if they want. It should not rise that much.
mrbig
2:14
Hey, they eliminated the 75-man cut down rule I believe. Teams go from 90-man rosters down to 53 in 1 day. That should make for a wild feeding frenzy of free agents when all 32 teams cut 40+ players each in 1 day... no?
Ed Bouchette
2:15
Yes. It's a long way since they used to start cutting in training camp and we'd get up early in the morning to see who was leaving.
Bj
2:15
How is Sutton looking in OTA s and do u think he will start on the outside or in the slot
Ed Bouchette
2:15
I haven't concentrated on him, but from what I've seen, he's very aggressive to the ball.
mike
2:15
Do to the need to continue to improve the secondary, do you see the possibility (if healthy) that Golson and Sutton could be on the field together?
Ed Bouchette
2:15
That is a long shot but never out of the realm of possibility
Joe
2:16
I had been read the hamstring injury of Conner. It is bad? The OTAs is a great opportunity to gain confidence and with the absence of Leveon well I will suppose Conner will be train.
Ed Bouchette
2:16
James Conner's hamstring injury is not serious.
Robert Frisby
2:16
I see Dobbs is a smart QB and probably will under stand offensebut will his athleticism carry him as a NFL starting QB
Ed Bouchette
2:17
Well, he has the smarts and the physical ability. Those are two pretty good head starts.
Bert
2:17
Hi Ed - what do you think of the safety the Steelers signed from the TItans?
Ed Bouchette
2:18
Ray is writing about him today. Look for that stroy. I concentrated on other things. Apparently, he weighed in too heavy earlier in the FA process but has since lost some weight and the Steelers signed him. He started 6 games for the Titans last year.
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