Gerry Dulac Steelers chat: 6.14.17
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Gerry Dulac
10:56
OK, kids, for those of you not at the parade, the chat is open for business. Go....
Mel Harris
10:57
The most intriguing battles this off season are the 3rd corner & the linebackers contests. These positions will make or break us. Anyone standing out?
Gerry Dulac
10:57
Too early to give a definitive answer. Even when I asked the coaches the answer is always the same -- we'll see at training camp.
Rock Daddeo
10:57
Viilenueva's story is inspiring, but let's boil it down. How does he grade out among NFL left tackles? Can we not afford to lose him, or is he solidly middle of the pack, thus can be replaced without much effort?
Gerry Dulac
10:59
Dont get me wrong, I like Al a great deal, admire the heck out of what he has accomplished and made himself into a very good player. But, after paying the other four starters on the line, they are not going to go overboard for AV. Plus they have a guy, Jerald Hawkins, their 4th rd pick last year, who looks very good.
FlaSteel
11:00
The praise V. Williams heaped on Watt was nice to hear. Do the limited opportunities you've had to watch back that up? Any other early observations on the incoming rookies that have caught your eye?
Gerry Dulac
11:00
Yes, you can see the burst and aggression, and you know hes a workaholic. But Ill still wait till I see him handle NFL left tackles. I don't doubt he will be a very good player, and very soon.
DIgTheLegend
11:01
Gerry, love your chats and columns. I truly believe Big Ben is going to win two more rings before he hangs it up. I know, I know, "Focus on the one first". Regardless, the real point is, in order for the Steelers to get to the Big One again, they will have to beat New England, on a national stage. No two ways about it. We know what it takes to beat Brady, as demonstrated masterfully by the 2015 Broncos and 2016 Texans: Physical man-press defense, and a relentless pass rush. Easier said than done, of course. The real question: Do the Steelers ever have a legitimate chance, personnel- and scheme-wise, of fielding this kind of unit?
Gerry Dulac
11:03
They are trying to build that type of defense w young players like Heyward, Tuitt, Hargrave, Shazier, Dupree, Burns, Davis, and hopefully now Watt and Cam Sutton. That's their objective. Speed and aggression.
11:05
Yes, to a degree, they have underachieved, considered they have Ben, AB, Bell and one of the best O-lines in the league. But they have also had injuries (Ben, Pouncey, LaD Green, Wheaton), suspensions (Bell, Bryant) that have detracted from that, as well.
JerseySteel
11:05
I know it is football in shorts so far, but I would think it would be apparent if Senquez Golson still has the same speed and quickness post injury as before that Kevin Colbert was concerned about. What do you see in Golsons speed and quickness?
Gerry Dulac
11:07
You are right but it is tough to tell. Again, we'll have to wait and see till at least training camp, when the pads are on and the intensity is much higher than OTAs; and preseason games, when the intensity is higher than camp.
11:08
I'm certainly not going to say there is quality depth at safety. But Robert Golden has been a starter and he is solid.
11:09
Oops, forgot to post the question to previous answer. Here it is...
JerseySteel
11:09
I think we are in good shape with our starting safeties (Davis/Mitchell). Who is the depth behind them and how much quality do we have in our backup safeties?
Leveon Bell's absence from minicamp - big deal or no big deal?
Gerry Dulac
11:09
No big deal.
John from Bishkek
11:09
Gerry, I've read your material for years and relied on your insights. What is your take on the AV situation and how do you think it will play out?
Gerry Dulac
11:10
I think they will come to a modest contractual agreement. They don't want to lose them, but you can't keep everybody on the off line.
JerseySteel
11:10
Do you think Knile Davis will return kicks and Cam Sutton return punts this year? Hoping they figure out how to get more production from their return teams this year
Gerry Dulac
11:11
That would be good to see. I don't think there's any question Davis will return kicks. But I think we all know AB will return punts again, no matter how much anyone worries about him getting hurt or tired.
Drew
11:11
How has JuJu Smith-Schuster looked so far?
Gerry Dulac
11:11
Very very good. Going to be a good one.
Chuck
11:11
Did Russell shell get cut today
Gerry Dulac
11:11
Yes.
CowherPower
11:11
Bell, Villanueva or Tuitt. Which one is most likely to hold out during Camp?
Gerry Dulac
11:12
If anyone, AV, and I dont expect it will come to that.
Tom
11:12
After minicamp, do the players keep their playbooks & do they get to use the Steeler facilities for film study and conditioning prior to the start of training camp?
Gerry Dulac
11:12
Of course
gary@northernVirginia
11:12
Hello Gerry. Love your coverage and chats....I respect AV greatly as a man and player, but it seems he wants to be payed as an upper level LT. Do you think the Steelers are right not to agree with that?
Gerry Dulac
11:14
I don't know what his pay demands are, but knowing him I don't think he looks at it that way. And, yes, this is a business, the Steelers have every right to make any decision they feel is in the best interests of what they are trying to accomplish, now and going forward. That's why they are so darn successful.
Rahn
11:14
The tidbits trickling out about Watt, JuJu and Sutton should be very encouraging for fans. Throw in what everyone already knows about Conner and this draft looks to be another hit for the franchise. What's your early take, Gerry?
Gerry Dulac
11:16
That was my take on draft day and it hasn't changed. The first half of the draft was very good for what they need. And the second half was filled with a couple picks -- long-snapper, a project CB, third-team QB -- that a Super Bowol contender can afford to make.
CowherPower
11:16
Can you please tell the fans that JuJu Smith-Schuster is NOT going to be a tight end?
Gerry Dulac
11:16
He is not. And I don't know who is suggesting he might be.
John from Bishkek
11:16
If I were to have very high expectations from any rookie this year, who would I be better off hanging them on?
Gerry Dulac
11:17
Any of the top 3, but especially JuJu
Cam
11:17
Is it too early to say who is on the bubble at wide receiver?
Gerry Dulac
11:18
Yes, but it's really going to come down if they want to keep Heyward-Bey, Ayers or Hamilton as the sixth guy.
Tom
11:18
Matakevich said he has been working on his speed and hip flexibility. Have you seen any significant improvement in his drills compared to last year?
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