Ray Fittipaldo's Steelers chat
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Ray Fittipaldo
11:47
Welcome to my Steelers chat. We'll get it going a little early. Fire away with any more questions.
Rock Daddeo
11:49
Assuming that the Steelers continue their winning ways for the next few years, when will they have a high enough draft pick to select a bonafide replacement for Ben? Any incite into what exactly the plan is?
Ray Fittipaldo
11:51
The plan right now is to develop Josh Dobbs, to see how well he adapts to the pro game. Ben has three years remaining on his contract. So they could take one in the first round next spring or in the spring of 2019. Or maybe they'll have an indication before then that Dobbs might be worth a longer look as a possible replacement for Ben. We'll have to wait and see.
Anthony
11:51
Ray have the Steelers issue put Rookies n umbers yet? I love to see T J Watt wear #91
Ray Fittipaldo
11:51
I think he tweeted that he will wear No. 90, but beware all these draft picks can change their mind through training camp.
Anthony
11:52
Ray I'm hoping this Cb Brian Allen makes the team. Alot of length to match up with the Gronz s of the NFL. Who's been killing us for yrs. Your thoughts
Ray Fittipaldo
11:52
I think if he makes the team next season it will be for his ability to contribute on special teams. He sounded like a developmental CB to me. Don't count on him being able to cover Gronlk in 2017.
Steve
11:52
The pick of Conner is exciting, however, we had a very capable 2nd RB in Williams and even when healthy, they hardly used him at all when Bell was healthy. Is there any indication that philosophy will change no matter how good Conner plays in preseason etc.?
Ray Fittipaldo
11:54
Good question but considering Bell's injury history and the fact they have more money invested in him in 2017 their philosophy very well could change. I don't think it would hurt to limit his touches. In order to do that, they need to get some leads and be in position to run the ball in the second half. They haven't always done that well the past few years. Either way, Conner is a good option if Bell misses games.
Steelcity21
11:54
What's your predictions on which receivers and defensive backs will be on the opening day roster?
Ray Fittipaldo
11:56
Way too early say for sure. But if Bryant stays clean you'll have Bryant, Brown, Smith-Schuster and Rogers. That's four spots. If they keep six you're talking about two spots for Coates, DHB, Ayers and Hamilton. Hamilton is probably the easiest cut.
JerseySteel
11:56
Is the depth at ILB a concern, especially considering Shazier's injury history and that the Steelers chose to ignore ILB in the draft?
Ray Fittipaldo
11:58
Yes it is, but Kevin Colbert didn't seemed too concerned after the draft. He likes Williams and he mentioned Steven Johnson, LJ Fort and Tyler Matakevich. You have to remember this was not a deep draft for ILBs. If they didn't take one in the first few rounds it probably wasn't worth taking another one.
JerseySteel
11:58
Is Brian Allen a similar approach to when they took Ike Taylor? Mid-late round pick with raw ability, length, and light on experience. Ike was faster, but I see similarities
Ray Fittipaldo
11:59
A little bit, but I think Ike had more experience at CB in college. And he was drafted in the fourth round. Allen only played CB for a year or two in college. He played WR before changing positions.
JerseySteel
11:59
Steelers dismissed the high # of interceptions from Dobbs by saying the Tennessee offense was designed to force the ball down the field. Don't the Steelers throw down the field a fair number of times themselves?
Ray Fittipaldo
11:59
Not as much under Todd Haley as Bruce Arians. That being said, every pro QB should have the ability to throw the ball down the field and not be susceptible to INTs.
JerseySteel
12:00
While the Steelers draft didn't overwhelm as very good when they made it pick, the more I read and hear about each selection - the more I think they had a very good draft. What do you think?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:01
I think it has the potential to be a good haul for them. I think the Watt pick is safe. I like the SMith-Schuster pick. When we look back on this draft it will hinge on Cam Sutton and how well he plays. The Steelers need a CB to step in and give them some options with their defensive versatility. If Sutton can't do that as a rookie they're pretty much in the same boat as last season. And that's not good if you have to play NE again in the playoffs.
JerseySteel
12:01
Hi Ray - what are your best predictions if you had to make them on the following two items: Golson comes back with the same speed and quickness pre-injury True or False? Bryant comes back and stays clean/productive all year True or False?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:03
I'm curious to watch Golson in OTAs and minicamp in the coming weeks. Maybe he'll surprise, but listening to Colbert talk about it the past few months I don't get the idea they're counting on him. With Bryant, who knows? I don't know if they have a good feel for the situation either. Cross your fingers and hope he stays clean I guess.
Guest
12:03
I saw that Watt is gonna wear #90. Any word on other rookie jersey numbers?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:03
Nothing official that I have seen. Maybe this weekend at rookie minicamp we'll find out.
Guest
12:03
Do you think UDFA Keith Kelsey or Francis Kallon might be able to make 53man roster?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:04
Can I watch them practice first? Seriously, I have no idea. They have to get through OTAs and minicamp before they even get to training camp, where the real practicing starts.
mt steel
12:04
Hi Ray, thanks for the chats. I think its clear that the CB position is still our weak point. Do you think the Steelers will be adding another veteran corner to the mix at any point, regardless of injury? Thank you!
Ray Fittipaldo
12:05
No I think they'll stand pat. They added Coty Sensabaugh in free agency, drafted two CBs and have Senquez Golson coming back.
Steve
12:05
Keion Adams seems like a steel at #7. He has the size and speed to not only make the team but get situational time this season...a true "sleeper" with great potential. Thoughts?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:06
Again, I'll wait to make any judgments until I see them in a real practice situation. Travis Feeney had a similar build and couldn't make the 53-man roster. Maybe Adams is built a little different and has a better chance to make it. We'll see.
Steve
12:06
Ray, if you ask "What's it take to beat the Patriots?" would seem to be A) Better pass rush on Brady + better man to man coverage & B) Ability to move the offense better than they have in past. Post draft + signings, somewhat addressed rush via TJ, and drafted a CB, but not sure I'd say defense is significantly different (better) vs last season. Assuming O-line remains solid, the new WR & RB may add little extra punch. That seems to point to very good team, but still maybe #2 in AFC. What you think will take (other than Brady retiring) to truly be able to get over that hump?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:07
Both. Their offense did very little in the AFC championship game to make that a better game. And of course they defense did next to nothing to make it a game.
Steve
12:07
In this draft, believe Dobbs could potentially be another Dak in terms of a 4th rounder who becomes a legit starter one day. He played SEC, he's big & athletic and if has time to develop, like his upside more than Landry Jones, maybe even later this season. Do you share that future optimism about him yet or the proverbially safe "too early to tell" response?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:07
Too early to tell. Ha ha.
12:08
Believe me, no one, not even anyone associated with the Steelers, knows right now if Dobbs has any real potential.
JerseySteel
12:08
Chances Steelers will be looking for ILB after roster cuts for depth?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:08
It's a possibility.
Guest
12:08
rokeem Williams is coming to rookie minicamp. HOw many players you think could reasonably be signed from minicamp?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:09
It's rare. Terence Garvin made it as a tryout guy. Not many others have.
Guest
12:10
Is Ethan Carter the next A. Villanueva or R. Foster?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:10
I think you mean Ethan Cooper out of IUP. Big jump from Division II to the NFL, but there is some potential there.
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