Ray Fittipaldo's Steelers chat: 6.5.17
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Ray Fittipaldo
12:16
Not much out there at this point. I'd really be concerned if something happened to Jesse James. With him, I think they're OK.
atown jason
12:16
Hoe many new starters do you see week 1? Bryant on Offense and Williams on D the only changes?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:17
Yeah probably but I can see the top three draft picks working their way into early-season rotations. So Watt, Smith-Schuster and Sutton all could have roles in September if they prove ready in the preseason.
StillerNJ
12:18
Veteran most likely on the bubble: DHB, Big Dan, Moats, Willie Gay?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:19
I'll say DHB just because of the numbers in the WR room. Big Dan not exactly safe though. As for Gay, I think they would have cut him by now if they didn't think he was going to make the 53-man roster. I'm a little surprised he's still here after the way he ended last season, but since he is I don't think he's going anywhere.
atown jason
12:19
I read somewhere that signing Villanueva is probably not going to happen due to age and Hawkins in the wings. Are you a believer in that these will be his last 2 years here
Ray Fittipaldo
12:21
I think he had better be careful about his stance. He can make more money and gain more security by signing a contract now. Now he might be able to cash in big in two years when he's an unrestricted free agent, but there are real risks involved. For one, he could get injured. Another is the development of Hawkins. We don't know yet if he could handle the starting left tackle duties, but he does have the athleticism that at the very least it's a possibility.
TommyGun
12:21
Over/under for Bud's sack totals..I say 10, play the over, you?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:21
Under because it's been so long since a Steelers OLB had double digit sacks.
Barry Foster
12:21
What's your take on the Browns extreme makeover approach to roster building? Odds they will be a serious contender in our division within the next 3 years?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:22
Three years is a long time, and I'm not optimistic because they still don't have a QB, and that's the most important roster spot.
Buckeye Chuck
12:22
What will it take to change the mentality of our offense? I want them to keep their foot on the gas petal and put teams away, not let them hang around. It usually ends up biting us in the butt a couple times a game.
Ray Fittipaldo
12:23
Run the ball, limit the opponent's possessions and capitalize on your opportunities by scoring TDs, not settling for FGs.
Bob Sacamento
12:23
Shouldn't Steeler fans praise the job Tomlin has done, instead of constantly criticizing him? I can think of many teams that would love to have MT as coach.
Ray Fittipaldo
12:23
I think most reasonable fans acknowledge the job Tomlin has done. His record is excellent except when he plays New England.
Zack
12:23
ILB depth is an issue...no? IF a starter goes down we are in big trouble.
Ray Fittipaldo
12:24
Yes I agree. It's one spot they could look at add when teams get to 53 in early September.
River Rat
12:24
Since golsen speed and quickness seemed to be a concern, any proof he still has it?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:24
I don't think we'll know for sure until they play some preseason games.
Gus
12:24
Can the steeler blitz more or less effectively while playing man coverage than their famous zone blitzes? It seems they the zone blitzes have become much more predictable to other teams in the last few years
Ray Fittipaldo
12:26
Ideally, you plan man and get home with four. That's what the best defenses do. And I think most Steelers fans agree that the zone blitz schemes have largely been identified and solved by the most accomplished coaches and Qbs the Steelers face.
atown jason
12:26
Who is the 6th D lineman this year. Seems like LT Walton and Aluala are locks behind the starters
Ray Fittipaldo
12:26
I suppose Big Dan is in the hunt, but Johnny Maxey and a few others could push him.
JamesinNYC
12:27
Pats signed their UDFA center in the same position as Villanuava, do you know if it is more than Steelers wanted to spend?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:27
I have to imagine that's the case. Why else the holdup?
pghdsf
12:27
After this season, Ben has two years on contract. Steelers usually try to work out extension then. Will Ben tell them to wait another year?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:28
I think we're past the days of the five-year extension with Ben. Not saying he won't play beyond this current contract, but the days of negotiating with two years left might be over if for no other reason than Ben himself saying he's going to go year to year with the decision to play or retire.
atown jason
12:28
If the steelers make playoffs again is Haley finally getting his 2nd chance?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:29
I'd like to say yes for his sake, but there really hasn't been much buzz about him when jobs come open. Maybe that will change with another good season.
atown jason
12:29
After the combine do teams do any testing to measure athletic ability in OTAs or anything for vets? Seems like they base a lot on athleticism but I don't know of them tracking it
Ray Fittipaldo
12:29
I think they see all they need to see on game film with the vets. No need for asking them to run 40s or anything like that.
nick
12:30
speaking of new england, why is it that the steelers never seem to address a particular opponent (the pats) when building during the off season? this in-house thing is great for longevity but why dont they address particular strengths/weaknesses of other contenders-it seems that the pats do this...
Ray Fittipaldo
12:32
When you build to beat one team and the Raiders beat the Pats in the division round, then what? Now the Raiders are similar in that they have a franchise QB, but I doubt there would be as much nail-biting about facing Derek Carr in a playoff game. I'm not saying the Steelers are looking for another team to do their dirty work for them, but they haven't had much success against New England. They've had success against just about every other team. It's tough to change your philosophy on team building when your nemesis has a 40-year old QB who is nearing the end.
atown jason
12:33
Does mitchell roll up in sub packages and play LB and let Gay play deep thirds since ILB other than Shazier arent known to be cover guys
Ray Fittipaldo
12:33
I think that's a possibility.
StillerNJ
12:33
Early season: @Brownies, Vikes, @daBears, @Ravens, Jags, @Chiefs, Bengals, @Lions. Seems like a 6-2 or 7-1 start shouldn't be far-fetched, barring injuries. But second half, with all the night games, might be tough. Thoughts on schedule?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:34
Agree. They have to take advantage of that early-season schedule. That's very important because as you note the second half isn't quite as easy.
JW
12:34
Any word on the severity of the injury to Javon Hargrave after leaving OTA's early last week?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:35
That happened on Thursday and the Steelers don't practice again until tomorrow. I didn't see it happen, but I saw the aftermath. He stayed down for a while but eventually walked off under his own power. He seemed to be favoring his neck or shoulder, but it didn't appear to be too serious. If something serious did occur it had to be a freak accident because they're practicing without pads and the contact is minimal in these workouts.
Bob Sacamento
12:35
Ray love the chats. If Martavius can stay on the field he should be the biggest deep threat in years. Draws comparisons to Randy Moss except MB is bigger and stronger. Or am I drinking too much of the steeler-koolaid?
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