Ray Fittipaldo's Steelers chat: 7.26.17
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Ray Fittipaldo
11:54
OK let's get this started.
Big John in Virginia
11:54
Thank you for taking my question and always a great chat. With James Harrison's sack totals, Does he have the most sacks by a defensive player that was not drafted?
Ray Fittipaldo
11:56
That's a good question, and I did some quick research before the chat started. I came across a list of the top sackers with at least 100 in their career. As far as I could tell all of them were drafted though Clyde Simmons (121 1/2 career sacks) was a ninth-round pick, which would be the equivalent of an undrafted free agent today. But I'd have to do more thorough research to say for sure.
BishkekSteeler
11:56
Ray,the one thing that stands out to me is the youth on defense outside of James "The Immortal" Harrison and William Gay. Is there enough there in your opinion to take the next step? I think there is, but I have a few question marks that should be cleared up in camp. What is the one player you are hoping to see shine through this camp and preseason games? I'm hoping for a huge step up from Cockrell and Matakevich.
Ray Fittipaldo
11:58
I'm looking for Shazier and Dupree to take the next step in their development. They have the most physical talent and the most potential. Both have dealt with injuries early in their career that has stalled their development to some degree. And both are first-round picks. The Steelers need their best players to excel. Both have a chance to have really good seasons if they can stay healthy.
BishkekSteeler
11:58
In retrospect, is their one move you would have liked to see the Steelers make heading into this years draft?I would have liked knowing about the Warren situation before the draft personally, but I guess that would have tipped their hand.
Ray Fittipaldo
11:59
To be determined. Depending upon how the secondary does this season, especially Cam Sutton, I might be critical of not selecting a DB earlier. But who knows? JuJu could be a star and it's hard to pass on guys with his potential when they're available to you.
BishkekSteeler
12:00
What is your single most impactful moment you have ever had in all the years you have covered the Steelers?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:02
Impactful in terms of coverage or Impactful in terms of team performance? I mean, I covered Super Bowl XLV. That was a terrific team that didn't play well in the biggest game of the season. As far as coverage, I've done a lot of stories on the concussion issue and CTE. I think those stories being told are important.
Scott
12:02
Why does the NFL impose a deadline for negotiating with Franchise Tag players? The Steelers and Bell should still be allowed to talk through the pre-season. I don't understand the rule.
Ray Fittipaldo
12:03
I suppose it's in place so teams can make some determinations in terms of their cap as they move forward with their team building. I mean, they had since March. If they couldn't work something out in four months what makes you think another month or six weeks would help?
Scott
12:03
Shouldn't the book by Bruce Arrogance be called "The Quarterback Crippler" as opposed to the  whisperer?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:04
I only read the Steelers chapter. It was entertaining in some parts though as I pointed out in a story there were a bunch of factual errors.
MexSteeler
12:04
What will have to happen for Brian Allen to make the 53 man roster and is it reasonable to believe he can do it?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:04
A great performance during camp. And maybe an injury to boot.
MexSteeler
12:04
Who does Sammie Coates injury benefit the most?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:05
Any of those others on the roster fringe such as Justin Hunter, Demarcus Ayers, Cobi Hamilton, etc.
BishkekSteeler
12:05
The biggest issue for this season is Bell staying healthy and clean for the complete run through the playoffs or Bryant doing the same thing? Looked to me like they missed Bell more during the AFC Championship than a receiver, although someone stepping up as WR 2 certainly would have helped.
Ray Fittipaldo
12:06
They're both important. They've won without both, but I can make a strong argument they're much more explosive as an offense when Bryant is in the lineup.
MexSteeler
12:06
Who do you believe will have a better front 7, Baltimore or Pittsburgh?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:06
It had better be the Steelers or they might not win the division.
MexSteeler
12:06
Can Ethan Cooper play center? Is his biggest competition BJ Finney or himself?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:07
I don't recall Cooper playing center in the spring. I might be wrong, but Matthews took snaps there and maybe another rookie. I don't recall Cooper getting any. As you know position flexibility is important when making a 53-man roster. If he can't play center he might have a tough time. That's why Finney is valuable. He can play center in a pinch and he's an effective backup guard.
GrandCaymanSteelerFan
12:08
Morning Ray great job as always.  As a huge Auburn fan, I watched Sammy coats for four years, but was shocked when he was drafted in the third round (due to his INconsistencies).  Is he another Marcus Wheaton?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:08
He's not trending in the right direction.
BishkekSteeler
12:09
I saw an article today laying out the 20 QB's the Steelers had between Bradshaw and Roethlisberger. Although they did not win a SB during that time, they were positioned to play in them and the Defense carried a lot of that. And there have been a few great defensive teams that have won the SB without great QB play. Building toward the future, would you choose building a great defense over pinning your hopes on a Franchise QB ?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:09
You need both to win a Super Bowl. But it's hard to win a SB without a franchise QB these days.
Guest
12:09
RIght now- do you think Ben is a hall of famer? Why or why not?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:11
Yes I think he is. He has the Super Bowls. He has the stats. Only one QB in NFL history with two or more Super Bowl wins is not in the HOF -- Jim Plunkett. And Roethlisberger has much better stats. And I think he has a better winning percentage.
jim
12:11
on a 1-10 basis,where do you rate the steelers chance of winning the super bowl this year. 10 being the best chance.
Ray Fittipaldo
12:11
5 or 6. All depends on New England to be honest. Hard to say anything over 6 with the Patriots in the way.
gjs51
12:12
Ray, i guess im confused how Golson could of went from a guy the organization was backing on to a guy they consider a long shot to make the team.  I completely understand the best ability is availability on sundays , but surely his skill set has not eroded that quickly?  IS this matter of the organization just moving on from the player or were his abilities just overrated?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:12
I think the coaches and front office are concerned the skill set has eroded after two years off. Kevin Colbert has been up front about that. He has to prove them wrong.
Nick
12:12
Any indication that Bell shows up? I know AB has been hounding him on social media, not sure if that is big enough of a push.
Ray Fittipaldo
12:13
If you were Le'Veon Bell, why in the world would you show up?
Guest
12:13
Ray, Regardless of the team's outcome at the end of this season, if this proves to be Ben's last, would the organization then be forced to use next spring's no.1 or no.2 pick on a QB?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:13
Depends upon where they are picking and who is available, but I think the pressure would be on to use a high pick for sure.
gjs51
12:14
Ray, Chickarillo was noted as the best pass rusher in camp last year by several sources yet it appears the organization and the media has low expectations for him this year.  I think he's been progressing nicely and could still be a dependable player in their system.  Yet I see writers questioning if he makes the 53 man roster.  What are your thoughts
Ray Fittipaldo
12:15
I don't think Chickillo is on the roster fringe. Who is going to make the team instead of him? Keion Adams? It'll be Harrison and Watt at ROLB and Dupree, Moats and Chickillo at LOLB. I think they keep five.
charles demarr
12:15
Your thoughts on a potential long holdout for Bell?
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