Ray Fittipaldo's Steelers chat: 8.7.17
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Ray Fittipaldo
12:16
I've only read the stories. I was never present for any of the episodes so I'd rather not pass judgment.
Stiller Guy
12:16
No one cares what I think, except for maybe my dog, but I was able to be at camp a few days this past week and I thought Justin Hunter looked very good.  Do you think he may be inching ahead of DHB or Coates in the fight for a roster spot?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:17
Well, he's been getting most of the first-teams reps while DHB has been getting the second-team reps so I'd say he's doing OK. Part of that might be the coaches knowing what DHB can do while they want to find out about Hunter, but so far so good for Hunter.
Adam
12:17
It appears the Steelers are in the midst of a cycle where the defense is now young while the offense is starting to age.  There are currently no starters on offense under 25.  Is this a concern for the team?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:18
I don't think so. They just used a second-round pick on JuJu Smith-Schuster. He's going to be a contributor. They've done very well drafting and developing offensive players. They're signing them to second contracts. That's what you want.
Adam
12:20
Why was everyone so eager to extend AB but not for Lev Bell?  While I think bell's salary demands are unreasonable, I do believe Bell can transition to slot WR to extend his productivity into his late 20's.  In addition, AB was much older when he signed his most recent contract.
Ray Fittipaldo
12:20
Come on. Bell is a good receiver out of the backfield, but he's not switching to WR any time soon and probably ever.
Adam
12:20
From what you've seen so far, will the defense be able to consistently pressure the QB?  How viable will Watt be in year one as a situational pass rusher?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:22
We'll start to find out Friday. Watt looked tired Friday night. He has to fight through that rookie wall all first-year players go through in their first camp. If he does he can be a contributor, but he has to turn it back up a notch or two.
Adam
12:22
What's the ceiling for Burns?  Can he develop into a top flight CB or will he settle into an Ike Taylor type player who can neutralize a WR without being completely a shut down level player?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:22
They used a first-round pick on him so obviously that's their hope. Too early to say one way or the other. It's a big year in his development.
RD
12:22
Ray, what's the injury status on Cameron Sutton?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:23
All Tomlin has said is lower body. And all Sutton does is watch practice. I haven't even seen him jog on a side field. That's not very encouraging.
Devin Bierly
12:23
Do you think Keion Adams has a chance to make the team over Anthony Chickillo?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:23
No.
Will Blackwell
12:23
Does Sammie Coates make this team or is he too injury plagued?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:23
With the depth at receiver, Sammie has to get healthy soon and show the coaches something.
Jon
12:24
Ray, is there any more information on Burns injury other than "it's a knee"?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:24
No, not at this point. Tomlin has been hopeful it's minor and days not weeks. They're off today so maybe we'll get an update tomorrow.
Big Beef
12:24
Hi Ray!!  Any status on Coates and Golson?  I hope the can return soon to compete for a roster spot.
Ray Fittipaldo
12:25
Coates has been jogging and catching on a side field. Golson hasn't done anything since being injured. At least in terms of rehabbing in view of reporters when we watch practice.
Rod Rust
12:25
Why is scoring 30 points a game considered a recipe for victory especially after seeing what the Pats did in the 2nd half of SB...can a healthy Steelers offense outscore their opponents to a SB victory or is their defense too average?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:26
The Steelers might be able to outscore any team in the league, but I think most Steelers fans agree the defense has to be better, especially against the Patriots.
Adam
12:33
Do you think a major culprit for the numerous injuries in the NFL during camp is the lack of contact during the offseason?  These types of injuries don't happen in other sports like hockey where players often play with multiple ailments.  That said, how worries should we be about the secondary injuries?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:34
I'm starting to worry about the injuries in the secondary. They were looking for Golson or Sutton to push Will Gay. Doesn't look like that'll happen now. At least not early in the season. As for why they are happening. I don't know. Some guys like Golson are just injury-prone. Might just be bad luck, too.
Bruno
12:34
Who gave the best and worst speech at HOF..I say Jerry Jones best...Kurt Warner worst
Ray Fittipaldo
12:35
I didn't watch. I was at camp working that night.
Scott in Amsterdam
12:35
Your article regarding the injuries in the secondary seems to imply that the Steelers may be forced to trade for another corner...any that you think they should be keeping an eye on?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:37
No I wasn't implying that at this point. It's just what they've done in the past when they've dealt with these situations. In a few weeks they're going to have to decide if they can go into a regular season with Mike Hilton as the backup slot CB. Is Coty Sensabaugh good enough to be the top backup outside? Is there depth good enough? Doesn't mean they have to make a trade again. They could just search the waiver wire for a better option.
Jon
12:37
Was the Steelers front office, upset/shocked/disappointed that Bryant hadn't set up his required sessions until recently? Why wouldn't this have been taken care of immediately after he learned of the NFL's requirements for him?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:37
I think there is some frustration with the league office too.
Guest
12:37
Do we have any sense for what injury Bud sustained? Also, any thoughts on how he's coming along in his growth?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:38
I don't think Tomlin has disclosed Dupree's injury. If he has I missed it. Once again, this is the second year in a row he's missed a lot of camp. He's young. He can use the reps.
Alex
12:39
What receivers do you see making the roster if they keep 6 or keep 7?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:39
Let's wait to see how Coates comes back from the injury and how this Bryant situation plays out. Too many moving parts to take a guess now.
Alex
12:39
How close are we to a Tuitt Deal?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:40
DeCastro got done a few days before the start of the season so there is still time for Tuitt. More than a month as a matter of fact.
Mike
12:41
In the vein that draft picks can't be evaluated until they've played 2-3 seasons, how would you evaluate FA pickup Cockrell at this time?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:41
He started 16 games for a team that went to the AFC title game. He's OK. But that doesn't mean they think he's an answer long-term either.
So Cal Steeler Fan
12:42
Why does Coach Tomlin seem to typically play down injuries as being less serious than they often are? For all we know, Burns could be out for the season with an ACL.
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