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Asked and Answered: April 28

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Bob Labriola

Let’s get to it:

PAT HUTCHISON FROM VERO BEACH, FL: Defensive ends in a 4-3 alignment rush on nearly each cross play, whereas the 3-4 the Steelers play presents extra versatility since you by no means know which exterior linebacker will rush or if each of them will. That mentioned, how vital are cross protection abilities for out of doors linebackers within the Steelers’ system? Is it a serious consideration when contemplating who to draft on the place?

ANSWER: I do not know whether or not I might categorize protection abilities as a serious consideration for the Steelers when scouting/evaluating exterior linebackers, and if an out of doors linebacker is sweet sufficient within the different aspects of the place, I do not know that the Steelers would remove him from consideration just because he wasn’t an asset in protection. However the indecision with respect to the “is he speeding or is he overlaying” facet of 3-4 exterior linebackers can find yourself being a vital issue within the cross protection, as a result of it might probably trigger the quarterback to carry the ball only a bit longer and permit a distinct cross rusher to interrupt by way of and make the sack, or it might probably create a takeaway when the quarterback mis-reads the protection and throws the ball within the improper spot on the improper time. Dick LeBeau as soon as advised me that typically it may be higher to create the phantasm of stress on a quarterback as a result of making a quarterback “really feel” stress that is not truly there may be what causes dangerous throws that end in turnovers. Surely, probably the most well-known instance of that occurred late within the first half of Tremendous Bowl XLIII when Kurt Warner believed James Harrison could be blitzing and after throwing the ball the place Harrison wasn’t speculated to be, what resulted was a 100-yard pick-six that is now acknowledged as the best defensive play in Tremendous Bowl historical past.

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RITA BYRD FROM LAS VEGAS, NV: I’m sorry to seem insensitive, however with the loss of life of Dwayne Haskins and the signing of Joshua Dobbs by the Browns the Steelers want a 3rd quarterback sooner or later. I understood making an undrafted rookie the fourth quarterback on the depth chart, however not the third one. This doesn’t imply they should take one within the first spherical, and even on Day 2 of the draft, however they both have to draft one other good one or signal a free agent. Do you see this as a necessity that now should be addressed, or am I mistaken?

ANSWER: Throughout the group’s pre-draft information convention on Monday, this was one of many questions posed to Coach Mike Tomlin: “Whenever you’re trying on the quarterback place now, clearly with the tragedy that occurred with Dwayne Haskins, does that have an effect on your resolution, you and Kevin (Colbert) moving into, whether or not you are going to choose a quarterback perhaps a bit bit larger within the draft?”

Tomlin answered, “You already know, with regard to Dwayne, our energies have been on paying correct respect and supporting his household. We now have not approached it from a enterprise resolution or a enterprise decision-making standpoint. We really feel like that is the suitable mindset for us to have as we sit right here as we speak.”

I imagine that was an applicable public response to the query, however I additionally assume the Steelers should give you a plan to take care of the sudden gap within the depth chart ensuing from the tragedy involving Dwayne Haskins. My private opinion could be to look so as to add a quarterback sooner or later throughout the draft after which signal one other to be the fourth man on the 90-man roster that can report back to coaching camp in late July.

BRIAN MORELLA FROM POLAND, OH: After signing Terrell Edmunds to a one-year contract, it seems that every defensive beginning place seems to be set at the moment. However with Stephon Tuitt’s scenario nonetheless unsure, do you assume the Steelers will draft a participant early, say within the first two rounds, who might play vital minutes in case Tuitt is not obtainable?

ANSWER: Throughout the group’s predraft information convention on Monday at Heinz Subject, Common Supervisor Kevin Colbert clarified the scenario you reference in your submission. Colbert mentioned that whereas the Steelers could have gamers with beginning NFL expertise at every place following the re-signing of Edmunds, that does not imply that these positions have been locked up, or that the group perceives the gamers presently at these spots to be ok. With that clarification out of the best way, my opinion is the Steelers have to spend a premium choose on a defensive lineman for the easy motive that the highest of their depth chart there may be getting old. Cam Heyward can be 33 in early Might; Tyson Alualu can be 35 in early Might; and Stephon Tuitt will flip 29 later in Might. It is time to re-stock what is a crucial space on the Steelers protection.

TODD HALL FROM HAMPTON, VA: Do you assume Mason Rudolph has an opportunity to be the beginning quarterback this season? Will or not it’s an actual competitors, or is that the get together line getting used and it is truly Mitch Trubisky’s job?

ANSWER: The beginning quarterback job is a crucial one, and Coach Mike Tomlin by no means has come throughout as a coach who believes in anointing somebody versus having that participant earn his spot by way of a contest. I might see Tomlin perhaps making Mitch Trubisky No. 1 early within the coaching camp course of, however even when that will occur, I imagine it could be carried out with the concept of seeing how Trubisky reacts to that designation and the way it impacts his strategy/efficiency, whereas additionally seeing how Mason Rudolph reacts to a little bit of adversity proper off the bat. There may be some head video games performed to various levels, however even when that occurs it could be a part of the competitors.

JERRY SLONE FROM MILTON, WV: Do you imagine Mason Rudolph can be given a good probability to win the beginning job?

ANSWER: I do not know the way you would possibly decide what constitutes a “truthful shot,” however I imagine that over the course of the upcoming summer season, each Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph – plus whomever would possibly find yourself on the quarterback depth chart following the draft and the speedy aftermath – can be given a possibility to win or lose the job primarily based on benefit.

KRIS PISCZEK FROM CONNELLSVILLE, PA: Wanting on the stats you posted on the faculty careers of the quarterbacks presently on the group and those within the upcoming draft, it is obvious Mason Rudolph has carried out in addition to if not higher than the others on the record. What do you see as being what has held Rudolph again from progressing to a higher-level quarterback, as a result of he clearly was very gifted whereas at Oklahoma State?

ANSWER: I do not know the reply to your query, however what I do imagine after compiling these statistics and evaluating them is that it may be deceptive to return to definitive conclusions primarily based on a listing of numbers showing on a sheet of paper or on a pc display screen. The problem you pose with respect to Rudolph’s numbers is legitimate and, for my part, ought to function a warning for followers who trumpet Kenny Pickett as a sure NFL franchise quarterback as a result of his faculty stats had been “higher than Dan Marino’s.”

WAYNE WALTER FROM BLAKELY, PA: Terrell Edmonds reportedly re-signed with the Steelers for one yr and is to be paid $2.5 million. How does that quantity examine to what he would have made if the Steelers had exercised his fifth-year possibility as an alternative?

ANSWER: The fifth-year possibility on Terrell Edmonds’ rookie contract would have price the Steelers $6.753 million for the 2022 season.

NICK MITCHELL FROM GLEN-LYON, PA: What are the probabilities that the Steelers use their first-round choose on a wide-receiver?

ANSWER: It is potential, and perhaps even probably relying upon how the primary 19 picks of the draft end up. The Steelers do have to strengthen themselves at vast receiver, and the pool of prospects on this draft ought to provide gamers who need to be No. 1 picks.

TRAVIS THOMAS FROM SHOW LOW, AZ: Pittsburgh transplant right here. What’s the take care of these “specialists” calling for the Steelers to get a “true lockdown nook?” So far as I can bear in mind, the Steelers have at all times performed their secondary locked in place, as an alternative of following the opponents’ greatest vast receiver round, or is my reminiscence lastly shot?

ANSWER: I can’t converse for others within the media, however on this specific occasion I imagine the difficulty is you misunderstanding what is supposed by a lockdown cornerback. A participant known as a lockdown cornerback is not one who essentially strikes from one facet of the sphere to the opposite however is one whose abilities are such that he is able to neutralizing whichever receiver he’s assigned to cowl with out assist from teammates to such an extent that the quarterback would not even try to get the ball to him.

CASEY MCDONALD FROM MONTGOMERY, AL: I do know personally I assumed Limas Sweed could be the subsequent Plaxico Burress, however I used to be means off. Who was a participant you had been tremendous excessive on, who then ended up not dwelling as much as the hype?

ANSWER: I have been concerned in overlaying NFL Drafts lengthy sufficient to know what I do not know, which in the case of projecting faculty gamers into the NFL is loads. However I additionally will admit to pondering that Jarvis Jones, who led the Southeastern Convention in sacks throughout every of his last two seasons at Georgia, was a stable alternative within the first spherical of the 2013 NFL Draft. After a freshman season throughout which Jones was a backup, he led the SEC with 13.5 sacks in 2011 after which adopted that up with an SEC-lading 14.5 sacks in 2012. In 26 video games over his last two seasons at a prime program towards the very best competitors in faculty soccer, Jones had 28 sacks, two passes defensed, and an interception. That he would develop into such a disappointment within the NFL by no means crossed my thoughts.

JOE KALDON FROM ALIQUIPPA, PA: Are you aware if the Steelers have a coverage about drafting gamers who skipped their bowl video games? I really feel like gamers who choose out of their bowl video games have stop on their faculty groups and may not be the best choice for a company on the lookout for the fitting gamers who may help a group win a championship.

ANSWER: The way in which Common Supervisor Kevin Colbert has defined this on a few events, if each different a part of the analysis of two gamers is equal, the Steelers would give the sting to the participant who didn’t choose out of his group’s bowl sport.

BOB GAYDOS FROM SPRINGDALE, PA: I used to be checking the Steelers roster and observed Stephon Tuitt remains to be listed on it. I have not learn or heard whether or not he’s collaborating within the voluntary exercises. Any information about him relating to whether or not he intends to play in 2022, and when does his present contract expire?

ANSWER: Final Monday, Coach Mike Tomlin was requested by the media, “Any additional readability on Stephon Tuitt?” Tomlin responded, “No. No updates, however he is doing properly.” As for his contract, Stephon Tuitt is signed by way of the 2022 season.

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