chicago_steeler_fan: Any chance you think the broncos go after Wallace now?
Ed Bouchette: There's always a chance, I just don't think a team will part with its first-round pick and big money. They could have had others for big money alone.
dave: Do you expect the steelers to draft a WR in the first three rounds?
Ed Bouchette: No, I don't expect them to. They could, of course. That also would change in a hurry if they lose both Mike Wallace and Jerricho Cotchery.
Ryan: Hi Ed thanks for the chat, If somehow both Poe and Hightower are both on the board when the Steelers pick and they have them equally ranked which do you go with?
Ed Bouchette: I think you have to take Poe. This will be Casey Hampton's final season.
weegie: Why do you think Mike Wallace hasn't gotten any offers? Is it the money, the first round pick, or do other teams not think as highly of him as we think?
Ed Bouchette: I think it's a combination, but mostly the first-round draft pick, as I said earlier.
Ed Bouchette: One more thing: His signing period has a month to go so, as Yogi might say, it ain't over till it's over.
Guest: Ed, Do you think any of the other teams that Gregg Williams coached will get hit for bounty gate?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, if they can prove it and it's determined people in the organization knew it was occurring at the time.
JAXMAN: Ed, Tebow to the Jets. Do you think that is a big mistake?
Ed Bouchette: I think Peyton Manning was worth more to the Denver Broncos than just getting Peyton Manning. It also rid themselves of Tebowmania. Yes, I believe it is a big mistake -- unless the Jets meet the Steelers in the playoffs.
DFWSteeler: Thoughts on going after Poe. He seems like a game changer. We traded up to get #43, do you see this happening?
Ed Bouchette: They need so much -- OT, OG, ILB, always a CB -- that you'd think they would not use their picks in either the second or third round to move higher in the first. However, they have done it, likewise to get Santonio Holmes. Footnote: They moved down to draft Casey Hampton.
Sam: Ed, other than William Gay, have you heard of any interest in the remaining Steelers who were released?
Ed Bouchette: I have heard none, and Gay was not released, his contract ran out and he is an unrestricted free agent.
kjacksonpgh: Hi Ed, I see the Steelers are making their version of a free agent splash by signing a TE and RB. Any idea of what the Todd Haley offense will resemble this year. Arizona or KC?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, they finally announced today they had resigned Wes Lyons and his former teammate, Will Johnson. But this was an epic announcement indeed because they put a label on Johnson and it wasn't RB, it was FB. That is FULLBACK, something Bruce Arians claimed he never had in his offense.
Jethro: Ed, are you shocked by the severity of the bounty scandal penalties? I figured Williams might get a full season, but never imagined that Payton would. And losing two 2nd rounders is serious.
Ed Bouchette: As the head coach, Payton deserved that, just as Belichick did and did not get.
JST: Why aren't they making more of an effort to re-sign Cotchery?
Ed Bouchette: How do you know they are not? Maybe Jerricho Cotchery has to determined the market is not that high for him before the Steelers would have a chance to get him back.
South of the border: New Orleans got whacked big time. Justified?
Ed Bouchette: It was expected so I suppose but I think the Patriots should have gotten more.
kjacksonpgh: Ed Do you believe that Ziggy Hood is really our DT for the future. I did not believe he was big or strong enough?
Ed Bouchette: If they don't draft one he is.
Jason: Ed, what other post-gazette projects will you be working on this spring that don't involve the Steelers?
Ed Bouchette: None that I know of. You have some suggestions? And if you are talking about my absence from the Hines Ward press conference yesterday, I was working on a story that involves the Steelers, an interview that I could not cancel.
Casper: Are the Steelers and Wallace in talks now for a multi-year contract? And if so, have you heard any of the #s?
Ed Bouchette: They have been talking for awhile, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything and, no, I've heard no numbers.
Guest: Is a NT in the draft a bigger need over an OLmen?
Ed Bouchette: Without a good NT, that defense could fall apart.
Jason: Ed, when presenting to other Hall of Fame voters, do you usually get a feel for how the vote goes beforehand? Building off that, how do you think Hines Ward will ultimately fair in getting into Canton?
Ed Bouchette: Sometimes I get a feel in the weeks leading up to the vote, but Ward has five years to wait for that. I gave my thoughts in my blog here yesterday.
Jethro: The nature of the RFA system limits offers from other teams. If they low ball, the Steelers will match and have him at a bargain. So they almost have to overpay AND give up their #1 pick.
Ed Bouchette: Or not offer him a contract.
kjacksonpgh: Ed, Does the OC Todd Haley have a say wheter or not to change the blocking scheme for the Offensive line or is that Sean's call?
Ed Bouchette: Of course he has a say, but I would think that is Mike Tomlin's ultimate call, with real heavy input from Sean Kugler, his line coach.
Guest: Are fans gonna be calling for Redman's head like they are Mendenhall's when he can not run behind that line as well?
Ed Bouchette: He seems to have run behind it reasonably well so far.
Jim in VT: It seems that the Steelers FO is one of the most secretive in the NFL this time of year. Is that a fair assessment?
Ed Bouchette: I was going to hit my dictionary on that one but did you mean secretive? It's not much of a secret that they don't have the money to spend. Both Kevin Colbert and Art Rooney have said they won't be big players in free agency and that's neither an ecret nor a secret.
DFWSteeler: Who do you see starting beside Ike next year? Keenan (hope he stays), Brown, Allen???
Ed Bouchette: I think that really has to be determined by them. And it should be good competition in the spring and in camp. My guess is that Lewis will open the spring with the first team.
Joe: Ed, keep up the great work. Your thoughts on Mendenhall? Do the Steelers need to pick up a RB at some point in the draft?
Ed Bouchette: It would not surprise me if they do get one in the draft.
Sam: Ed, was your interview earlier today the long awaited, face-to-face meeting with Todd Haley?
Ed Bouchette: I had mine with him before Ben did.
Guest: Ed due you think the lack of productive running was due too line talent or playcalling or both?
Ed Bouchette: I believe they lacked a real commitment to the ground game that will be rectified this season, and that starts in practice.
DHE: Will the Steelers get any compensatory picks this year?
Ed Bouchette: they lost only Matt Spaeth and really signed no one (Cotchery doesn't count because he was cut by the Jets, not a UFA). A seventh, at best, is my prediction.
Ed Bouchette: Thanks all for today's chat. Should be next week 1:30 Tuesday as usual.
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