Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin
NPG2003: Do you think that Big Ben will have to have an MVP type season in 2017 for the Steelers to reach (and win) the SB, or can Bell and a young but opportunistic defense be the catalyst to get them there?
Ed Bouchette: Ben never has been named MVP and he's won two Super Bowls, so the short answer would be no. But there is little doubt that he is the straw that stirs the Steelers' drink. It would be hard for them to reach (and win) the Super Bowl without a good season from their quarterback.
Guest: Did you happen to notice anything from Austin Gearing or Rokeem Williams at this weekend's Rookie Tryout Camp? They are both MU Ohio guys. Gearing almost had his hand amputated a few years back. Kind of interesting
Ed Bouchette: I have to admit I did not pay much attention to them. They practiced about 90 minutes and we were permitted to only watch two of the five scheduled practices
tv: Ed, I saw Invincible on TV the other night and noticed a certain PG reporter in one of the scenes. Did you have to get a SAG card to appear in that film and do you get residual checks when it comes on TV?
Ed Bouchette: I have a SAG card because it merged with AFTRA, which I joined in the 1990s when I first got paid for working part time in radio. The union is now SAG/AFTRA.
Ed Bouchette: Invincible was my greatest acting performance on film and yet not only do I receive no residuals, they did not even include me in the credits.
Ed Bouchette: I will never work at Disney again.
USA: I know, I know, I know...It is just a bunch of rookies or unsigned tryout guys practicing in shorts, but did you happen to see anything interesting or noteworthy or suprising or promising in any of the players at the Tryout Camp that you can report on? Give us something, Ed! It is the offseason and we're in a dang Steelers chat! We need Steelers sustenance, man!
Ed Bouchette: I thought the cornerback drafted in the third round, Cameron Sutton, was very aggressive toward the ball.
?: Who is the greatest undrafted Steelers player of all-time? James Harrison?
Ed Bouchette: James Harrison and Donnie Shell might share that stage
team: Ed, are you hyping up Ethan Cooper because you think he can EVENTUALLY make this team or because he went to your alma mater?
Ed Bouchette: If you think that mentioning guard Ethan Cooper as the only rookie offensive lineman this year was hyping him, you haven't seen hype
Ed Bouchette: I did not watch him that closely
70: Ed, did you cover the Pirates back in the 70s? I know you used to have a baseball HOF vote. Do you have a favorite anecdote or player from MLB in the 1970s? It seems like it was a pretty wild time in the sport.
Ed Bouchette: Yes, I covered a lot of Pirates baseball in the 1970s, including their various NL championship series and the one they actually won in 1979, and covered that World Series as well. Stories will have to wait.
Guest: Ed, I read Ray Fittipaldo's excellent piece on Francis Kallon today. When I was reading Kallon's quotes I couldn't help but wonder, does he have a British accent or a southern accent since he grew up in London and Georgia. Do you happen to know?
Ed Bouchette: Nope, y'all
SB-Steelers: Any news on if/when M Bryant will rejoin the team for activities?
Ed Bouchette: I think he will be there for OTAs.
BrUNO: Ed, I was excited to see Bruno Sammartino announce one of the Steelers draft picks. Did you get to speak to him at all? Do you know him at all?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, I met Bruno a long time ago, even got a photo from him for my son, who was a big wrestling fan.
Ed Bouchette: Then, we had back surgery the same morning 16 years ago and wound up on the same floor at the hospital and we visited. Good man.
Guest: Did the round enclosed shape of Three Rivers Stadium create more crowd noise than Heinz Field?
Ed Bouchette: Oh, my yes
JaiMe TyLeR: Hey Ed, thanks for the chat... I'm a HUGE fan of Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert... Do you see the Steelers getting a contract extension done with Colbert before the start of the '17 season and also possibly reworking Tomlin's contract to extend him beyond 2018?
Ed Bouchette: Yes to both
Bob Sacamento: any chance Pittsburgh would get to host the NFL draft in the future? Or is that just wishful thinking?
Ed Bouchette: That's something they at least have a chance of getting, unlike the pie in the sky of a Super Bowl
Bob Sacamento: 5th round pick Brian Allen has Mel Blount size and speed. I'm guessing that will be the only comparison to #47.
Ed Bouchette: Well, if he shows up wearing a cowboy hat . . .
Rahn: I saw from your retweet two priority free agents were signed with bonuses of $10,000: the guard from IUP and Keith Kelsey, LB from Louisville. Guessing Kelsey might have a nice opportunity to battle for a back-up role/practice squad spot, no?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, but priority free agents have failed to make it before
sushi: Ed, I remember you saying that you visited Japan once covering the Steelers...Did you eat any sushi or unusual food over there?
Ed Bouchette: 1996, Steelers played preseason game in Tokyo. Sushi, no; Sake, yes.
Ed Bouchette: Fake News, unless you mean his "You Don't Love Me Anymore" as part of the Pirates of the Caribbean
Dr. Mike: One of the weak points of the Steelers is their special teams. What do you think they need to do to fix that part of their team?
Ed Bouchette: I do not agree that is one of their weaknesses. Are you counting the kicker and punter as part of special teams? They're pretty good.
Ed Bouchette: Now, the return games are not so good, that's where they can improve. They need a punt returner to take the job from Antonio Brown.
Greg: Have contract discussions with L. Bell now stopped altogether? Or is there a chance something still gets done on a long term contract before the season starts?
Ed Bouchette: I still don't think it will get done this year, but those talks can go right up to the start of the regular season
David: Will Bell continue to get 99% of the carriers or is it their intention to spell him more frequently with Conner?
Ed Bouchette: I'm not sure of their plans, but I would spell him a little more, just because I believe the groin injury and resulting surgery should be a red flag from overuse
Guest: Trump ruined the USFL. That can't be as hard to run as the USA. So, i'm not optimistic. You interviewed that goon once. What were your impressions of him?
Ed Bouchette: He had co-conspirators in that ruination because he could not do it alone.
Ed Bouchette: I enjoyed talking to him at the time, both on the phone when I interviewed him and chatting before a Maulers-Generals game in the old Giants Stadiium Press Box, where he introduced me to the first of his three wives, Ivana.
Ed Bouchette: He was better at that job.
David: Does the team feel there is an area of weakness on the roster they were not able to address through FA or the draft?
Ed Bouchette: Maybe a return man.
Guest: Peyton Manning i just read is going to host the ESPY awards. Would Johnny Unitas have done that?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think they had them back then.
Taz: Hi Ed! Do the quick rookie signings pave the way for a midsummer re-up for Tuitt and Villanueva, since the cap picture is clearer earlier?
Ed Bouchette: No, those rookie signings and the $ are pretty much predetermined and slotted. Few surprises in those. They know what they have to spend on their vet contracts
Joey d: did you see brian allen's pic? as impressive as they say?
Ed Bouchette: Calm down. It was rookies vs. rookies and rookie wannabes, not in pads, not allowed to hit
Freddy_The_Yeti: Way to early too tell, but if you had to take a stab at it, which rookie are you most excited about?
Ed Bouchette: JuJu. I think he can be the one who makes the quickest impact too, although i would not count out T.J.
Ed Bouchette: Love it when they draft players who do not need a last name to know who we are talking about.
EDinVA: I'm big on Martavis Bryant this year. He owes us a year. Wat's the general sense?
Ed Bouchette: Everybody, and I mean everybody, is on a wait and see basis with him.
Ed Bouchette: It may have more to do with his hip
Joey d: odds the steelers sign a FA ILB between now and training camp?
Ed Bouchette: 0, if we're talking about anyone who is noteworthy
Tim: Listening to NFL radio today & they were discussing whether Steelers would even be a playoff team w/o Roethlisberger this year. What's your opinion ?
Ed Bouchette: No, but you can say that about a lot of teams with good quarterbacks
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