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Asked and Answered: Feb. 4

Posted Feb 4, 2016

Another installment of Bob Labriola answering your questions about the Steelers and the NFL.

Let’s get to it:


STEVE BENTZ FROM FREEPORT, PA:
Did James Harrison set the new Steelers sack record in 2016?  I thought he might have gotten there with a sack in the playoffs?

First thing first: records such as the one you cite are for regular season statistics only. So any and all of James Harrison’s sacks in the playoffs don’t count toward the Steelers’ all-time team record in that category, and that’s the way it is with all of the team’s all-time records. With that out of the way, the player who is the Steelers’ all-time leading sack artist is Jason Gildon, who finished with 77. James Harrison is now second with 74.5, and L.C. Greenwood is third with 73.5.


WILLIAM NANOOK FROM AUGUSTA, GA:
If a player is suspended during Super Bowl week and can't play in the game, does he still gets paid for the game. What do players get paid for playing in the Super Bowl?

Most suspensions in the NFL are suspensions without pay and are designated as such. If that would be the case with the player in your question, then he wouldn’t be paid for the Super Bowl. The winner’s share for each player in Super Bowl 50 is projected at $97,000. In that event, the loser’s share would be $49,000.


ZACK FARNSWORTH FROM NEWPORT, OH:
When do players report back for next season?

According to the NFL, April 18 is the date when “Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.”


EARL CLARK FROM CRESTVIEW, FL:
I'm dismayed that the league does not rotate the playing of the Super Bowl within the group 32 cities that host the member teams. Given that a team’s city, county, and state citizens sometimes finance a large part of a stadium’s cost, hosting a Super Bowl would provide an outside source of tax money and lighten the load on local fan base. What might be some of the limiting factors in preventing this from happening?

The Super Bowl is the largest single sporting event on earth, and if you can imagine some of the requirements of the locality hosting the largest sporting event on earth, then you should be able to go a long way toward answering your own question. First of all, you should understand that a Super Bowl is not a one-day event; it’s much more like a weeklong party. Let’s start with transportation – to the host locality, and then within the confines of the host locality so that all of the visitors can attend all of the events associated with a Super Bowl. Hotels – not only enough hotel rooms within a reasonable proximity but also enough hotel rooms in categories that range from luxury to economy. Those two things alone – transportation and hotel space – eliminate probably half of the 32 NFL cities right off the bat. You also need practice facilities for the two teams. Sites for all of the events. A media center capable of handling the worldwide media that always descend on a Super Bowl. There’s a whole lot more stuff that I haven’t listed and I don’t even realize, and so suffice it to say that your rotational plan is an impossibility.


TOM MATTHEWS FROM ORLANDO, FL:
Who did the Steelers try to sign first several years ago, Antonio Brown or Mike Wallace?

The Steelers started with Wallace, because he came into the league a year earlier as a No. 3 pick. Since Wallace was drafted earlier than Antonio Brown, his rookie contract was set to expire before Brown’s. The year before his contract expired, Wallace or his agent began making noise about what they would be expecting, and the numbers being reported were in the Calvin Johnson stratosphere. Wallace wasn’t that type of player, he was never going to become that type of player, and so the Steelers weren’t going to pay him as if he were. I don’t know that there were a lot of negotiations done with Wallace as much as there was an understanding by both sides of what it was willing to do to get a deal done. Once it became clear Wallace’s number didn’t fit with the Steelers’ number, the team moved on.


AMY JORDAN FROM PORTLAND, ME:
I just saw Thursday Night Football has been expanded this year. I would imagine most teams hate Thursday games, because it means a short work week. Is the reason they don't try Friday games because it's high school football night? If so, that's crazy. Are there any restrictions, such as if a team plays Monday it could not play Thursday? Or do they try not to schedule teams to travel cross-country on a short week? Or does the NFL not care at all how hard short weeks are on teams?

Yes. The NFL doesn’t care.


DEVEN MCCORMICK FROM LUMBERTON, N.J.:
I have seen a lot of Su'a Cravens from USC, but he is posited as a safety/OLB. I know the Steelers are in need of a safety, but do you think they'd be interested in a hybrid as opposed to a pure strong safety?

Just what I need. Another Steelers draft pick who can spawn more questions along the lines of: “Why don’t they move (insert name here) to (insert position here)?” Besides, the Steelers already have one of those in Ryan Shazier, right?


DENNIS COGSWELL FROM WILLIAMSBURG, VA:
Has anyone thought about moving Darrius Heyward-Bey to cornerback? He is tall, fast and has experience playing defense via special teams. Could really meet a need.

Yes, that’s the backup plan for “let’s move somebody to a different position” if Su’a Cravens isn’t available in the draft.


MATHEW MARLEY FROM ROCHESTER, NY:
When high draft picks are injured and don’t perform well, fans get upset and immediately label them a bust. For example, when Ryan Shazier got hurt in the beginning of the 2014 season, fans thought he was a waste of a pick and openly wished the Steelers had drafted CJ Mosley instead. Le’Veon Bell has had an injury all three years in the league, but fans don’t label him a bust. In my opinion neither Shazier or Bell is a bust. What is your take? Are fans just huge hypocrites?

Yes. Huge.


CARL GUERINONI FROM MINEOLA, N.Y.:
I'm totally addicted to Asked and Answered, very thoughtful and informative. I also watch all of the videos on Steelers.com. My question is: can you talk without using your hands?

No. And seeing that your surname ends in a vowel, as does mine, I’m guessing you cannot, either.


JACK VAIL FROM CLERMONT, FL:
Why do the Steelers draft 5-foot-9, 5-foot-10 cornerbacks when they have to cover wide receivers who are taller than 6-foot? Then, they don't play man-coverage and give 8-10 yard cushions. We need to draft 6-foot-plus cornerbacks who are physical and can play man-coverage.

Good idea. Just direct me to the tree where those types of players grow, and I’ll pass that information along to Kevin Colbert.


CHRIS LUGIANO FROM SACO, ME:
My question is more of a proclamation: If the Steelers don't go defensive back in the first round this year I may throw myself into oncoming traffic. I know it comes down to "Who's the best player available" and not reaching, but I'm hearing an awful lot of talk about a tight end in the first round and that scares me. We have to draft either a cornerback or a safety with that first pick, and I'm hoping that's the way the team is leaning based on Steelers President Art Rooney II's statements at the end of the season. What say you?

Before you throw yourself into oncoming traffic, please write me into your will.


MATT JONES FROM FORT COLLINS, CO:
My mom is a school teacher and one of her students told her that the Denver Broncos are trying to get Antonio Brown. Is this true? Please tell me it’s not.

Those kids in kindergarten can be pretty savvy, but they usually don’t know anything about football.


WESLEY MARTIN FROM BELVIDERE IL:
If the Steelers don't improve from what they did this season, do you think Mike Tomlin will be on the hot seat?

Silly me. And here I thought that the question about what some kid in school told his teacher about what he supposedly had heard from some unknown person about the Broncos “trying to get” a two-time first-team All-Pro wide receiver was going to be the stupidest in this installment. I was wrong.


DWAYNE JACKSON FROM HYATTSVILLE, MD:
I can't seem to wrap my head around why so many Steelers fans think that the Mike Tomlin/Kevin Colbert pairing doesn't work, and that the Steelers would be better off without them. Most of those fans repeat the same annoying things: Tomlin only won early in his career because they were Cowher’s players, and that they don't draft well. Multiple Super Bowl appearances, multiple division titles, zero losing seasons, an All-Pro running back in Le’Veon Bell, an All-Pro center in Maurkice Pouncey, an All-Pro wide receiver in Antonio Brown, and a soon-to-be All-Pro guard in David DeCastro. The Steelers have one of the best offenses in the league and a defense that is a few pieces from being great again. I don't see what the problem is. I'm fresh out of ideas. Do you have any?

Full disclosure: I didn’t even have any ideas for this installment of Asked and Answered.



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