JASON VANGILDER FROM BERLIN, PA:
With both Sean Spence and Terence Garvin gone via free agency, who steps in at inside linebacker when an injury happens? Even though Spence and Garvin didn't start, I feel like losing them will hurt the depth chart at that spot. Do you see the Steelers adding some new blood through the draft?
JEREMY JAMES FROM CARY, NC:
In the event of an injury, does the team cover the cost for said injury, for example, if a player tears an ACL. Also, does the fact that the player is on the practice squad matter if he suffers the same injury? Lastly, how does an injured player’s salary impact the cap and does that player get paid for the season, like
ANSWER: If an NFL player tears an ACL – to use your example – he would receive medical care either from the team’s orthopedic surgeon, or the player can seek another surgeon of his own choosing to treat his injury at no cost to himself. A practice squad player is no different; same deal. An injured player’s salary counts on the team’s cap for that season, so even though Maurkice Pouncey didn’t play “a snap of regular season football” in 2015, he was paid his salary and it counted on the Steelers’ cap.
BRANDON LATTANZI FROM STRATFORD, CT:
I read the comment made by someone in a previous Asked and Answered about making
ANSWER: It once was explained to me that the NFL is a “show-me occupation,” and I have come to believe that it’s consistent performance over time that wins the trophies. Just because a fan anoints a player as something great, or labels him as something not great, it means nothing until the good or the bad is proven over time. I will agree with you wholeheartedly that when it comes to improvement on the Steelers defense, most of that must come from the players already on the roster. Now, I also understand there must be a talent upgrade in the defensive backfield, and some of those additions will have to be contributors to some degree right away, but it’s also never a one-year proposition. The defensive players drafted by the Steelers in 2016 will be counted upon to contribute beyond that single season. It truly is a team concept.
KEN WALDROP FROM ONTONAGON, MI:
Now that the Steelers are going to have a little extra (
AARON BROWNING FROM AUGUSTA, GA:
It seems year after year the Steelers neglect to sign a premier cornerback from free agency when quite a few have been available. In a league that is becoming more and more pass happy, isn't it time we address this obvious shortcoming by trading up to insure we get one of the can't-miss corners in the draft.
ANSWER: So which is it, signing a premier cornerback via free agency, or drafting one? Because with the exception of Darrelle Revis a couple of times, premier cornerbacks don’t become available in free agency, and the ones who do become available carry a massive price tag. And please identify the can’t-miss cornerbacks available in this upcoming draft for me, because the Cleveland Browns thought they had picked one when they used the eighth overall pick on Justin Gilbert from Oklahoma State. And before you write that off simply as the Browns being the Browns, a lot, a lot, of teams were very high on Gilbert that year.
STEVEN CAHALL FROM UNIONTOWN, PA:
I would like to see the Steelers pick up veteran linebacker Karlos Dansby to help with repetitions and to help the younger guys. Do you think he can help and that we should go get him?
ANSWER: In the category of a veteran linebacker who can provide quality snaps when he gets onto the field and also serves as a mentor to the young players at the position, I’ll go with
JOE SCHMAELING FROM CARNEGIE, PA:
Sports Illustrated just released a list of the top NFL players under 25. They included
CODY BEYER FROM BOAZ, KY:
I saw that you mentioned Tim Tebow in the March 22 Asked and Answered, and what I'm hearing is that the Steelers are going to sign him as a tight end, draft quarterback Paxton Lynch at pick No. 25, move Ryan Shazier to running back, and try
ANSWER: You forgot Maurkice Pouncey to guard, and it’s actually