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Asked and Answered: May 11

Posted May 11, 2017

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

Let’s get to it:

ROSS HUNT FROM LISBURN, NORTHERN IRELAND:
If I remember correctly, Landry Jones was a fourth-round pick. I'm just wondering how his college stats and combine performance compare to Joshua Dobbs' since he was also a fourth round pick? I should say that I don't ask this with a hint of optimism that Landry will be replaced by Dobbs. I've never been a Landry-hater. I'm just curious about how they match up.

ANSWER: Landry Jones was a four-year starter at Oklahoma, and he ended up starting 51 of the 53 games in which he played for the Sooners. His career numbers were: 2,183 attempts and 1,388 completions (63.6 percent) for 16,646 yards, with 123 touchdowns, 52 interceptions, and what would have been an NFL passer rating of 95.7. His career totals rank him No. 3 all-time in attempts, No. 3 all-time in completions, No. 3 all-time in yards, and No. 6 all-time in touchdowns. And those all-time rankings are all-time NCAA rankings, not just all-time Oklahoma rankings. In 2010 Jones won the Sammy Baugh Trophy after a season in which he completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 4,718 yards, with 38 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and what would have been an NFL passer rating of 101.1. During his career at Oklahoma, Jones was 39-12 (.765) as a starting quarterback. At the NFL Combine, Jones ran a 5.11 in the 40-yard dash, he had a 31.0-inch vertical jump and a 9-6 in the broad jump.

Joshua Dobbs started 35 of the 37 games in which he played during his four seasons at Tennessee. His career numbers were: 999 attempts and 614 completions (61.5 percent) for 7,138 yards, with 53 touchdowns, 29 interceptions, and what would have been an NFL passer rating of 88.7. In addition, Dobbs rushed 438 times for 2,160 yards (4.9 average) and another 32 touchdowns. He also caught two passes on gadget plays for 62 yards and two touchdowns. During his career at Tennessee, Dobbs was 23-12 (.657) as a starting quarterback. At the NFL Combine, Dobbs ran a 4.64 in the 40-yard dash, he had a 33-inch vertical jump, and a 10-2 in the broad jump. Dobbs’ Combine totals in the 40, vertical, and broad jump represented the best in each category in 2017 among all of the quarterbacks in Indianapolis.

JAKOB BUCKLES FROM JOHNSON CITY, TN:
In your opinion, do you think Joshua Dobbs has the potential to be the Steelers’ future starting quarterback once Ben Roethlisberger retires?

ANSWER: No idea. Not yet. Joshua Dobbs has a lot to learn, and he is going to have to make significant adjustments in becoming an NFL quarterback – such as learning how to play from under center instead of exclusively from the shotgun. Way too early to make this kind of assessment, and I can guarantee you that the Steelers haven’t, either.

KELLEN SCHIRMUHLY FROM FAIRPORT, NY:
I have a co-worker who is retiring at the end of June who is a lifelong Steelers fan from Western New York. We are looking to get him two tickets to an individual game for this upcoming season as a retirement gift, seeing as he has never attended a game in person. So far, when looking at tickets, it appears as it is only fans who are putting their tickets up for sale. I am guessing the team hasn't released its individual game tickets for sale yet. When do those individual game tickets go on sale to the public?

ANSWER: Later today, after noon, ET, go to Steelers.com, and you will find a story on the home page detailing the team’s plans for its annual individual ticket sale. Good luck.

AARON VANNATTER FROM LOGAN, WV:
When do rookie jerseys go on sale?

ANSWER: Click on the attached link, and all the information you are seeking, that is available at this time, will be there: Steelers Shop

CARLOS SALAS FROM GUADALAJARA, MEXICO:
What can you tell the fans who question Coach Mike Tomlin? Apparently, in their eyes he lacks fire. I listen to many say that Coach Cowher was "intense" and that inspired players.

ANSWER: According to Joe Greene, Chuck Noll only gave one pep talk during his time with the Steelers. Andy Russell, who played 12 seasons with the Steelers, including eight under Noll, said Noll regularly told the players, “My job isn’t to motivate you. If I have to motivate you, I’ll fire you.” Every coach should be true to his personality. Chuck Noll was. Bill Cowher was. Mike Tomlin is. Different people. Different coaches. All added to the Steelers’ collection of Lombardi trophies. That’s what I would tell them.

EBZ MILLER FROM CINCINNATI, OH:
In your opinion who is our most valuable defensive and offensive player? Also, thank you for shutting down this nonsense of players changing positions.

ANSWER: Most valuable offensive player is simple. That is Ben Roethlisberger. Most valuable defense player: in my opinion, that is Cam Heyward. I understand that the defense continued to improve after Heyward’s season-ending injury last season, but I would maintain what it all proved was that the Steelers could win games without Heyward leading their defense, but they couldn’t win a championship without him anchoring their defense. Not far behind Heyward, in my mind, is Ryan Shazier.

TAYVON REED FROM PITTSBURGH, PA:
Do you think that cornerback Brian Allen could start over Ross Cockrell and be a shut-down corner opposite Artie Burns?

ANSWER: Brian Allen is a fifth-round pick who was converted from wide receiver during his college career at Utah. He is going to have an uphill fight to make the Steelers’ 53-man roster. First things first.

STEPHEN MCFARLANE FROM RENFREW, SCOTLAND:
The Steelers have had three consecutive head coaches each with at least one Super Bowl ring. Does any other team have this claim to fame?

ANSWER: No.

CHUCK WEST FROM BATTLE CREEK, MI:
I was reading on the Internet (we know how accurate the Internet can be) that in 1941, the Pittsburgh NFL franchise that was owned by Art Rooney Sr. and the Philadelphia NFL franchise team were exchanged. Can you confirm this and tell us more?

ANSWER: That’s true, and here are some details: In 1941, neither the Steelers nor the Eagles were profitable franchises, and Art Rooney Sr. was concerned about the future of professional football in Pittsburgh. At the same time, a New York financier named Lex Thompson wanted to buy an NFL team and move it to his hometown of Boston, which had been deserted by the NFL when George Preston Marshall moved the Boston Braves to Washington, D.C., and renamed the franchise the Redskins.

So what happened was that Rooney and Eagles owner Bert Bell became involved in a three-way deal with Thompson that Rooney believed was going to save pro football in Pittsburgh. It called for Rooney selling the Steelers to Thompson, who then would move the franchise to Boston, with Rooney and Bell joining forces and turning the Eagles into a team to be called the Keystoners, who would split their home games between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

The league approved the sale of the Steelers to Thompson, but a group of NFL owners led by Marshall came together to block Thompson’s move to Boston, because Marshall was adamant about not allowing Bell and Rooney to have control over all of Pennsylvania. What ended up happening was that Thompson came to own what had been the Steelers and he was allowed to move them to Philadelphia, which was OK with him because it was geographically closer to Boston, and the Bell-Rooney partnership re-gained control of what had been the Eagles, with the franchise remaining in Pittsburgh.

MATTHEW HETTINGA FROM PITTSBURGH, PA:
With the drafting of Cameron Sutton, a press-man cornerback, the development and speed of Sean Davis and Artie Burns, do you foresee the Steelers developing an ability to play more man-to-man coverage? I loved the improvement of the defense throughout last year, but having effective man-to-man coverage seems like the last step to winning a championship.

ANSWER: That’s the idea – to be able to play man-to-man coverage effectively. In the end, the Steelers want to be able to play multiple styles of coverage and do so effectively, because a steady diet of any one thing is easier for NFL quarterbacks to decipher.

KEVIN MCCLAIN SR. FROM ITHACA, NY:
Was Johnny Unitas a draft choice of the Steelers? If so, what round.

ANSWER: Yes. The Steelers used a ninth-round pick in the 1955 NFL Draft on a Louisville quarterback named John Unitas.

JEFF WENZEL FROM NEW MARKET, MN:
On Asked and Answered Live, have you ever considered having a coach or player help you answer questions. You know, someone who actually knows something about football. (Just kidding). I would love to hear from outside linebackers coach Joey Porter, for example, on what they saw with T.J. Watt vs. other players who were available at No. 30 in the first round.

ANSWER: Having coaches and players answer questions from fans is the purview of Steelers Nation Unite. If you’re not already a member, just go to Steelers.com, click on Fan Zone along the top nav bar, and all of the information you need to become a part of Steelers Nation Unite is right there. It’s free, and then you’ll be eligible to participate in SNU’s Weekly Huddle, which contains coaches, players, and front office people – including President Art Rooney II, General Manager Kevin Colbert, and Coach Mike Tomlin – all taking a turn answering fans’ questions.

JOE FANELLI FROM ALTOONA, PA:
Not so much a question as an observation. On a number of occasions you have mentioned that a judge has set forth your sentence and conditions of parole. After reading some of the questions in the May 8 edition of Asked and Answered Live, I would have to say that it's cruel and unusual punishment. I don't even think murder deserves some of what you have to put up with here. Please keep up the good work, and I really enjoy reading your answers. Thank you.

ANSWER: Thanks you for being a fan of Asked and Answered, and if I ever need a character witness, my lawyer will be in touch.

JIM CHICKOWSKI FROM FORT WAYNE, IN:
How soon will it be until the NFL will allow the players to use marijuana to overcome all their bumps and bruises.

ANSWER: As well as the writers of Asked and Answered.




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