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Asked and Answered: Game Day Week 13

Posted Dec 4, 2017

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

CINCINNATI – Let’s get to it:

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Steelers will wear their white jerseys for tonight’s game against the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

BOB BLOCHER FROM CARROLLTON, TX:
Not a question, but a thank you to the Steelers, who honor our veterans with so much respect. As a veteran, husband of a vet, brothers are both vets, and two of our children are on active duty, the Steelers really get this right.

ANSWER: Thank all of you for your service.

TAD DANLEY FROM WAKE FOREST, NC:
Which other coaches were interviewed when Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher, and Mike Tomlin were hired?

ANSWER: Before hiring Chuck Noll in January 1969, the Steelers offered the job to Joe Paterno, who was the Penn State coach at the time. Paterno turned them down. The other finalists during the process that ended with the hiring of Bill Cowher were Dave Wannstedt, Kevin Gilbride, and Joe Greene. Before hiring Mike Tomlin, the Steelers also interviewed Ron Rivera, who represented himself well, and the final decision came down to Russ Grimm and Tomlin.

NATHANIEL MYERS FROM ROCKY MOUNT, NC:
The Steelers have had stability when it comes to head coaching. I could be wrong, but I think we have only had three head coaches in the last 40-plus years. Among the late Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher, and Mike Tomlin, who has the best winning percentage, and is it fair to grade who is the best of the three?

ANSWER: There is only one answer to this question of the best coach in franchise history, and it will be the same answer for all time, just as there is only one answer to the question of the best player in Steelers history and that also will be the same answer for all time. Chuck Noll. Joe Greene. Not. Even. Close.

In 23 seasons, Noll’s all-time regular season record was 193-148-1 (.572), his playoff record was 16-8 (.667) and his record in Super Bowls was 4-0 (1.000). In 15 seasons, Bill Cowher’s regular season record was 149-90-1 (.622), his playoff record was 12-9 (.571), and his record in Super Bowls was 1-1 (.500). Through 11 games of 2017, his 11th season, Mike Tomlin’s regular season record is 112-59-0 (.655), his playoff record is 8-6 (.571), and his record in Super Bowls is 1-1 (.500).

TAYVON REED FROM PITTSBURGH, PA:
Do you think Brian Allen would be a more solid corner than Coty Sensabaugh?

ANSWER: Now? No.

ROBERT MAICHROWICZ FROM MEMPHIS, TN:
Do you think the Steelers should play Josh Dobbs in Week 17 if we clinch seeding in the playoffs?

ANSWER: If the Steelers have wrapped up the AFC North title and clinched their seeding in the AFC Playoffs before the regular season finale against the Browns, I believe the starting quarterback for that game would be Landry Jones. You start Landry Jones because he’s the guy who would go into any playoff game if Ben Roethlisberger couldn’t finish.

RUSSELL OBENSTINE FROM ELIZABETHTOWN, PA:
I am curious to know the comparison in field goal statistics between Chris Boswell vs. Shaun Suisham to this point of their respective careers? And is Chris Hubbard a free agent after this year?

ANSWER: Chris Boswell is in the midst of his third professional season – all with the Steelers – and here are his pertinent numbers: overall on field goals, he is 75-of-85 (88.2 percent), and in the critical 30-to-49-yard range, which to me is where NFL placekickers earn their money because offenses must get points after moving the ball into that area of the field, he is 50-of-58 (86.2 percent). Boswell is 83-for-86 (97 percent) on PATs, but for most of his career the line of scrimmage for those has been the 15-yard line, which wasn’t the case during Shaun Suisham’s career.

While Boswell has played in 38 games already and will have played in 43 by the end of this regular season, Suisham played in only 27 over his first three NFL seasons, and he did it for two different teams – Dallas and Washington. On field goals overall, Suisham was 41-of-50 (82 percent); from 30-to-49 yards, he was 20-of-24 (83.3 percent); and he missed just one of his 52 PATs.

And yes, Chris Hubbard can become an unrestricted free agent in March 2018. I hope the Steelers can find a way to re-sign him, because he is a valuable guy in that he’s versatile and also capable of filling in as a starter when needed.

ARIEL GORDON FROM WOODBRIDGE, CT:
Why didn't we call a timeout after we sacked Brett Hundley before our game-winning drive last Sunday?

ANSWER: This is how Mike Tomlin answered when I asked him that question: “I just wanted to see how (the Packers) wanted to play the circumstances. I’m always working a hold on the timeouts, because if we got the ball back I wanted to have at least one, so we could have the full field at our disposal, as opposed to having to work the sidelines. If we have to work the sidelines, when we got the ball back we don’t get that play in to Antonio Brown. As difficult as it was to get the ball in there, if we had to work the sidelines, it would’ve been next to impossible.

“And in that particular circumstance, I thought it was imperative we hold onto those timeouts, or as many of them as we could, so we could have the full field at our disposal in an effort to move the ball down into field goal range, and we didn’t have to run out onto the field in a may-day-like field goal attempt. I knew it was potentially going to be a long field goal, and I didn’t want to add sugar on top with a may-day-like scenario where you had to run the field goal unit on from the sidelines. Those were the two maim reasons why I was really working to hold timeouts.”

TIM HARSHBARGER FROM BLOOMINGTON, IL:
Is there somewhere on the Steelers website where I can see a list of everyone who is in the Hall of Honor? I would kind of like to read up on some of the names who might be less familiar to me.

ANSWER: Go to Steelers.com and place your cursor over the “Team” icon along the top nav bar. That will give you a drop-down box, and under the “History” category, there is a sub-category titled “Hall of Honor.” Click on that, and read away. Click on individual players names for more details on each. Everything is right there.

BRIAN HENSLEY FROM BELMONT, NC:
Would it be correct to say that the Steelers can lose one more game, as long as it’s not to the Patriots, and they will be the No. 1 seed in the AFC Playoffs?

ANSWER: Yes. Under your scenario, the Steelers would finish 13-3 with a win over New England. That loss to the Steelers would mean the Patriots could finish no better than 13-3. Since the first tiebreaker is head-to-head, that would give the Steelers the No. 1 seed.

ADAM VANALLEN FROM DANVILLE, VA:
I noticed during the Ravens-Packers game that when a pass was intercepted in the end zone, the touchback only came out to the 20-yard line, not the 25-yard line like it would with a kickoff or a punt. I'm pretty sure there was no penalty by the Ravens to back it up five yards. So does the 25-yard-line rule only apply to kicking/punting scenarios?

ANSWER: The 25-yard line rule applies only to kickoffs. Not to punts, not to interceptions in the end zone by the defense, or any other time the officials rule a touchback.

DIABLO SAYAYIN FROM CDMX, MEXICO:
In a pass interference penalty, does the yardage count for the receiver and the quarterback?

ANSWER: No. Penalty yardage is not credited to any individual player(s).

JIM RAUCH FROM HOUSTON, TX:
Are team jerseys with the Dan Rooney patch available for sale?

ANSWER: If you go to shop.steelers.com and then click on the “Jerseys” icon at the top, you’ll find your answer.

SWE DE FROM BALI, INDONESIA:
I love how you answer legitimate questions by quoting legitimate sources, ill-legitimate questions with legitimate sarcasm, and stupid questions by referring to previously answered questions with sarcastic answers. My question is, are you aware of the best source (or a good source) to locate sports bars that support Steeler Nation?

ANSWER: Fans can visit the “Hangouts” section at SteelersNationUnite.com for a list of bars and restaurants where fans watch Steelers games. Steelers Nation Unite is free to join and allows fans to stay connected with the team and with each other. To sign up, visit SteelersNationUnite.com.

ROBERT HUTZENBILER FROM WILTON, CT:
Does each team need to bring all their own sideline equipment like headsets, heaters, exercise bike, etc., or is that provided by the home team?

ANSWER: The NFL requires the home team to provide the visiting team with whatever climate control device it is using for that particular game, whether it be fans, or heaters, or heated benches, whatever. Outside of that, headsets and things of that nature … the teams bring their own, because they want them to work properly.

RAY FOXE FROM CHARLOTTE, NC:
Just wanted to know, where is Sean Davis? I didn’t see him playing much; did he even play vs. Green Bay? If he did how many snaps?

ANSWER: And people wonder why I am the way I am. Where is Sean Davis? There were 55 defensive snaps in the game against Green Bay. Sean Davis played all 55 of those snaps, plus eight more on special teams. He finished third on the team that night with five tackles. And I also can tell you that in a game when he is healthy throughout, Davis typically plays 100 percent of the defensive snaps. That’s where he is.

DOUGLAS ENDRES FROM LEAD, SD:
So did you breathe a big sigh of relief when the Chiefs signed Darrelle Revis?

ANSWER: It’ll also be a big day for Asked and Answered when Eli Manning figures out if and where he’s going to play in 2018.




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