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Asked and Answered: Game Day Week 15

Posted Dec 17, 2017

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

Let’s get to it:

KYLE WILSON FROM CONWAY, PA:
Why wasn't the Patriots game moved to Sunday night? Seems like a game this caliber should be under the lights in prime time.

ANSWER: In the current television contract that the NFL has with its broadcast partners, you should remember that CBS and FOX also write some very big checks for rights fees, and as a concession to that, the NFL allows each of those networks to “protect” certain games from being flexed out of their original time slots. Almost a month ago, CBS protected Patriots at Steelers, and so that’s why the game will air at 4:25 p.m. on Sunday, just as it was scheduled originally.

JOHN MARTHALER FROM ERIE, PA:
In the closing minutes of the Ravens game, a catch by a Raven receiver was ruled incomplete because the receiver had stepped out of bounds prior to the catch. If this were the case, why was there not a penalty for an illegal touch?

ANSWER: The penalty for illegal touching is loss of down, which ends up being the same result as the ruling of an incomplete pass.

NICK MITCHELL FROM GLEN-LYON, PA:
I live about five hours away from Heinz Field on the other side of Pennsylvania. If I got in my car one early morning, and we drove to the game on Sunday, are there still tickets for sale at Heinz Field? Do they sell out all home games? I most likely will have a few youngsters with me, too, so we might need four or five seats. Also can I buy them a hat, or can we take photos at the game? I and my group never have seen an NFL game live or been to such events.

ANSWER: Steelers games are sold out on a season ticket basis, and so driving five hours with the idea of walking up to a ticket window and buying four or five seats together at face value is delusional. Based on the size of your traveling party, my suggestion would be to try to find affordable tickets on the secondary market, i.e., NFL Ticket Exchange, but then you’re going to have to be very flexible as to which opponent you want to see. As to your other questions, there are souvenirs sold throughout Heinz Field, and still photography is permitted.

BILL COLBERT from FRANKLIN SQUARE, NY:
The last three Steelers teams to play in the Super Bowl teams had great defenses, in particular, very tough against the run. I always felt this started with Casey Hampton. What do you think his chances are of making the Hall of Fame?

ANSWER: Casey Hampton was an integral part of those defenses and those teams overall, but he has virtually no chance to be voted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Run-stuffing nose tackles just don’t have the statistics to attract the attention of the voters.

NED GRIFFITH FROM VIRGINIA BEACH, VA:
Am I the only one noticing that our field goal offensive line unit is essentially ignoring the kick block attempt from the right side? We have already had one kick blocked this year, and I bet if you go back and look at the tapes the rusher from the left defensive end side has gotten to within a few inches of blocking the kick many more times. I wouldn't be surprised if the Patriots exploit it and block a kick this afternoon.

ANSWER: In the NFL, kicks are not blocked by guys coming off the edge unless there is a problem with the snap-hold process. That’s why the blocking always concentrates on the pressure from the inside. And the kick the Steelers had blocked this year did not come as a result of pressure off the edge. It was a missed assignment in the interior.

ZEKE PORTA FROM LOUISVILLE, KY:
I thought Jordan Dangerfield would make the team before he got injured during the preseason process. Now that J.J. Wilcox is here, any chance Dangerfield gets placed on the active roster, or do you think the roster is pretty set as long as there are no injuries?

ANSWER: If J.J. Wilcox doesn’t quit committing penalties on special teams, Jordan Dangerfield just might get moved onto the active roster.

ANDREW KERR FROM GRASS VALLEY, CA:
After the article on Si.com in which Artie Burns said that he believes he has CTE, do you think it’s the league’s responsibility, after his public admission, to have him tested and if he has it, suspend him from playing? Is this strictly on Artie? If he knows he has it now and playing makes it worse, is the league financially responsible in his retirement?

ANSWER: CTE cannot be diagnosed in living people. It only can be diagnosed post-mortem.

KYLE MILLS FROM MIMS, FL:
In reference to the killer Bs – Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown – don’t you think it’s about time we include Chris Boswell?

ANSWER: You’d get no argument from me.

ADAM MURRAY FROM LOUISVILLE, OH:
Does it make me a bad person if I am hoping that even if the Steelers don’t NEED to beat the Browns in the last game of the regular season that they still do, especially if the Browns are 0-15 at that point? As a Steelers fan born and raised in pumpkin-head-land, I would love to see Pittsburgh put that last nail into the Browns’ winless season coffin.

ANSWER: In my completely unbiased opinion, that does not make you a bad person. It just makes you a Steelers fan who lives close to Cleveland.

TAMMY WICHTERMAN FROM SARDIS, OH:
Do you have an address to send cards to Ryan Shazier?

ANSWER: I have published this before, but here it is again: 3400 S. Water Street, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15203.

MARK SIMES FROM ELKHORN, WI:
I was just wondering if you could direct these people with their lame-brained ideas of “position switches” to submit these epiphanies to the opposing teams instead? I'm sure Bill Belichick, for one, would welcome their stellar advice.

ANSWER: Good one. And I bet 50 cents he would be even more sarcastic and dismissive than me.




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