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Asked and Answered: Game Day Week 7

Posted Oct 22, 2017

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

Let’s get to it:

AARON KNEZEVICH FROM CHANDLER, AZ:
While watching a player be interviewed in the locker room, I noticed that T.J. Watt’s locker was between Ramon Foster’s and Ben Roethlisberger’s, which seemed a little odd given their positions. I was wondering if you could please elaborate on how the locker positions are decided, and if they’re set for the year.

ANSWER: I’ll let Mike Tomlin handle the explanation: “It’s somewhat mystical. There is no definitive procedure. Often times, it’s done by request. For instance, this year Ben Roethlisberger requested that T.J. Watt and James Conner have lockers next to his, and so they do. He gets an opportunity to interact with those young people and maybe positively affect their growth and development as players and as men. Often, it’s stories such as that one that comprise the configuration of our daily locker room. It’s not by position. In fact, we’re thoughtfully non-rhythmic. It’s really a collection of stories like the one I just told you.”

HOWARD ASHCRAFT FROM LANSING, MI:
Why is it that on some penalties after a touchdown the penalty yards are assessed on the kickoff and not the extra point? Is that the defensive teams choice?

ANSWER: I don’t know exactly what penalties you are referencing, but the enforcement of those is by rule.

GEORGE JORDAN FROM HONOLULU, HI:
Aloha! My question is about Joe Haden. I'm no expert, but how is he looking? It's hard to see him on camera during regular broadcasts, but I want to know your opinion on his fluidity and cohesiveness with the defense now that he's better acclimated.

ANSWER: Honestly, I don’t know anything about fluidity or cohesiveness when it comes to the scheme of the defense. But what I do know is that opposing quarterbacks are not throwing the football to Joe Haden’s side of the field very often at all. That must mean the receivers over there aren’t open, which means he is doing his job.

JAMES GARVIN FROM AIKEN, SC:
Remember Joe Pisarcik? He fumbled a victory formation snap and it was returned the other way for a touchdown. Strange things can happen.

ANSWER: You are incorrect. The fumble on the play that is now known as the Miracle at the Meadowlands came when Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik took that fateful snap and, instead of taking a knee, he turned and attempted to hand the ball off to fullback Larry Csonka. That’s when the fumble occurred, which Herman Edwards scooped up and ran it 26 yards for the game-winning touchdown.

TIM DROZINSKI FROM JUPITER, FL:
When it comes to the rules/algorithms for the league creating schedules each year, are there any specific prohibitions on division rivals facing each other in back-to-back games (i.e., Pittsburgh at Baltimore in Week 8, and then Baltimore at Pittsburgh in Week 9)? Wouldn't a "home-and-home" series be exciting once in a while?

ANSWER: When making up the annual schedule, I believe “fair” is much more of a consideration than “exciting.” I cannot remember that home-and-home scenario ever playing out, but in 2012 it came close. The Steelers hosted the Ravens on Nov. 18 and then traveled to Baltimore for the second game of the annual home-and-home on Dec. 2. The teams split the games, each winning on the other’s home field, and I also remember Steelers President Art Rooney II not being particularly happy with the closeness of the games against a division rival.

ADAM CROMWELL FROM UNIONTOWN, PA:
I've noticed a trend in the Steelers drafting history, in that we always seem to find great running back talent in the draft, such as Bill Dudley, John Henry Johnson, and Franco Harris, just to name a few. I've been wondering if this was something the Steelers have always been good at or if it's just a coincidence.

ANSWER: The Steelers have been consistently good at drafting players over the last 50 years, and so there are a lot of examples of the trend you say you noticed. How about their drafting of wide receivers (Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, Frank Lewis, Louis Lipps, Hines Ward, Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown), or linebackers (Andy Russell, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert, Greg Lloyd, Joey Porter, Jason Gilson)? The Steelers are a franchise that believes in using the draft as its primary method of building a roster, and the franchise also has won more Lombardi trophies than any other. For those two things to be true, the Steelers would have to be good at drafting, and not just one position.

TED GARY FROM MAHWAH, NJ:
In the Oct. 19 edition, in response to a question about the scout team you mention their primary purpose is to run packages/plays “based on a scouting report.” Who is responsible for putting together the scouting report? And when do these coaches begin working on the scouting report for the upcoming week's game?

ANSWER: The advance scouting of upcoming opponents is handled by the personnel department, and it’s presented to the team during the week leading up to that particular game.

BRENT BROWN JR. FROM STONE MOUNTAIN, GA
I know a lot of practice time during the regular season is dedicated to preparing for the next opponent. How much time do players get to work on improving their individual skills during the regular season?

ANSWER: During every practice session – and this includes training camp, OTAs, regular season, everything – there are one or two periods devoted to individual drills for each of the position groups. You also can find players working on the development of individual skills during the special teams period if they’re not involved in special teams, with quarterbacks and offensive linemen being examples.

DAVID NELMES FROM MONMOUTHSHIRE, WALES:
Do the Steelers have a favorite end of the stadium to attack and if so, why?

ANSWER: With the exception of weather-related issues, such as wind or bright sun that could be a factor on a specific day, no.

MIKE PETITT FROM MILWAUKEE, WI:
Do players receive a portion of their jersey sales?

ANSWER: Retired players, yes. Active players, the revenue goes to the NFLPA.

SAALIH MUHAMMAD FROM STEUBENVILLE, OH:
What color jerseys are the Pittsburgh Steelers wearing vs. Cincinnati?

ANSWER: The Steelers always wear their black jerseys for home games.

BRIAN GREEN FROM PORTER, OK:
I just wanted to thank you for stopping and saying hi to me and my family during the Steelers Nation Unite event in Kansas City that was held at Callahan’s on your way back to the stage. We appreciate everything you have and continue to do for Steelers Nation.

ANSWER: You’re very welcome. It was a fun night.

JAMIE FAUSNAUGH FROM KENNESAW, GA:
You wrote, “There's no such thing as always right.” Oh yeah? Go ask my ex-wife.

ANSWER: I respectfully suggest that could be why she is your ex-wife.

TIM RICOHERMOSO FROM CHESAPEAKE, VA:
After Ben Roethlisberger was quoted in his postgame interview in Kansas City as saying, "This ol' cowboy still has got a little something left in him," Ian Rapoport tweeted, "Ben Roethlisberger is demanding to be traded to Dallas." Is there any truth to this rumor?

ANSWER: Ian who?




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