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Asked and Answered: Nov. 7

Posted Nov 7, 2017

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

Let’s get to it:

BRIAN MIKULSKI FROM MATAMORAS, PA:
For all the lamenting by never-happy fans, we sit nicely at 6-2 at the break. Antonio Brown leads all receivers with 835 receiving yards, and Le’Veon Bell is third in rushing yards with 760 behind Kareem Hunt and Ezekiel Elliott after a very slow start. Do you think this will continue and both players have a chance to win their respective yardage titles? Have two players from the same team ever accomplished this in the same season?

ANSWER: The first condition would be for both Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell to stay healthy, and if that happens I believe there is a very good chance both of them could finish atop the league in their respective yardage categories. As of right now, Bell is 40 yards behind Kareem Hunt, but the Chiefs have played nine games and the Steelers only played eight; and even though Bell also is 23 yards behind Elliott, I have to believe the six-game suspension will kick in at some point once the appeals process is complete.

I don’t know whether this is the most recent time it happened, but in 1991, Emmitt Smith led the NFL in rushing yards with 1,563 (4.3 average), and Michael Irvin led the NFL in receiving yards with 1,523 yards that came on 93 receptions.

DAVE ANDERSON FROM IDAHO FALLS, ID
I know this isn't really a Steelers question, but in the Oct. 31 Asked and Answered, you said the CBA mandated four days off during a team’s bye week. With Aaron Rodgers going down just before Green Bay’s bye, can Brett Hundley gather a couple of receivers and work out away from the facility, or do they have to totally walk away from football activities to meet the letter of the agreement?

ANSWER: The rule is that teams must give the players four days off during the week of their bye. What the players might choose to do on their own is a different issue.

BILL PALAICH FROM CLERMONT, FL:
Have you been as disappointed as I have been in our tight end acquisition so far? Also, do you feel Bud Dupree has underwhelmed this season? I was hoping for more of an injury-free breakout season from him but T.J. Watt has seemed to have taken some of that thunder.

ANSWER: What has been holding Vance McDonald – the tight end acquisition – back, in my mind, has been health. If McDonald can stay healthy, I think he’ll establish himself as the most complete tight end on the Steelers’ roster. As for Bud Dupree, I did expect him to have more than three sacks to this point of the season, but there’s still a lot of football to be played.

DAVE LUDWIG FROM SAN ANTONIO, TX:
What's the longest pass play in Steelers history? Is it that 97-yard Ben Roethlisberger to JuJu Smith-Schuster play against the Detroit Lions on Oct. 29? I remember a real long one Dwight Stone hauled in from Bubby Brister back in the 1980s.

ANSWER: The longest pass play in Steelers history is the 97-yard catch-and-run from Ben Roethlisberger to JuJu Smith-Schuster that provided the decisive points in the 20-15 victory over the Detroit Lions on Oct. 29. That play replaced the 95-yard Roethlisberger-to-Mike Wallace touchdown that came in a game against the Cardinals in Arizona on Oct. 23, 2011. The play you reference was a 90-yard completion from Bubby Brister to Dwight Stone that came in a 34-17 win over the Broncos in Denver on Oct. 14, 1990. Stone did not score on the play, and in fact he lost his bearings and ran out of bounds on his own.

BILL COPLEY FROM DINGESS, WV:
I thought a quarterback in his rookie season, maybe Mark Malone, had the longest reception in Steelers history. Could be wrong, usually am, but did he?

ANSWER: Mark Malone was the Steelers’ first round pick in the 1980 NFL Draft, and when the team was hit with injuries at the wide receiver position midway through the 1981 season, Malone was enlisted to help out there. At the time, Malone had little if anything to do as the No. 3 quarterback behind Terry Bradshaw and Cliff Stoudt, and that, coupled with his reputation as a premier all-around athlete, made him a prime candidate as a fill-in. In a game against the Seahawks in Seattle, Malone caught a 90-yard touchdown pass from Bradshaw in a 24-21 loss. In terms of franchise history, Malone’s 90-yard reception was erased along with Dwight Stone’s when Ben Roethlisberger hooked up with Mike Wallace for that 95-yarder in 2011.

SAM LE TISSIER FROM GUERNSEY, UK:
When the offense takes a knee in victory formation, does that count towards the quarterback’s passing statistics? If so, why doesn’t the backup quarterback go in for those last few downs?

ANSWER: With a team in victory formation, the most essential thing to accomplish is a clean center-quarterback exchange so the clock can run out. At that point statistics don’t matter, and that’s why there is no thought given to substituting a backup quarterback to preserve the starter’s statistics. And anyway, the statistics impacted by a quarterback taking a knee are his rushing statistics, which nobody in the NFL cares about anyway.

JASON WOOD FROM LITCHFIELD, IL:
Along with Mike Hilton, Tyson Alualu is rapidly becoming one of my favorite unsung heroes of the 2017 Steelers. How is his last name actually pronounced?

ANSWER: AH-loo AH-loo

AARON VANNATTER FROM LOGAN, WV:
I’m currently 16. I was wondering if the Steelers have any rules against me buying a ticket for myself and going solo to the game.

ANSWER: There are no rules prohibiting a 16-year-old from attending a game at Heinz Field by himself.

ROBERT TUCKER FROM MUNNSVILLE, NY:
If Cam Sutton were to finish the year on injured reserve, can he continue to practice with the team? If he is activated can he after a day be put on the practice squad, or is that too risky?

ANSWER: Players on the injured reserve list cannot practice with the team, and so if Cam Sutton goes back on injured reserve after his 21-day practice window expires he wouldn’t be able to practice through the rest of the 2017 season. For Sutton, or any other player, to get from injured reserve onto the practice squad, he would first have to put on the 53-man roster and then exposed to waivers, and there is no way he wouldn’t get claimed.

TRAVIS NAKAMURA FROM KAHULUI, HI:
When a defensive player pushes the ball carrier out of bounds, does he get credited with a tackle?

ANSWER: Yes.

GUSTAVO ZAPIAIN FROM GATINEAU, QC, CANADA:
If a Steelers player, say Hines Ward or Alan Faneca, gets inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is he automatically inducted into the Steelers Hall of Honor?

ANSWER: It’s not an automatic, but I’m fairly certain one would follow the other in a direct fashion.




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