Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: Aug. 22

Let's get to it:

I haven't heard that much about Jesse James this offseason. Do you expect him to contribute more to the offense this year?

ANSWER: The depth chart at tight end hasn't changed at all since the team parted ways with Ladarius Green. Jesse James isn't going to threaten to make the Pro Bowl anytime soon, but there has been no serious challenge to his position as a starter either. If the Steelers had hopes Xavier Grimble would find a way to tap his potential into more consistent play, that hasn't happened and so the depth chart at tight end has remained unchanged through the duration of the offseason and to this point in the preseason process. On an offense that includes the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell, and Martavis Bryant, the tight end was going to be a complementary piece regardless.

Is there any way we can eliminate the "NFLHDTV.COM" and other ads in the comments sections on It's getting to the point where reading through all that garbage is annoying and tedious. Makes it not worth the time to leave a comment.

ANSWER: I passed along your concern, and what I was told was that the only thing that we can control is whether to display this Facebook commenting section within an article template or not. Moving forward, someone on staff will be going through the comment sections and marking as spam those posts that are spam, and then reporting them to Facebook. Unfortunately, there isn't much else that can be done. And while this probably doesn't do much to make you feel all that much better, but this is an issue facing many NFL team websites, with the Seahawks and Patriots joining the Steelers as the teams most affected. The NFL currently is working with Facebook for a way to remedy the situation, but the spammers are professionals, too.

Is it just me, or does this Steelers team look great in terms of depth? And if so, doesn't it harder on the coaches when it comes to trimming the roster?

ANSWER: I don't have a way of definitively judging this roster's depth as opposed to recent rosters, but one of the ways roster depth can be judged is the result of preseason games. The result of preseason games is used to gauge roster depth because those games typically are decided the by the respective teams' backups. The Steelers are 2-0 this preseason, the first time the team has won its first two preseason games since 2010.

You answered a question about the duplication of numbers in preseason being a result of some numbers being taken out of circulation. Do you know what numbers those are?

ANSWER: Here are the jersey numbers that haven't been assigned in some time: 12, 32, 36, 52, 58, 59, 63, 70 (retired), and 75 (retired). Also, No. 43 hasn't been issued since Troy Polamalu's final season in 2014, and No. 86 hasn't been issued since Hines Ward's final season in 2011.

With Le'Veon Bell not having signed his tender, I assume he is not under contract? With his past suspensions, does he still have to be in the protocol for random drug testing under the league rules since technically he is not under contract? Also if he gets injured seriously before signing his tender, what are the ramifications if the Steelers revoke his tender? My guess is he doesn't get paid unless he has an insurance policy?

ANSWER: You are correct in your assumption that since Le'Veon Bell hasn't signed his franchise tender, he isn't under contract for the purposes of practicing or playing in games. But because he did receive a franchise tender from the Steelers, the NFL still considers him part of the league, which means he still is subject to the terms of the NFL drug policy. In other words, Bell remains subject to random testing.

Finally, if Bell were to be injured before signing his tender, the Steelers would be under no obligation to pay him anything.

I am hardly a man who would know, but I get the feeling that Le'Veon Bell will play under the franchise tag this year, get tagged again next year perhaps without even an offer and will not be with the Steelers in 2019. What say you?

ANSWER: I don't even have an idea what I'm going to have for dinner tomorrow, let alone what Le'Veon Bell's status in 2019 is going to be. In professional sports, two years is a lifetime.

Take a look at the best photos from the Week 2 Preseason matchup against the Falcons. The Steelers defeated the Falcons 17-13.

Bart Houston has had two productive preseason games (in limited playing time late in the games). What do you see as his best case scenario coming out of this training camp?

ANSWER: Through the first two preseason games, Bart Houston has completed 7-of-16 for 48 yards, with one touchdown, one interception, and passer rating of 45.8. No disrespect to Houston, but I wouldn't categorize those numbers as being "productive." I believe the best to be said about Houston through the first two preseason games is that he hasn't shown that he doesn't belong, if that makes any sense. Realistically, barring injury, there is no place for him on the Steelers 53-man roster, because the team will keep only three quarterbacks, and those three will be Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, and Joshua Dobbs. Keeping a quarterback on the practice squad makes no sense, because once the regular season begins, there is barely any work for the No. 2 quarterback, and there's none at all for No. 3. Maybe a team in need of a quarterback because of injuries, takes a flier on Houston.

Let's just pretend that the Steelers win the Super Bowl this season. As Ben Roethlisberger is hoisting the Lombardi Trophy he announces his retirement. What are the financial ramifications to both him and the Steelers?

ANSWER: According to the contract figures on, the Steelers would be assessed $12.4 million on their salary cap for the leftover signing bonus for 2018-19, and Ben Roethlisberger would not collect the $34 million in salary and roster bonuses he was due for those two seasons.

Just wondering why these "ridiculous questions you're tired of hearing about" are even posted?? Replace them or leave them out if you're that sick of it.

ANSWER: Because Asked and Answered also is about entertaining readers. See the next couple of submissions.

I just wanted to give you kudos for the way you handle questions in Asked and Answered. Some of the questions are pretty ridiculous, and I get a huge laugh from some of your answers. Great job and thank you for what you do to educate us about our beloved Steelers.

Love this forum. Love your "to the point" answers whether it be on point or sarcasm. When is "Agree to Disagree" going to start back up?

ANSWER: Agree to Disagree is due to return for the regular season. Remember, I'm right; he's wrong.

Missi Matthews looked good in her NFL Network appearances. Are you about to lose her soon? Congratulate her on behalf of International Steelers Nation.

ANSWER: I'm way ahead of you. I had it written into Missi's contract that she's not allowed to leave until I retire, or die.

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