Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: August 9

LATROBE, Pa. – Let's get to it:

BING JACKSON FROM BROOKLYN, CT:
Did Ladarius Green pull a fast one with the ankle injury by not being up-front about it? Did the Steelers know about the surgery? Was this a screw up by the Steelers brass in not accurately assessing how bad that injury was?  Seems like a very bad move now.

ANSWER: This is what General Manager Kevin Colbert told Don Banks of Sports Illustrated last week about Ladarius Green: "He's progressing, but we really thought it would be touch-and-go up to this point, early in camp. The surgery was not a routine cleanup, so we knew it would be a significant amount of time. We'd love to see him out (on the practice field), but we're not in any hurry. Now, where he progresses from here, we'll see. But we thought he could be a PUP candidate for sure when we signed him, and that didn't change our mind about him."

STUART FLECHNER FROM HUDSON, OH:
Why did the Steelers not re-sign Kevin Greene after his three years. He went on to Carolina. Was the problem only money?

ANSWER: I already have dealt with this issue, but I'll give you a pass since the Hall of Fame inductions were just last weekend. The Steelers had picked Jason Gildon in the 1994 draft to play left outside linebacker. By the end of the 1995 season the Steelers believed he was ready to be a starter, and come 1996 Kevin Greene was going to be 34 years old and had played 11 NFL seasons. Nobody could have known that Greene would post 37.5 sacks over the next three seasons, which turned out to his final three in the NFL. And just a note on Gildon: it's not as though he was some bargain-basement alternative, because the guy went on to post 77 sacks for the Steelers, which makes him the franchise's all-time leader in that category.

JAKE LINDGREN FROM SIOUX FALLS, SD:
In your opinion, what is the single greatest moment in Steelers' history.

ANSWER: Easy. The Immaculate Reception.

RON SULLIVAN FROM LOUISVILLE, TN:
What is the latest information on Senquez Golson? I haven't seen any injury updates, living outside of my native Pittsburgh. Also, I never seem to see any information on Doran Grant. Could you shed some light on how these two are doing? I was excited when the Steelers drafted them last season, and then I was excited to think they would be like two bonus defensive backs this season. Now I'm just wondering what's going on.

ANSWER: This is what Coach Mike Tomlin said about Senquez Golson on Aug. 3: "On the injury front, I told you I'd give you an update on Senquez Golson. He has a Lisfranc injury. He's been evaluated and potentially is going to need surgery. When that evaluation and potential surgery take place I'll give you an update in terms of the length of time that he's going to be out. If I do anything other than that at this point it would be speculation. Disappointing for him, but it's as much as part of the game as blocking and tackling. We'll be close to him and encourage him in spite of the circumstance. We'll help him get through it and make the necessary adjustments associated with that."

As for Doran Grant, there's really nothing definitive to report at this time. He has had his moments during practice – both good and bad – and that's to be expected with every young player. It's really going to take a preseason game or two for things to crystallize.

RUSSELL WALKER FROM CATONSVILLE, MD:
With Senquez Golson injured and Sean Davis getting reps in the slot, wouldn't this be the perfect time to move Ryan Shazier to … nah, just messing with you. My real question is why not try Stephon Tuitt or Artie Burns in the slot? There's only one outside cornerback spot available. The other person could play in the slot.

ANSWER: Different skill-sets are required to play outside cornerback and slot cornerback. Sean Davis is a candidate to play the slot, as is William Gay, who has done it successfully for the Steelers in previous seasons. I would imagine that if Davis doesn't earn the role, Gay would be the guy the coaches turn to, and then that would open up an outside spot for maybe Artie Burns opposite Ross Cockrell. Stay tuned.

CLAYTON FULLER FROM WASHINGTON, IL:
I was wondering if you could tell me who were the offensive and defensive coordinators during the 1970s for the Steelers and how long they were there?

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The ladies of Steelers Nation descended on Saint Vincent College for a true practice experience at Women's Training Camp.

ANSWER: During the 1970s, Chuck Noll served as the offensive coordinator. On defense, Bud Carson was the coordinator from 1973-77; George Perles was the coordinator in 1978, and the Woody Widenhofer was the defensive coordinator from 1979-83.**

ROB BECK FROM HARTSVILLE, PA:
I spent last weekend – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at training camp – and running back Brandon Brown-Dukes made some great catches out of the backfield, with nice moves on the linebackers, and he has speed. Is the in-state rookie going to make the team?

ANSWER: If he does those very things you saw him doing in preseason games, we can revisit the issue. I've seen a lot of guys who flashed during the practices before the preseason begins and then fade as the calendar dipped deeper into August.

ROSS HUNT FROM LISBURN, NORTHERN IRELAND:
If the Steelers had won all of their opening games during the 2010 season with Charlie Batch at quarterback, do you think they would have kept playing him as a starter after Ben Roethlisberger returned from his suspension?

ANSWER: Actually, Coach Mike Tomlin planned to start Byron Leftwich at quarterback at the start of the 2010 season, but he was injured during the preseason, and then Tomlin opted for Dennis Dixon. Dixon started the opener against the Falcons – an overtime win for the Steelers – and he completed 18-of-26 for 236 yards, with no touchdowns, one interception, and a rating of 81.6. Dixon then started the second game – at Tennessee – and was largely ineffective. He competed 5-of-11 for 25 yards and a rating of 52.5. Charlie Batch came on and finished that game by completing 4-of-6 for 18 yards and a rating of 70.1, but the Steelers won that game with defense and a special teams touchdown. The following weekend in Tampa, Batch started and competed 12-of-17 for 186 yards, with three touchdowns, two interceptions, and a rating of 106.5, and then the following Sunday against the Ravens he completed 12-of-21 for 141 yards, with no touchdowns, one interception, and a rating of 57.8.

Since Tomlin didn't turn to Batch until Leftwich was injured and Dixon proved ineffective, there is no way Ben Roethlisberger wasn't going to be the starter once he returned. The Steelers got through those first four weeks with a 3-1 record, but they certainly were not winning because of great quarterback play.

JOHN DUNKLE FROM GREENSBURG, PA:
The sports media always refer to St. Vincent College as being located in Latrobe. It is not in Latrobe so many people I know are upset this isn't corrected. Why do feel the media avoids using the correct location?

ANSWER: First of all, it's Saint Vincent College. You don't abbreviate "Saint." Now, I have an assignment for you: Get on the internet and Google "Saint Vincent College mailing address." Then read the answer. Wait, I just did it for you, and this is what was at the top of the page: 300 Fraser Purchase Rd, Latrobe, PA 15650. It's on the internet, and so it has to be true.

MICHAEL TORSIELLO FROM SUMMIT, NJ:
No question here, just an observation: I hold you in the same regard as Antonio Brown, and so, are you happy with your Steelers contract? I don't know your salary, but I can say with assurance that you are vastly underpaid. Any thoughts on holding out for a bigger pay-day?

ANSWER: To paraphrase Antonio Brown, "The Rooney family has really been first-class with me. I would never hold out. That's not a [way to earn a] good reputation." I'm just grateful that the Steelers haven't changed the locks on me after all these years.

DENNY CLEARY FROM LOUISVILLE, KY:
When teams such as the Lions or Bills come to practice at Saint Vincent College, where do they stay? Do they become roommates with people like you?

ANSWER: No, they do not become roommates with people like me, because I have been sentenced to solitary confinement in Benedict Hall. All joking aside, both the Bills and the Lions chose to stay in a Downtown Pittsburgh hotel, because both teams' stays here in Western Pennsylvania would end with preseason games at Heinz Field, and so housing the players closer to that venue made the most sense to them.


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