Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: Dec. 4

Let's get to it:

Have the Steelers ever thought about or had cheerleaders?


The best photos of TE Ladarius Green from the 2016 season.

ANSWER: In fact, the Steelers were the first NFL team to feature cheerleaders, and the squad known as the Steelerettes were on the sideline for games at Forbes Field and Pitt Stadium from 1961-69. All members of the Steelerettes were students at what then was called Robert Morris Junior College. It was located in Pittsburgh, and an administrator at the school named William Day convinced the Steelers that cheerleaders could add to the fan experience and maybe help ticket sales. There were tryouts, and the Steelerettes were required to maintain a 2.0 GPA in school in order to remain on the squad. The cheerleading squad was disbanded after the 1969 season, and the Steelers moved into Three Rivers Stadium for the 1970 season.**

To defer or not to defer, that is the question. It seems to me that receiving the opening kickoff and therefore having a chance to score first and then make the opponent play catch-up is a better strategy than receiving the second half kickoff. Am I correct that, barring a onside kick, a fumbled kick, or blocked kick returned for a touchdown, the team that receives the opening kickoff will have the same number or one more offensive drives than the team that kicks off? It seems to me the effect of that one extra drive could be huge. It's said that the opening drive of the second half often determines the flow of that half, but I'd rather set the tempo of the game on the very first drive. Your thoughts?

ANSWER: My thoughts are that you're trying to disguise your opinion as a question. Under your scenario, all possessions are created equal, and maybe if it's a video game that could be accurate, but it's not a video game. It's played and coached and officiated by flesh and blood human beings, and so I believe there can be merits to doing it either way – taking the ball first, or deferring the choice until the start of the second half. It's knowing your team that's most important.

Some time ago, the Steelers unveiled their Thursday night color rush jerseys. Their only Thursday game was an away game on Thanksgiving. Am I wrong, or are we not going to see those jerseys this year?


ANSWER: You are wrong, and you also haven't been paying very close attention in class for some time now. The Steelers will wear their color rush jerseys for the Christmas Day game against the Baltimore Ravens. That was announced months ago. In fact, if you go to right now, and proceed into the Jersey category, you can purchase customized color rush jerseys direct from the team.**

If we win out we would have a seven-game winning streak. What is the longest winning streak under Mike Tomlin?

ANSWER: Since Mike Tomlin was hired in 2007, the Steelers' longest winning streak has been five games. They did it twice – in 2008 and in 2009.

I heard there's a chance Steelers vs. Bengals may be flexed out of the Sunday night time slot. If they do bump it how early in the week does the NFL make it public?

ANSWER: Good ears. There in fact is a chance the Steelers at Bengals game on Sunday, Dec. 18 will be flexed out of the 8:30 p.m. time slot and into the 1 p.m. time slot. The NFL releases any and all time changes to games 13 days before the date of those games, with the exception being the final weekend of the regular season when it can hold off on that decision until six days before that weekend's games. So in short, we'll know tomorrow (Dec. 5) if the Steelers at Bengals game is to be flexed.

If the cost was reasonable, say a third-round pick, would you trade for any player from one of the teams at the bottom of the standings, i.e., Jamie Collins?

ANSWER: Can't do it. The NFL trading deadline was at 4 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 1.

My question is regarding the current state of the receiving corps. I understand the Steelers are working in Rogers/Hamilton and Green/Coates are coming along. But if good teams double Antonio Brown and stack the box for Le'Veon Bell it could be trouble. Is there another receiver the Steelers might have their eyes on? Maybe former Steelers like Nate Washington or Lance Moore?

ANSWER: The solutions to whatever issues the Steelers have are going to have to be found within their own locker room. Nate Washington was cut by New England back in August and hasn't played since. He's 33. Lance Moore didn't fit in when he was here the last time. There are no trades to be made, no signings, no magic dust. The players you mention are the ones who will have to do it if its going to get done.

The Steelers grant the wish of a young fan from Sinking Spring, PA.

I read where you have said there is no such thing as a three-player sack. I specifically remember a game against the Titans a few years ago where three players got to Vince Young, one being William Gay and sent him into a back flip. How would that sack have been credited?

ANSWER: I cannot believe I'm actually encouraging this with an answer, but it's the Christmas season and so consider this your present. Vince Young quarterbacked the Titans against the Steelers just one time, and that was on Sept. 19, 2010 in Nashville. Young was sacked twice, and James Harrison was credited with the solo sack each time. Listen to me when I tell you that there is no such thing as a three-man sack in NFL statistics. It doesn't matter what you think you "specifically remember."

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