Let’s get to it:
GIO CALABRO FROM EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, NJ: Have the Steelers ever had any "futures contract" players make an impact on the field?
ANSWER: Absolutely, and a recent example of a player who signed a futures contract with the Steelers and did just that is Alejandro Villanueva.
TODD ERLENBUSCH FROM, COLORADO SPRINGS: CO: Have the Steelers ever had two 1,000-yard rushers in the same season?
ANSWER: In 1976, Franco Harris rushed for 1,128 yards on 289 carries (3.9 average) and scored 14 touchdowns, and Rocky Bleier rushed for 1,036 yards on 220 carries (4.7 average) and scored five touchdowns. And that was in a 14-game regular season.
RICHARD MILLER FROM RAINSVILLE, AL: If a college player comes out for the draft but doesn't get picked, can he go back to the college and play there the next season?
ANSWER: He cannot.
DANIEL CWYNAR FROM BOULDER, CO: My wife and I are traveling to the Bahamas this month. As far as beach reading is concerned, I have "Dan Rooney: My 75 Years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL" lined up already. Would you recommend any other Steelers literature?
ANSWER: Here are two: “Chuck Noll: His Life’s Work” by Michael MacCambridge, and “Double Yoi” by Myron Cope.
BRYAN BOYKIN FROM DENVER, CO: Has there been any talk of trying Brian Allen back at wide receiver? I know it’s another position switch question, but I thought this one made sense.
ANSWER: Actually, it doesn’t make sense, because Brian Allen didn’t record a single statistic as a wide receiver – no catches, no yards – during his college career at Utah. Allen was a wide receiver during his redshirt season and then also during his freshman season during which he played primarily on special teams. What all that means is Allen hasn’t recorded a receiving stat since his senior year at La Marque High School in Texas when he caught 59 passes for 942 yards and 10 touchdowns. There are a lot of high school receivers who aren’t good enough to play in the NFL, and Brian Allen was a high school receiver who wasn’t good enough to play the position in college.
KEITH MILLER FROM WAYNESVILLE, NC: Last year the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Landry Jones right before we played them and then cut him immediately after the game. Obviously, they were looking for information. What is the proper etiquette for a player to provide information about previous teams?
ANSWER: Etiquette in the NFL? How charmingly naïve.
BUZZ ARTINGER FROM FRISCO, TX: I do not see Joshua Frazier on the roster. Is he still with the Steelers?
ANSWER: Joshua Frazier was the team’s seventh-round draft pick in 2018, and he was waived by the Steelers on Sept. 1. On Dec. 12, Frazier was signed to Detroit’s practice squad. Then on Jan. 9, 2019, Frazier signed with the Birmingham Iron of the AAF, and he is still on that team’s roster.
DAVID REYES FROM SAN JOSE, CA: Do you think the Steelers will offer Le’Veon Bell more money this year?
ANSWER: I believe the Steelers’ best offer to Le’Veon Bell has been made, and rejected.
GARY TREIBLE FROM YORK, PA: Of all the 2019 UFAs, who do you believe the Steelers must (or should) re-sign?
ANSWER: The Steelers have 13 players who could become unrestricted free agents on March 13, and there isn’t a single one who “must” be re-signed, and in fact, the need to re-sign any of them is going to be dependent on the price that would have to be paid because there are no superstars on the list. For example, Tyson Alualu and Anthony Chickillo are important to the depth at defensive line and outside linebacker, respectively, but paying them as more than that only serves to mess up the salary cap. The same argument can be made about Jesse James, L.J. Fort, Coty Sensabaugh, and Eli Rogers, because a case can be made for each individual as valuable within a specific role, but Dan Rooney always contended that the worst mistake a team can make with respect to the salary cap is to overpay role players.