Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: Game Day Week 1

Let's get to it:

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NOTE: Starting with this installment, there will be a third Asked and Answered each week during the season, and the questions chosen will be centered around that week's game. So if you have any questions related to game day or that week's opponent, submit them in the usual way and then look for future installments of "Asked and Answered: Game Day."**

MARCUS ORONA FROM OLYMPIA, WA:
What color jersey will the Steelers be wearing tonight in Washington against the Redskins?

ANSWER: The Steelers will wear white jerseys in tonight's game against the Redskins. Home teams get to choose which color they want to wear, and the Redskins informed the Steelers that they would be wearing their burgundy jerseys for this game.

JADON JONES FROM INDIANAPOLIS, IN:
Let's say Josh Norman locks up Antonio Brown in the first game of the season. If he does, do you think Markus Wheaton can have a repeat performance of what he did in Seattle last year when Sherman locked up Brown?

ANSWER: Markus Wheaton wasn't able to practice all week leading up to tonight's game against the Redskins at FedEx Field, and he was ruled out officially on Saturday. That means it will have to be someone else who steps up in the way I believe you are suggesting, but I wouldn't be so sure that "Josh Norman locks up Antonio Brown." All due respect to Norman, a first-team All-Pro cornerback, but with Ben Roethlisberger playing as he is right now and with the way the game is officiated nobody on this planet – except Richard Sherman when the officials are allowing him to be exceptionally grabby beyond the 5-yard chuck zone – can line up on Antonio Brown one-on-one all over the field. Personally, I hope the Redskins try it, and I am guessing there are some people in the Steelers locker room who are hoping they try it, too.

ANDREW SCHEIDT FROM WERNERSVILLE, PA:
As the Steelers prepare to open their season on a Monday night, I find myself feeling a little anxious. Perhaps it's my own misconception, but I feel like the Steelers seem to struggle with Monday and Sunday night games. What's their record for these games under Mike Tomlin?

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The Steelers headed to Washington to kick off the 2016 regular season against the Washington Redskins. Travel gallery presented by Bose.

ANSWER: Since Mike Tomlin was hired in 2007, the Steelers are 10-2 on Monday nights, 13-8 on Sunday nights, and 5-6 on Thursday nights. Digging a little deeper into these numbers, the big difference comes in the site of the game. Both of the Steelers' losses on Mondays came on the road, four of their eight losses on Sundays came on the road, and four of their six losses on Thursdays came on the road. The road team is at a distinct disadvantage on Thursday nights, because not only is it a short week of preparation, but because the road team must be on site the day before that means it's even a shorter week for the visitors.**

ROBERT LEVENTRY FROM HAMILTON, OH:
Who do think will return punts and kickoffs for the Steelers to start the season at Washington?

ANSWER: I would have Antonio Brown as the punt returner, even though Eli Rogers handled the job throughout the preseason. I would have Brown back there because these games count, and I just believe it's silly not to use a weapon when he's available to the team. For kickoffs, I believe it will be Sammie Coates, and if Justin Gilbert is active for this game, we might see him back there, too.

DENNIS DEAO FROM GINTER, PA:
When a player gets suspended without pay, what happens to the game check? Does the owner keep it? Does the league get it?

ANSWER: For players suspended without pay, their game checks go back into the individual team's salary cap pool.

JJ BURFORD FROM LAWTON, OK:
On a non-returned kickoff that goes into the end zone, the ball comes out to the 25-yard line. What about a punt caught in the end zone or going through the end zone?

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ANSWER: On all touchbacks, except for those on kickoffs, the ball is placed at the 20-yard line. The move to the 25-yard line was instituted as an extra incentive to reduce the number of kickoff returns, which the league believes is a dangerous play.**

PAUL NYGREN FROM ANKENY, IA:
For Steelers home games do players stay at their home the night before or stay with  team somewhere? How about road games?

ANSWER: Both at home and on the road, players stay in a hotel as a team. They get to the hotel the afternoon before the game. There are meetings, meals, and then a curfew, usually at 11 p.m. the night before.

MICHAEL ROBERTS FROM CECILIA, KY:
How do you feel about our depth on defense this year?

ANSWER: My opinion on the depth this year is the same as it is on the depth every year: the hope is that the Steelers never have to get around to test it. I understand that isn't a realistic expectation, but that's how I look at it. But making an attempt to answer, compared to 2015, the depth along the defensive line has improved significantly; at linebacker, it's very good inside but took a hit outside when Bud Dupree  had to go on injured reserve; at cornerback it was helped significantly by the addition of Justin Gilbert; and at safety, let's just say I hope the starters can stay healthy.


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