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Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: Jan. 26

Let's get to it:

When a player replaces another player on the Pro Bowl roster, is he then considered an All-Pro? Case in point, Ryan Shazier who wasn't selected at first replacing C.J. Mosley.


ANSWER: A player who replaces another player on the Pro Bowl roster becomes a Pro Bowl player. To me, that is different from an All-Pro player. There are many media outlets that use the designation All-Pro for any player who makes it to the Pro Bowl, but in reality those are two very different honors.**

A Pro Bowl player is anyone who is voted to the Pro Bowl or who appears in a Pro Bowl as a replacement for another player who declined the invitation. To use this year's Pro Bowl as an example, there were 44 players on the AFC Pro Bowl roster, and a similar number for the NFC. That's about 88 players honored, plus all of the replacements.

By contrast, there were 28 players voted first-team All-Pro this season – offense, defense, and special teams combined – and there are no replacements. On a Pro Bowl roster, there are three quarterbacks selected per conference; on the All-Pro team, there is one quarterback selected. Period. Clearly, it is a much more significant honor to be voted to the All-Pro team than it is to make the Pro Bowl.

Would you pay Le'Veon Bell?

ANSWER: If I were the decision-maker, I want Le'Veon Bell on the team. If a long-term contract can be negotiated that's good for both sides, great. If not, I use the franchise tag on him to keep him for 2017.

After a really good season, from a 4-5 record after nine games of the regular season to a spot in the AFC Championship Game, Mike Tomlin stamped his image as a good, not great, coach. Will the Steelers gamble in the offseason to add either a defensive back or a wide receiver in an "all-in" attempt to reach the Super Bowl? Ben Roethlisberger's window of being an elite quarterback can't have many years left.

ANSWER: Your characterization of the quality of the Steelers' 2016 season, and your assessment of Mike Tomlin, are your opinions. As for the idea of the team going "all-in" to sign somebody in the belief it's "one player away" is a concept that history has shown to be false. One of the most recent examples happened when the Vikings believed they were a running back away from being a Super Bowl team, and they went "all-in" to trade for Herschel Walker. The Vikings never sniffed a championship after making that trade, and after making that trade, the Cowboys used the bounty of draft picks acquired in it to build the foundation for a team that won three Super Bowls in the 1990s.

Do you have any concerns about Antonio Brown's future in Pittsburgh? Seems like he still may be too worried about personal stats and being in the spotlight.

ANSWER: I would say Antonio Brown's long-term future with the Steelers is up in the air right now. Re-signing him would require a significant financial commitment on the part of the Steelers, and I believe before that happens management is going to require some assurance that the shenanigans are going to stop.

In your opinion, what is an immediate need in the draft?

ANSWER: A playmaking wide receiver, a backup running back, some help for the pass rush. Those are three. Maybe one of those is solved via free agency, and maybe more needs become apparent as the offseason progresses. By the way, do you know Robert Donaldson?

Although, the AFC Championship Game did not proceed as I wanted and was not even close, I realize that the coaches do not play and it's up to the players to execute. Although we did make mistakes and had issues, such as dropped balls. etc., it appeared that New England had our number dialed in and we were just plain outcoached. Would you agree, or do you believe that it was purely lack of execution of the game plan?

ANSWER: I believe it was some of both in terms of assigning responsibility. The call on the long pass to Sammie Coates on third-and-1 on the Steelers' first possession was fine for these reasons: Coates had looked good throughout the week in practice leading up to that game in terms of catching the football; the Steelers were going to need to score at least in the high-20s to have a chance to win, and a quick early touchdown gets you off to a good start; and making that play gives Coates confidence, and gives the Patriots a worry they didn't expect to have. It had a chance to set a tone, but he dropped the well-thrown ball, which is poor execution.

But I also thought the Steelers had issues getting the defensive calls from the sideline to the field in a timely fashion, which put the players is a tough spot with the Patriots running their version of a hurry-up offense. Something like that is on the coaches.

I'm sure there are more examples of each category, but my opinion is that it wasn't just one thing.

I agree with most everything you say or write. With that said, what should be done with Ladarius Green to help the organization? Keep him? Trade him? Cut him? By the way, I'm really starting to appreciate the efforts of our second-year tight end Jesse James.

ANSWER: I cannot imagine a realistic scenario in which a team is willing to make a trade for Ladarius Green after a season in which he missed so much time/games because of injuries, and there is no advantage to cutting him now because rosters can be as high as 90 players and there would be no financial savings to the team to do so. Let's see how this plays out. No need for any rash actions at this point.

Take a look at the best photos from the AFC Championship against the Patriots. The Patriots defeated the Steelers 36-17.

All of your answers defend Mike Tomlin and the Steelers. Could you be less biased and give fans some REAL answers, please?

ANSWER: All of the players stink, all of the coaches should be fired, and the Rooney Family should sell the franchise. Happy?

I saw a tweet that stated there was a chance that Ben Roethlisberger may not return for 2017, and it also was stated there's a chance that Tony Romo could have Pittsburgh as a landing spot. Any truth to story?

ANSWER: With some of this stuff, I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Why are Steelers fans so unrealistic as to advocate the firing of the general manager and the coach after WINNING seasons and suggesting the most ridiculous position changes … As I read some of this stuff, it's absolutely absurd. How do you do it?

ANSWER: It's the fine print on that court order. It gets me every time.

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