Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: July 21

Let's get to it:

It seems a lot of teams are having training camp on-site now as opposed to traveling off-site to a college campus in their area. I love the fact that the Steelers go to Latrobe and hold their camp at Saint Vincent College. Do you feel teams like the Steelers have an advantage because of this?

ANSWER: Since my only experience with NFL training camp has been with the Steelers, I don't know anything else to be able to make a comparison/judgment. I can tell you the Steelers believe their situation at training camp – being all together on a college campus that's away from home but only an hour's drive away in case of emergency – has value when it comes to the process of putting together a football team each year.

To give this a league-wide perspective, in 2000 only five of the league's 31 teams (16 percent) held training camp at their home facilities, and this summer it will be 19 of the 32 teams (59 percent) holding their training camps at their home facilities.

Have the Steelers ever drafted a Heisman Trophy winner?

ANSWER: The Steelers drafted two Heisman Trophy winners, and in chronological order they were Doc Blanchard and Johnny Lattner. Blanchard, a fullback at West Point, was part of the "Mr. Inside, Mr. Outside" backfield with Glenn Davis that produced back-to-back Heisman Trophy winners. Blanchard – Mr. Inside – won the Heisman in 1945, and the Steelers made him the third overall pick in the first round of the 1946 NFL Draft. Blanchard was denied a furlough by the Army in 1947 to play professional football, and so he embarked upon a career in the United States Air Force and became a fighter pilot.

Lattner was a halfback from Notre Dame who won the Heisman Trophy in 1953, and then in 1954 the Steelers made him the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 1954 NFL Draft. For the Steelers in 1954, Lattner had 237 yards rushing and five touchdowns, plus 25 receptions for 305 more yards and two more touchdowns. He also returned punts and kickoffs with middling results. In 1955, Lattner was drafted into the Air Force, and while playing a football game during his service he injured a knee and never played again.

What do you think would happen if the Steelers were in a position to make a draft pick very early in the first round, and say it was a quarterback who wanted to wear No. 12 or a running back who wanted to wear No. 32 or a linebacker who wanted to wear No. 58? Since those numbers are not officially retired, what would the Steelers do if the player or his agent wanted to make that "a must" in his contract?


To celebrate Dan Rooney's birthday, take a look at photos of him throughout his career.

ANSWER: I only can offer a guess as to what might happen, because such a decision only would be made by someone whose surname is Rooney. And I cannot imagine a realistic scenario in which a Rooney would cave into such a ridiculous demand from an unproven rookie. That aside, I don't believe it ever would get to that, because any agent in his right mind would know that if his client was a quarterback, to use one of your examples, and "insisted" on wearing No. 12, and then said client wearing No. 12 didn't win four Super Bowls in that jersey as Terry Bradshaw did, then Steelers Nation would make his life miserable. No jersey number is worth that kind of pressure, and I can't believe a young rookie would be so tone-deaf as to not see that coming.**

What is Marvin Lewis' won-loss record vs. Pittsburgh as a head coach?

ANSWER: Marvin Lewis was hired by the Bengals in 2003, and in the 26 regular season games against the Steelers during his tenure the Bengals are 9-17. In the playoffs, Lewis' Bengals are 0-2 vs. the Steelers, having lost in 2005 and 2015.

I've been a Steelers fan since 1972 and been through the good and the bad. The one question that all of Steelers Nation has: can Ben Roethlisberger win one more Super Bowl with Todd Haley as the offensive coordinator?

ANSWER: Ben Roethlisberger has a better chance of winning a third Super Bowl with Todd Haley as the offensive coordinator than he would have had with Bruce Arians as the offensive coordinator.

Who do you think will be the next Steelers' great inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

ANSWER: I would imagine most fans, upon reading your question, will expect the answer to be one of three players of recent vintage – Alan Faneca, Hines Ward, or Troy Polamalu. Any of those could prove to be the correct answer, but I'm going to go outside the box. With the initiative by the Hall of Fame to elect more contributors, and with contributors and seniors candidates now effectively getting a bye into the final round of voting if presented to the electorate, I'm going to go with guys in these two categories. In the contributor category, I would identify Bill Nunn and Art Rooney Jr. as worthy candidates, and in the seniors category, I would go with L.C. Greenwood, Andy Russell, and Donnie Shell.

In the last Asked and Answered Live, you said you thought Sammie Coates would start in 2016. Who do you see him beating out, Markus Wheaton or Darrius Heyward-Bey? I have a feeling Heyward-Bey could have great year.


ANSWER: First, let's clear something up: Your reference was to a question submitted that read: "Sammie Coates. What's your gut feeling?" I copied and pasted my answer, which was: "My perception of Sammie Coates is that he wants to be great, and he learned during his rookie season what that's going to take and how far away from that level he actually is. I see him being a productive NFL receiver, and starting in 2016."**

The reference to "starting in 2016" was to the fact I believe Sammie Coates will start showing himself to be a productive NFL receiver in 2016.

Why don't you answer my questions? Am I that much of an ignoramus? If so, coming from you, it's a compliment. Love your humor and direct answers.

ANSWER: But so often, it's all of you who make me laugh.

It gets cold in Pittsburgh in December and January. Have the Steelers ever thought about an indoor cold facility and practicing in temperatures below 35-degrees to simulate what they will face late in the season?

ANSWER: Or here's another idea: just practice outside where it's already cold in Pittsburgh during December and January.

No question, but good gosh almighty, I sure admire your patience!

ANSWER: I appreciate you noticing.

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