Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: July 26

Let's get to it:

RICHARD HARVEY FROM McKEAN, PA: Really excited to head to camp and see our Steelers. We have enjoyed Friday Night Lights at Latrobe Stadium and then watching a practice at Saint Vincent College over the same weekend several times. I have secured the free tickets via the mobile ticketing process for Aug. 6. My concern is that I can't seem to find this option for Aug. 5 at Latrobe Stadium. Any insight?
ANSWER: A shout-out to Tyler in the Latrobe High School Athletic Department for providing the pertinent information for Steelers fans interested in attending the Friday Night Lights practice on Aug. 5 at Latrobe Stadium. Tickets will be on sale from noon-4 p.m. at Latrobe Stadium on July 5, and then also will be sold when the gates open at 5 p.m. that day. Tyler said the event is not sold out, and that fans seeking tickets on the day/evening of Friday Night Lights will not be turned away.

GENE BERGL FROM HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC Who are the remaining Steelers free agents?
ANSWER: The Steelers began the 2022 offseason with 17 unrestricted free agents. They re-signed six of them (Montravius Adams, Miles Killebrew, Arthur Maulet, Chuks Okorafor, Ahkello Witherspoon, and Terrell Edmunds); six signed with other teams (Ray-Ray McCloud to San Francisco, JuJu Smith-Schuster to Kansas City, James Washington to Dallas, Taco Charlton to New Orleans, Joshua Dobbs to Cleveland, and Trai Turner to Washington); and Ben Roethlisberger retired. That's 13, which leaves Kalen Ballage, Eric Ebron, B.J. Finney, and Joe Haden. Finney, like Roethlisberger, retired, and Ballage, Ebron, and Haden remain unsigned.

ROBERT KLEIN FROM WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ: Given the retirement of Stephon Tuitt, do you feel the Steelers would have been better off drafting a defensive lineman instead of quarterback Kenny Pickett in the first round?
ANSWER: I don't believe the Steelers prioritized a quarterback over a defensive lineman in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, but when defensive tackle Jordan Davis was picked by the Eagles 13th overall, Kenny Pickett was higher on their board than any of the other remaining defensive linemen.

WAKI OOKINDA FROM CARSON CITY, NV: Do players get fined or charged by the NFL if they give away footballs? I heard they are charged, and I have a bet with my brother riding on this. And are fans subject to a charge for these footballs because they are property of the NFL?
ANSWER: Players are neither fined nor charged for giving footballs to fans during the normal course of play during a game. And fans certainly are not charged for accepting those footballs.

SCOTT COLLINS FROM GAMBRILLS, MD: Are there any legal constraints that would prohibit an NFL owner from offering a "franchise" player ownership rights in addition to salary?
ANSWER: If your point is to suggest a way for an NFL team to circumvent the salary cap by sweetening the pot with stake in the franchise, that would never happen for two reasons: one is that the league undoubtedly would place a value on that ownership stake and then count it on the team's cap, and with the current value of NFL franchises reaching into the billions of dollars an owner would be an absolute fool to part with that kind of equity to induce a player to sign a contract.

EUGENE OHORA FROM BALLINA, IRELAND: I know training camp is only starting, but assuming there is enough cap space to add one more player, what do you feel is the Steelers greatest need or position you would like to see strengthened?
ANSWER: I believe the Steelers are finished signing veteran free agents this summer. Maybe they revisit this in the event of an injury during training camp or in the preseason, or if a team makes an unexpected cut, but outside of those two circumstances I see the team standing pat.

CHRIS HANN FROM SARASOTA, FL: Recently Ben Roethlisberger made a point that his throw to Santonio Holmes in Super Bowl XLIII does not get the credit it deserves. I thought Roethlisberger should've been the MVP of that Super Bowl for that throw. What is your opinion? Should Ben have gotten the MVP of the Super Bowl as opposed to Holmes?
ANSWER: T recap, in Super Bowl XLIII, Ben Roethlisberger finished the game having completed 70 percent of his passes (21-for-30) for 256 yards, with one touchdown, one interception, and a rating of 93.2. With the game on the line and a Lombardi Trophy at stake, he completed 5-of-7 for 84 yards and ran for an addition 4 yards and then ended the possession by making two perfect throws to Santonio Holmes in the end zone. The first of those two passes went through Holmes' hands, and the second was good for the decisive touchdown. After that, I asked this question in the press box after the game to some of the media members who covered Super Bowl XLIII, and the way I phrased it was: "If Tom Brady or Peyton Manning drove their team 84 yards for the game-winning touchdown in the final two-plus minutes of the Super Bowl, do you think the guy who caught the pass would have been voted the MVP over the guy who threw it?" And for the rest of my life, I'll believe the only correct answer to my question is, "Hell no."

JOHN THOMPSON FROM CONNEAUT, OH: Do you believe that Kordell Stewart would have had a more productive NFL career in today's style of play compared to when he actually played?
ANSWER: What I believe is that current NFL offensive coordinators are much more willing to craft schemes and allow dual-threat quarterbacks , such as Kordell Stewart was and Lamar Jackson currently is, to utilize their skill-set instead of trying to turn them into the kind of player who fits a preconceived mold.

MICHAEL WILLIAMS FROM CINCINNATI, OH: What is going on with all these Steelers fans and ex-players pretending to be upset over the renaming of the locale in which the team plays its home games? If Heinz couldn't pony up the cash necessary to retain the naming rights, then so be it.
ANSWER: Maybe the whiners aren't aware that Heinz doesn't even make ketchup in Pittsburgh anymore. The company makes ketchup in its plants in Ohio and Iowa.

KEN KNECHT FROM ILOILO CITY, PHILIPPINES: Pittsburgh is the only professional sports town where all the teams wear the same colors, black and gold. I understand that the Pirates (baseball), and the Penguins (hockey) did not start out wearing black and gold. The Steelers are the only Pittsburgh sports team that has worn black and gold since its inception. What is the origin of Pittsburgh's sports teams wearing the colors black and gold?
ANSWER: According to PittsburghPA.gov, "Pittsburgh is defined by many things, most notably its colors of Black & Gold. The only city in the nation where all of its professional sports teams share the same colors, their history runs much deeper than athletics. In 1816, when Pittsburgh was officially chartered as a city, an effort began to formalize the colors that had been unofficial since 1758. A City Seal and official standard were adopted based on Sir William Pitt's family coat of arms. This is the source of Pittsburgh's Black & Gold colors. Our original hockey team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, were the first sports team to adopt the colors in 1925.The Pittsburgh Steelers adopted the colors at their founding in 1933, with their first uniforms including the City's Great Seal. In 1948, the Pittsburgh Pirates changed their colors from red, white, and blue to black and gold. Finally, the Pittsburgh Penguins would adopt the colors beginning with the 1980 season."

ADAM BRAUN FROM CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA: I know you have answered questions before about tiebreakers, but wasn't Terry Bradshaw drafted by the Steelers because of a tiebreaker? How far down the tiebreaker list did they have to go to flip a coin?
ANSWER: Back in 1970, the NFL didn't have a system of tiebreakers to determine draft order. In the event of two teams finishing with the same record, the tie was broken by a coin toss. Since the Chicago Bears and the Steelers both finished with 1-13 records in 1969, the first overall pick of the 1970 NFL Draft was determined by a coin flip. And to be precise, since the Bears called the coin flip, heads, and it came up tails, Chicago lost the coin toss as opposed to Pittsburgh winning it.

PAT FLYNN FROM OAKDALE, PA: Which is a bigger concern to you: lack of depth at outside linebacker or virtually no depth at running back behind Najee Harris?
ANSWER: Actually, the purpose of training camp is to determine the answers to issues such as the depth at outside linebacker and the No. 2 running back behind Najee Harris. Maybe there already are options on the roster that we just don't know about yet. And whether there are or there are not, training camp and the preseason is what will reveal the answer. Then you can get concerned.

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