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Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: June 11

Let's get to it:

JOHN LEWIS FROM LINDENHURST, IL: When will Ben Roethlisberger be eligible to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and do you believe he will be a first-ballot inductee?
ANSWER: Ben Roethlisberger will be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2027. I believe Roethlisberger deserves to be inducted in his first year of eligibility, because he quarterbacked the Steelers to two Super Bowl championships (and was significantly responsible for the win in Super Bowl XLIII), and he also put up the kind of career statistics that alone make him deserving of a bust in Canton. If I had a vote for the Hall of Fame, I would vote for Roethlisberger the first time he is eligible, but you asked me if I believe he will be a first-ballot inductee. I hope he is, but I have no idea if he will be.

KEVIN D'ANGELO FROM SELBYVILLE, DE: I have been a Steelers and NFL fan for a lot of years. Over those years players have gotten bigger, faster, and stronger. Can you tell me what the average weight of the Steelers offensive and defensive lines were during their first Super Bowl? What is the average weight of the lines today?
ANSWER: The Steelers' starting offensive line (with the individual player's weight) in Super Bowl IX included LT Jon Kolb (262), LG Jim Clack (250), C Ray Mansfield (250), RG Gerry Mullins (244), and RT Gordon Gravelle (250), which works out to an average weight of 251.2 pounds. The starting defensive line in Super Bowl IX (with the individual player's weight) included LE L.C. Greenwood (245), LT Joe Greene (275), RT Ernie Holmes (260), and RE Dwight White (255), which works out to an average weight of 258.8 pounds. The Steelers' 2023 starting offensive line (with the individual player's weight) included LT Dan Moore Jr. (315), LG Isaac Seumalo (303), C Mason Cole (298), RG James Daniels (327), and RT Broderick Jones (311), which works out to an average weight of 310.8 pounds. The starting defensive line (with the player's individual weight) included NT Keeanu Benton (309), DE Larry Ogunjobi (305), and DT Cam Heyward (295), which works out to an average weight of 303 pounds).

OTIS JOHNSON FROM GERMANTOWN, MD: In your opinion what was the best group of three wide receivers on the Steelers at one time? For me it was Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, and Markus Wheaton.
ANSWER: You must be young, because from 1974-77, the Steelers' top three wide receivers included future Hall of Famers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth, plus Frank Lewis, who entered the NFL as a No. 1 pick (8th overall) from Grambling in the 1971 NFL Draft.

RENATO GOMIDES FROM RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL: Does the team that gets on the clock during an NFL Draft already know who the previous team has selected before it's announced to the public?
ANSWER: Yes. During an NFL Draft, the participating teams receive information in real time, as opposed to how the information is released to the public, most recently as it has been released on the television broadcasts being done by ESPN and NFL Network.

KEVIN SUNDE FROM MOREHEAD, KY: In past years of NFL Drafts, they used to have tables near the stage with each team having two or three representatives there with a telephone that had a direct line back to the team facility. When a team was on the clock, one of those people at the table would walk a card up to someone who would announce the pick. Is there any knowledge of any of those folks thinking they were smarter than everyone else and writing a different name on the card? And how do they do it now?
ANSWER: The people that teams chose to attend the NFL Draft were not people who were integral to the scouting/personnel/coaching departments of the franchise, because all of those folks were at the teams' facilities inside the draft room where all of the actual decision-making took place. Because of that set-up, I am very confident that whatever decision came over the phone in terms of who was going to be the particular pick in a specific round never was changed by the individuals sitting at those tables. In fact, the Steelers had a specific person in the draft room whose job was to double-check, to triple-check with the people at the table to make CERTAIN that the name of the to-be-drafted player had been communicated properly and spelled correctly before the card was submitted. Since 2020 when the pandemic changed so much about how we live and work, things related to the picking of players during an NFL Draft have been done remotely.

SAMUEL HAKE FROM GODDARD, KS: I have been a lifelong Steelers fan and never been to Pittsburgh before. Now at the age of 52 we are finally planning a trip to Pittsburgh to see a game and embrace the legacy of the Steel City. Do you have any recommendations of places to visit and things to do while there?
ANSWER: The only advice I would give is for you to make it a point to schedule a visit to the Steelers Hall of Honor Museum, which is located inside Acrisure Stadium. I am confident that you will find it both informative and entertaining.

MATTHEW MARCZI FROM PERTH AMBOY, NJ: In the June 6 edition of Asked and Answered, Steve George from Ohioville, Pa., asked about a player named Bernie Sims. He is surely referring to Bernie Semes, who played his college football at Duquesne. He was a member of the 1944 "Card-Pitt" merged team (Chicago Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers) that was formed as a result of roster shortages during World War II. According to Pro Football Reference, Semes started 2 out of 8 games that year. He rushed 17 times for 38 yards (2.2 average) and caught 3 passes for 17 yards (7.3 average). He is also credited with an interception.
ANSWER: You are correct about your description of Bernie Semes, and you also may be correct that he is in fact the individual Steve George meant to inquire about in his submission. I want to take the opportunity to caution fans to be careful about getting names right and spelling them correctly if they want their questions answered.

JIM ANDERSON FROM TOLEDO, OH: Have the Steelers invited another team to practice with them during training camp?
ANSWER: No, the Steelers do not have any joint practices on their 2024 training camp schedule, which now can be found on

MATT PEVERELL FROM SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA: Does Logan Lee have a real chance at making the Steelers 53-man roster, and how many Iowa players have played for the Steelers in the Super Bowl era?
ANSWER: Logan Lee absolutely has a chance, because the Steelers can be expected to keep 6 or 7 defensive linemen on the initial 53-man roster, and the only players I would qualify as a "lock" to be among those 53 would be Cam Heyward, Larry Ogunjobi, and Keeanu Benton. Since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, the Steelers who played their college football at Iowa were tight end Jonathan Hayes, who appeared in 48 games during the 1994-96 seasons; guard James Daniels, who has started 32 games during the 2022-23 seasons; cornerback Josh Jackson, who appeared in 4 games in 2022; and cornerback Desmond King, who appeared in 3 games in 2023.

STEVEN GREJDA FROM ROCHESTER, MI: In the fantasy football community Arthur Smith was often disparaged for his failure to optimally utilize his best weapons, specifically running back Bijan Robinson and tight end Kyle Pitts. Now the rhetoric is about how the Steelers running game and tight end Pat Freiermuth are both going to be emphasized. Any thoughts on these contrasting views?
ANSWER: These are my thoughts: What the "fantasy football community" thinks doesn't mean diddly squat. Never has. Never will.