Let’s get to it:
SID MCGUIRE FROM INDIANAPOLIS, IN: Do you feel like Joshua Dobbs is being treated unfairly? I mean the fact that he was "redshirted" his rookie season and now has to fight for a backup position to a third-round draft pick.
ANSWER: Welcome to the NFL, which as Jerry Glanville always said, “Stands for not-for-long.” Joshua Dobbs will get a chance to compete for a roster spot and a role this summer, just as he was able to do last summer. You make it sound as though Dobbs’ lack of playing time as a rookie was something that was inflicted upon him in some sort of unjustified way. Dobbs wasn’t ready to play as a rookie, and he spent the year working on some fundamentals that hadn’t been properly developed by his college coaches, and also learning the way the quarterback position is played at the NFL level. By all accounts, he worked diligently, which is to his credit. And he got paid.
I don’t believe the Steelers went into this draft with the idea of picking a quarterback, but when Mason Rudolph – that third-round pick to whom you refer – was available to them at a spot where they considered him a good value pick, they took him. Don’t think for a minute that Landry Jones and Rudolph are in a position where they can simply show up each day during training camp and be handed a roster spot and a role for 2018, because that isn’t true. I will admit that Dobbs would appear to have an uphill battle, but the same was true for a third-round pick in 1998, when the Steelers used their next two first-round picks – in 1999 and in 2000 – on players at his position, but Hines Ward turned out OK.
The only way Dobbs would be treated unfairly is if he’s not given a chance to compete along with the other players at his position. He will get a chance to compete, and while doing that he’ll be getting a chance to showcase himself to the other 31 teams in the NFL.
KURT HARTZ FROM ASHLAND, PA: Can you please tell me where Jaylen Samuels stands as far as making the 53-man roster in 2018?
ANSWER: Through this stage of the offseason program, Jaylen Samuels has shown he belongs. Once the pads go on at Saint Vincent College, he will get a chance to pass a much more significant test.
FAITH MON FROM STEUBENVILLE, OH: The top two cornerbacks in Steelers history would be Rod Woodson and Mel Blount. Who do you think would be the next two cornerbacks, from when Blount played to the present?
ANSWER: I would go with Dwayne Woodruff and Ike Taylor.
MIKE SANCHEZ FROM WESLEY CHAPEL, FL: Why do you think the Steelers passed on signing linebacker Mychal Kendricks, knowing that we have a huge hole in the middle of the defense?
ANSWER: Let me begin by admitting I have no direct knowledge of why the Steelers showed no active interest in signing Mychal Kendricks, but there seemed to me to be a lot of curious things surrounding that whole situation.
First of all, a guy with his apparent skills has his original team – the Philadelphia Eagles – ask him to take a $4 million pay cut this offseason, and when he refused, which is absolutely his right, he was released. When Joe Haden was released last year – and on the eve of the start of the regular season when teams’ rosters are all but set, there were more teams than just the Steelers interested in snapping him up – and at a bigger cap number than Kendricks’.
Before cutting Kendricks, the Eagles tried to trade him, and no team in the league was interested. None. Then after he was a free agent, not only was there no immediate interest in Kendricks, but there was no interest in him for quite a while. Again, there was nothing for quite a while for a player with his apparent skill-set. Nothing even from the Minnesota Vikings, who already employ his brother. Then it came to pass that the best Kendricks could do was a one-year prove-it deal with the Cleveland Browns.
What this indicates to me is that there is something else to this than simply finding room under the cap and a spot on the field for a 27-year-old coverage linebacker with 74 games of starting NFL experience. What that something is, I have no idea.
And one final point: I don’t believe the Steelers believe they have as huge a hole at inside linebacker as many fans apparently do.
DANIEL WILLIAMS FROM DANIEL ISLAND, SC: Have the Steelers signed Terrell Edmunds? If not, why?
ANSWER: They have not. Terrell Edmunds is able to participate in OTAs – which he has been doing – and mandatory minicamp, which started today. As long as he’s signed before July 25, he won’t miss any of training camp. I have no doubt he will be signed in plenty of time for that.
MICHAEL COOPER FROM CHAGRIN FALLS, OH: When a team scores a safety, does any one player get credited with the two points?
ANSWER: Yes, provided there is one player responsible for the safety. As an example, the last time a team scored a safety against the Steelers was in 2010 in a game against the Jets when Jason Taylor tackled Mewelde Moore in the end zone. In that case, Taylor was credited with two points, and if you look up the Jets scoring statistics from that season, that is reflected there.
JORGE FLORES FROM GUADALAJARA, JALISCO, MEXICO: Biggest contributor from this year´s draft class will be James Washington. Yes or No?
SETH FIRESTONE FROM ASHBURN, VA: Huge fan of the throwback uniforms this year. Are the jerseys the only aspect of the uniform that is changing? Will they have grey face masks like the old uniforms, or is there some rule where they can't change the helmet?
ANSWER: Changing the color of the facemasks doesn’t qualify as “changing the helmet,” which pertains more to the part that protects the player’s head. And just so you know, the Steelers wore gray facemasks for their first two Super Bowls in the 1970s and back facemasks for their last two Super Bowls of the 1970s, but the jerseys were the same style throughout the decade.
JuJu Smith-Schuster wears the latest throwback jersey that honors the Super Bowl XIII and XIV teams.
KEVIN HEARD FROM CHESAPEAKE, VA: While updating my "Bucket List" again, I've decided to use one of my three vacation weeks this year to attend Steelers training camp, where I will get to feed my favorite obsession (besides my grandkids). I can't seem to find any information on training camp, other than for last year. Does the team sponsor any packages I should be looking into, or is it better to just look into the Latrobe area for scheduling/events.
ANSWER: In the days since your submission originally was received, the team announced the complete training camp schedule, including practices that will be open to the public. You can find that information on Steelers.com. The Steelers don’t offer any travel packages to training camp as far as lodging for out-of-state fans, but there are many hotels within a short drive of the Saint Vincent College campus. You should contact those directly to book your stay.
Allow me to point out one thing: the Westmoreland County Air Show will be held the opening weekend of training camp this summer (July 28-29), and the Arnold Palmer Airport that serves as the site of that annual event is very close to Saint Vincent College. I would believe all of the rooms in the area were booked well in advance because of that, and so I would suggest you pick different days than those for your visit to watch the Steelers.