Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: June 28

Let's get to it:

The preseason games, are they going to be televised?


ANSWER: The easy answer is that all Steelers games are televised. Preseason, regular season, postseason. The preseason games that aren't picked up by one of the NFL's national broadcast partners are televised on KDKA-TV, which is the CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh. Since none of the Steelers' four preseason games this summer are to be televised nationally, the preseason schedule will be televised by KDKA-TV.**

During camp do the players who are not veterans stay at a location provided by the team? If not, are they responsible for their own lodging?

ANSWER: During training camp all Steelers personnel integral to the operation of training camp are housed on campus, in the Saint Vincent College dormitories. All players and coaches, plus trainers and video personnel, stay in Rooney Hall; other staff working at training camp daily are housed in Benedict Hall.

Not really a question here more of a rant. I'm watching NFL Network's top 100 players list, and how is Ben Roethlisberger No. 21? If we polled all general managers in the league, would they name 20 better players than Ben? I know these are his peers voting, but come on!

ANSWER: My advice to you, and I mean this seriously, is to stop watching that stupidity. First of all, players have come out and said publicly that they never voted for these alleged top 100 players in any year the series has been done. Those "list" shows NFL Network does should be taken with so many grains of salt that your kidneys might explode. And it isn't just the ones about the Steelers. I admit to watching one recently on the 10 greatest Green Bay Packers in franchise history, a franchise that dates to 1921 and has 24 players and coaches enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. NFL Network listed James Lofton at No. 8. Granted, Lofton is a member of the Hall of Fame, but No. 8 in the history of the Packers? Sorry. My guess is some of these "lists" are compiled based on the quality of the video on file to make the show pretty to view.

What is your opinion of Ben Roethlisberger's ranking on the NFL Network's Top 100? I know we are biased because we are Steelers fans, but I honestly feel like he is better than No. 21.

ANSWER: See above, and let me add this: As ridiculous it is to rank Ben Roethlisberger at No. 21, it's Andrew Luck at No. 92 vs. Blake Bortles at No. 56 that has re-convinced me to never, ever, ever, ever watch that show.

What is your favorite moment of Ben Roethlisberger's career?

ANSWER: I'm going to give you two physical acts I witnessed first-hand, and then something he said that for me reflected the competitiveness of a true franchise quarterback.

It was Ben Roethlisberger's rookie training camp, in 2004, during a Saturday afternoon practice. In an 11-on-11 team passing drill, Roethlisberger was the No. 3 quarterback at that stage and was on the field with others of the same stature. The pass rush forced him out of the pocket – even though there is no tackling the quarterback – and broke into a sprint toward the right sideline where I was standing with Tunch Ilkin. On a dead run, Roethlisberger fired the ball back to the middle of the field, about 25 yards beyond the original line of scrimmage, and he hit a free agent receiver named Zamir Cobb right in the chest as he was crossing the field from the far sideline in a dead sprint himself. I looked at Tunch, and he looked back and said, "Brett Favre."


Fast-forward to Super Bowl XLIII. The whole game-winning drive was special, but the throw Roethlisberger made to Santonio Holmes for the touchdown – on a play immediately after Holmes had dropped a similarly perfect throw on the other side of the field – was another example of his special physical gifts. It was the climax of a great season, but one that had the Steelers' offensive line criticized often for its role in Roethlisberger being sacked 54 times during the 20 games of the regular season and postseason. Less than an hour later after that pass to Holmes, Roethlisberger stood on the podium where the Lombardi Trophy had been presented to the Steelers by Commissioner Roger Goodell, and the first words out of his mouth when handed the microphone to speak to the crowd at Raymond James Stadium and to those millions watching on television: "Whaddya think of our offensive line now?"**

I was wondering when we would be playing the Green Bay Packers?

ANSWER: The Steelers' are scheduled to play the NFC North next in 2017, and the game against the Packers will be at Heinz Field. The next scheduled visit to Lambeau Field will be in 2021.

Would the Steelers ever consider moving Marcus Gilbert to left tackle? He is on the verge of being a Pro Bowl player, and there is no sure option at left tackle yet.

ANSWER: I believe that if the Steelers viewed Marcus Gilbert as a potential left tackle, the move would have been made last November when Kelvin Beachum was lost for the rest of the 2015 season to a knee injury. Based on his early career, the Steelers have come to view Gilbert's best position as right tackle, he has played his best football at that position, and the Steelers are paying him handsomely on a contract extension that binds him to the team through the 2019 season. And there is nothing wrong with having a Pro Bowl right tackle.

In your opinion what is the most valuable draft pick the Steelers have ever made? Taking into account how early or late the pick was, if they had to give things up for the pick, etc.

ANSWER: Joe Greene. Joe Greene. Joe Greene. Throw in any qualifiers you like, but this was the guy – from a player standpoint – who resurrected a franchise that went 40 years without ever winning anything to the franchise that has won more games and more championships than any other during the NFL's Super Bowl era. It's Joe Greene. No other draft pick in franchise history even deserves to be in the same conversation.

Several years ago I was given a painting of a Steelers running back wearing No. 35 and carrying the football. Do you know if anyone has had that jersey number in the past?

ANSWER: Many Steelers players have worn No. 35, and among the running backs to do so recently are Dan Kreider, Baron Batch, and Fred MacAfee. But what's more likely is the painter chose a rather nondescript number for a Steelers running back, as opposed to using No. 32, or No. 36, or No. 26, so as to avoid having to pay any rights fees.

The questions regarding the throwback uniforms are ridiculous. Personally, I love the "bumblebee" jersey and wear mine proudly. What motivated me to buy mine was how much they are hated by opposing teams. Can the Steelers choose to wear them any time, or does the NFL dictate when they are worn? Could they be worn in the postseason?

ANSWER: In typical seasons, a team can wear its throwback uniform once. And not in the playoffs.

Being an owner of a bumblebee Antonio Brown jersey, I am here to say there is no possible way 90 percent of fans hate the jersey. They are the best jerseys in football, and the haters of this legendary attire are just sad because they will never play a game wearing beautiful black and gold stripes along with beige pants. I am furious with the insulting comments from these people in a recent Asked and Answered. I ask you what are your opinions on the bumblebees?

ANSWER: As I have written before many times, I am not in possession of a body that is flattered by horizontal stripes.

I don't really expect you to answer this, but I'm asking anyway. In a recent interview, defensive coordinator Keith Butler was asked about the new hybrid linebacker/safety appearing around the league. When asked for an example, he immediately mentioned Ryan Shazier. If Butler can see the potential in Shazier, maybe some of us Steelers fans with the same thought aren't as foolish as you make us sound?

ANSWER: Never, ever have I made fun of a question concerning the evolving coverage-linebacker position and the importance of having one. I make fun of the people making the suggestion that Ryan Shazier should be MOVED to safety, with the misguided notion he's Troy-Polamalu-in-waiting. Those people are more foolish than I ever could make them sound.

I believe the NFL should realign the AFC North, AFC East, and the AFC South divisions. Put Baltimore in the AFC East, move Miami to the AFC South, and put Indianapolis in the AFC North. It would add some competition for New England in the AFC East, and provide a geography lesson for the country. Makes more sense than moving Shazier to safety.

ANSWER: I believe it's more about the franchises and rivalries among established franchises than it ever will be about geography. The league first split into six divisions – three in the AFC and three in the NFC – for the 1970 season following the NFL-AFL merger. Then when things were realigned in 2002 when the NFL expanded to 32 teams by adding the Houston Texans, there was a concerted effort/interest in preserving the rivalries that had developed over the previous 30-plus seasons.

Miami was in the original AFC East, along with Buffalo, the New York Jets, and the Boston Patriots, and any attempt at splitting those teams would have been rejected by the NFL ownership at large. In 1970 also, the Steelers, Cleveland, and Cincinnati all were members of the original AFC Central, and remember, the Ravens actually are the old Browns. The Baltimore Colts were in the original five-team AFC East, but Robert Irsay moved the franchise to Indianapolis and the new divisions were to include just four teams apiece, and so the Colts were put in to the AFC South along with relative newbies Houston and Jacksonville and the transplanted Oilers/Titans.

Putting the Steelers together with the new Browns, the old Browns (Ravens), and the Bengals was a priority for Dan Rooney from the start, and I don't ever see that changing.

Seeing that some fans ask stupid questions, I figured that I would ask a non-football stupid question. Do you think that the Steelers would allow me to have my wedding at Heinz Field?

ANSWER: Yes, and believe me when I tell you that you wouldn't be the first. Check the link: for details.

I am a pastor who was born and raised in Pittsburgh. I am and always will be a Steelers fan, but I took a call to a church in Cincinnati two years ago. Despite promising not to wave a Terrible Towel in the pulpit (unless the Steelers win the Super Bowl), I am shown absolutely no mercy by my congregation, all of whom are rabid Bengals fans. Besides prayer, do you have any advice?

ANSWER: If the members of your congregation indeed are rabid Bengals fans, I say they are the ones most in need of your charitable mercy.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.