Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: March 26

Let's get to it:

CRAIG NELSON FROM JONESBORO, AR:
Any thoughts on moving Ryan Shazier to quarterback and putting Ben Roethlisberger in the secondary? Ben's bigger than Ryan. Or just leave everyone where they are?

Well played. I'm happy to learn others find these constant position-change suggestions to be ridiculous, too. Thanks. I needed a laugh.

PHIL HAYWOOD FROM BIRMINGHAM, UK:
It was great to be able to see the Steelers play at Wembley Stadium, even though we lost. The travelling Steelers Nation seemed to enjoy the experience. Are you aware of any plans for another visit?

**

Sights surrounding the 2013 International series game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings in London, England.

I am not aware of any such plans, but I would be wholeheartedly in favor of them. The London experience was great – the city, the fans, the enthusiasm, the depth of the fans' knowledge of the sport. My hope would be that the Steelers get to London a bit earlier in the week the next time, not only for selfish reasons but also because I believe it takes a bit for the players' bodies to adapt in order to perform at a high level come the game. One thing working against the Steelers returning to London, though, is the very same thing making them so attractive for a return: the fervor of Steelers Nation. The Steelers sell out NFL stadiums on a regular basis, and so the home teams never are eager to give up a game against the Steelers so that it can be moved to London, and the Steelers' lease at Heinz Field requires the team to play 10 games a season at that venue. These are the hurdles to be overcome, but here's to hoping they can be.**

BRENT GOUDEAU FROM BATON ROUGE, LA:
Why not draft a tight end? The last two times we drafted a tight end in the first round we went to the Super Bowl. I've been a Steeler fan my whole life (47 years). How can I get copies of the some of the games – the Immaculate Reception, Super Bowls – for example?

You cannot actually believe there is any correlation between the Steelers using their first-round pick on a tight end and getting to the Super Bowl, so I'm skipping on to the second part of your question. Click on the Steelers Online Store. Maybe you find some of what you're looking for there.TAD DECK FROM LEBANON, PA:
Do you believe Hines Ward would ever want to be a receivers coach for the Steelers, or is he entrenched in broadcasting? I think he would bring a lot of passion to the group. He was the best all-around receiver to play the game in my opinion.

Since Hines Ward currently is employed by NBC Sports, which is a broadcast partner with the NFL, I would imagine he would be sticking with that gig instead of looking for an assistant coaching job. It's more pay for fewer hours, and he still gets to stay close to the game he loves. There is a big difference in the number of zeroes on the paycheck when one goes from NFL player to assistant coach, and there is a lot more to a coaching job than simply working with a small group of guys. That career is not for everyone, and it's rare for a great player to transition to coaching and become as good at it as he was on the field.

MICHAEL ROSS FROM NORFOLK, CT:
Why don't the Steelers go after a free agent cornerback?

They tried. The Miami Dolphins over-paid to lure Brice McCain to South Florida, and then Patrick Robinson and Sterling Moore received offers they liked better from other teams. I believe General Manager Kevin Colbert when he said at the NFL Owners Meetings the Steelers were finished making any big moves in free agency, but that doesn't necessarily preclude adding a veteran cornerback either. Brice McCain was signed last April 1, and I certainly didn't consider that to be a big move in free agency, and since trades seem to be in vogue in the NFL all of a sudden, there's another avenue to consider.

EVAN JACKSON FROM SAN DIMAS, CA:
When will the Steelers play the Chargers in San Diego? I'm trying to get tickets to the game.

The NFL usually releases the upcoming season's schedule in mid-to-late April. Last year, it happened on April 23. Just stay tuned for that, and good luck.

REESA JOSEPH FROM MARIETTA, OH:
Why do coaches put perfectly healthy players on the inactive list before a game?

Because it's a rule. There are 53 players on an NFL roster during the regular season, but only 46 are permitted to be in uniform on a game day. That's the rule, which is why teams have to submit an inactive list 90 minutes before kickoff. Some of those players might be injured, some might be healthy.

ANTHONY OWENS FROM HAYESVILLE, NC:
The Rooneys have accomplished a rare thing in any realm of business, not just pro sports. Transitioning leadership from one generation to another most often leads to some degree of failure down the line for a variety of reasons. They are special, and they do things uniquely with a high rate of success. As Art Rooney II is the third generation of ownership to successfully lead the Steelers, is there a fourth generation family member learning the ropes to lead the organization?

Art Rooney II's oldest son, Dan, currently works in the personnel department.

CHARLES BAIR FROM EPHRATA, PA:
Who to you is the greatest Steelers player ever?

Joe Greene. When he was hired in 1969, Chuck Noll had to change the culture of a franchise that at the time had spent 36 years in business without winning even one division championship, and the first player he added to the mix was Joe Greene. Joe Greene not only was a great player, but by the sheer force of his personality he showed every man in the locker room that what once had been acceptable no longer was.
JASON GROOM FROM DAYTONA BEACH, FL:
I know you said you wouldn't entertain any more questions about Ryan Shazier moving to safety. But what about moving Sean Spence to strong safety? Have him lose about 15-20 pounds to help his speed and see what happens.

But if Shazier moves to quarterback and Roethlisberger becomes a safety, wouldn't moving Spence to safety then create a log-jam there and possibly deplete the depth chart too much at inside linebacker? I'll have to check with Craig Nelson first.

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