Let's get to it:
MARQUEZ SMITH FROM SACRAMENTO, CA:
With Kelvin Beachum's skill and versatility, I think he would've made a better left guard than Ramon Foster. Do you think it would've been better to drop Foster and sign Beachum and then move him to guard, with Al Villanueva now taking over the left tackle position?
ANSWER: Your question ignores the reality. Let's begin with Kelvin Beachum having gone on record before free agency even started as saying that he wasn't interested in playing any position except left tackle. In early February, Beachum was asked by Mark Kaboly of TribLive.com what he would say to anyone who asked him to move to guard. Beachum's answer: "I am not going to say anything. I am just going to look at them like they are crazy. I have played left tackle my entire career, and I was thrust into all kinds of positions when I got here, and I was a team player from that perspective, but I made my mark as a left tackle."
Then, there was the issue of Beachum being an unrestricted free agent and therefore able to sign with any NFL team he chose at the best price he could find. In other words, Beachum was looking for big money, premier left tackle money. And Beachum would not have been a happy camper at any position except left tackle. Your scenario never ever had any chance of happening.
JOHN POWER FROM GLEN ROSE, TX:
Can you please help me understand why Cortez Allen is still on the roster? Seems like he is getting more chances than most. Is this the front office not wanting to admit they were wrong? That money could have gone toward a defensive back who could contribute.
ANSWER: Tell you what, I'll take a stab at answering your question if you can answer mine, which is: Can you please help me understand why Cortez Allen being on the roster in late March matters at all? Rosters can hold up to 90 players at this time, and so it's not as though the Steelers need the spot for another player. As for the salary cap, the top 51 salaries count, and if the Steelers needed cap space badly for a player they believed could help AND HAD A REALISTIC CHANCE TO SIGN, there are things they could have and would have done to create that space.
And what "more chances that most" is he getting exactly by being on the roster? You're acting as if the Steelers have a game this weekend. Training camp is five months away. Sheesh, OTAs are more than two months away. Plenty of time to allow this to play out.
RICHARD ROBISON FROM PENDLETON, IN:
Is it possible if Christian Hackenberg were to drop to the fourth or fifth round in the upcoming draft, could it be plausible for the Steelers to grab him? Especially because he need tons of time to develop to be a backup or a starter, and who would be a better teacher than Ben Roethlisberger at helping him develop?
ANSWER: You a Penn State alumnus? Fan? Because Christian Hackenberg doesn't seem like a guy I would really be excited about adding to the roster. His measurables are fine, but his best season in college was as a freshman, and it's important a player improve over time. When asked by NFL personnel about not improving his statistics over his time at Penn State, Hackenberg blamed Coach James Franklin.
Robert Klemko wrote this for TMMQB.com, "According to two personnel sources on two separate teams who have shown interest in drafting Penn State's Christian Hackenberg, the quarterback has said all the wrong things in interviews when asked to explain his declining sophomore and junior numbers (a combined 28 touchdowns and 21 interceptions). Hackenberg has shifted blame to James Franklin, who took over in 2014 when Bill O'Brien departed for the Texans. Said one evaluator. 'Despite the fact that it's probably true, you don't want to hear a kid say that.'"
A quarterback who cannot or will not take the blame is a problem waiting to happen. So in my mind, that, coupled with mediocre college statistics make Hackenberg not worth having around.
HENNING JÜRGENS FROM OSNABRÜCK, GERMANY:
Since I am sitting at home with a broken finger, I have a lot of time to read football news and watch all the silly NFL Network programs. I would just like to say that I wish that ESPN, NFL Network and all those "expert" programs would employ more people with the same honesty and integrity that you show in this segment. Thank you.
ANSWER: Nice job of typing with a broken finger, by the way. Way to play hurt.
NICK MITCHELL FROM GLEN-LYON, PA:
Did the Steelers ever have the first overall pick in the draft? If so, what year, who was the pick, and did he help the team win games?
ANSWER: It happened twice. The first time was in 1942, and the Steelers used the first overall pick on Virginia single-wing tailback Bill Dudley. With the Steelers still utilizing the single-wing, Dudley led the team in rushing, passing, and scoring that season, and it ended with the Steelers posting a 7-4 record, the first winning season in a franchise history that started in 1933. Then World War II happened, and Dudley didn't resume his NFL career until the final four games of the 1945 season, and the Steelers were 1-3 in those on the way to a 2-8 finish. In 1946, Dudley led the NFL in rushing, punt returns, and in interceptions with 10 for the 5-5-1 Steelers. Dudley was traded to Detroit the following year.
The other time the Steelers had the No. 1 overall pick in the draft was in 1970. The guy they picked was Terry Bradshaw. You might have heard of him.
THAD SPREG FROM MAKAKILO, HI:
I'm curious as to how the new rule regarding players being ejected for receiving two personal fouls might affect the game. In recent seasons, how many players would have been ejected if this rule had been in place?
ANSWER: You're not the only one curious about that, which is just one of the reasons why I believe the rule was adopted by NFL ownership on a one-year trial basis. The owners will re-visit this rule in March 2017 and maybe a final determination is made then. According to a statistic I saw, there would have only been one player ejected in 2015 under that rule.
ALLEN BIXEL FROM JOHNSTOWN, PA:
Just a thank you for your insight, expertise, and sense of humor, sprinkled with your not-always-hidden dose of sarcasm when dealing with the range of questions you face every day. I enjoy reading the questions and seeing your answers to them, whether a it's a serious answer to a legitimate question or one of your "are you kidding me" responses to one of "those" questions.
ANSWER: Happy to be able to inform and entertain. That's the purpose of this, after all.
DERECK FYE FROM CEDAR RAPIDS, IA:
Even with the addition of Ladarius Green at tight end, would the Steelers still consider a tight end in the draft?
ANSWER: I hope not.
Who is your top draft pick in Steelers history from Round 8 & later? Make your #UltimateDraft pick now!
SCOTT COLLINS FROM GAMBRILLS, MD:
Can NFL owners offer their starting quarterbacks ownership in the team rather than a huge salary? If not, do you think that idea might emerge in the future? Some of these salaries for professional athletes, especially baseball pitchers, are running up the national debt and hurting GDP in some locations. I think it makes since for those star athletes to take some risk in the business. Maybe some form of preferred convertible bond that can be exchanged for equity or cashed out if the team wins a certain number of Super Bowls over a decade. Like a golden-parachute for CEOs. And while we are on the subject, shouldn't there be some ratio of a quarterback's salary to the lowest salary on the team?
ANSWER: Why? Why would NFL owners be interested in any of this? If I'm an NFL owner sitting on a franchise worth $1 billion, you think I'm giving up pieces of that to players, when I could just pay him a salary and that's the end of it? Why would the Players Association be interested in any of this? If I'm a $100 million quarterback, why would I have any interest in assuming any risk in terms of the worth of a franchise? I can just go and play somewhere else if the one that drafts me goes bankrupt. And what you suggest would make the NFL more like Wall Street, and while professional football is on the up-and-up, there isn't a more rigged game on earth than the one played out every day on Wall Street. Not to be bitter.
KEVIN MILLER FROM BILLINGS, MT:
I am a huge Rooney supporter. They are by far the best owners in football if not in all of professional sports. With them selling more shares, how long will they still be in charge of the franchise?
ANSWER: As long as the franchise exists. Don't forget, first and foremost, investors want to make money, and the way to do that is to have the business run by people who know what they're doing.