Let’s get to it:
KELSEY SMITH FROM PITTSBURGH, PA:
Is there a chance that Keion Adams will be healthy enough to be in the linebacker rotation this season?
ANSWER: Keion Adams is healthy enough right now. But will he be good enough to make the 53-man roster? That’s what will have to be determined during the training camp/preseason process.
GERRY MANDERING FROM SCALP LEVEL, PA:
I understand that only Joe Greene’s No. 75 has been officially retired by the Steelers. However, have Nos. 12, 32, 58, 59, or 88 been worn by other Steelers since Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Jack Lambert, Jack Ham, and Lynn Swann retired?
ANSWER: Actually, you are incorrect. Ernie Stautner’s No. 70 was the first jersey retired by the Steelers, and so there are two that have been retired officially. No one has worn Nos. 12, 32, and 58 since Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, and Jack Lambert, respectively, retired. Todd Seabaugh was issued No. 59 for the 1984 season, and no one has worn it since, and Darrius Heyward-Bey currently is wearing No. 88.
REED OVERAND FROM MONONGAHELA, PA:
What are the requirements for a player to be considered “practice squad eligible?”
ANSWER: Whenever I try to dig through the Collective Bargaining Agreement for the rules governing practice squad eligibility, my eyes glaze over and my head starts pounding at the onslaught of legalese. This is what I do: at the start of training camp each summer, I get a roster and get someone in football operations – Omar Khan is always on top of this kind of stuff – and have him go through and give me every guy who is eligible for the practice squad. Then we will post all of those names in an article that appears on Steelers.com. Look for that in late July.
WILLIAM YOUNG FROM BADEN, PA:
What is the likelihood that Quadree Henderson makes the team as a kick/punt returner or a wide receiver?
ANSWER: I hate these “what is the likelihood” questions, because there is nothing to do but guess, but since I’m in a charitable mood at this moment: In my opinion, for a player to make the Steelers 53-man roster as a returner, he better bring one (or more) back for a touchdown during the preseason.
ANSWER: What I say/think about that doesn’t matter. It’s going to be up to Landry Jones and Joshua Dobbs to state their own cases for themselves, and if you choose to attend some training camp practices this summer at Saint Vincent College, you can watch it unfold on the fields.
DOUG CAMERON FROM RICHMOND, VA:
All of these fans in recent years have wanted to see a certain inside linebacker move to safety. Could we see a drafted safety move to inside linebacker? Would you happen to have quick access to their measurables?
JAMES LUCAS FROM WESTOVER, PA:
How does the league determine the salary for the first-round players who have their fifth year team option exercised?
ANSWER: Here’s the legalese pertaining to your question: “The fifth-year option for top-10 picks in the first round is set at an amount equal to the salary of the Transition Tender (set in Article 10, Section 4 of the CBA) for the player’s fourth contract year. This salary is calculated, basically, by finding the average of the top 10 highest Prior Year Salaries for players who played the same position. Positions are defined by the spot a player spent the most plays at during the previous season (Sec. 7, (a), 31).
“For players selected between the 11th and 32nd overall picks in the draft, the same calculation is used to compute their salaries. The difference is that the average of the third through 25th highest Prior Year Salaries for the player’s position equals the player’s fifth-year salary.”
Or you can do what I do: Wait until the determination is made and then ask somebody who knows the answer.
CJ CAVEZZA FROM CHESAPEAKE, VA:
I keep hearing about all these defensive sub-packages to counteract the opponents’ passing attacks, but I felt our 3-4 run defense was pitiful after Ryan Shazier’s injury. Do you feel we addressed that sufficiently with free agency and the draft?
ANSWER: Even before this offseason began, and after Ryan Shazier’s injury, the Steelers had sufficient personnel to defend against the run. Maybe not shut it down totally, a la the 1970s, but certainly not allow an opponent to win a game solely because of its ability to run the football. It’s those players who have to do a better job when the time comes in 2018.
JEFF MIKESELL FROM ALUM BRIDGE, WV:
How does one contact the Steelers organization's administrative staff?
ANSWER: The mailing address is: 3400 S. Water Street, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15203.
ROY PERRIN FROM MORRISVILLE, PA:
Have the Steelers ever had a first-round pick that didn't make the team the following season?
ANSWER: The NFL instituted its annual draft – first known as the NFL’s Annual Selection Meeting – in 1936, and the Steelers have taken part in every one. Counting the 2018 version, that’s 83 drafts, and there were periods in NFL history when first-round draft picks didn’t even try to play professional football. So, the answer is: yes.
PAUL GASSE FROM LAS CRUCES, NM:
It has been reported that Ryan Shazier's salary was converted to a signing bonus by the Steelers to allow him to receive the bulk of his 2018 money now. There are no salary cap ramifications from this move. It was just the right and classy thing to do by an organization that is run by character people. Couldn't be prouder to be a fan.
ANSWER: You are correct. There is no salary cap benefit, and it is a classy move.