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Asked and Answered

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Asked and Answered: May 22

Another installment of Bob Labriola answering your questions about the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL.

Let’s get to it:

SCOTT HIESTER from CAVE CREEK, AZ:

What are the training camp dates for 2018? I want to bring my grandson and am also asking when they may be away from camp.

ANSWER: The complete 2018 training camp schedule will be released at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 6. You will find it on Steelers.com.

BOB BRILL FROM AGOURA HILLS, CA:

Never got an answer on the status of our kicker. It doesn't seem like Chris Boswell has been signed, and I’m wondering what in the heck the Steelers are doing with him? I love the guy and think he did a great job in pressure situations.

ANSWER: Chris Boswell entered this offseason as a restricted free agent. The Steelers placed a second-round tender on him, which meant any team that signed him to an offer sheet the Steelers declined to match would have to give the Steelers a second-round draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

On April 5, Boswell acknowledged that he had signed his restricted free agent tender with an Instagram post that read, “Signed the 2nd-round tender! Let’s get it!” And so Boswell is under contract to the Steelers for the upcoming season at $2.914 million.

CALVIN CHEN FROM PORTLAND, OR:

Would it make sense for the Steelers to provide the top five draft picks their own personal trainer and nutritionist so they are ready for camp?

ANSWER: They already do that. The Steelers provide three meals a day for all players throughout the entire offseason program, which began back in mid-April. Those meals are put together by a nutritionist, prepared in the full-service kitchen that’s a part of the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, and those meals are free of charge. And the trainer’s name is Garrett Giemont. He’s the Steelers Conditioning Coordinator.

MIKE REIBMAN FROM MERRICK, NY:

On Tuesday, May 15, it looked like Steelers.com got a makeover. Around the same time, the RSS feed seems to have stopped working for my personal portal. I like seeing the headline links in the feed. What is the new (if any) URL to get the RSS feed for Steeleers.com or Steelers.com/news?

ANSWER: This from Jeff Brown, the Steelers Digital Media Manager:

“Thank you for inquiring about updated RSS feed for Steelers.com. You can find updated URL's at:

Articles: https://www.steelers.com/rss/news

Videos: https://www.steelers.com/rss/videos
Photos: https://www.steelers.com/rss/galleries

“Sorry for the inconvenience.

MATTHEW POWNALL FROM FORT MYERS, FL:

Has there been any talks by the NFL and the CFL to play anymore exhibition matches together? Perhaps some teams playing a preseason game or two?

ANSWER: There have not. For one, the leagues play on different-sized fields under different rules. Coaches want to use preseason games to get their teams ready for the regular season, not risk players’ health on some gimmick.

CLINTON COLE FROM VENTURA, CA:

During training camp when practices are considered open to the public, do other teams send people to watch the practices to glean additional information and do the Steelers send people to other open practices?

ANSWER: I cannot speak to whether there are scouts from other teams among the thousands of people who attend practice daily at Saint Vincent College, but the Steelers send scouts to NFL preseason games only, because at the same time the player personnel department is beginning to work on the college teams/players who figure to be part of the group of prospects available in the following April’s NFL Draft.

JAIME PEREZ FROM CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO:

Outside of OTAs and minicamp, can the players use team facilities on their own during the offseason?

ANSWER: Yes, they can. But keep in mind that a lot of guys live outside of Pittsburgh and/or have their own personal trainers.

MADS JENSEN FROM AARHUS, DENMARK:

How involved are minority owners – such as David Tepper – in the day-to-day operation of the franchise?

ANSWER: If you’re referring to football matters – signing and cutting of players, hiring or firing of coaches, which players to draft, etc. – not at all.

PEHR SMITH FROM AUSTIN, TX:

In the May 17 edition of Asked and Answered, you mentioned a game between the CFL and NFL, where the Argonauts had built a 13-1 lead over the Chicago Cardinals. Do you know how the Cardinals scored one point in a game?

ANSWER: Here is the explanation as provided by Wikipedia: “In Canadian football, a single (single point, or rouge), scoring one point, is awarded when the ball is kicked into the end zone by any legal means, other than a convert (successful or not) or a successful field goal, and the receiving team does not return, or kick, the ball out of its end zone. It is also a single if the kick travels through the end zone or, other than on a kickoff, if it goes out of bounds in the end zone without being touched. After conceding a single, the receiving team is awarded possession of the ball at the 35-yard line of its own end of the field.

“Singles are not awarded in the following situations:
• if a ball is downed in the end zone after being intercepted in the end zone
• if a ball is fumbled outside the end zone
• if the kicked ball hits the goalposts (since the 1970s; before then it was a live ball)
• when a kickoff goes into the end zone and then out of bounds without being touched

“In all these cases the defending team is awarded possession of the ball at the 25-yard line.”

KEN MAULDIN FROM CLYDE, TX:

Do you think Javon Hargrave is the wrong player for the Steelers? It just seems like while he makes some splash plays and can get penetration, he does not do well clogging the middle, and that is a glaring problem in run defense.

ANSWER: Run defense is not a one-man proposition. In the AFC Divisional Round Game against the Jaguars, all of the Steelers defensive linemen were physically handled by Jacksonville’s offensive line. Then players at the linebacker level sometimes took bad angles or weren’t in the proper gaps, and then defensive backs didn’t fill properly and missed some tackles. Javon Hargrave was a part of that, but it wasn’t his fault alone, and if anywhere in your question is the suggestion that Hargrave needs to rebound and have a better season, I agree with you. Also, you should know he was playing with a back injury.

MICHAEL GONDER FROM WAYNESBORO, PA:

Why did they change the Steelers.com format? I hate change.

ANSWER: That was the NFL’s decision, and changes made to teams’ websites are going to be league-wide once they transfer all of the teams over to the new platform. I hate change, too, but people tell me that’s because I’m old.

TOMMU PAINTER FROM WINCHESTER, VA:

I really think that Tim Tebow would be a great fit in a Steelers uniform. He is a hard-nosed, hard-working young man. He could have a lot of value for the team as he waits for a shot when Ben Roethlisberger retires. What do you think?

ANSWER: An oldie but a goodie. Welcome back.

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