Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: Nov. 13

Let's get to it:

DAVID ANDERSON FROM WENONAH NJ: Since Nick Sciba was 100 percent with his attempts against the Eagles, and Chris Boswell is still injured, why did Steelers release Sciba from the practice squad and sign Matthew Wright from Kansas City's practice squad?
ANSWER: It has less to do with Nick Sciba and more to do with the team's comfort level with Matthew Wright and his level of NFL experience. The Steelers had Wright in training camp back in 2019, and even though he didn't make the roster at that time, the team did turn to him in 2020 when Chris Boswell was injured, and he kicked in three regular season games. In those games, Wright was 4-for-4 on his field goal attempts, including one from 50-plus yards. During the 2021 season Wright kicked for the Jaguars, and then so far in 2022 he kicked in two regular season games for the Chiefs with Harrison Butker injured. For his career, Wright has made 28-of-32 (87.5 percent) field goal attempts and 28-of-30 (93.3 percent) PATs. Evidently, the Steelers have determined that Boswell's injury is more than a one-week issue, and because they are more comfortable with Wright and he has more of an NFL resume, they decided to go with him.

BRYCE KYBURZ FROM AUSTIN, TX: What happens if a player is traded before his team has its bye week and the team that acquires him already had its bye? The traded player will play in 18 games instead of 17. Does he get extra pay for the extra game played?
ANSWER: For every game that player is on the 53-man roster, he will receive a game check based on the amount stipulated in his contract. If that ends up being a game check for 18 games instead of 17, then he gets paid extra.

NOAH PATTERSON FROM CRAIGSVILLE, WV: With the team's less than stellar start to the 2022 season, where do you think we should spend our time next offseason during free agency and the draft?
ANSWER: There are other outlets willing to play this guessing game with you, but I am not. That's because I have no idea which players will make it to unrestricted free agency vs. those who might get tagged or re-signed by their own teams before March. That's also because I have no idea which players who might have college eligibility beyond the 2022 season might decide to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft. There are way too many variables still in play.

CLARENCE E. FRAME FROM ASHLAND, KY: Why not hire Frank Reich to be the next offensive coordinator?
ANSWER: There are a bunch of reasons why not, but let's begin with the most obvious, and that is Matt Canada currently is the Steelers offensive coordinator. But in the event the Steelers are in the market for a new offensive coordinator come 2023, fans should understand that maybe Frank Reich is not interested in going back to being an offensive coordinator after being a head coach, and maybe Reich decides to take a step back and evaluate some of his priorities and plans for the future. And the fact Colts Owner Jim Irsay recently signed him to a contract extension through the 2026 season – and in the NFL coaching contracts are guaranteed – Reich is owed in the neighborhood of $36 million by Indianapolis. That's the kind of cushion that would allow anyone to take his time before jumping into a new job.

BRIAN ALEXANDER FROM ROCHESTER, NY: With the addition of William Jackson III, and the subtraction of Chase Claypool, what is our current salary cap status?
ANSWER: It's good enough to get the Steelers through the rest of the 2022 season, and then after that everything gets re-shuffled when the new salary cap is determined for the 2023 season.

TRAVIS NAKAMURA FROM KANEOHE, HI: With the trading of Chase Claypool, does that mean we've given up on this season?
ANSWER: No. It just means that the Steelers received what can be referred to as a "Godfather offer" for Chase Claypool in a trade, and they decided it was one they couldn't refuse. Claypool is in the third season of his rookie contract, and I believe it is unlikely the Steelers would have been willing and/or able to sign him to a second contract once his current one expires after the 2023 season. And Claypool's production has diminished each season he has been in the NFL, from 62 catches for 873 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2020, to 59 catches for 860 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2021, to 32 catches for 311 games and 1 touchdown through 8 games in 2022. A second-round pick from a team that would have to win 6 of its next 8 games to finish over .500 on the season is a "Godfather offer" in my opinion.

CHRISTOPHER GIBSON FROM MANALAPAN, NJ: As I heard it on the home radio broadcast that after Derek Watt's touchdown catch vs. Philadelphia on a gadget play where Chase Claypool threw him the ball, Claypool went over and sat down with the quarterbacks and joked, "I guess I'm one of you now." But considering what happened a few days later, is it possible that his hubris offended someone and that contributed to the trade decision?
ANSWER: Are you trying to tell me, or get me to believe, or get me to agree with you that a player joking around with teammates on the sideline after throwing a touchdown pass is sufficient to get him traded? To quote John McEnroe, "You CANNOT be serious."

BETH GOLLMAR FROM DECATUR, GA: Looking at some of the quarterbacks who are coming out for the draft in 2023, would it have been smarter to let Mitch Trubisky play this year, see how the season went, and kick the can down the road a bit at quarterback while we fill in the other areas of need like our offensive and defensive lines?
ANSWER: Wow, that's some serious second-guessing and playing of the what-if game there without knowing or having a plan for the alternative situations. Such as, who are you picking 20th overall last April instead of Kenny Pickett? Which quarterbacks are coming out for the 2023 NFL Draft, and of those prospects who among them might the Steelers have a chance to draft? And then, would that quarterback be better than Pickett? You provide me the answers to all those questions, and then I would be able to provide you with an intelligent answer to yours.

SABINE KAPPEL FROM FLUORN-WINZELN, GERMANY: How does the waiver wire work during the season? I believe during the offseason the previous season's standings determines the priority of claims. Is it the same during the season or is it determined by the current standings?
ANSWER: Once the NFL calendar moves past the third game of the regular season, the waiver wire priority changes from using the previous season's records to the teams' current records. With a 2-6 record heading into today's game vs. New Orleans, the Steelers have the No. 4 priority on all waiver claims.

DENNIS LONGAZEL FROM BOCA RATON, FL: My friends and I recently purchased some Steelers 90th Season pins from the team's Pro Shop. We also purchased some 90th Season uniform patches from an eBay seller. Why doesn't our beloved team have any anniversary patch on its uniforms this year like it did for their 50th, 60th, 75th, and 80th seasons?
ANSWER: Because the Steelers decided to wear a patch on their jerseys for the Dec. 24 game against the Raiders to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Immaculate Reception. If the Steelers had a 90th Season patch on the front of the jersey, plus the Immaculate Reception patch, plus the logo, which has been part of the uniform since 1997, they'd look more like a bunch of NASCAR drivers than NFL players.

JOHN KNOX FROM MEMPHIS, TN: Based on your experience, are Steelers fans as spoiled and petulant as they seem or are all fan bases like this?
ANSWER: I have no experience with other teams' fan bases.

KEN WAMSLEY FROM BIDWELL, OH: Are the Steelers playing for a high draft pick or trying to make the playoffs?
ANSWER: Today against the New Orleans Saints, they're playing to win a game.

ROD KEEFER FROM EDMOND, OK: I just wanted to congratulate this year's Hall of Honor inductees – posthumously in 3 of 4 cases – and in particular, the family of Sam Davis. I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Davis sometime around 1976 when he attended a local bowling event for charity in Clarion, Pennsylvania. He was outgoing and friendly to everyone and even took time to answer my questions about what it was like to block some of the premier Dallas Cowboys defensive linemen. This past weekend I found the football card that he autographed for me, and it brought back a great childhood memory.
ANSWER: Thanks for sharing.