Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: Nov. 2

Let's get to it:

AMILCAR CACINI FROM MOGI DAS CRUZES, SP, BRAZIL: Is Chris Boswell the best kicker in Steelers' history? Regards from Brazil.
ANSWER: In my opinion, yes. Here is a comparison of the kickers I believe who have a claim to being the best in franchise history, and the reason why Roy Gerela is not included is because he converted 64.3 percent of his career field goal attempts, which in today's NFL would get a placekicker cut. The candidates are listed in chronological order, in terms of their Steelers careers:

Career FG Pct. (regular season – 197 games): 78.2 percent
Career FG Pct. (playoffs – 10 games): 78.9 percent
Career FG Pct. (40-49 yards): 68.8 percent
Career FG Pct. (50+ yards): 29.6 percent

Career FG Pct. (regular season – 63 games): 82.7 percent
Career FG Pct. (playoffs – 7 games): 83.3 percent
Career FG Pct. (40-49 yards): 71.4 percent
Career FG Pct. (50+ yards): 33.3 percent

Career FG Pct. (regular season – 127 games): 81.9 percent
Career FG Pct. (playoffs – 12 games): 88.9 percent
Career FG Pct. (40-49 yards): 67.1 percent
Career FG Pct. (50+ yards): 47.0 percent

Career FG Pct. (regular season – 71 games): 87.9 percent
Career FG Pct. (playoffs – 5 games): 81.8 percent
Career FG Pct. (40-49 yards): 88 percent
Career FG Pct. (50+ yards): 37.5 percent

Career FG Pct. (regular season – 123 games): 86.6 percent
Career FG Pct. (playoffs – 8 games): 100 percent
Career FG Pct. (40-49 yards): 78.7 percent (70-of-89)
Career FG Pct. (50+ yards): 80 percent (28-for-35)

DEAN FLORIO FROM MARRERO, LA: Would you say most Steelers fans in attendance at away games are traveling from Pittsburgh, or are they just people from that area who just grew up as Steelers fans?
ANSWER: Steelers fans in attendance at road games are made up of a combination of people traveling to the site from Pittsburgh (as I believe was the case for the Sept. 24 game in Las Vegas), people who may have had roots in Pittsburgh (such as parents who once lived in Pittsburgh but relocated at some point for a job, as one example), and people who either live in the away city or live close to the away city and for some reason came to be Steelers fans. It's not a one-size-fits-all answer, in my opinion.

MATTHEW BARISH FROM LAKE HAVASU CITY, AZ: All Injuries are not the same. I remember many times Ben Roethlisberger playing through or coming back from an injury when others would not have been able to do that. Many times the starting quarterback comes out of a game for a series or two only to return later. If the starter or the backup was injured for a time, but later able to return, what would constitute a punishable offense if the team had put in the emergency quarterback?
ANSWER: I'm going to answer this question based on the Steelers quarterback situation to make it simpler. In order for the emergency quarterback to be put into the game, both the starter and backup would have to be injured during the game and unable to continue. Should one of them then be able to return by being cleared by the on-site medical personnel, he would go back into the game and the emergency quarterback would return to the sideline. There would be no punishment to the team in that situation.

BRIAN STOKES FROM WILLIAMSBURG, VA: How much do you believe Ben Roethlisberger's fast start to his career has led to the animosity of many against Kenny Pickett?
ANSWER: I absolutely believe that a common malady among the vast majority of fans, not just Steelers fans, is that they don't really appreciate what they had until it's gone. In the case of the start of Ben Roethlisberger's career, I believe that some have come to take that for granted, that it wasn't as difficult to accomplish and as rare an event as it actually was.

DALE GELLER FROM CAPE CORAL, FL: If Kenny Pickett can't play on Thursday against the Titans, Mitch Trubisky would be the starter and Mason Rudolph would be the backup. Who would the Steelers designate as the emergency quarterback?
ANSWER: In that hypothetical instance, for that one game, there wouldn't be an emergency quarterback. It's not mandatory to have one.

JOSH MATTHEWS FROM NEW YORK, NY: What was up with the many low snaps to Mitch Trubisky during the game against the Jaguars? I understand that mechanics can change when switching quarterbacks mid-game, but what could have caused this issue in your experience? Is Trubisky's hard count so different from Kenny Pickett's, making it difficult for Mason Cole to adjust?
ANSWER: Maybe you weren't paying as close attention before Kenny Pickett was injured, but there were many off-target snaps to him as well. On-target shotgun snaps to the quarterback have nothing to do with anything except the center's execution of those snaps. The cadence has no impact whatsoever.

JIMMY ROBERTS FROM CHARLESTON, SC: If an injury were to happen to one of the specialists in the middle of the game, are there players on the Steelers roster who have the skills to fill in as an emergency placekicker, punter, or long-snapper?
ANSWER: In a situation of an injury to one of the specialists during a game, the Steelers have practiced for that situation and have worked with others on the roster to fill in. Those players' identities are kept in-house, because Coach Mike Tomlin doesn't want them to be subjected to a bunch of questions before such an emergency might arise.

JEFF CROWELL FROM EFFINGHAM, IL: You have referenced how players are financially penalized for infractions (called and uncalled) when the game is reviewed by the NFL in New York. In the pregame show last Sunday before Jacksonville, Dale Lolley reported that Jaylen Warren has been penalized twice for blocking with his helmet, and that each fine was in the neighborhood of his entire game check. Can you confirm or deny this report? And if confirmed what was the amount of the fine?
ANSWER: It is accurate. Jaylen Warren has been fined twice when it was decided he illegally used the crown of his helmet – the first time in the game against the Browns on Sept. 18, and the second time in the game against the Rams on Oct. 22. The amount of the first fine was $48,333, and the amount of the second fine was $48,556.

LARRY ZUBEL FROM BULLS GAP, TN: Can you elaborate at all on an answer Coach Tomlin gave about the turnovers we achieved during the Jacksonville game? He indicated that the turnovers we surrendered were a factor in the game, but the three that we achieved were "not the type of turnover" that affect the game. I was surprised to hear that assessment, since failing to capitalize on those three turnovers strikes me as a significant factor in that game. What did Coach mean by that analysis?
ANSWER: This is what Coach Mike Tomlin said about the Steelers takeaways vs. Jacksonville: "We were able to get some turnovers, but they weren't the type of turnovers that tee up the offense in terms of being on a short field, although I do appreciate them, they kept the score down, they weren't the type that tee up the offense. Obviously, we've got a desire to dominate the turnover component of play. We got some but not the type that are really advantageous." Your characterization that he said those takeaways were "not the type of turnover that affect the game" is not completely accurate. Tomlin was referring to the fact the takeaways gave the Steelers the ball three times in their own territory, and as he said "they kept the score down" but "they weren't the type to tee up the offense" either with excellent field position in Jaguars territory or ones that resulted directly in points, as was the case vs. Cleveland on Sept. 18 when Alex Highsmith returned an interception for a touchdown and T.J. Watt returned a fumble for a touchdown. I believe if you read the quote of what he actually said about the turnovers instead of getting the context of it second-hand, his meaning will be more clear.

ROY KAMINSKY FROM DILLON, MT: Najee Harris has all of the athletic tools on paper but he seems hesitant at the line of scrimmage or when changing direction. Does he need more coaching or is this an instinctual matter?
ANSWER: My experience tells me that when a running back is hesitant at the line of scrimmage, what he needs most is an actual hole to run through. That has not been happening nearly enough this season.

DAVID MORGAN FROM LEWISTON, ME: After the weekend of sheltering in place, and the sadness for those who lost their lives and the families affected as a result of the mass shooting, it was so nice to read Asked and Answered to help bring some normalcy to my life. I thank you for that.
ANSWER: This is one of the most touching submissions I ever have received. You're very welcome.