Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: Nov. 21

Let's get to it:

Can you show us the list of the quarterbacks who started games between the end of Terry Bradshaw's career and the start of Ben Roethlisberger's career? I know Ben hasn't had his best year so far, but people need to realize very few teams go from a Joe Montana to a Steve Young, or from a Brett Favre to an Aaron Rodgers. At best, we had two or three guys who were above average for a year or two in between Bradshaw and Roethlisberger.

ANSWER: In answering your question, the time frame I am using begins with the 1984 season because Terry Bradshaw announced his retirement on July 24, 1984, and Ben Roethlisberger made his first NFL start on Sept. 26, 2004. In somewhat chronological order, the players who started games at quarterback for the Steelers between those dates were: David Woodley, Mark Malone, Scott Campbell, Bubby Brister, Steve Bono, Todd Blackledge, Neil O'Donnell, Mike Tomczak, Jim Miller, Kordell Stewart, Kent Graham, and Tommy Maddox.

How many comeback wins does Ben Roethlisberger have in his career?

ANSWER: According to their 2017 Media Guide, the Steelers define Ben Roethlisberger's comeback wins as those in which he "has rallied the Steelers from a fourth quarter deficit to tie or to win." Based on that, Roethlisberger came into the 2017 season with 39 comeback victories – 35 in the regular season and four in the postseason. Add the game against Indianapolis this season, and that gives him 40.

I wanted to surprise my son with tickets to a Steelers game for Christmas and purchased tickets in Section 111 for the Dec. 31 game at Heinz field. I didn't realize it was the visitor's side. Do fans sit on that side or should I sell my tickets? Please reply, because I really want this to be a great trip.

ANSWER: This isn't a high school game, where fans for each team sit on a specific side of the stadium. The opponent that day will be the Cleveland Browns, and I cannot imagine a realistic scenario in which a bunch of their fans want to travel to Pittsburgh for a New Year's Eve game. With seats in Section 111, you're going to be almost directly on the 50-yard line. Good seats.

In the Titans game, when we stopped them on third down and they would've had to punt but were penalized for a false start, why couldn't we decline the penalty and make them punt, rather than letting them repeat the down (and convert)?

ANSWER: It was a third-and-1, and on the play Vince Williams burst into the backfield and dumped the running back for a loss. The penalty wasn't for a false start, but for delay of game. That's a pre-snap penalty, and so the Steelers' choices were to accept the penalty and make it a third-and-6, or decline the penalty and allow the Titans to run another play as a third-and-1 situation. That's the rule.

What are the fans yelling when JuJu Smith-Schuster makes a play?

ANSWER: It's the sound that rhymes with Lou, boo, and JuJu.

Didn't Antonio Brown have a helmet catch in the playoffs against the Ravens a while back? The announcers acted like he's never done it before.

ANSWER: It was a 2010 AFC Divisional Round game against the Ravens at Heinz Field. With 2:07 remaining in the fourth quarter of a 24-24 game, the Steelers faced a third-and-19 at their own 38-yard line. Ben Roethlisberger threw deep down the right side to Antonio Brown, then a rookie, and he made the first helmet-catch of his career for a 58-yard gain to the Ravens' 4-yard line. Four plays later, Rashard Mendenhall plunged 2 yards for the touchdown that provided the decisive points in a 31-24 victory that allowed the Steelers to advance to the AFC Championship Game against the New York Jets at Heinz Field.

The Pittsburgh Steelers would like to thank those who have served our country.

The strategy on display during each and every play in football is fascinating and complex. As the season progresses, teams are all watching and studying each other, learning strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and habits in various situations. How do the coordinators balance what has worked well earlier in the season with avoiding predictability for games later in the season?

ANSWER: Generally speaking, what wins in the NFL is execution, and so teams constantly are striving to do what their own players can execute at a high level. Maybe plays are run from different formations, or when it comes to defense, coverages are disguised pre-snap. But trickery isn't the way to go, especially not in games during the playoffs.

Every week we are told Tunch Ilkin is watching tape. Is he watching tape with the team and helping the team, or is he only watching tape for the shows for the fans?

ANSWER: Tunch Ilkin has no day-to-day role with the Steelers during the season. He is the color analyst on the Steelers Radio Network's game broadcasts as well as an integral member of the family. He is watching video to allow him to speak intelligently about the opponent via those forums.

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