Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: Nov. 21

Let's get to it:

AARON LOWE FROM WASHINGTON, DC: How many players can a team bring back from the injured reserve list? I notice that Carlos Davis is practicing with the team, and the Steelers have 21 days to make a decision whether to add him to the 53-man roster or return him to IR for the rest of the year. The Steelers have bought back Zach Banner and Anthony McFarland Jr. from IR. If they bring Davis off IR does that mean Stephon Tuitt is done for the year?
ANSWER: There is no limit to the number of players a team can bring back from the injured reserve list, so Carlos Davis' situation is not tied to Stephon Tuitt's situation in any way.

KEN WALDROP FROM ONTONAGON, MI: Even if Ben Roethlisberger is cleared to play against the Chargers, is it possible he may stay out because he is not feeling 100 percent? I don't think I would be very disappointed with a well-rested Ben going into two divisional games in the weeks after the game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
ANSWER: Is it possible? Questions phrased like that, or "is there any chance," or "what are the odds" are very difficult to answer, because anything is possible (except Mike Tomlin accepting a job as a college coach), there's always a chance, and I'm not an oddsmaker. I don't believe if Ben Roethlisberger is cleared that he would have any interest in being well-rested for the two games after the one vs. the Chargers, and I also don't believe Coach Mike Tomlin has any interest in not starting the quarterback who gives the Steelers the best chance to win THIS GAME.

GREG GRUNZEL FROM FAIRFAX, VA: Considering the new injuries to the interior of the offensive line, what are your thoughts and/or have you heard anything from the team on seeing how Kendrick Green does at guard in the NFL, with B.J. Finney or J.C. Hassenauer at center? Maybe it could give a clearer picture of what the team needs are on the offensive line for the offseason?
ANSWER: You are posing a question as though it's the preseason and the Steelers are in an evaluation phase instead of it being the regular season and the team being in a "trying to win games" phase. Do you really think it would be a good idea to see "how Kendrick Green does at guard in the NFL" after having him at center for every snap he has taken in a Steelers uniform? Me neither. The Steelers will judge what their needs are for the offseason when it's the offseason. There are still eight regular season games left.

CHRIS ZEISS FROM CORRYTON, TN: With Kevin Dotson set to miss the Chargers game, would moving Dan Moore Jr. to guard, Chuks Okorafor to left tackle, and starting Zach Banner at right tackle be a viable option for the Steelers?
ANSWER: Not in the real world it wouldn't. Your idea is to move a rookie left tackle to guard, where he hasn't played since high school; move the starting right tackle to left tackle; and insert a player at right tackle who has played less than one quarter of NFL football since the end of 2019 to fill in for an injured left guard. Why not just start B.J. Finney at left guard?

SEAN FREDERICK FROM SOUTH BEND, IN: I take it you don't like ties. Lots of good content this week.
ANSWER: Thanks for the compliment. Actually, what I like less than ties are fans wanting to come up with ways to garbage up the game with glorified skills competitions as a way to avoid ties. Imagine playing 60 minutes of rock 'em, sock 'em vs. the Ravens and the outcome is decided by a version of something you might find at a carnival midway? No thanks.

DEREK LAKE FROM BUSHNELL, FL: Why in the world are we still talking about ties? We turned the ball over twice in overtime, and the Lions missed a very makeable 47-yard field goal. I hate ties as much as the next guy but being 5-3-1 is better than 5-4. Can we please move on instead of changing NFL rules to appease us fans?
ANSWER: As they say in church basements, "Bingo!"

TRAVIS LEWIS FROM WEST ALLIS, WI: What were Levon Kirkland's stats during his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers? I remember him being a great player, and yet we hear little about him.
ANSWER: Levon Kirkland was the second draft pick of the Bill Cowher era, a second-round choice from Clemson (38th overall) in the 1992 NFL Draft. In nine seasons with the Steelers, Kirkland played 144 games (124 starts), and he finished with 849 tackles, including 17 for loss; 11 interceptions; 11 passes defensed; 14 forced fumbles; eight fumble recoveries; 18.5 sacks; and one defensive touchdown. Kirkland was voted to the Pro Bowl following the 1996 and 1997 seasons, and he was voted first-team All-Pro in 1997. Kirkland led the Steelers in tackles with 10 and added a sack in Super Bowl XXX.

DEWAYNE SAMPLES FROM BOLT, WV: I know the Steelers and the Pitt Panthers both play home games at Heinz Field, but do each of them have their own locker room at the stadium, or is that something they share on game day?
ANSWER: Each team has its own locker room facility at Heinz Field, and each is laid out and decorated in the respective team colors, etc.

BRIAN FIORENTINO FROM VIRGINIA BEACH, VA: I know you're tired of the word "tie" in regard to football, but has there ever been a team that has had more than one tie in the same season?
ANSWER: The 1936 Chicago Bears finished that season with six ties, and the 1963 Steelers finished that season with three ties. Those are just two examples, and there are many more.

TIM GRATCHEN FROM FRISCO, TX: If you were the general manager, what approach do you favor as the best solution to provide quality quarterback play for next season? Do you use the draft given the Steelers are usually in a low draft position and their history is not to trade up? Do you consider a proven free agent, which will be very costly? Or are you satisfied with current roster backups for the short term given the results you have witnessed from their playing time?
ANSWER: If I were the general manager, I would not have any preconceived notions, and I also would know that there is a lot of time between now and the time to make such a decision, and much evaluating and scouting to take place during that amount of time.

NICK MITCHELL FROM GLEN-LYON, PA: What is the Steelers overall record in overtime games, and how many ties do we have?
ANSWER: The Steelers have a 25-21-4 record in regular season overtime games, and in the history of the franchise there have been 22 games that ended in a tie.

STEVE VANCE FROM LAKE PLACID, NY: In the 50-some years of being a dedicated and loyal Steelers fan, the game against the Lions easily had to be one of the top three most frustrating games I've ever watched. I assume after reading your follow-up to the game you were a bit vexed as well. If so, where did this game land on your all-time list of tough games to watch?
ANSWER: You're trying to tell me that in 50-plus years, a 16-16 tie with the Detroit Lions was one of the three most frustrating Steelers games you've watched during that span? Either you have a short memory, or you don't watch all of the games. I gave this about five seconds worth of thought and came up with the 1994 AFC Championship Game, a.k.a, fourth-and-goal at the 2-yard line; Super Bowl XXX, a.k.a., "Run the ball, Chan, don't let Neil throw another interception;" and New England 27, Steelers 24, on Dec. 17, 2017, a.k.a., "That was a catch by Jesse James for the game-winning touchdown."

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