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Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: Oct. 17

Let's get to it:

Do the players get new helmets every week or so, or are they polished to get the scratches off them?

ANSWER: Helmets are treated differently than other football equipment in that while they're checked regularly to make sure they maintain their integrity for safety purposes, they're never replaced unless damaged to the point of being unsafe. Polishing or repainting them for cosmetic purposes can happen, but an NFL player has only one helmet that has been tested for safety and fitted especially for his head. As an example, teams that wear throwback jerseys once or twice a year or color rush uniforms will not change the helmet as part of the fashion statement.

Long time Steeler fan born and raised in Pittsburgh. Can't understand why we didn't go for a 2-point conversion after the last touchdown in Kansas City.

ANSWER: Antonio Brown's 51-yard touchdown reception from Ben Roethlisberger gave the Steelers an 18-10 lead with 3:24 remaining in the fourth quarter. An extra point makes it 19-10, which is a two-score margin. Going for a 2-point conversion and failing would have allowed the Chiefs to tie the game with one touchdown and their own 2-point conversion. That's why.

Why not dub Antonio Brown's catch in Kansas City the immaculate deflection?

ANSWER: For me, it's all about the significance. There can be no arguing how significant Franco Harris' Immaculate Reception was, and Antonio Brown's Immaculate Extension clinched a division title and knocked the hated Ravens out of the playoffs. What happened in Kansas City was a big win and made for a fun afternoon, but to me it's too early in a season to claim the play was as significant as those others.

Since Ben Roethlisberger doesn't practice, or has a limited practice, on Wednesdays, that means that Landry Jones assumes the role as the starting quarterback on that day. Does that mean Josh Dobbs gets a few reps with the starters and second-team like Landry normally does on other days?

ANSWER: This is the general rule for dividing work among quarterbacks during in-season practices during a tyical week of preparation: the starter takes all of the first-team reps, or as many of the first-team reps as he feels he needs to be prepared for the upcoming opponent, which can leave a little bit of work for the backup, typically on Fridays. In general, the starter always practices on Fridays, barring injury, which leaves little chance for the No. 3 quarterback to get any work except with the scout team, which goes against the No. 1 defense.

On the play in the third quarter on Sunday where Le'Veon Bell ran for 26 yards but it was called back because of holding penalty on B.J. Finney, did Bell get credit for an attempt or yards, because when they reset for the next play the Steelers were facing a first-and-18 instead of the expected first-and-20?

ANSWER: Yes, on the play you reference, Bell's 26-yard run became a 2-yard run because of the holding penalty on B.J. Finney. If the officials judge that the holding occurred at a specific time after the snap, sometimes there can be yardage credited to an individual before the assessment of the penalty. If it had been a quick pass, as another example, Ben Roethlisberger could have been credited with a completion for some yards, and then the holding penalty could have been assessed at some point during the run after the catch. Sometimes I think the zebras just make it up as they go along, but that's just me.

At what point on game day is the final roster set, and is there any time if a player is injured during warmups that the roster spot can be changed?

ANSWER: Each team turns in its list of inactive players 90 minutes prior to kickoff. Teams can do all the changing they want up to that point, and none after that point.

At the end of the Kansas City game when the Steelers took over on downs, there were 52 seconds left and all they had to do was take a knee twice. The Steelers took a knee and then took a knee again while there were 29 seconds still left on the clock. If there was a fumbled snap and Kansas City recovered they would have had around 25 seconds left. Why not run the clock down for most of the 40 seconds on the play clock so that there would have less than 10 seconds left if the snap was fumbled?

ANSWER: Wow. Really? A fumbled snap in victory formation? I think you're looking for things to worry/complain about. If your professional football team cannot execute a snap from victory formation without fumbling the ball, there are bigger issues than not having run the play clock down. And people tell me I live in my fears.

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