Let’s get to it:
WILLIAM PALAICH FROM CLERMONT, FL: Looking at the remaining schedule, we have no "sure" wins, and I know they have to approach each week and opponent the same. That said, do you think that the Jaguars game will be especially motivating or viewed as a statement game for the Steelers based on the performances against them last year?
ANSWER: I believe a much more important game is on the immediate horizon, and that’s the one against the Ravens in Baltimore. Now that the initial portion of the 2018 season is in the books, I see the Ravens as the Steelers’ primary competition in the AFC North, and Baltimore’s defense seems to be one of the few in the league capable of winning games on its own. Winning in Baltimore is a statement in whichever season it happens, and not only that but a Steelers victory over the Ravens would be more important in terms of long-range playoff implications than a victory over the Jaguars in Jacksonville. In my opinion.
TODD CRUM FROM BAHAMA, NC: If both Cincinnati and Baltimore lose on Sunday, does Pittsburgh become the division leader? Based on an earlier response with a tie counting as half win/half loss my math indicates Pittsburgh has a winning percentage slightly higher than Cincinnati and Baltimore. Am I correct?
ANSWER: You are. If the Bengals and Ravens both lose this weekend, their records would be 4-3, which is a winning percentage of .571. At 3-2-1, the Steelers would be at .583.
JORDAN LITTLE FROM CEDAR RAPIDS, IA: So my friend was all excited to read Asked and Answered on Sunday before the Bengals game but there wasn’t one posted. Did you take the day off or was he mistaken that there should’ve been one on Sunday? Like I said … I’m asking for a friend.
ANSWER: There always is an installment of Asked and Answered on the day of a Steelers game, and it’s posted on Steelers.com at 6 a.m. on those days. Tell your friend to copy and paste this URL address -- https://www.steelers.com/news/asked-and-answered-oct-14 -- and it will take him/her directly to the installment from last Sunday.
JOE VALORIE FROM PITTSBURGH, PA: I don’t think that Arizona will trade Patrick Peterson, but if they would we would need to free up some cap space. They would have to take Le’Veon Bell. That would also give them a third-round compensatory pick in 2020. Pittsburgh could also send a second-round and fourth-round picks to Arizona. I like the deal.
ANSWER: I’m so glad. When you buy the Arizona Cardinals and become that franchise’s decision-maker, shoot me a text and I’ll get word to Kevin Colbert ASAP. And for the gazillionth time, boys and girls, Bell cannot be traded until he signs the franchise tender. The trading deadline is Oct. 30, so if he doesn’t sign the tender by then he cannot be traded.
MARTYN SEARLE FROM MOUNT DORA, FL: With all the talk about whether the team should try to make a trade before the deadline, I was wondering if the Steelers had ever made a significant trade during a season, at the deadline. I can't recall any.
ANSWER: There have been none of those since Chuck Noll was hired in 1969, of that I am confident.
LENNART GABKA FROM WOLFSBURG, GERMANY: When a player gets drafted by a team he doesn’t like – for example a player who’s a Steelers fan gets drafted by the Bengals – could he say no and try to go to another team as an undrafted rookie?
ANSWER: No. Once a player enters the draft and gets picked, his choices are these: play for the team that drafted you or don’t play at all. The player can re-enter the draft the following year, but he still would have to play for the team that picked him.
DAVE KING FROM DUPONT, PA: I’ve noticed when wide receivers line up outside prior to the snap of the ball, they point toward the near sideline. Antonio Brown does it. Why?
ANSWER: The receiver is communicating with the official on that side and checking to make sure he has not lined up offside.
SCOTT BEAUCHAM FROM NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC: Midseason trades are just something we don't usually do. I feel in order to accomplish the goals of a Super Bowl another cornerback is mandatory at this point. Do you foresee a trade this week?
ANSWER: I do not.
JOSHUA OSTEN FROM MECHANICSBURG, PA: Artie Burns seemed to be making strides last year in terms of coverage, but he just can't catch a break this year, with blown coverages and last week's pass interference penalty. He has the talent, so what is the issue?
ANSWER: Guys who have played cornerback at an elite level always say that two qualities necessary for the job are confidence and a short memory. And right now, Artie Burns has neither.