Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: Oct. 8

Let's get to it:

RON TAYLOR FROM WEST POINT, IN:
Last season I remember one time when the Steelers lined up to kick an extra point. They bobbled the snap and then threw to a receiver in the end zone for two points. Given the new rules, could they still do that from the 15-yard line? I know it seems unlikely, but with all the lousy kicking going on, I think it's only a matter of time before it becomes relevant. Thanks for all the great answers.

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Under your scenario, the play still would count as two points for the offense. Bobbled snap, and then a run or a pass to an eligible receiver that ends up with the ball in the end zone is still worth two points, even though the line of scrimmage is the 15-yard line.**

DEVON MAIDA FROM WALDWICK, NJ:
How true is the report that Ben Roethlisberger will be back by the Chiefs game?

Maybe it turns out to be true. Maybe it turns out to be false. That's the way it is when people make guesses, and any report from any source right now about when Ben Roethlisberger will be back on the field for a game is a guess. Even if the orthopedist handling the case is the one who said it – and I would be willing to bet a lot of money it wasn't – it's still a guess, because it's just too early in the process to know something like that with certainty.

DEVON SIMMER FROM ANKENY, IA:
Should the Steelers put Ben back in right away when he's feeling better, or wait for the full healing process?

Whenever it is that Ben Roethlisberger is cleared medically to play football, that will represent the "full healing process." The Steelers signed Roethlisberger to a new contract this past offseason that's worth in the neighborhood of $100 million, and there is NO WAY they would risk that kind of investment by rushing him back onto the field before he's medically cleared. And the "full healing process" will be complete once he's medically cleared, which means the issue then becomes a question of when the rust is knocked off to allow the player to perform at an above-the-line level. This is an example of why Mike Tomlin so often resists putting a specific time frame on an injury shortly after it happens – because if an injury is labeled a six-week injury, that becomes the exact time frame in everyone's mind. If it doesn't turn out to be exactly six weeks then there can be questions about a team rushing a guy back onto the field if it's earlier, or questions about a player's commitment to getting back onto the field if it takes longer.

DAVID TAYLOR FROM FRANKLIN, OH:
Are you concerned with Antonio Brown being the punt returner considering his value to the team as a receiver?

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Photos from the last victory vs the Chargers on October 4, 2009 at Heinz Field.

The Steelers aren't in the position of being able to turn down an opportunity to get the ball into the hands of one of their playmakers, especially at a time of the season when they are without Ben Roethlisberger. Injuries can happen on any play, and since Brown always seems so anxious to have the ball in his hands to make a play for his team, and because he does a good job of protecting himself, I'm willing to risk it. I also believe this could/should be a job for someone else, but until that individual emerges and proves to be capable, Brown would be my punt returner.**

DAVE ANDERSON FROM IDAHO FALLS, ID:
We are now on kicker No. 4 or is it No. 5? Any way of getting back to No. 1 or No. 2 when they are healthy?

Chris Boswell is the fourth placekicker the Steelers have had on their roster since the preseason opened with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 9, and special teams coordinator Danny Smith is one who hopes there is no No. 5. Just to put names to the second part of your question – Shaun Suisham is No. 1 and Garrett Hartley is No. 2. Both Suisham and Hartley are on injured reserve, which means their seasons are over. You can expect to see Suisham at training camp next summer, but not Hartley.

MELISSA DUBROWA FROM BREVARD, N.C.
What is the status of Landry Jones? There is no talk about his recovery from the concussion nor are there any updates on the Steelers web site.

That's just not true. Landry Jones went through the concussion protocol and was cleared to practice fully during the week leading up to the game against the San Francisco 49ers. Here is a link to that week's practice reports, first listing him as a full participant in the practices during the week, and then showing he was listed as probable for the game against the 49ers.Week 2 Injury Report

DAMON ROSENBERGER FROM DAVENPORT, IA:
Is Todd Haley wanting to leave Pittsburgh to take the head coaching job in Miami?

Where does this stuff come from? One part of Steelers Nation wants Todd Haley's head on a stick because he didn't call plays that had Le'Veon Bell running the ball on either of those fourth down situations in overtime against the Ravens, and another part is worried he's going to leave to take the Dolphins' job. Haley is the Steelers' offensive coordinator, and Dan Carpenter is the Dolphins' interim head coach.

MARK ROSS FROM SACRAMENTO, CA:
Hey Bob, is there some decent chance that Ben will be back for the game against Oakland on my Birthday? Oh, and did Missi Matthews go to Necklaces-R-Us in the offseason?

I'm certain that Ben Roethlisberger is a regular reader of Asked and Answered, and so now that he knows Nov. 8 is your birthday I'm certain he'll do everything in his power to make sure he's playing against the Raiders that day. And Missi Matthews wanted me to tell you that it's not Necklaces-R-Us, but that her go-to is Babies'R'Us. Just in case you wanted to send along a gift certificate.

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