Let’s get to it:
JACK KINCAID FROM MASSILLON, OH: It seems as each year passes Bill Cowher's chance at the Pro Football Hall of Fame becomes less likely. In your opinion, is Cowher deserving of induction, and do you think he will ever achieve it?
ANSWER: Bill Cowher had a fine career as the Steelers coach. His teams were contenders on a consistent basis, and he was 1-1 in Super Bowls. But I believe winning only one Super Bowl means Cowher never will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, because to get a bronze bust even two Super Bowl titles is no guarantee of election. Tom Flores, George Seifert, Jimmy Johnson, Mike Shanahan, and Tom Coughlin all won two Super Bowls, and none of them are in the Hall of Fame. Cowher will be inducted into the Steelers Hall of Honor at the end of September, and he is deserving of that recognition but I don’t see Canton in his future.
CHUCK SHIELDS FROM WEST MIFFLIN, PA: I was saying to myself at halftime, “Let’s put Mason Rudolph in at quarterback and see if he can start something?” Why not use Mason more?
ANSWER: You don’t use Mason Rudolph more because Ben Roethlisberger is a Hall of Fame-caliber franchise quarterback, and we’re now in the regular season.
BOBBY DINICOLA FROM VALLEY VIEW, TX: Are the Steelers going to have an additional dead cap hit in 2020 for Antonio Brown? Is this something that is collectively bargained as far as the salary cap and contracts?
ANSWER: No. Yes.
NATE GRASHA FROM EMSWORTH, PA: Would you say a guy like Bo Scarbrough who was a great running back at Alabama would be a great backup running back to James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, and Benny Snell?
ANSWER: A backup to James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, and Benny Snell would be a fourth-string running back. There is no fourth-string on an NFL team in the regular season.
JON HOFMANN FROM GRIDLEY, IL: Can you explain what goes into determining the trade value for players? Josh Dobbs who the Steelers drafted in the fourth round and developed for two-plus years was traded for a fifth-round draft choice, and Jerald Hawkins is another fourth-round pick who was traded along with a seventh-round pick for a sixth-round pick. It doesn't seem the Steelers are getting much in return.
ANSWER: What you might think the Steelers deserve in return when making a trade has nothing to do with it. All that matters is what a team is willing to pay. When I was fielding questions in late August from fans eager to trade Josh Dobbs, I tried to explain that the Steelers would not even be able to recoup the draft capital they had to spend to pick him, and they didn’t. This is likely the way teams viewed Dobbs: Instead of seeing him as a No. 4 pick with two years of “development” in the NFL, they saw him as a guy who looked to be on a path as a career backup who was unable to hold onto the No. 2 job he won the previous summer. All things considered, I believe getting a No. 5 pick in return for him a win. As for Hawkins, sure he entered the league as a No. 4 pick, but he spent two of his first three seasons on injured reserve (shoulder in 2016, torn quadriceps in 2018), and in his other season he was a backup. That’s the kind of thing that lowers a player’s value. I’m surprised the Steelers were able to get anything for him, and they probably wouldn’t if teams weren’t so desperate for offensive linemen. Sometimes fans make the same mistake that players make when it comes to assessing market value: Market value isn’t what you believe you’re worth, it’s what somebody is willing to pay.
ROSS DEVERTS FROM BAKERSFIELD, CA: Can you please explain what a walkthrough is essentially?
ANSWER: A walk-through is an on-field workout where the players wear neither pads nor helmets, and what happens is the coaches reinforce what just was taught in the classroom, but in this setting the players learn by doing.
ERIC MORGAN FROM POINT PLEASANT BORO, NJ: Can a player on the waiver wire decline to go to the team that was awarded the waiver claim?
ANSWER: He cannot. A player who is subject to waivers and is waived either goes to the team that is awarded the claim based on having the worst record among all of the teams making a claim, or he does not play in the NFL.
JEFF TRODDEN FROM YORK, PA: What do you think about using Dan McCullers as a fullback in those short-yardage situations like the Chicago Bears did with William “Refrigerator” Perry?
ANSWER: What do I think? Dan McCullers is nowhere near the athlete that William Perry was. Casey Hampton lobbied for years to get a chance on offense, and he got that chance as a fullback during a goal-line drill at Saint Vincent College. He did it for one play, failed miserably, and never asked for another snap on offense.
TIM SCHUCKERS FROM BIG RUN, PA: Is Eli Rogers still available, or did another team pick him up?
ANSWER: Eli Rogers currently is a free agent free to sign with any team in the NFL, or the XFL.
ANGELO COLAMARINO FROM OVIEDO, FL: What are the chances of the Steelers pursuing someone like Eric Berry to help out the young secondary?
ANSWER: The chances are the same as me not getting any more of these Eric Berry questions.
JOE KILBURG FROM CLARK, NJ: Why do people keep asking about Dez Bryant?
ANSWER: The same reason they keep asking about Eric Berry.