Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: Sept. 27

Let's get to it:

MICHAEL RICKLEY FROM BRUNSWICK, MD:
Just three points? Bad game, or a harbinger of doom? Personally, I can't wait until Sunday to forget this one.

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ANSWER: Bad game, or a harbinger of doom? That's the $1 million question, and the answer only will be revealed over time. My belief is that it was a bad game, because there is too much proven talent at important positions for this offense to be turning in that kind of performance on a regular basis. And I understand that some Steelers fans don't want to hear a lot of praise for the opponent, but Jim Schwartz is a good defensive coach and he has that Eagles unit playing well. But even with that, there were plays to be made by the Steelers offense at various times throughout the afternoon, but passes were dropped, receivers were missed, field goals got blocked, etc.**

BRIAN BAUGHMAN FROM LAKESIDE, AZ:
Should we be concerned about all the PC answers given postgame by the Steelers and the team giving so much credit to the Eagles, to the point that we should be fans of them also? I would feel more confident that no repeat performance would be coming if the attitude was more like that in the past, the steely silent stare by a Greg Lloyd, or a Jack Lambert saying, just give us a six-pack and we'll go out and play them again. Where's the fire?

ANSWER: You deride the comments coming out of the Steelers locker room after that 34-3 loss to the Eagles as politically correct, while I maintain they approached their situation with professionalism. Remember, this is the NFL, not a gunfight at the OK Corral. The steely glare coming from a strong-silent type is more the stuff of a Hollywood Western than it is an accurate reflection of the business of professional football in the 21st century. One last point: "fire" doesn't win football games. Preparation, execution, and resolve win football games.

LARRY MCCANDLESS FROM JONESBOROUGH, TN:
Growing up and playing football in Western Pennsylvania, I remember the locker room vividly after a stunning and decisive defeat such as the Steelers experienced in Philadelphia. The coaches would really lay into us. What's it like in the Steelers' locker room? Do the coaches berate the team? Do they holler and scream their heads off like my high school coaches did? I could understand them doing so after a performance like Sunday's.

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Take a look at the best photos from Week 3. The Eagles defeated the Steelers 34-3.

ANSWER: Because you're dealing with grown men who are professionals in the NFL, the whole approach has to be different if it's to be successful. Screaming and yelling and berating players might work at the high school level, but that's not the way to get the message across to professionals. There are times, however, when "truths are told," and that usually happens when the team gathers on Monday to review the video from the previous Sunday's game.**

RYAN FOX FROM DANVILLE, PA:
Release Markus Wheaton, Ben Roethlisberger, all of the offensive linemen and half the defense. Oh, and fire Mike Tomlin, Todd Haley, and Keith Butler. Heck, let's get rid of the Rooneys, too. All right, now we have the overreactions out of the way. Apparently nobody else ever has a bad day on the job. Of course I'm frustrated, but I still really like this team's possibilities. Embarrassing to lose like that, but at least the loss wasn't at the hand of a division opponent.

ANSWER: I, too, still like the 2016 Steelers' possibilities, but before I'm going to be willing to dismiss 34-3 as a bad day at the office, I'm going to need to see this group of players rebound from it. That only can be revealed over time.

RONNIE ALLAN FROM WALLINGFORD, PA:
Love A&A. Never miss it.  Just want to ask about how you get your data.  For instance, you recently debunked someone's comment that Antonio Brown had three touchdown catches in one game.  Do you have a query tool?  Is it something a numbers guy like myself can get his hands on?

ANSWER: I'm not going to reveal all of my secrets, because then that would expose the Asked and Answered model to pirates who could steal the concept and then cut into my share of the billion-dollar Q&A field. But the answer to the Antonio Brown question came by opening the 2016 Media Guide, going to the Antonio Brown biography pages and scanning through his game-by-game statistics over the course of his career to see whether he ever had a '3' in the TD column.

JEFF BENSON FROM PHOENIX AZ:
Are players listed as inactive paid their normal game check or is it reduced?

ANSWER: Active or inactive, players receive the game check stipulated by the terms of their contract.

MICKEY FINN FROM DONORA, PA:
Thanks for noting the jersey color for the game against the Eagles. Is that a regular thing for you? I ask as I'm sometimes confused when we wear black due to the home team's choice, and then I end up wearing the wrong jersey to the club for the game.

ANSWER: Because fans have responded so favorably to the inclusion of this information, I will make every effort to have the jersey color in the pertinent edition of Asked and Answered: Game Day. This will be done only for road games, because the Steelers always wear black at home.

ADAM STATTI FROM FORT MYERS, FL:
Antonio Brown has put up numbers during the last few seasons that are historic. What is a fair method for comparing him to guys like Jerry Rice who played during an era where passing wasn't as prevalent and the rules for defenders were different?

ANSWER: That's a question I cannot answer, and I believe it's the critical issue facing the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Selectors, because those guys have to come up with an answer to that question and then apply it to the candidates presented to them for induction. It's the primary reason why I believe it's going to be difficult for a lot of these younger generation of wide receivers to get elected. There isn't an objective way to compare their statistics with those already enshrined.

MARK STENGEL FROM SIOUX FALLS, SD:
Is Mr. Kevin Colbert absolutely positive the Steelers have NO need of my services? Just wanted to say thank you to you for doing Asked and Answered. I really enjoy them.

ANSWER: If you have any pass-rush ability, he might change his mind.


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