Let's get to it:
The Steelers prepare for the Week 1 matchup against the Cleveland Browns.
NICK KRASKI FROM FRANKLIN, TN:
The Hall of Honor is a great thing for the Steelers organization and fan base. One of my absolute favorite contributors to the team, fan base, city, and sports in general is Myron Cope. Is he eligible to be named to the Hall of Honor at some point in the future?
ANSWER: Yes, Myron Cope is eligible for the Hall of Honor via the contributor category.
GENT RIVER FROM FT. MCCOY, FL:
Josh Dobbs has looked OK for a rookie and is clearly a qualified No. 3 quarterback. I understand that he did not have a quarterback coach in college, which clearly puts him behind. In your opinion based on what you have seen in his preseason games, how long do you think it will take for him to reach the level of being a quality backup quarterback?
ANSWER: I wouldn't waste your time with telling you what I've seen, because my eye is not that discerning, but what I've been told is that Josh Dobbs needs work on his mechanics in addition to the normal learning of how the game is played at the professional level. I would imagine Dobbs will get a lot of playing time next summer, and during that period his progress will be able to be gauged against NFL competition. Remember, Landry Jones was signed to a two-year contract in March, which binds him to the team through the 2018 season. Maybe that's when the decision gets made, but maybe it has to be made earlier. Anything I tell you now would be a bold-faced guess.
DAVID SCHERR FROM GRIFFIN, GA:
Will the Steeler' Hall of Honor include any addition to Heinz Field to house the exhibit?
ANSWER: The immediate plan calls for the Hall of Honor to be contained within the existing FedEx Great Hall.
TIMOTHY BYRNES FROM PIERREFONDS, QUEBEC, CANADA:
In your review of the current roster you used the term "first year pro" to describe Terrell Watson, but "rookie" to describe T.J. Watt. What is the difference?
ANSWER: A rookie is a player who is making his first attempt to make an NFL roster. A first-year pro is a player who has made a previous attempt to make an NFL roster but was unsuccessful.
MICHAEL MONTELEONE FROM MASSAPEQUA PARK, NY:
This marks the 48th season that the Steelers and Bengals have played in the same division yet they have never played on the opening week. There is a 12.5 percent chance (higher before 1978) each year that they would play on the opening week. Since it is almost statistically impossible for this to have happened randomly over this long of a period, are there other factors to explain this?
ANSWER: Yes, that the NFL schedule isn't created by some analytics geek.
VAIL JACKSON FROM VALENCIA, PA:
The Steelers traded Ross Cockrell to the New York Giants in exchange for a conditional pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. What does that mean and how is it determined? If based on performance, who makes that judgment?
ANSWER: What that means is that the compensation the Steelers will receive from the New York Giants will vary based on conditions built into the deal that were agreed upon by both teams. Sometimes the condition can be something as straightforward as the player traded making the 53-man roster. Or it could be conditional on the player traded playing a certain percentage of his new team's defensive snaps. Or the number of starts. Or the number of games he's on the game day roster. The conditions imposed have to be measurable so it easily can be determined if they were met.
WALLACE HORTON FROM HYATTSVILLE, MD:
Has anyone picked up Senquez Golson?
ANSWER: As of Monday afternoon, no. I would imagine Senquez Golson is going to have to get healthy enough to be able to practice, which would make him healthy enough to pass an NFL physical, before a team would sign him, even to its practice squad.
PATRICK ALFORD FROM ASHLAND, VA:
Any details yet on the three year contract Joe Haden signed?
ANSWER: According to spotrac.com, Joe Haden's three-year contract called for a $5.75 million signing bonus, plus a $1.25 million salary for 2017. In 2018, he is due a $1 million roster bonus and a salary of $9 million, and in 2019 he is due a $10 million salary.
MARK DIXON FROM LEWISBERRY, PA:
When a player is released by one team and then signed by another, like in the Joe Haden transaction, does he get paid the balance of his contract with his former team upon being released?
ANSWER: No. Since NFL player contracts are not guaranteed, the contract becomes void when the player is released, unless there is guaranteed money specifically called for in the language of the original contract.
ROSS HUNT FROM LISBURN, NORTHERN IRELAND:
Is Sammie Coates not worth more than swapping a seventh-round pick for a sixth-round pick, or have I overvalued him in my head?
ANSWER: I believe you have fallen into a common trap, and that is this: market value is not what someone believes they are worth, but it is what someone is willing to pay. I can assure you the Steelers took the best offer available.
JAN IRREK FROM HALLE, GERMANY:
During training camp Vince Williams was discussed as a potential candidate for getting cut. What do you think he did right to make the 53-man roster, what made him more valuable than other potentials, and how do you envision his role with the team for this season?
ANSWER: What Dan McCullers did during the training camp/preseason phase – and this goes for all players in the category of fighting for a roster spot – was show himself to be better/more valuable than the other guys at his position fighting for a roster spot. In the specific case of McCullers, the Steelers cut five defensive linemen on Sept. 2, which means he showed himself to be better than those five guys. As for McCullers' role, the Steelers typically would have five defensive linemen in uniform on game day, and because both Tyson Alualu and L.T. Walton can play both end and nose tackle, my guess is that McCullers will be the guy who's inactive.
ROB KEALEY FROM PAXINOS, PA:
Do you think Aaron Smith will ever make the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
ANSWER: I do not, because while Aaron Smith's value to the Steelers is undeniable, his value never was reflected in the kind of statistics that typically launch a candidacy into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That's one of the reasons why the Steelers decided to act upon what now is known as the Hall of Honor. For players like Aaron Smith.
The Steelers held the 29th annual Gatorade/Steelers 5K Race, Fitness Walk and Kid's Kickoff Run at Heinz Field. The race raises money for the Art Rooney Scholarship Fund.
DAVID SHAFFER FROM ATLANTA, GA:
For the guy who moved to Hawaii: The only Steelers bar I found in Hawaii when I was stationed there was the Hooters at the Aloha Tower.
For my question: What is the difference between in shape and football shape? The only reason I'm asking is because of Le'Veon Bell not being at training came and with the team during the preseason. People will forget about him not being with the team if he has a great game. But if he gets hurt fans and media will say he got hurt because he was not at camp or at least with the team during the preseason. I don't see how you can blame an injury on not being at camp. Here's why: If Antonio Brown and Bell both get hurt, everyone will say that Bell's injury was due to not being at camp. But then what would be the reason for Brown's injury?
ANSWER: I get where you're going with this, and I don't necessarily disagree. If Bell is injured early in the season, there's little doubt fans angry over him not signing the franchise tender and reporting to the team at some point during the camp/preseason process will blame it on that. It might not be accurate, but I also don't believe there is any way to fight that perception.
STEVE FLANAGAN FROM RENO, NV:
The Shack in Kailua (windward side of Oahu) is a great place to watch the Steelers.
JOE SCHMAELING FROM PITTSBURGH, PA:
According to my Steelers Bar app, there is a Steelers bar called The Shack at 377 Keahole St. in Honolulu.
AUSTIN GREEN FROM SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA:
I'm writing this to help out Bob Kelly who wrote in to ask about a Steelers bar in Hawaii. My wife, mom, dad, and I were in Oahu for Christmas, and we watched the game against the Ravens at a place called Breakers in Hale'iwa. It wasn't a Steelers bar, but it is a great place to watch a game with quite a few Steelers fans, and great food. Maybe the win helped with the atmosphere, but we all enjoyed it quite a bit, and would highly recommend he check it out.
ANSWER: The power and reach of Steelers Nation never ceases to amaze me.