Ask Ed: Why Can't Rookies Play Immediately?

By Ed Bouchette
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 8 years ago

Good morning,

Today, we take a different turn in Ask Ed, heading to Twitter for your questions after today’s first one that was sent to me at .

--- YOU: I have been a Steeler's fan since I was a kid in the '70's. Why do the Steelers have such a "complex" system that makes it difficult for Rookies to contribute in their few 2 or 3 years with the Team? As everyone knows, the 1974 draft produced Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, Mike Webster, and John Stallworth. (All of which are HOF'ers and contributed to a Super Bowl team as Rookies.) How hard is it to make a tackle or catch a football? Why don't the Steelers stop wasting valuable time with Rookies, simplify the system, and let them play?

ED: As I wrote over the weekend, that 1974 draft that produced four Hall of Famers did not help the Steelers much their rookie season. Mike Webster started one game that season. John Stallworth and Lynn Swann combined for 29 receptions and neither was among the top four Steelers leaders. Jack Lambert was the only one who provided material help as a rookie. He started 14 games and was defensive rookie of the year.

For years, rookies could not crack the Steelers defense not so much because of the complexity but because of the talent in front of them. The coaches determined that was not the case for Jarvis Jones and Ryan Shazier, just as they determined it was not for Casey Hampton and Kendrell Bell in 2001.

Here are a handful of questions sent to me recently via Twitter @EdBouchette

--- YOU: robert funicelli ‏@robfuni

 any word on schedule being released on April 17? Pitt vs pats week 1 on Thursday night?

ED: I have not heard a date but it usually comes a week or so before the draft. They usually announce that first game early, and they announce the preseason schedule before they do the regular season schedule. Yes, I think the Steelers could play that first game against the Super Bowl champs, but so could Buffalo or the New York Jets.

--- YOU: cr8vin3d ‏@cr8vin3d

Well, then, NOT P.J. Williams, right?!

ED: I would think not after that DUI. By the way, Mike Mayock used an unfortunate phrase while talking about Williams after his arrest, saying that on his Pro Day, there was a lot of “buzz” about Williams.

--- YOU: Eric Deeter ‏@EricDeeter1

Cannot really be pondering bringing back some of these guys, can they? If Ike Taylor is re-signed, then something is wrong.

ED: No, they won’t bring back Ike Taylor and they cut Brett Keisel. I could see them re-signing Will Allen, though.

--- YOU: David Paul ‏@DwarfToss

 No but I have eyes. Run D awful since Snack left, McLendon not a run plugger. Are you saying McLendon is as good as Hamp?

ED: No, but Casey Hampton is not coming back and they believe they have the nose tackle position covered with Steve McLendon and Daniel McCullers.

--- YOU: Carson ‏@Carson_Daily

do you think its imperative that we build on pass rush and find an OLB prior to CB (1,2) in the draft? 

ED: I think it’s imperative they find one or the other in the first round and maybe get the other in the second. It does not matter who goes first, you go with the highest rated.

--- YOU: Marky Marc ‏@MBryant1288

Why did you include Marcus Peters as one your players the steelers could take? I thought you already ruled him out.

ED: I do not believe the Steelers will take him, but I needed to list a large group so the fans can say whom they think the Steelers will draft No. 1. I think you can still vote on which player you think they will draft No. 1 at, but I’m not sure where on our site it is.

--- YOU: lk w ‏@vladunk

 if the @steelers were forced to play a 4-3 def today would the starting lbs be Timmons, Shazier and Spence?

ED: I’m not so sure about Spence. One of them would have to play outside and I think Arthur Moats would have the initial advantage there. James Harrison would not be effective in that defense, as he was not in Cincinnati’s.