Ask Alex: Steelers’ Mailbag

Welcome back, Steelers’ Nation. Camp is only about six weeks away. I’m already looking up new waterproof notebooks and pens. It is glorious.

The McLumina is going in for its inspection next week. So let’s all root for good news. Pretty sure the thing chews up breaks like Casey Hampton does White Castle sliders. I have the stopping distance of a 747.

If you have any suggestions for what other gear I might need to take to camp this year, hit me up in the comments. And as always, let’s get to your questions.

@tgbegreen: Any chance that the Steelers would have to cover Suisham salary this year if he doesn’t recover in time to kick?

Alex: If he really struggles to get healthy and ends up on IR, then yeah, they would. I imagine he will be healthy enough by then. Like Mark Kaboly wrote the other today, Suisham is “hopeful,” though obviously, there’s no guarantee.

I think injured reserve is a very unlikely scenario for Suisham.

falconsaftey43: Hey Alex, do you think the narrative that Tomlin’s teams lose to bad opponents is largely overblown? His career record is 49-20 vs sub .500 teams and 49-37 vs .500 and over teams.

Alex: Maybe a little, especially when it happens in the moment (like all narratives), but I don’t think about it a ton. I’d have to see how his numbers stack up to the rest of the league. Everything is relative. And really, you’d have to find a correlation, a reason why, and I don’t have a good one. Don’t buy the “his team isn’t ready” narrative.

I just think winning football games is really freakin’ hard to do. Even the bad teams are capable of winning. Any Given Sunday, yadda yadda.

Lambert58: Hi Alex, if you had to call one shot this offseason – point to the fence and predict something unforeseen happening with the team before the season starts, who and what is your call?

Alex: These ones always get me into trouble, haha. And that’s a pretty big scope to look through so man, I don’t even know where to begin.

Still think Javon Hargrave has the chance to make the biggest impact this year of any of the rookies. So I guess that’s my “shot.” But I’m notoriously wrong. So…

Rene Gonzalez: For as improved as the starters in the secondary might be, it seems they really lack depth both at safety and corner. I get they can probably bring Allen back at any point for depth, but shouldn’t they do something at corner?

Alex: Yup, I wrote about that a couple weeks ago. Depth on defense in general, and especially in the secondary, is pretty weak. So I am worried, especially knowing Golson is again missing time. I would like to see another vet brought in (they do still have Donald Washington, for the record), but the CB group out there is really, really thin.

Nick Sabatella: Any chance we see Big Dan play some 3-4 DE this year [working hargrave into the 3-4 base defense as a NT], or will Dan strictly play NT and get some sub-package work?

Alex: No, I don’t think we will and I’m pretty sure that McCullers confirmed last week that he hadn’t played there at all yet. Just the one and the three. He doesn’t have the mobility in space like that, isn’t a good enough pass rusher, and not quick enough to stunt/contain rush.

McCullers just needs to focus on being the best NT he can be.

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