Ask Alex: Steelers’ Mailbag

Welcome back, Steelers’ Nation!

One week closer to camp. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. Got some of my training camp gear mailed in this week so pretty excited about that. In non-camp news, I’m starting to work on some cool feature pieces and player interviews. Some will publish in the next few weeks, one might not be for another few months, depending on how successful I am with it.

Anyway, wanted to ask one question to all of you. Saw a cool Twitter question yesterday: what was the first news event you remember? Ton of varied responses, of course, so I wanted to throw the question out here, too.

For me, it’d have to be 9/11. Was in 3rd grade at the time. Ton of students in my class got pulled out by their parents. And then when I went home, I remember seeing it on the news. Don’t think I really grasped the significance of it but definitely remember.

Interested to see your responses. To your questions!

William Weaver: As for my question, all purpose yards for Bell. How many does he average per game?

Alex: Well those questions, obviously, are always a crapshoot. But let’s assume he plays all 16 games. In 2014, he averaged 138 yards per game. 85 running, 53 catching. I seriously think he can hit 100 receptions this year so let’s bump his receiving per game to 62.5, basically using the same per catch average from then (10 yards per grab). I’ll keep his rushing yards the same. His average was better last year but he will lose a little bit of time to DeAngelo Williams. Bell won’t play the 95% of the time he did then.

So add it up and you see a slight improvement to 147 yards per game.

Spencer Krick: Five years from now, which QB do you think will be known as the best in the NFL? Have we seen them yet?

Alex: It’ll be the same debate as it now. Brady v Manning v Montana v Unitas. Five years isn’t enough time for someone like Rodgers to make a case. I do think Brady wins at least one more Super Bowl and it really elevates him into the majority opinion for best QB ever. Sorry, Steelers’ fans.

CP72: Who in your humble opinion is the most indispensable coach on the staff (excluding Tomlin). Always been a John Mitchell guy myself. Munch is a close 2nd.

Alex: That’s a really good question. Mitchell is as good an option as any. Been here so long, so many talented players come through. Munchak is probably the popular pick but Shaun Sarrett has done a great job so at least there’s a clear name to replace him.

Bill Sechrengost: My question, Alex, is who is the least likely to get an contract extension this summer, Timmons, Decastro, or Bell? I guess I could throw Wheaton in there, too, but he would be the obvious choice.

Alex: People have taken Bell’s rap lyrics pretty seriously so a lot of people might say him. I still give the slight edge to Timmons being the least likely. There are a lot of good reasons to do it but maybe this really is his final year with the team.

The Steelers know to lock up long-term studs. DeCastro and Bell both fit that bill. Bell’s situation is trickier, DeCastro is pretty much a lock, but the team doesn’t need to see anything else from Bell. As long as he’s healthy, they can – and will – talk. So Timmons is the default option.

DoctorNoah: This may be a dumb question, or just labels me a dumb. When the offense shows up in a certain personnel selection, how does the defense know immediately and get the right defensive personnel alignment onto the field in time?

Alex: Sorry man, almost missed this one. I don’t know the inner workings of the Steelers but like some pointed out, yeah, it usually comes from the booth. Not all the coaches are on the sidelines. James Daniel, for example, isn’t (remember the accusation of him punching some fan vs New England last year?).

Often times, a quality control coach or whoever helped gameplan in advance for that week (done one to two weeks ahead of time so the coaching staff has a rough gameplan going into the week) will be in charge of identifying personnel because he’s scouted the team and knows who everyone is.

That’s all for this week. Thanks everyone!

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