Ask Alex: Steelers’ Mailbag

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It’s 2016 and the biggest story is…clowns. What is going on people? 

This is the dumbest thing on both sides. Stop dressing up as clowns. Stop starting “riots,” and chasing clowns that don’t exist all over your campus, stupid college kids.

Rooting for the asteroid this November.

To your questions!

Swiss Steel: Do you have any Update on Golson and Dupree?

Alex: Nope, I know as much as you do. Dupree is eligible to return by Week 8 (Week 9 because team’s bye is Week 8). Golson can come back at any time, in theory, but he’s still at least a few weeks away.

Brian Miller: Any idea whom the top rated OLBS coming out next year will be and whom you think would project as a good fit for the Steelers to draft in the first 3 rounds?

Alex: I honestly haven’t paid a lot of attention to this year’s draft class. That Garrett kid will be long gone. Carl Lawson would look good in a Steelers’ uniform.

William Weaver: Has Javon lived up to your expectations?

Alex: It’s tough to have a concrete evaluation on anyone just a month in and especially someone who isn’t playing a lot. I like what he’s doing against the run, using his leverage, holding the point of attack. I just hope he gets some better chances to get after the quarterback.

MP34: Would Roosevelt Nix be someone in danger of IR (or waivers) if the injury bug continues? It seems like a fullback with a bad back is problem.

Alex: Nix returned to practice in full yesterday, which is a great sign. He’s not in danger. Cody Wallace on the other hand though…I could see it happening. The guy went from a full participant to not practicing two weeks ago…and hasn’t since. Sounds like he had a significant setback.

Jeff McNeil: Do you think the coachs have the best players starting? If not who would you replace and with whom?

Alex: I do. Not sure if anyone could make an argument they aren’t at a particular spot. I’d like to see Deebo get more playtime but I get why they aren’t. As long as Butler continues to be aggressive, the scheme can mask the issues an edge combo of Moats/Jarvis will have.

Glad Vince Williams moved ahead of Fort for the Chiefs game. Kind of a weird back and forth considering Fort was replacing Shazier in the first three weeks and seemed to be working as the Mack. I like Fort but Williams is the better player.

Justin: What can they report? Just a person was present?

Alex: Media can only report injuries and who practiced if a player tells them. That’s the workaround the team has allowed.

So you can’t report.

“Ramon Foster did not practice today.”

But you can say.

“Maurkice Pouncey told me Ramon Foster did not practice today.”

That also means you have to ask Pouncey about it, which is kinda awkward, I bet.

I remember an interview with Dangerfield last week and because you can’t just write/tweet on your own accord that he got 1st team reps, someone had to ask…

“So uh, can you tell us what you did today?”

So yes, Bill Phillips appeared to have violated the rule. Burt will have a stern talking to him, I’m sure.

PaeperCup: Seeing the effectiveness of the pass rush against the Chiefs, do you think Butler will continue the scheme they used, or was this a situational game that called for such an approach?

Alex: The amount will have ebb and flow but yeah, I think it just proved – again – that this team has to manufacture some pressure to get home. They can’t just line up their front four and expect those guys to get after it. First three weeks proved it. So I expect more of what Butler did last year, at least, in that regard.

T3xassteelers: I know it’s early, but based on the past few weeks and preseason, what do you see the ceilings of Burns and Davis are?

Alex: No different than what I thought they could be coming out of the draft. Neither have played poorly enough for me to think about changing my mind. Both can be long-term starters in this league. But clearly, each have a ways to go.

Steelers12: Hey Alex Kendall Reyes was recently released, will Pittsburgh have any interest?

Alex: I saw that but if Washington is releasing you, with their super thin DL, it’s a bad sign. The Steelers addressed their defensive line and did an excellent job. No need to add anyone else.

The Tony: Who has been the biggest surprise for the Steelers offensively and defensively thus far?

Alex: Xavier Grimble has only been relevant in small quantities but his blocking has improved and he’s making more of an impact as a receiver than I thought. And six quarters in, B.J. Finney has been super impressive and this was a guy I liked when they nabbed him as a UDFA.

Defensively, the playtime L.J. Fort got has been surprising but his play has garnered it. I totally get it but still so surprised to see Dangerfield start over Shark. Man they really must not trust that guy. He’s Ethan Albright from that time Madden called him the worst player in the game.

I guess I just can’t fathom the fact that I am the absolute worst player rated out of the entire NFL…

Jacob: Have you evaluated Hargrave’s performance much this year?

Alex: Again, the snaps have been so limited, it’s tough to gauge. But that does allow him to come along slowly which is a nice bonus.

CP72: If Dupree, Golson, and Green all return this year who are your bottom three roster guys we let go to open up spots for them?

Alex: Obviously, could all change based on roster layout when those times come. But…

Steven Johnson: Only active when the team isn’t healthy. Guy comes back, gets healthy, Johnson goes. He’ll be around if you ever need him.

L.T. Walton: Another weekly inactive. I bet he could go back on the practice squad.

Someone else going on IR: Cody Wallace would be a prime candidate.

Tight end is going to be a tough decision. If Green comes back, do you get rid of Grimble? They clearly like him. Or do you keep 4 TEs on the 53, which would be a little unusual for them.

Sdale: One, do you think if Foster is not 100% that Finney will get the start based on how well he did before? Two, we struggled against the last good Dline in Philly, but I think we’ve always done poorly against that wide 9 front. Jets Dline is excellent, but do you see the same kind of disruption from them, or will we handle that scheme better?

Alex: As soon as Foster is healthy, he’ll start. And it sounds like he will this week. Good as Finney is, he isn’t Wally Pipping-Foster.

Yeah the Jets are tough, no question. Being at home helps. Communication is key because Bowles likes to stunt a lot and confuse the OL. So have to understand tendencies and communicate whenever they happen. That’s verbally and non-verbally. Having Foster will be a boost in that regard.

That’s all for this week. Be sure to stick around for our live stream chat tomorrow at 3 PM/ET! Look here for the link.

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