Ask Alex: Steelers Mailbag

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Back with your regularly scheduled mailbag today, though a little bit earlier than usual with the game kicking off in a little bit. Squeeze in your last minute questions before the Steelers and Eagles get things going.

To your questions!

Fred Migliorini : Hi Alex – Curious if you have compiled the 7-shots record by QB…. Thanks!

Alex: I haven’t. But something I could certainly do after camp wraps up. Should only take a couple minutes. I have also been charting each QB day-by-day so I can include that, too.

CP72: Alex,
Does Brian Allen put an end to the later in the draft corner failures?

Alex: I don’t think people will carry what Allen does if Burns, and Davis – if we talk about the entire secondary failures – don’t pan out. Burns and Davis will sink or swim before Allen gets a chance to be properly evaluated. So what those guys do, back to back 1st and 2nd round picks, will leave the lasting impression on this class.

Alex Kuhn: Has Burnett practiced yet? If not, what’s the chances they put him on the PUP?

Alex: Yes, he’s been back about a week. So no PUP. He wouldn’t have been eligible anyway. Have to start camp on PUP to get placed on there for the regular season. Eli Rogers is the only candidate and for what it’s worth, I think he begins the year on Reserve/PUP.

Keith Evans: CSW is unlikely to make the PS let alone the 53 as a TE, but from what you have seen, any meat to be added to the bone of him possibly being converted to Tackle much like Villy was? Massive project of course!

Alex: He’ll be on the practice squad. As part of the NFL’s International Program, he has an exemption to be the 11th member of the usual 10 man squad. So he’ll be here this year. Moving him to tackle is an interesting discussion but I’d give him as long of a chance at TE as I can. I’d hate to move a guy around who is just picking up football’s basics and attempting to learn some nuance of one position. It’s not like the guy has been around football for years and you can shift him and he’s at least semi-familiar with it all. Give it the rest of the year and see how he progresses on the practice squad. You are already seeing small improvements from him. He’s gotta keep his eyes up as a blocker though.

nutty32: Who is your wild guess for player of the game tonight & who is the player you are most likely to iso watch instead of following ball? And do realize you have a soft spot for line play.

Alex: I’m going all Babe Ruth, calling my shot, on Ola Adeniyi. I think he’s going to record a couple sacks. Plenty of playing time, for starters. At best, 4 OLBs are logging snaps if Keion Adams plays (I think he will). He’s strong, short, and tackles don’t deal with guys of his size. He’ll be a guy I’m iso-ing too. Matthew Thomas is going to be another. How he reads and processes.

Doogie: Relative comparison Ben and Rudolph expectations, when drafted.. Adjusting Bens college to modern times? Then L Jones? Trying to get a feel how they get evaluated and draft round expectations. Things change, but there a way to compare relatively?

Alex: It’s really tough to do. Understand that Rudolph, as much as he’s progressed in camp, is going to make mistakes. It’s tough for any rookie to succeed out of the gate. And you’re playing with other new guys/rookies who are making mistakes too. Like anything else, it’s the progression from beginning to end.

I really don’t spend a lot of energy comparing them to other guys. I just care about what they’re doing now and if they are taking steps you want to see out of any player.

pghomer: We are almost making LT Walton a roster lock.
Any chance Big Dan M and Frazier make it as DL 5 and 6?

Alex: Nah, they won’t push Walton off. Walton has done it in games and more importantly, McCullers and Frazier can’t play DE. Walton has the versatility going for him. That’s huge, especially when you realize only 5 DL are active on gameday. So you need an end who can also play the nose. Walton is that guy. Isn’t Alualu, Big Dan, or Frazier.

Steelers12: Alex could coty sensabaugh be traded for a 7th if he doesn’t make 53?

Alex: Maybe. Not going to say it’s impossible but I think 31 other camps are wondering if their 53rd-55th players on the roster are worth a 7th. My guess is that you couldn’t get anything more than a conditional 7th, based on being on the roster for X weeks or seeing Y amount of snaps. Trading a guy like Dobbs seems much more likely in terms of being able to get something in return.

JT: I’m playing a lotto DraftKings tournament with some Steelers and Eagles players tonight for fun. I have my eye on Samuels and Washington. Who else do you think has the chance of getting some quality opportunities on offense tonight? And going the other way, I like Goddert. Because we can’t stop a TE until proven otherwise.

Alex: First I gotta say, and I’m not trying to pass judgment here, but I think preseason DFS is an insane thing. But to answer your question, Justin Hunter and Marcus Tucker are good bets. Tucker will get a look of looks in the slot. Hunter is a vet facing some young corner and he’ll probably get 1-2 jump balls downfield.

I honestly don’t know enough about the Eagles roster to give advice there. Heard some good things about Pumphrey and he’s slippery enough to take it 50 yards on a screen.

ilamarca: Would you rather the Steelers had a chance at WJ3 or Derrius Guice, both taken 1 spot ahead and both would be very useful this year and moving forward.

Alex: William Jackson without hesitation. One, we know he’s the real deal. Guice is still an unknown. And a shutdown corner? Give me that any day. Plus, now you’re not facing WJ3 twice a year against Cincy. So you get a benefit there too.

Marcel Chris Chauvet: Alex, can you think of a good reason why L.J. Fort hasn’t been given more opportunity to play a greater role on this team? Especially after losing Shazier. I think he’s your best coverage linebacker and his run fits aren’t bad at all. He knows the system. Doesn’t make sense to me that Sean Spence got brought in to play over him last year. What am I missing?

Alex: I’ve wondered about it too. Honestly don’t have a good answer. For their “next man up” mentality, the Steelers cycled through every option last year before finally giving Fort a look in the playoff loss. Moving Moats inside, signing Sean Freakin’ Spence, didn’t jive with Tomlin’s words and mantra. I don’t have a good explanation. Wish I did.

The Tony: 


Who would you rather have on the Steelers this season; Khalil Mack or Leveon Bell?

Alex: I get more Mack/Bell questions than I think anything else, haha. I dunno, I have spent about .1 seconds ever thinking about that fantasy land. Gun to my head, Mack, but I don’t care who anyone picks. Sure most would choose Mack.

Gonna wrap things up now. Thanks for stopping by everyone. Enjoy the game.

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