Ask Alex: Steelers Mailbag

Welcome back to your weekly Pittsburgh Steelers’ mailbag. As always, we’re here for the next hour to answer whatever is on your mind.

To your questions!

steelers58: Hey Alex,
Do you see any big improvements from KP since the bye week?

Alex: I don’t know if there’s any grand, massive changes. Maybe I will notice more after the season when I go back and watch things in one swoop. It’s been more steady progress. Taking care of the ball, more willing to throw it away, better keeping his eyes downfield, having more freedom to run checks at the line of scrimmage, an overall comfort level, a bit better in the pocket. A slower and steadier upward curve.

Chuck Anderson: 

‘m happy with the little we’ve seen so far from the new front office duo, and excited that they’ll have more draft + FA capital to work with than we’ve seen in ages. But also curious we’ve heard nothing about or from Kevin Colbert since the transition. Obviously the front office takes a back seat during the season; but total radio silence seems surprising from a guy who was such a key figure for so long… and who did, after all, draft the QB all eyes are on.

What do you know about his status: taking a break, keeping a low profile out of deference to Khan & Weidl, in touch with the team? He said he was open to helping in some capacity moving forward; do you imagine any consultation with him, or will the new regime prefer a 100% clean break?

Alex: I mean, he was pretty radio silent this time of year when he was the team’s GM, lol. He wasn’t one who vaulted himself into public. I know he’s been around some of the team functions. He was at the Hall of Honor dinner last month.

He may have some consult role with the team, that was floated when he retired, but there’s nothing even official on the team website. He retired. That’s what happens. You go away and enjoy the things you couldn’t/didn’t when you were working. Being a GM is a grind. You get about a month off in the summer, and even then you’re busy, and that’s about it. So go enjoy time with kids, the family, whatever hobbies he has. There may be some level of consultation but probably not much. Colbert knows it’s not his show anymore and he doesn’t want to feel like he’s still running or controlling the team. Sometimes you just gotta let go.

ScottBoss: Hey Alex, love your work. Obviously just a hypothetical/fun question, but if the Steelers could steal any non-QB player from any NFL team for the rest of the season (salary cap be damned), which player would you take? I’m thinking Micah Parsons.

Alex: Thanks Scott! Yeah, that’s a good question. Hard to have a wrong answer there. Parsons is a great one but at least the Steelers still have some talent at EDGE rusher. Maybe a top corner. Take your pick. Marlon Humphrey or Patrick Surtain maybe. Top corners that have youth. That’s my first thought if I could wave a magic wand.

Dan Blocker: Hi Alex! What is your opinion of James Daniels at this point of the season? There were some preseason concerns with his adjustment, but it appears now that no news has been good news. What’s your take? Thanks!

Alex: He’s their best offensive lineman. Really come on strong. Big adjustment early in the year over the summer adjusting to Pat Meyer’s system, his more aggressive pass sets and the way he teaches things. But his hands are tighter, his punch more effective, and he’s bought in and gotten comfortable. I only have him down for I think a half-sack this year, fewest on the team. And he’s been one of the leaders and faces of that o-line room. So overall, a night/day difference compared to the summer.

BanasasFoster: Why can’t MC scheme GP open? There’s no reason GP should not get at least 10-15 targets a game. What are you seeing on the tape? Is he not open? Is KP missing him? His route tree?

Alex: They’ve done it. He’s a rookie. They’re in a run-heavy offense with a rookie QB. He’s a Z receiver and he’s not going to get that many targets per game. His route tree is coming along but still more limited and this offense has other options to throw to as well. It’s a lot of things. He’s going to be a more feast/famine guy. Sorta like Mike Wallace early in his career. I’m not incredibly concerned about it. 10-15 targets are for the AB’s of the world and those guys are often the X receiver.

OMG Reptar: Hi Alex, so I’m sure you haven’t dived into this topic too much and it isn’t a given due to the offense’s better performances after the bye, BUT – if Matt Canada were not to be retained who are some names for us to watch out for so that we can do our research on these guys?

Alex: It’s a valid question but I really haven’t given it much thought. Lot else happening in-season and odds seem to be increasing that Canada is going to change. I’ll start to poke around once the season is over and really look at it if Canada is fired. But there’s a decent chance he’s back in the booth in 2023. We’ll see.

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