November 8, 2021
DAVID BOGNAR OF GERMANTOWN, WI: When you needed to put collectively an all-time Steelers entrance, who would you place subsequent to Joe Greene at deal with? Wouldn’t it be Ernie Stautner, Casey Hampton or Cam Heyward?
ANSWER: I by no means noticed Ernie Stautner play, however I believe his accomplishments (Corridor of Famer and first participant in franchise historical past to have his jersey retired) communicate to the excellence of his profession, and people scores would make him a stable deal with choose within the Steelers’ all-time prime 4. Possibly it is simply my private choice, however I’ve plenty of respect for the best way Cam Heyward performs and what he brings to the group as a pacesetter and by way of his enjoying habits. Along with my private choice, there’s one essential historic truth in Heyward’s favor: In Steelers franchise historical past, solely two inside defensive linemen have been named First-Group All-Professional greater than as soon as: Joe Greene and Cam Heyward. . So I’d choose Heyward alongside Joe Greene as a result of I do not assume there are too many offensive traces keen to get soiled, if mandatory, with these two.
April 5, 2022
LUIS FELIPE FROM CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO: Would you inform us two of the largest upsets or tragic losses that you simply assume the Steelers confronted, in your opinion?
ANSWER: One of many issues that is essential so that you can perceive is that the franchise’s inaugural NFL season was in 1933. Which means the Steelers shall be collaborating of their ninetieth NFL season in 2022, so whenever you ask questions on ” the worst of all” or the “better of all” which features a LOT of historical past. Sticking to the post-Noll period, I might level to the 1994 AFC Championship Sport loss to San Diego at Three Rivers Stadium, as a result of the Steelers had been double-digit favorites over the Chargers and bothered enjoying the sport to not lose. as an alternative of enjoying to win; and the loss to Inexperienced Bay in Tremendous Bowl XLV, as a result of that was sabotaged by turnovers: Nick Collins’ pick-six within the first half after which Rashard Mendenhall’s fourth-quarter fumble.
December 16, 2021
STEVE MADDEN FROM ELDERSBURG, MD: Certainly one of his solutions on the Dec. 14 Q&A piece was about punts and the truth that the NFL and faculties use a distinct ball. What’s the distinction between a Okay-ball and the one utilized in faculty soccer? And apart from, why would not faculty soccer use the identical ball if it is primarily “coaching camp” for the NFL?
ANSWER: Chances are you’ll understand faculty soccer as “coaching camp” for the NFL, however faculty soccer doesn’t see itself as such, nor does it have any curiosity in fostering that notion. So there are variations in gear and guidelines, and I believe there’ll at all times be variations between faculty soccer and NFL soccer. Relating to the soccer used: Typically circumference, faculty footballs may be as much as 1-1/4 inches smaller than NFL footballs. For extra element, the circumference of a faculty soccer ranges from 20-3/4 inches to 21-1/4 inches in size tip-to-tip, versus 21 inches to 21-1/4 inches within the NFL . The NFL ball lacks stripes, and the varsity ball has two white painted down the center, and whereas all varsity balls have stripes, the balls fluctuate a bit from group to group. That is completely different from the consistency of the NFL, the place each group will get the identical ball.
In 1999, the NFL switched to particular “Okay-balls” for particular groups performs as a result of there was a rising concern that kickers and punters had been manipulating common balls to make them fly greater and straighter. In 2015, Vice.com introduced collectively a gaggle of former NFL punters and place-kickers to clarify a few of the “tips of the commerce.”
Former NFL placekicker Michael Husted, who performed 9 seasons with the Buccaneers, Raiders, Redskins and Chiefs, mentioned he would go into the group room each Monday and break the noses of 36 footballs by hitting them in opposition to the top of a desk or a door body. Husted then inflated the balls to 30 psi (the usual for an NFL soccer is between 12.5 and 13.5) earlier than placing them in a sauna for 2 days earlier than venting them out and placing them within the solar. . What he did that course of was soften the leather-based and widen the candy spot. The ball would then be inflated to regular strain, but it surely was primarily a totally completely different soccer at recreation time.
Reggie Roby, a three-time Professional Bowl kicker, sat down and rubbed the balls with a bit of synthetic turf to interrupt them up. Former Jaguars, Payments and Giants placekicker Mike Hollis would overinflate footballs after which rub them with a moist towel. He would additionally take a heavy plate, place it on prime of the soccer ball, after which stand on it and roll it. Others soaked the balls in evaporated milk or lemon juice. Some would microwave soccer balls or bake them in an oven.
Okay-balls (or kicking balls) don’t journey so far as balls used within the recreation, and can’t be “guided” as precisely as softer, rounded balls. Okay-balls aren’t any completely different in measurement than a daily NFL soccer, however are described by gamers as being tougher and extra slippery than the typical NFL soccer. When Okay-Ball was first launched in 1999, the unique objective was for every kick to have a brand new ball. When that did not work, a dozen Okay-Balls had been rotated all through a recreation to make sure each was kicked the identical variety of occasions.
However after quarterback Tony Romo, additionally the Cowboys’ starter on the time, didn’t deal with a brand new Okay-ball in a 2007 Dallas playoff recreation in opposition to the Seattle Seahawks, and his fumble price Dallas the win. your group, the foundations had been modified once more. The dozen Okay-balls had been numbered 1-12, with ball No. 1 getting used at kick-off and remaining in play till it was not an possibility, at which level Okay-Ball No. 2 was used. and so forth. forward.
Immediately, in accordance with Rule 2, Part 2 of the NFL Guidelines, six new footballs are despatched on to the referee for every recreation and are opened within the officers’ locker room precisely two hours and quarter-hour earlier than kickoff. Okay-Balls are particularly marked by the referee and are used solely in kicking conditions.
Might 24, 2022
SHAUN CHALMER FROM BLESSING, AUSTRALIA: I noticed that we “terminated” John Simon’s contract. What’s the distinction, if any, between terminating a contract versus “releasing” them?
ANSWER: The distinction in terminology used displays John Simon’s years of service within the NFL. Gamers with lower than 4 years of NFL service are exempt, which means they undergo the exemption wire and may be claimed by any group, and if claimed, the participant should play for the claiming group or not play. completely. A participant like Simon, who was launched, has 4 or extra years of service within the NFL, which suggests he’s now free to play for any group fascinated with him.
Might 12, 2022
MICHAEL KUZMINSKI FROM WARREN, PA: When you needed to choose essentially the most iconic second at Heinz Area, what would it not be?
ANSWER: That is straightforward for me. It must be Troy Polamalu’s 40-yard pick-6 within the 2008 AFC Championship Sport in opposition to the Ravens that supplied the deciding factors in a 23-14 victory that despatched the Steelers to Tremendous Bowl XLIII, the place they gained the sixth Lombardi Trophy in franchise historical past with a 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.