2017 Training Camp Ends: Steelers Friday Night Five Questions

Happy Friday to everyone and I hope all of you had a very prosperous week. The weekend is now upon us and that means another preseason game for the Pittsburgh Steelers with this one being at Heinz Field against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Steelers will break camp on Saturday and their final public practice just ended a short time ago. I hope all you enjoyed our coverage of camp again this year. Alex Kozora, as usual, did a great job covering all of the practices. Look for his final practice recap later on this evening. The support for Alex was amazing once again this year and we thank all of you who donated to the cause.

If you have any questions you would like Alex to answer during the Friday night episode of The Terrible Podcast, shoot them to me on Twitter @SteelersDepot and use the hashtag #McAlex so they will be easy for me to find.

With the Steelers preseason game taking place on Sunday, you can look forward to us bombarding you with preview content on Saturday. Matthew Marczi will once again be live-blogging the game and you can count on a ton of post-game content starting Sunday evening and rolling into next week.

As usual, I have five questions for all of you to answer on this Friday night and most of them are centered around what might take place Sunday night at Heinz Field. I hope several of you can take time to entertain me with your answers.

Peace and love, peace and love! Oh, and Go Steelers!


1 – Do you believe the Friday report by Ed Bouchette that Le’Veon Bell’s agent believed he had a deal in place prior to the running back nixing it?

2 – How many passes thrown more than 10 yards past the original line of scrimmage will Joshua Dobbs complete against the Falcons.

3 – Are you more excited to see Sammie Coates or Justin Hunter play Sunday night against the Falcons and why?

4 – At this point, do you consider cornerback Mike Hilton a lock to make the 53-man roster barring an injury and if not, why?

5 – Which Steelers player will be the star of the game against the Falcons?


Recap last week’s Friday night questions per David Orochena:

Question 1 – Readers evenly split, twenty-twenty on whether they would prefer signing Martavis Bryant or Le’Veon Bell to a long-term contract next off season if both had monster seasons & stayed clean off the field. Three wanted neither to be signed to long-term contracts. The Bryant supporters generally believe he has a longer shelf-life as a player and would ultimately cost less than Bell. So, they envision another franchise tag for Le’Veon next year before he goes on to some other team for ginormous money. The Bell backers recognize his unique talent that is impossible to duplicate and that we already have a Hall of Fame quality receiver in Antonio Brown. They see JuJu Smith-Shuster as a more than adequate salve if Martavis moved on. Great problem to have; hoping we can have both B & B’s for at least the next two seasons.

Question 2 – This question became moot since Bud Dupree did not play; his 18 votes were in vain. T.J. Watt did get two sacks. The twenty-four Watt voters and most Steelers fans were ecstatic about that though some would point out that his sacks were ‘gimmes’. But ‘gimmes’ or not; we would all be in awe if he averaged two sacks a game in the regular season.

Question 3 – Tyler Matakevich was the overwhelming favorite to lead the Steelers in tackles against the New York Giants with 28 votes. Seven other defenders were mentioned but none with more than three votes. Dirty Red was credited with two tackles out of 26 snaps (23 defense; 3 special teams). The Steelers show a tie between LJ Fort and Mike Hilton for total tackles with seven apiece. Fort played 48 snaps (36/12) and Hilton an efficient 32 (19/13). No one predicted Hilton’s production but Guillermo Garcia-Gomez was the one reader that picked a winner on this question by going with LJ Fort.

Question 4 – How many yards did Joshua Dobbs throw against the Giants? An even 100 after completing 8 passes on 15 attempts over nearly three quarters of play. He played 36 of the 54 offensive snaps for the Steelers. He would have had more snaps if not for the two ugly interceptions. Readers had higher expectations with a median prediction that Dobbs would pass for 172 yards though the range of answers went from 72-245 yards. The SteelerFaninMD was just one yard off with a 99-yard response.

Question 5- Fifteen different Steelers were named as the Steeler who would score the first touchdown against the Giants. Big White employed some reverse psychology and said that no one would score a TD: “None. Steelers kick 2 field goals, lose 24-6.” Great job, since his JuJu worked and it was the Giants who failed to score a touchdown. Speaking of JuJu; 15 folks believed he would be the man to do it. Fitzgerald Toussaint (5) and Knile Davis (4) trailed behind. After eliminating readers who responded after the game started; Deuce22 takes the prize for this question being the only one that prognosticated Cobi Hamilton scoring first. Kudos!

  • Reader783

    1 – Absolutely. I would have been surprised otherwise. The deal was very fair and above the market rate, the agent had to have known that. It seems clear to me that LBell has a number in mind and is on a mission to bring back the RB position, something the agent doesn’t care about.

    2 – 3

    3 – Justin Hunter, he’s just made me more excited this preseason so far

    4 – No, CB is still “deep” and 1 preseason game hasn’t made it a lock for me yet.

    5 – Martavis Bryant!!!!

  • Jeff Papiernik

    1. No. Rare for agent and player to not be on the same page.
    2. 4
    3. Hunter. I’ve already seen what Coates has to offer
    4. A near lock. But anything can happen. Maybe Golson comes back and tears it up in the last preseason game and puts the Steelers in a tough situation.
    5. Martavis Bryant

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    1. Don’t know; but if he did he should have treated it like the blunt Lagarrette offered him and grab it.

    2. 5

    3. Justin Hunter; first time seeing him in Black & Gold. Want to see a red zone TD in the corner. Will of course be hoping Sammit Coates does well as well and has no drops.

    4. No, not yet. Brian Allen still has a chance to shine. Also, let’s see Hilton’s performance against a a first string offense.He matches his forst performance on Sunday then he is in like Flynn

    5. Martavis Bryant has an offensive TD and returns a punt for a TD. Book it.

  • WreckIess

    1. No. Too many people close to Bell are denying it with only an anonymous source saying it’s true.
    2. 6
    3. Coates.
    4. Yup. 2nd string nickel.
    5. TJ Watt again.

  • WeWantDaTruth

    1. Yes, #26 is all about #26
    2. 4-5
    3. Both
    4. Improved his chances, but not yet a lock.
    5. Don’t know if he’ll be “the star of the game”, but looking for Watt to build upon his strong effort vs. the Giants. Also, not sure if Dupree will play, but would like to see him make some splash plays.

  • RickM

    1. 100%. No agent would turn down a deal that was 50% higher than any other player at that position, especially if his player had missed 27% of his games.
    2. 8 if he plays three quarters. But I’m most interested in seeing how he does against the Atlanta starting D. So hopefully there are a couple in the 1st quarter.
    3. Coates. Hope to see signs that the first 5 games last year were the real deal.
    4. Not after just one game. But he has a big lead.
    5. Dobbs is the most likely if he can cut out the turnovers. He’ll likely have two quarters against 2nd and 3rd stringers and given our depth he could take advantage of it.

  • Chris92021

    1. Yes and no. Bouchette has erred before and if Bell and his agent have a conflict over a contract, then the agent needs to be fired (wonder if this is the same agent who did not let the NFL know about Bell changing his phone number last year that led to the snafu of Bell being suspended again; if it is, Bell is a moron for retaining this guy’s services). Right now, the Steelers are putting pressure on Le’Veon Bell indirectly by making him look bad and selfish. Some people here even wish injury on him (no need for that; besides, knowing his history, it will likely occur anyway since injury has happened to Bell EVERY SINGLE YEAR he’s played for us). The difference is, the Steelers want to make Bell the highest paid RB in the league while Bell wants to be the highest paid player in the league, regardless of position. He’s going to report in the next 10 days or so a la Eric Berry and the team will welcome him back with open arms. What happens beyond 2017 will be up to Bell. I hope he plays lights out and makes a ton of money. Probably won’t be with us but as Princess Leia once said, if money is all you want, money is all you are going to get.

    2. Completed? I will say 2.

    3. Justin Hunter because I already know what I am getting with Sammie Coates.

    4. I am still not convinced Hilton will make the roster because it has only been one preseason game. The thing about UDFAs are, they have to play great in ALL preseason games AND have to have an excellent training camp AND there has to be a lot of injuries in front of them in the depth chart. Yes, the deck is stacked against them. Hilton is on the right track now but if he struggles even a little bit in the next 2.5 weeks, he will be waived and likely be the first one signed to the practice squad.

    5. Mike Hilton lol

    Enjoy the weekend, y’all. Here is hoping Dobbs and the gang do something we haven’t done since 2012, which is win a second preseason game.

  • Paul Kuhns

    1. Completely believe it. He wants $15 – listen to the man rap hahaha
    2. 4
    3. SAMMIE. Guy was a monster to begin last year, he has a lot of potential he needs to use it.
    4. He will make it because of golson. Special teams is important and he seems to be a beast on punts
    5. Hmmm tough call because who knows who will play a lot. I’ll go with Justin Hunter though

  • Biggie

    1. Yes, I think Bell is out of control with the ego crap and really has been for awhile. It’s just now showing with me first over team. Tag him this year and next, if he really wants to stay he can get more realistic.

    2 – 4 or 5 due to more options at WR this week against average pass D.

    3 – I think Hunter, due to hearing good things in camp about him. I’ve been waiting for awhile for him to breakout.

    4 – If he stays healthy I think he makes roster. He fits really well. Excited to see him more.

    5 – If Dobbs gets him the ball I’ll say Hunter.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    1. IDON’TCARE!!!
    2. 5
    3. Too Easy! Sammie Beat you down field Coates!
    4. Yeah probably. He’s winning over the team with his play.
    5. Sean Davis (it’s really Arthur Moats again 😂😂😂)

  • The Chin

    1-yes
    2-3
    3-Hunter
    4-Yep
    5-Dirty Red

  • DirtDawg1964

    1. I don’t believe it. Bell and the agent have to be on the same page.
    2. Four or less.
    3. Hunter. Want to see if this big guy can be consistent enough to win a roster spot.
    4. Far from a lock. One nice game doesn’t mean anything at this point. UFDAs normally need to put four good preseason games to get a roster spot.
    5. Safe pick is Bryant. He could have monster stats and Dobbs has a good touch for deep passes.

  • Matt Manzo

    1: I believed it until I saw Alex’s comment about the agent denying it!

    2: Dobbs completes 6 passes past 10yds!

    3: Coates! I feel like I know what Hunter can do. I wanna see if Coates is healed.

    4: I think he’s a lock based on performance and injuries!

    5: Coates!

  • Ace

    1) I could see the agent thinking the deal was a good one and worth it and Bell nixing it. Doesn’t seem to be too much a stretch.
    2) 7
    3) Sammie. I’m very interested to see if we can get that old Sammie from last year back.
    4) Stone Cold Lock of the Century. Who else is gonna be the backup slot. Outside has one, inside needs one too. Too many coaches and players talking him up.
    5) Josh Dobbs due to the amount of time he will be on the field. WR and RB will come in and out. Dobbs should play the whole dang game (but he won’t for some odd reason). I’d play him every snap until Cletus is healthy.

  • derp_diggler

    1) Yes, based on what Bell has supposedly said about wanting #1 RB $ and #2 WR $ I could see him doing that

    2) I think he will play at least three quarters so I would say 3 per quarter or 9

    3) Coates for sure. Because he can show that he is close to regaining early 20116 season form the offense, with AB, MB, him, and LB is going to be ridiculously dangerous

    4) No, because there is still a lot of preseason left, but he would have to have a monumental drop off at this point not to make the roster. By all accounts he has been, at worst, the fourth best cb in camp.

    5) I could see MB playing a fair amount just to make up for lost time, and with AB sitting out he should get quite a few opportunities to make an impact.

  • Shane Mitchell

    1. Yes
    2. 6
    3.Justin Hunter, already familiar with Coates.
    4. No, he wasnt drafted for a reason and a very good one, he is slow 4.55 forty and small, big difference playing the slot in the redzone versus playing it with 80 yards behind him. going to match up a 5’8″ 4.55 guy on any 1st team NFL slot receivers or TEs in the NFL? not sold on him making the active roster at all.
    5. Chickillo

  • Kevin Schwartz

    1) I don’t know. It wouldn’t surprise me, but I’m hesitant to say one way or the other.

    2) 4 if Bryant plays. I think he’s probably raring to go, and they’re gonna help him shake off the rust.

    3) Coates – I know everyone’s down on him, but he was really good last year before he got injured. People want to say “Hey, it’s football, play through injuries,” but he’s a receiver and his fingers were mangled. It’s not nothing. He’s a bit redundant if we have Bryant, but he’s still a weapon if he can regain that form.

    4) Not really. I didn’t see enough of him to be convinced that he’s a lock. I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes it though.

    5) I’ll go Bryant (if he’s playing – I probably should have checked before answering this). He’s the most talented guy with something to actually play for, and I think the Steelers will try to get him the ball.

  • Agustin-ARG

    1. Yes
    2. 8
    3. Hunter
    4. No, it´s just one preseason. He needs to endorse what he did on Training camp.
    5. Bold prediction: Alualu and Grimble

  • David Lum

    1. Ed Bouchette and none of the beat writers at the Gazette give in to sensationalist stories, its almost always solid writing based on facts and interviews with legitimate sources. Either Bell or his agent are lying to cover their tracks and not make themselves look as bad as they do or as greedy. Bell’s contract would have paid him more than Freeman’s recent contract so Bell is an idiot for not taking the contract, the Steelers offered what would have been the best RB contract in the league now he’s just being hardheaded & selfish in not reporting to camp. $4 million a year more than Freeman just got which made him the highest paid RB and you didn’t take it. The Steelers do not negotiate will holdouts, see 1970’s HOF’s that helped lead the team to 4 SB’s, it didn’t work then and it won’t work now…See Mike Wallace too…lol
    2. 4
    3. Justin Hunter, Im excited to see what Ben can do with another big, tall fast target who’s never had a good QB to throw to him let alone a future HOF QB like Ben. He’s been the nicest camp surprise this year other than Mike Hilton, especially after all the hype and let down of L. Green last season. Coates has shown flashes but not enough, even when he hasn’t been injured he’s had butterfingers and has found himself off his spot or wherever he’s intended to be on plays at times, even healthy he’s just been too inconsistent.
    4. With all the players vying for a CB spot I don’t think Hilton’s a lock but he sure has made a good case in camp and at NY last week, I like him too, I like his team first attitude and definitely his effort. I just cringe at his size or lack of it but, he’s made a splash so far.
    5. Id like Martavius to shine (as Im sure most of us have been dying to see him explode) but I don’t know what kind of rapport he’s developed with Dobbs, I think its going to be Watt again, which is okay, I think were all good with that! Hahahaha

  • Rocksolid20

    Moats

  • Rocksolid20

    So you say 4 or lesson the passes 10 or more yards down the field but Bryant
    is the standout player because Dobbs has a good touch for deep passes ? I don’t
    get it ?!

  • Phil Brenneman II

    1. Yeah, I believe it. The dude clearly has a big ego (I mean, have you heard how bad his rap is and yet he continues to do it?) and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if it were true. That being said, who cares? Hopefully he has a great season on the road to a superbowl and then we can deal with whatever happens next season.

    2. 3

    3. Justin Hunter because I have never watched him play. We know exactly what Sammie Coates is. It will be nice to see if Hunter can live up to any of his preseason hype.

    4. I don’t consider him a lock with 3 games still left. I think games heavily outweigh anything in training camp and practice so he is going to have to keep up a consistent performance. I will probably call him a lock if he has a big game vs the Falcons though.

    5. Arthur Moats. That is a man on a mission to prove you Depot guys wrong. Back to back big games from the savvy vet.

  • Marcel Chris Chauvet

    1) Yes. Firstly, it makes perfect sense. Secondly, Ed Bouchette has an excellent reputation for delivering factual info. Thirdly, there’s the rap lyrics.

    2) 3

    3) Hunter

    4) No. As a slot corner only, he may get passed up for a guy who can play on the outside (Allen). I do like his chances at this point, though.

    5) Sean Davis

  • PaeperCup

    1) Yes, I think his agent is smart enough to know someone won’t be paid for two positions.
    2) 4, 1 for a TD.
    3) Hunter. I’ve seen Sammie at his best and his worse. I want to see if Hunter can challenge that.
    4) No, there is a many DBs. They aren’t all great, but it’s a tight race and we have a lot of pre-season to go.
    5) Connor.

  • heath miller

    1 NO bouchette is a total idiot .. never read him … 2nd worst PG writer
    2 6
    3 coates i like him when healthy and good ST player
    4 not a lock … still too early
    5 byant.. without brown hes the only real starter and a man among boys out there .. athough josh and cobi seen to have some chemistry .. maybe they work together more on 2nd teams? but josh has to be drooling to toss a few to MB

  • Michael Mosgrove

    1 – Do you believe the Friday report by Ed Bouchette that Le’Veon Bell’s agent believed he had a deal in place prior to the running back nixing it?

    yup totally believeable

    2 – How many passes thrown more than 10 yards past the original line of scrimmage will Joshua Dobbs complete against the Falcons.

    4

    3 – Are you more excited to see Sammie Coates or Justin Hunter play Sunday night against the Falcons and why?

    hunter
    ive seen what coates fails to do.

    4 – At this point, do you consider cornerback Mike Hilton a lock to make the 53-man roster barring an injury and if not, why?

    yes he’s absorbed golsons spot as cb 6.

    5 – Which Steelers player will be the star of the game against the Falcons?

    mike hilton

  • 6 ring circus

    1. Yea, I do.
    2. 4.
    3. Hunter. I heard he displayed some bad body language. Wanna see if it carries over. I know Coates can be Jekyll/Hyde.
    4. I believe he put his name on that list in pencil, but in pencil.
    5. Vince Williams.

  • Eddy

    1. No – but there is some truth to the story. His agent negotiated the best deal possible and took it to Bell at the 11th hour, who rejected it.
    2. 3
    3. Hunter. Start shopping that trade bait!
    4. No, there’s still 3 preseaon games left. Way to much football to lock down the 6th cornerback spot.
    5. Dobbs

  • J Jones

    1. dont care just pay the kid like the talent that he is.
    2. 3-8 1td 0ints on such passes
    3. Excited to see the entire wr crew. I guess id like to see if hunter can resurrect his career with us tho.
    4. Corner is a question mark at this point. Still cant depend on the 2nd teamers. We need the depth…yes he makes it
    5. Josh Dobbs…hes gonna run more this game, just to keep the chains moving. Those yards will add up

  • prnitz

    1. Yes. Rings true. Bell us full of himself
    2. 6 but unfortunately 2 of those will be to the other guys
    3. Hunter
    4. No
    5. Jacob Hagen. He’ll make some big pass defences and get at least 1 pick.

  • Hard Row

    1- Yes, My tin foil hat says Bell wanted to sign but some union people convinced him he had a duty to try to set the market to help other players.

    2 – 5, I expect him to play almost the whole game and as the Falcons scrubs enter, the steelers will still have blazing speed at WR.

    3 – I guess Sammie Coates. I’m hoping to see something that says his struggles last year were due to broken fingers.

    4 – No. as anybody who has seen Hard Knocks knows, the smallish camp phenom guy often gets cut at the last minute when the more talented prospect finally flashes something late in preseason.

    5 – TJ Watt – lots of reps again. He’s too much for second stringers.

  • MP

    1. No, but the truth likely lies somewhere in the middle. Bell obviously wanted 15 and his agent probably pushed him to take a little less, maybe he (the agent) assured the Steelers that he could convince Bell to take a little less. But agreement made? No way. The agent would be violating every ethical duty of representation.

    2. Let’s say 3.

    3. Coates. He’s going to have a break-out year — healthy.

    4. Hilton is a lock.

    5. Hilton.

  • Rick McClelland

    1. Yes. Bell is all about Bell. Thinks he is more talented than he is. Trade him to the Jets for a 1st rounder and we’ll see how many yards he gets behind that line.
    2. Lucky 7. We need to see how he does against the defensive starters. He has a long ways to go to improve his mechanics and accuracy.
    3. I really want to see them both play and see if they are the real deal or one hit wonders. Help your QB out and make some plays against the 1st string.
    4. Hilton is a lock to make the 53. Golson is gone. He has had enough time.
    5. TJ Watt again this week. The kid is a gamer and likes to bring hellfire and damnation. I like this kid.

  • Jeremy Miler

    1 – Yes. For a moment though, lets take a look at his reported contract through a few different perspectives. So far it has been predominantly looked at through comparing it to other current top RBs and how those numbers have trended. How about comparing it to other top current football players? Maybe compare it to other dominant RBs historically inflation adjusted? Other players whose style was so unique that it either changed the game or was inimitable? Those are his peers. Barry Sanders and Marshall Faulk. Not Devonta Freeman. That’s a joke, no disrespect to D.F., who is maybe a top 5 RB of today. Sorry, I am starting to get upset that these other viewpoints are not being expressed. That said, please report to camp, this season has potential and we all miss you LevVeon Bell.

    2 – 6

    3 – Sammie Coates, but really both.

    4 – Lock

    5 – Martavius, Dirty Red, Alualu

  • Rod Hedrick

    1. Yes I believe it.
    2. 5 If he gets to throw at Bryant Coates and Hunter
    3. Sammie, Can he be back to the first 4 games from last year Sammie?
    4. Yes, but really hoping Allen steps up
    5. Sammie on O and Watt on D

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Camps over

  • Michael Mosgrove

    In response to your number 4, who would do that? Allen isn’t going to.

  • Bryan

    1. Probably yes, even though the agent denied it, it’s in his best interest to not make Le’veon look super selfish, and while I don’t doubt he loves the Steelers and wants to play here, he thinks he’s worth more than we can afford, so I could see it happening

    2. at least 4

    3. Hunter, but that’s really only because I view Sammie as close to a lock so long as he’s healthy (as I see the Steelers keeping 6, and I have Coates ahead of DHB. And the other WRs like Ayers have no shot, which means he’s making the team). Also, as long as his hand is reasonably better, we pretty much know what we have with Coates for the most part. But like everybody here, I’m really excited to see both of them, but Hunter closely wins the nod

    4. Originally I was leaning no, but after thinking I would have to say yes, Brian Allen, while improving, is still very raw, and an great practice squad stash, and as much as I want Senquez to make it, the only way I see him making the team is if he plays both the 3rd and 4th preseason games and looks really good, but I doubt he’ll be healthy enough to play the 3rd, and no matter how great he looks in the 4th, it would be against basically practice squad players and wouldn’t really be impressive enough, or convincing enough that he will be healthy for the season.

    5. With a significantly healthier WR corps this week, and the fact that he’ll likely play 3 or so quarters again, I’m going with Dobbs, at the end of the game he seemed to be more comfortable, and I expect him to play a good game, close 2nd would be Hunter because he’ll be on the field a lot, and he’s a matchup nightmare for 2nd and 3rd string corners

  • Jeremy Miler

    lol oops

  • 1.) No.

    2.) 7

    3.) I’m excited to see them both, but more so with Hunter. I know what Coates is capable of when healthy. I dont know much about Hunter.

    4.) He’s too new to be a lock.

    5.) Sammie Coates. (Just a wild guess.)

  • Jaybird

    1) i have no idea what the truth is about the contract offer. But I will say I think it was dumb not to have taken it.
    2) 2
    3) as much as I bash the guy, I’ll say Coates. I’m not too high on Hunter.
    4) he’s a lock
    5) TJ on defense and Watson on offense

  • joe triplehorns

    Agent is smart enough to know Steelers won’t pay 1 player for 2 positions. But a desperate team will. Therefore Bell goes to a loser team and gets truck loads of cash…but goes nowhere!

  • joe triplehorns

    They tried to pay him almost 4m more than the highest paid RB in the league. That’s more than enough for a player you can’t trust. SuspensionS…

  • J Jones

    Hes a transcendent talent. He is changing the way guys play the position. Cant say that in nearly 40yrs of watching the game that ive seen anyone quite like him. Pay the kid

  • Alan Tman

    1 No
    2 Idc if he throws an 85 yd TD or 15 5 yd passes as long as we score TDS.
    3 Hunter
    4 Not yet still hoping for Allen.
    5 MB10

  • LucasY59

    too late to answer some of these ?s (but will still answer what I can)

    1. I think the offer that has been rumored was very fair so I could see why his agent would agree to him signing it, so I think the report is tue

    2.ha, watched the game and the only pass I can think of is the ONE to Martavis, so even though I should be able to get this (by answering too late) I still cant get it correct…

    3. Both? (and Bryant!) all 3 are guys I want to see play

    4. I cant call him a lock yet, but he is definitely the favorite to make the 53, guys like Allen will make the decision interesting

    5. even before the game I wouldve answered Conner, was really looking forward to seeing what the rookie can do, and even with some mistakes (which should be easily corrected) he has a good game