Gerry Dulac's Steelers chat transcript: 12.14.11
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 14:11 Wednesday, 14 December 2011 14:11 Written by Gerry Dulac
Gerry Dulac: All right, everyone, I'm back from the locker room and ready to go with our chat. James Harrison's appeal hearing is at 2 p.m., just in time for our chat to end.
Tim - Imperial: # 55 Sylvester was supposed to be Farrior's future replacement but can't get on the field. If Timmons goes to outside linebacker Monday night, Foote will be his replacement as middle linebacker. Have the Steelers soured on Sylvester???
Gerry Dulac: No, they haven't, nor has it ever been suggested -- by me or by a Steelers coach -- that Sylvester is Farrior's heir apparent. Right now, it's Larry Foote. But, to answer your question, the Steelers have not soured on Sylvester at all. In fact, they like him very much. I'm not saying he won't eventually replace Farrior. But nobody who matters has christened him Farrior's replacement.
Todd: Gerry, What are the odds that we see Ben, Pouncey, and Troy on the field on Monday. Your odds.
Gerry Dulac: About as good as Todd Graham staying at Pitt.
Hombre De Acero: Gerry, you've had a day to report on the Harrison suspension. Did Mike Tomlin's reaction surprise you and how are people in the organization reaction to Mike's reaction?
Gerry Dulac: I was a little surprised, to be honest, but that's what I like about Tomlin -- doesn't pull any punches about something he thinks or believes in. I think it quickly dispelled any questions about what Tomlin thought of the suspension.
Mike: Chris Kemoateu has fallen very quickly. Is it a physical issue or mentally is he just not there?
Gerry Dulac: It's both, but it's more the mental mistakes that make the coaches crazy. He takes bad penalties and stupid penalties, and some of his physical limitations because of injuries have caused him to take costly penalties. All you need to know about why he wont get back on the field is what Mike Tomlin said about him yesterday -- "He's playing illegally."
Steel Curtain Rising: If God forbid, the Steelers should lose Woodley Monday Night, who would go in for him? Carter or would they shift Timmons back over?
Gerry Dulac: I think they will move Timmons to right OLB and move Jason Worilds, who will start for Harrison, to left outside LB, which is where he is more comfortable. I like Jason Worilds. He is going to be a good player for this team.
Tship: Gerry, With the very real possiblity of Harrison continuing to flirt with disaster with the league and his playing style, his back problems and age, and if Worilds develops, do they shop him in the offseason and get some draft picks?
Gerry Dulac: No, they won't shop James Harrison, but, at age 33 and with all his injuries, his days at playing at a high level are probably diminshing. Don't forget, the Steelers let Joey Porter go in free agency in 2006 because they knew they had a dynamic backup behind him. His name was James Harrison.
Mike: Very concerned about Emmanuel Sanders injury. Is it his foot or his knee? Will it heal before the off season? Has he lost some speed because of it?
Gerry Dulac: It is his right foot, and he has developed more inflammation after having surgery on it during the offseason. The Steelers want to be sure he is REALLY healthy before he gets back on the field, which is why I don't think he will play in San Fran on Monday night. He might not play Christmas eve against St. Louis. Sanders' foot keeps getting inflamed because they believe it wasn't properly rehabbed in the offseason, when he couldn't report to the Steelers offices because of the lockout.
Hombre De Acero: Gerry, one of the players expected to really take off this year was Lawrence Timmons, yet hasn't been making many "splash plays' this year. What are people inside the Steelers organization saying?
Gerry Dulac: I agree, and it has been one of the disappointments for the defense this season. The Steelers signed him to a big new contract extension for that reason -- his ability to make splash plays and the belief that he is a Pro Bowler waiting to happen -- and there has been none of that this season.
Steel Curtain Rising: Gerry, few can deny that Keenan Lewis, William Gay, and even Ryan Mundy have improved tremendously this year. In your view, do you think this simply speaks well of Carnell Lake's influence, or can we reasonably conclude that Lake has something that his predecessor was lacking?
Gerry Dulac: I dont think there's any question that Lake's influence on the young players is one of the reasons for their improved play, especially Keenan Lewis. He has been as steady and consistent as any DB on the field.
Guest: Which player's stock has risen the most within the organization from Week 1 to now? (excluding Brown b/c folks were very high on him in camp) Gilbert? Allen? Lewis? Mundy?
Gerry Dulac: I like your first three very much. I'll throw in another -- rookie CB Curtis Brown, He has been a terror on special teams and shown the coaches that he is a starter/playmaker in waiting. Tenacious, fast and athletic. All of a sudden, the Steelers look like they have a nice little nucleus at cornerback.
Gerry Dulac: That's all the time we have today kids. Have to go next door and see if there is any high octane still lying around.