When people talk Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots, it can invoke a lot of emotion with fans of the black and gold. With the Week 1 game being just days away, fans of the Steelers and the loyal readers of BTSC had questions they wanted answered. With that being said, it was time for a mailbag for the first week of the regular season.
If you are wondering how you can have your question answered in the weekly mailbag segment, simply follow BTSC on Twitter (@btsteelcurtain), and submit your question.
There is a lot to talk about, and with so many questions the answers may be brief, but I wanted to get to as many as possible. Let's get this started...
From: Bruce Gibson (@BruceJdub)
Question: Does Antwon Blake start at CB?
Answer: Despite reports earlier this week of Cortez Allen being replaced by Blake, I don't see Blake being the starter vs. the Patriots Thursday night. Allen will get a chance to prove himself, but I also believe the Steelers' secondary will be a revolving door of sorts until the team figures out the unit which works the best. Expect Brandon Boykin to see time along with Blake.
From: Antihero/Villain Joe
Question: What will the defense look like?
Answer: If fans think the defense is going to come out and play nothing but Cover-2, they are mistaken. The preseason was a test for what players do well, and what they don't do well. With the preseason done, expect the Steelers defense to show multiple looks. A lot of sub packages, along with some 4-3 mixed in with their base 3-4 scheme. The defense will be a work in progress, and Keith Butler will have to figure out what works best in each matchup.
From: Vino (@Depeche_Recknor)
Question: Will James Harrison start or Jarvis Jones?
Answer: Although the fan base is wants to see Harrison out there as the starter, it won't happen. Jarvis will get the start, and Harrison will spell Jones sparingly throughout the game. Barring injury, expect Harrison and Jones' play percentages to be around 60-percent Jones to 40-percent Harrison. Harrison will still have a chance to wreak havoc on Tom Brady, just not as the "starter".
From: Jeremy Barbati (@Jericho4854)
Question: What is your over/under on total points? 80?
Answer: 80 is too high, and I sense your sarcasm in the question. I would go with an over/under line around 55, and I would take the over, if I were a betting man.
From: Heather (@SteelersGal86)
Question: What are some key things the Steelers need to do to pull off a W?
Answer: Here is the million dollar question. In my opinion, the Steelers need to play a perfect game. In other words, no turnovers. On top of that, the offense needs to have time consuming drive that don't just end in points, but in touchdowns. When the team gets into the red-zone, it needs to be putting up 6 and not 3. On the flip side, the Steelers defense needs to create at least 2 turnovers and needs to limit splash plays. A tall task...we shall see if the Steelers are up for it.
From: Steve Thomas (@Hucks11)
Question: How many series between D line swap outs, if any? To keep the pass rush fresh.
Answer: For Week 1 I wouldn't expect the number to be very high, but with the lack of depth you might see an every 3 or 4 plays rotation with Cam Thomas spelling Cameron Heyward and/or Stephon Tuitt. Daniel McCullers will obviously be spelling Steve McLendon at nose tackle. The rotations should be quick in Week 1.
From: Aaron Lindenman (@aaronlindenman)
Question: Which rookies will have the greatest impact?
Answer: If the question is referring to which rookie will have the greatest impact in this game, the answer would be Bud Dupree. Why? Simple, he will have the best chance to make plays. Any other rookie who sees the field, like Sammie Coates, will not have near the snap totals compared to Dupree who will spell Arthur Moats at the left OLB position.