We asked, and you delivered. In this edition of our BTSC weekly Pittsburgh Steelers mailbag, you provided a myriad of questions to choose from, and I chose my favorites to answer. Take a look, and remember to follow BTSC on Twitter (@btsteelcurtain) and when we ask for questions, your question could be answered in the weekly mailbag segment.
Let's get this started...
From: Greg O @OlsonGreg)
Question: Which defensive player takes the biggest step forward this year?
Answer: To me, this came down to two possible players: Mike Mitchell and Cortez Allen. Both played 2014 injured, but I have more faith in Mitchell being the player who bounces back and takes a step forward next season. Not only was Mitchell injured last season, but his disappointing season was just as much about his surroundings as it was his injury. Playing alongside Troy Polamalu isn't just something you do by stepping on the field. Former safety partners Chris Hope and Ryan Clark have echoed that sentiment, and it was evident on the field in 2014.
Mitchell will now be paired with either Shamarko Thomas, Will Allen or even Gerod Holliman. All of these players are of the typical safety clothe and will allow Mitchell to know exactly where his partner is at all times. When Polamalu missed four games in 2014 with a knee injury, Mitchell's game improved tremendously with Allen at his side. Now healthy, I think Mitchell will be the defender to take the biggest step forward in 2015.
From: Candy Randy (@ElRicky_)
Question: I recently saw video posted of Devin Gardner playing WR at OTAs. Who has better chance of making roster between he and Tyler Murphy?
Answer: First, you most likely saw that footage of Gardner playing WR at OTAs right here on BTSC...you're welcome, secondly this is a tough decision. There is no guarantee either player will make the roster, and speculation continues to ensue how one of these two versatile players could replace Landry Jones' spot on the team's 53-man roster.
As a WR, Gardner is the man who seemingly is more impressive. He has the body build and athleticism to make the transition to the receiver position, but Murphy has the edge in terms of playing the quarterback position. If I were to put money down, I'd have Gardner beating out Murphy, as well as taking Jones' spot on the 53-man roster as a third string quarterback. After all, if the Steelers find themselves needing their third string quarterback, things are pretty bad anyways.
From: Shimmy (@Shimmy7446)
Question: Any word on the appeal for Le'Veon Bell? Times running out and not a word has been said about it, starting to feel it'll stay at 3 games.
Answer: From what we know, there is no new news on Bell's appeal of his three-game suspension. This doesn't mean it won't be heard. The NFL's priority is Tom Brady's appeal, and rightfully so. The entire 'Deflategate' scandal has been a black eye for the league, and reports are surfacing the final ruling on Brady's appeal will be announced early next week. If those reports are true, the league would still have at least two and a half weeks to hear Bell's appeal and make a final ruling on his suspension.
From: Heather (@SteelersGal86)
Question: I know it may be too early to tell since it's before training camp, but who do you see as a potential sleeper pick to make the team?
Answer: This is a tough question to answer as we are still weeks out of camp, but if I were to put my word behind one of two players who I think might make the team's 53-man roster, it would be between defensive backs B.W. Webb and Kevin Fogg. The team will carry a large amount of defensive backs this season, and in my opinion one of those two players will make the roster to play special teams as well as bolster the depth at the defensive back position. The player who makes the roster would be behind William Gay, Cortez Allen, Antwon Blake, Senquez Golson and possibly Doran Grant, making them the No. 6 cornerback on the roster.
There you have it...another mailbag session in the books. Only a few more of these until training camp starts! Don't forget to follow BTSC on Twitter (@btsteelcurtain) and submit your questions for next week's mailbag feature.