The Pittsburgh Steelers are putting the final touches on preparations for training camp this Saturday July 25th, and as they prepare, so do we at BTSC. I took a look into the mailbag and it was literally overflowing with questions from our loyal fan base. If you want to be a part of the weekly mailbag article, simply follow us on Twitter (@btsteelcurtain) and follow our handle. When we ask for questions, send us a tweet and your question could be answered in the weekly mailbag article.
Let's get this started...
From: Ken Yaeger (@Ken_Yaeger)
Question: Can the defensive line put enough pressure to help this young secondary?
Answer: This is a difficult question considering no one really knows Keith Butler's plans as a defensive coordinator, and how he plans on putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. With that said, when Butler met with the media after minicamp he did say his goal was to "engage" the Steelers' defense line. This could be the missing piece of the puzzle for the Steelers' defense. In Dick LeBeua's 3-4 scheme, the 3 down lineman in the 3-4 scheme were usually told to eat up two blockers and allow the linebackers to flow to the ball and make plays. If Butler is smart, engaging Cameron Heyward, Steve McLendon and Stephon Tuitt would be a great way to add a new wrinkle and pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Will the pressure be good enough to help the secondary? Help, yes, but will they be good enough to completely cover up the porous secondary? Doubtful.
From: Patrick Cooper (@catpooper)
Question: Do you see Shawn Lemon making the 53-man roster?
Answer: I do. I like how Lemon has experience rushing from both sides, and despite him needing to make a pretty big adjustment to the NFL from the CFL, Lemon seems to have the skill to make the team's 53-man roster. Lemon possesses great speed and is very cognizant of where the ball is throughout his rush. This will certainly help in run support, but it will be a task for outside linebackers coach Joey Porter to teach Lemon a variety of pass rushing moves to help him beat much better tackles than he abused in the CFL in 2014.
Steelers prepare for a more competitive camp
As the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for training camp, fans should expect camp to have a different feel compared to previous years, and that is a good thing.
From: Heather (@SteelersGal86)
Question: Do you think any of the rookie offensive linemen have a chance to make the team, or are they more destined for the practice squad?
Answer: The offensive line is a tough unit to crack the starting roster. The entire starting offensive line returns and Mike Adams and Cody Wallace continue to anchor the main depth positions along the line. Which leaves only a few spots available for some of those rookies you speak of. Mike Tomlin loves versatility, and someone who can play multiple positions is certainly desirable, but in my opinion Chris Hubbard takes the third back-up offensive line position and the remaining rookie lineman will be striving for a spot on the practice squad.
From: Boss_Dogg69 (@Boss_Dogg69)
Question: Is special teams the only way for Dri Archer to make the team?
Answer: If Le'Veon Bell wasn't suspended for the first three games of the 2015 season I might agree with this question. However, the team has not brought in any new competition at the RB position outside of DeAngelo Williams and they seem to be set on having Dri Archer and Josh Harris back up the main cast of characters in the backfield. Dri Archer did not have a very good rookie season in both the offense and on special teams, but no one should be burying him just yet. If Todd Haley can utilize Archer the way he did Dexter McCluster when he was with the Chiefs, Archer could certainly have a role not just on special team, but within the offense. Look for Archer to improve on his rookie campaign last year.
From: Steve Thomas (@Hucks11)
Question: Who will make the starting safeties and cornerbacks and will at least one be a rookie?
Answer: You can check out my complete projection of the Steelers' 53-man roster here, but I predicted the Steelers would have Mike Mitchell and Shamarko Thomas as the starting safeties heading into 2015, with Will Allen and Robert Golden as the primary back ups. It was a toss-up between Golden and Ventrone, and I went with a special teams captain in that regard. I had Gerod Holliman on the team's practice squad this season. As for the cornerbacks, the team will deploy William Gay, Antwon Blake and Cortez Allen as their starting three cornerbacks to start the season; however, I don't see them finishing the season that way. I feel Senquez Golson will be a big part of the secondary by the time the season comes to an end.
Remember, if you want your questions answered, follow us on Twitter (@btsteelcurtain) and submit your questions! Next week, we will be answering questions about real football...as Bart Scott would say, "Can't wait!"