It has been a while since we ran one of our patented BTSC Mailbag articles, so we dusted off the large sack filled with letters and will answer some of the best Pittsburgh Steelers questions left for us.
If you want to know how to have your question heard, it is simple. First, if you don't have a Twitter account -- create one. Second, follow us on Twitter (@btsteelcurtain). Third, submit your question to be answered in the mailbag segment. It is as easy as that.
Time to get down to business.
From: Keith Smolkowicz (@Kmsmolk)
Question: My biggest concern is at TE. Ladarius Green could be that guy, but hoping for Jesse James to be a better blocker. No. 83 was a beast. Thoughts?
Answer: First, let me say there is no real replacing Heath Miller. There is a reason in the title of this article I made sure to put "from a production standpoint" because that is the only way Green or James is able to help fans move past the fact No. 83 will no longer be on the field. However, Green's skill set could absolutely help fans forget about Miller. What Green brings to the table is a big body who can stretch the field and can run. After his torn ACL, Miller was never the same from an athletic standpoint. Green will be a breath of fresh air at the position.
As for James, if his blocking does improve, he and Green could make a very dynamic duo at the TE position. People forget, but James more than held his own as both a blocker and pass catcher as a rookie in 2015. If he is able to improve, which he should this offseason, the Steelers could be following the going trend in the NFL of getting two weapons at TE to create mismatches on the defensive side of the field.
Let me reiterate, there is no replacing Heath Miller, but the combination of James and Green should be able to do the job -- from a production standpoint.
From: The Underdawg @JiggieJoe
Question: Who would be the projected starters in the secondary once week 1 is here?
Answer: If I had to choose the starters in the secondary, assuming everyone is healthy, it would be as follows:
Outside CB: William Gay
Outside CB: Ross Cockrell
Slot CB: Senquez Golson
Safety: Mike Mitchell
Safety: Robert Golden
Artie Burns will be the next man up within the secondary, and could beat out Doran Grant as the 4th CB on the roster, but if you are asking who I think will start in Week 1, those are my predictions. Many think Sean Davis will be the safety alongside Mitchell, but the Steelers typically go with experience over raw athleticism.
From: Sam Beeghley @sbeeghley
Question: With the Steelers looking to be in good shape with cap next year, do they maybe target high profile FA? if yes what position
Answer: Before I answer this question, it should be noted the team's cap number for 2017 could be deceiving. With a number of players' contracts set to expire after 2016, their new, or potentially new, contracts won't go against the number you see on your computer screen when looking "down the road".
With that said, and the salary cap always due to increase, the Steelers should be in a better situation than they have been in for years. Will they go after a high profile free agent? Although I highly doubt it, the Steelers could need help at outside linebacker. With Jarvis Jones' contract due to expire and James Harrison's future anything but certain, the team could seriously be in the market for an experienced pass rusher to help fill out their depth chart.
As I write this I am constantly reminded the Steelers don't go after high profile free agents often. Rather, they look for high value players, like James Farrior, who might not cause them to break the bank.
From: J.D. @upjicecat
Question: I believe that Mike Munchak is an outstanding coach. I would hate to see him leave. Is he interested in head job again?
Answer: That is a tough question to answer, as I haven't seen any quotes from Munchak regarding his future with the team, but I do realize most coaches long to be the man in charge. After being the man in charge with the Tennessee Titans, there is a chance he still wants to return to be a head coach in the future. However, he could also enjoy the life of a position coach.
There are always coaches who get their shot as a head coach and never get the opportunity again, for whatever reason. The Steelers have another former head coach on their staff with Todd Haley, and he hasn't gotten any calls the past few seasons when teams are looking to bring in a new coach. Think about Dick LeBeau and the success he has had as a defensive coordinator. It didn't equate to being a head coach with the Cincinnati Bengals, and the man continues to be a coordinator to this day.
The Steelers will grant permission for teams to talk to Munchak in the future, but there is no doubt they would be just fine with him staying as their offensive line coach for as long as he wants to stay in the Steel City.