Best asked and answered: June 23

November 8, 2021
DAVID BOGNAR OF GERMANY, WI: If you had to put four Steelers up front all the time, who would you put next to Joe Green in the tackle? Will it be Ernie Stautner, Casey Hampton, or Cam Heyward?

ANSWER: I’ve never seen Ernie Stuttner play, but I believe his accomplishments – a Hall of Fame recruit, the first player in franchise history to retire his jersey – spoke of excelling in his career, and those qualifications will make him a solid choice as a tackle on the front four Steelers all along. Maybe it’s just my personal preference, but I have a lot of respect for the way Cam Heyward plays and what he brings to the team as a captain and in terms of his playing behaviour. In addition to my personal preference, there’s an important historical fact in Heyward’s favour: In the history of the Steelers franchise, only two All-Pro First Team’s first-team defensive linemen have been voted on more than once: Joe Greene and Cam Heyward. So I’d go with Heyward alongside Joe Greene because I don’t think there would be a lot of offensive line going to be willing to go down and dirty, if necessary, with these two.

April 5 2022
Luis Philip of Chihuahua, Mexico: Can you tell us a couple of major upheavals or tragic defeats that you think the Steelers have faced, in your opinion?

Answer: One of the things you have to understand is that the inaugural NFL season for the franchise was in 1933. That means the Steelers will be in the 90th NFL season in 2022, so when you ask questions about “the worst ever” or “Best ever” including a lot of history. Limiting myself to the post-Noll era, I’d like to point out the 1994 Asian Championship game loss to San Diego at Three Rivers Stadium, because the Steelers were a double-digit favorite over the Chargers and were stung by playing the game not to lose instead of playing to win and lose to the Green Bay in Super Bowl XLV, because that was sabotaged by transitions – a pick-six by Nick Collins in the first half and then a loss by Richard Mendenhall in the fourth quarter.

December 16, 2021
Steve Madden from ELDERSBURG, MD: One of your responses on December 14 was “Asked and Answered” regarding the kicks and the fact that the NFL and colleges use a different ball. What is the difference between a K ball and that used in college football? Furthermore, why doesn’t college football use the same ball because it is essentially an NFL “training field”?

Answer: You might view college football as an NFL “training ground”, but college football doesn’t see itself as that, nor does it bother to reinforce that perception. And so, there are differences in equipment and rules, and I think there will always be differences between college football and American football. For the soccer ball used: In general, college footballs can be up to 1-1/4 inches smaller than an NFL soccer ball. For more details, the circumference of a college football ranges from 20-3/4 inches to 21-1/4 inches in length from end to end, as opposed to 21 inches to 21-1/4 inches in the NFL. An NFL ball lacks streaks, a college ball has two white balls in the middle, and while all college footballs have streaks, the balls vary slightly from team to team. This is in contrast to the consistency of the NFL, where every team gets the same ball.

In 1999, the NFL switched to special teams “K-balls” because there was a growing concern that balls and punters were manipulating regular balls to make them fly higher and straighter. In 2015, Vice.com enlisted a group of former NFL gamblers and mentors to explain some “trade scams.”

Former NFL center player Michael Hested, who played nine seasons with the Buccaneers, Raiders, Redskins and the Chief, said he would go to the equipment room every Monday and break the noses of 36 footballers by hitting them at the end of a table or door jamb. Husted then inflates the balls up to 30 psi (NFL football standard between 12.5 and 13.5) before placing them in the sauna for two days before letting the air out and setting them in the sun. What this process did was soften the skin and widen the sweet spot. The ball would then be inflated to normal pressure but it was basically a completely different soccer ball at the time of the match.

Three-time Pro Bowl soccer player Reggie Robbie will sit and rub the soccer ball with a piece of Astroturf to break it. He would also take a heavy weight board, put it on top of the soccer ball, then stand on it and roll it. Others may soak the balls in evaporated milk or lemon juice. Some soccer balls in the microwave or baked in the oven.

K balls (or kick balls) do not travel as far as ball bearings, and cannot be “steered” as accurately as soft, round balls. The K balls are not a different size than regular NFL soccer, but players describe them as being stronger and smarter than regular NFL soccer. When the K-ball was first introduced in 1999, the original goal was for each kick to contain a new ball. When that didn’t work, scores of K-Balls were rotated throughout the match to make sure each one was kicked the same number of times.

But after quarterback Tony Romo, also holder of the Cowboys at the time, couldn’t handle a brand-new K-ball in a Dallas playoff in 2007 against the Seattle Seahawks, and a stumble that cost his team a win, the rules were once again changed. The K-ball scores were numbered from 1 to 12, the #1 ball was used on the initial start and kept playing until it was no longer an option, at which point the K-Ball No. 2 and so on and so forth. forth.

Today, under Rule 2, Division 2 of the NFL Rulebook, six new soccer balls are shipped directly to the referee for each game and opened in the officials’ locker room exactly two hours and 15 minutes before kickoff. All K balls are specifically marked by the referee and used only in kicked situations.

May 24, 2022
Sean Chalmer from Bendigo, Australia: We saw that we “terminated” John Simon’s contract. What’s the difference if there is any difference between terminating a contract rather than “releasing it?”

Answer: The difference in terminology used reflects John Simon’s years of service in the NFL. Players with less than four years of NFL service are waived, which means they go to waiver wire and can be claimed by any interested team, and if a player claims he must play for the claimant team or not play at all. A player like Simon, who is retired, has four or more years of NFL service, which means he’s now free to play for any team he’s interested in.

12 May 2022
Michael Kosminsky from Warren, Pennsylvania: If you had to pick Heinz Field’s most iconic moment, what would it be?

Answer: This is easy for me. Troy Polamalu’s 40-yard pick-6 in the 2008 AFC Championship game against the Ravens should have provided the grab points in the 23-14 victory that sent the Steelers to Super Bowl XLIII, where they won their sixth Lombardy Cup in franchise history with a win 27-23 over the Arizona Cardinals.