Ask Alex: Steelers Mailbag – Steelers Depot

Hey everyone, and welcome back to the mailbag. Like always, we’re here for the next hour talking about whatever you want to talk about. Let’s jump in.

To your questions!

Bob Francis: 

Do you think the team should add a player before the trade deadline? If so, at what position? And any names in mind? If the window is NOW with Ben, I see the sense of using a future pick for a proven player at a position of need, especially with how long it usually takes to develop drafted players pan out (especially on defense). There’s also the hope the team will recoup a high pick when losing Bell, which lessens the cost of using a future high pick in a trade. And the Steelers are also suddenly in cap position to add someone who’s not from the bargain bin.

PFF mentioned Patrick Peterson as potentially moveable by the Cardinals. With the trouble finding a solution opposite Haden, would you give up a high pick for him? I know some are still high on Burns.

Alex: I mean, I’m generally not opposed to it. I don’t think any playoff hopeful team would be. But I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about who or where. Deone Bucannon is semi-interesting but he’s going to be a free agent after this year and apparently struggled a ton this year. Interesting piece as a sub-package/dime player, but even then, it’s hard to find the fit. I know many have mentioned the other Cardinal reportedly being shopped around, Hassan Reddick, but I don’t believe the Steelers are going to have interest.

Kyle Chrise: Will Morgan Burnett return to the starting lineup when he is healthy again or has Terrell Edmunds earned the starting role?

Alex: Good question. I think Edmunds stays in his spot. He’s going to be stating full-time by next year, right? You have to imagine that was the Steelers plan when they drafted him. So might as well keep it going. Hard to say if Burnett is really even in-shape after missing so much time with a soft tissue injury, which I assume hasn’t let him be able to run and stay conditioned.

So yeah, if Edmunds plays like he did vs Atlanta, Burnett should be the dime player only. And even then, I’m not opposed to having the conversation of him vs Sutton.

pittfan: Alex, great video on Edmunds. I like his game last week.
Do you see us playing more single high and 3rds and moving away from the cover 2 we’ve been getting burned on?
PS, LJ Fort….strong showing….comments??

Alex: Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. I know it wasn’t super exciting in any singular play he made but it was steady all around.

Butler has gotten back to playing a lot of Cover 3 and I think they’re sticking with that for at least awhile. He’s trying to simplify things. Worked last week.

Yup, Fort was really good. We’ve talked about him for a long time. What’s his role going forward? I’m not sure.

Kevin Reich: Have the TEs play erased any need for an early draft pick at the position next year?

Alex: Yeah, if Vance McDonald can stay upright, then I think the position will be pretty low down on the list of needs. Get ready for another defensive geared draft.

srdan: AK, I think people on our defense like Haden and Hilton get a lot of love…rightfully so, they are consistent. But my man Davis has been quietly been balling. Nothing spectacular yet, but he is holding the fort down. I know you spend time watching the 22 tape, do you see him now as the long term answer there at FS? Seems natural for him.

Alex: His transition has seemed to go smoother than I expected. Kudos to him for handling being moved around like that. Davis was always the only true option to play FS, I didn’t disagree with that, but I was worried about him playing a third position in three years.

But yeah, he’s been steady. Not perfect but given the other issues in the secondary, his problems are lower on my list.

Grant Humphrey: Hey Alex,
I asked you on twitter a few weeks ago and your reply was, “we’ll cross that bridge when we get there” well that bridge is getting closer and closer by the week. So my question is, who is the receiver who is out the door when Eli Rogers is ready to return from IR?

Alex: Still not sure, ha. Maybe it’s Eli. I don’t see the role for him. Switzer is the backup slot WR and the return man. What is Eli offering this team? At least in theory, Justin Hunter is giving you something different. So it wouldn’t surprise me if Rogers was released when he’s eligible to come off. They’ll hold him as long as they can, though, of course.

Ichabod: Alex if we sign free agents next year, couldn’t that affect the assumed 3rd round comp. for bell?

Alex: Yes, it could. That’s the risk you take. But good luck figuring out the comp formula. It’s totally obscure in its rules.

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