Best asked and answered: June 23

November 8, 2021
DAVID BOGNAR OF GERMANY, WI: When you needed to put 4 Steelers up entrance on a regular basis, who would you set subsequent to Joe Inexperienced within the sort out? Will it’s Ernie Stautner, Casey Hampton, or Cam Heyward?

ANSWER: I’ve by no means seen Ernie Stuttner play, however I imagine his accomplishments – a Corridor of Fame recruit, the primary participant in franchise historical past to retire his jersey – spoke of excelling in his profession, and people {qualifications} would make him a strong alternative as a sort out on the entrance 4 Steelers of all time. Possibly it is simply my private choice, however I’ve quite a lot of respect for the way in which Cam Heyward performs and what he brings to the crew as a captain and by way of his enjoying behaviour. Along with my private choice, there’s an vital historic reality in Heyward’s favour: Within the historical past of the Steelers franchise, solely two All-Professional first-team defensive linemen have been voted on greater than as soon as: Joe Greene and Cam Heyward. So, I am going with Heyward alongside Joe Greene as a result of I do not assume there shall be quite a lot of offensive line keen to go down and soiled, if obligatory, with these two.

April 5 2022
Luis Philip of Chihuahua, Mexico: Are you able to inform us two of the most important upheavals or tragic defeats that you simply assume the Steelers have confronted?

Reply: One of many issues it’s a must to perceive is that the inaugural NFL season for the franchise was in 1933. Which means the Steelers shall be within the NFL’s ninetieth season in 2022, so while you ask questions on “worst ever” or “greatest ever” together with In it quite a lot of historical past. Restricted to the post-Knoll period, I might wish to level out the 1994 Asian Championship recreation loss to San Diego at Three Rivers, as a result of the Steelers have been a double-digit favourite over the Chargers and obtained stung by enjoying the sport to not lose as an alternative of enjoying to win and lose to Inexperienced Bay in Tremendous Bowl XLV, as a result of that was sabotaged by transitions – the pick-six by Nick Collins within the first half after which the loss by Richard Mendenhall within the fourth quarter.

December 16, 2021
Steve Madden from ELDERSBURG, MD: One in every of your responses on December 14 was “Requested and Answered” concerning the kicks and the truth that the NFL and faculties use a unique ball. What’s the distinction between a Okay ball and that utilized in school soccer? Moreover, why does not school soccer use the identical ball as a result of it’s basically an NFL “coaching discipline”?

Reply: You may view school soccer as an NFL “coaching floor”, however school soccer does not see itself as that, nor does it trouble to strengthen that notion. And so, there are variations in gear and guidelines, and I feel there’ll at all times be variations between school soccer and American soccer. For soccer used: Normally, school footballs might be as much as 1-1/4 inches smaller than NFL footballs. For extra particulars, the circumference of a school soccer ranges from 20-3/4 inches to 21-1/4 inches in size from finish to finish, versus 21 inches to 21-1/4 inches within the NFL. An NFL ball lacks streaks, a school ball has two white balls within the center, and whereas all school footballs have streaks, the balls range barely from crew to crew. That is in distinction to the consistency of the NFL, the place each crew will get the identical ball.

In 1999, the NFL switched to particular groups “Okay-balls” as a result of there was a rising concern that balls and punters have been manipulating common balls to make them fly larger and straighter. In 2015, enlisted a gaggle of former NFL gamblers and mentors to clarify some “commerce scams.”

Former NFL heart participant Michael Hested, who performed 9 seasons with the Buccaneers, Raiders, Redskins and the Chief, mentioned he would go to the gear room each Monday and break the noses of 36 footballers by hitting them on the finish of a desk or door jamb. Husted then inflates the balls as much as 30 psi (the NFL soccer commonplace is between 12.5 and 13.5) earlier than putting them within the sauna for 2 days earlier than letting the air out and setting them within the solar. What this course of did was soften the pores and skin and widen the candy spot. The ball would then be inflated to regular strain nevertheless it was principally a very completely different soccer ball on the time of the match.

Three-time Professional Bowl soccer participant Reggie Robbie sits down and rubs a soccer ball with a bit of Astroturf to interrupt it. He would additionally take a heavy-weight plate, put it on prime of the soccer, then stand on it and roll it. Others soak the balls in evaporated milk or lemon juice. Some soccer balls within the microwave or baked within the oven.

Okay balls (or kick balls) don’t journey so far as ball bearings, and can’t be “steered” as precisely as mushy, spherical balls. The Okay balls usually are not a unique dimension than common NFL soccer, however gamers describe them as being stronger and smarter than common NFL soccer. When the Okay-ball was first launched in 1999, the unique objective was for every kick to include a brand new ball. When that did not work, scores of Okay-Balls have been rotated all through the match to verify every one was kicked the identical variety of instances.

However after quarterback Tony Romo, additionally holder of the Cowboys on the time, could not deal with a brand-new Okay-ball in a Dallas playoff in 2007 in opposition to the Seattle Seahawks, and a stumble that price his crew the win, the foundations have been modified once more. The Okay-ball scores have been numbered from 1 to 12, the #1 ball was used on the preliminary begin and stored enjoying till it was not an choice, at which level the Okay-Ball No. 2 and so forth and so forth. forth.

As we speak, beneath Rule 2, Division 2 of the NFL Rulebook, six new soccer balls are shipped on to the referee for every recreation and opened within the officers’ locker room precisely two hours and quarter-hour earlier than kickoff. All Okay balls are particularly marked by the referee and used solely in kicked conditions.

Might 24, 2022
Sean Chalmer from Bendigo, Australia: We noticed that we “terminated” John Simon’s contract. What is the distinction if there may be any distinction between terminating a contract somewhat than “releasing it?”

Reply: The distinction in terminology used displays John Simon’s years of service within the NFL. Gamers with lower than 4 years of NFL service are waived, which implies they go to waiver wire and might be claimed by any crew, and if a participant claims he should play for the claimant crew or not play in any respect. A participant like Simon, who’s retired, has 4 or extra years of NFL service, which implies he is now free to play for any crew he is excited by.

12 Might 2022
Michael Kosminsky from Warren, Pennsylvania: When you needed to decide Heinz Discipline’s most iconic second, what wouldn’t it be?

Reply: That is straightforward for me. Troy Polamalu’s 40-yard Choose-6 within the 2008 AFC Championship recreation in opposition to the Ravens ought to have supplied the seize factors within the 23-14 victory that despatched the Steelers to Tremendous Bowl XLIII, the place they received their sixth Lombardy Cup in franchise historical past with 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals.