Steelers Q&A: Scott Brown Answers Your Questions

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Tribune-Review Steelers writer Scott Brown answers your questions about the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The game was lost when:

You're winning 29-28, your QB is unstoppable, three touchdowns in the last three drives, but you're averaging 1.7 yards a rush. Four minutes to go. You run three straight times, punt, and let the defense hold them. No need to go for a first down here (shades of Bill Cowher). Didn't anybody see the game tape from three weeks ago? What are your thoughts?

--Jerry Bioux, Ellicott City, Maryland


Hard it put it any better than you just have. As well as Ben Roethlisberger was playing and with still plenty of time left on the clock, I am stunned that they did not let him throw the ball during that critical offensive series.

And if they were too worried about an interception or incomplete pass that would have stopped the clock why not do this: give Roethlisberger firm instructions only to throw the ball if a receiver is wide open. If not, tuck in the ball and try to scramble for the first down.

He is much more of a running threat when he is escaping trouble. He is not a running threat when the Steelers call his number off left tackle. Mystifying play call on the Steelers' end, no doubt about it.

Check out Scott's View from the Press Box blog entry for his latest take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.


It seemed like Trai Essex played well in Baltimore Sunday. With a good game Saturday against the Jags where does he fit in next year with our o-line struggles (too early to tell)? If he plays well, that at least has to put him in the conversations? Does Max Starks' injury make him easier to resign?

- Mike McCorkle of York, Pa.


I'll let Mr. Essex himself answer the part about where he fits into the Steelers' plans next season. "I've got a lot on my plate worrying about Jacksonville," Essex said. "I can't worry about next year."

Indeed, it is still too early to tell what Essex's future is with the team or if he even has one. A strong showing against a tough Jags' defensive front though would certainly help the third-year pro's cause.

Unfortunately for Starks he probably will be easier to re-sign for the Steelers assuming they want to keep the tackle.

Some teams will view Starks as damaged goods, thus driving down his market value. It's a shame for him because he was having a good year and seemed to be in line for a big payday since he had shown he can play both tackle positions.

Q: I have friends and a brother in New England. They all seem to have the party line that (the Patriots getting punished for illegally videotaping during a game) was no big deal, the media created the problem, everyone does it or wants to, Belicheat is brilliant and Brady is the best ever. Talking to people not Pats fans they all seem to feel that it tarnishes their reputation and wonder how they are cheating now. Are the Pats still under the cap? Why was the evidence destroyed and not laid out so everyone knew what they did and how they used it?

- Matt May of Greenville, Pa.


Well, the media usually is a convenient scapegoat, but there never would have been a story if the Patriots not had a tape or tapes confiscated during their season opener against the Jets in New York and later gotten docked a first-round draft pick and hit with a couple of hefty fines by commissioner Roger Goodell.

How much this has tarnished their reputation or will tarnish their accomplishment should they go 19-0 and win the Super Bowl, it's tough to say. Personally, I think it's a definite black mark on the organization and Bill Belichick but I'm not sure it gave them that much of a competitive advantage if any at all.

However, you raise an interesting question about why all of the evidence was destroyed by the NFL. Did the scope of what the Patriots were doing to try and gain and edge go far beyond the videotaping they were caught doing in New York? …