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Asked and Answered: Jan. 18
January 18, 2018 11:00 AM | Bob Labriola
Let's get to it:

QUINN PODWORNIAK FROM CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA:
I just wanna know if Le'Veon Bell is gonna finally get paid? It's driving me crazy.

ANSWER: There never, ever has been any issue of whether Le'Veon Bell is going to get paid. The issue is whether he's going to get paid what he wants.

PETER TOPA FROM OLD FORGE, PA:
Do you see the Steelers restructuring some contracts to give Le'Veon Bell the money he is seeking?

ANSWER: When negotiating contracts, the Steelers aren't necessarily interested in giving the player the money that he wants, as much as they are trying to negotiate a contract that's fair for both sides and also fits into their overall salary cap structure.

ANDREA GRYPHON FROM SAN FRANCISCO, CA:
Considering Le'Veon Bell is arguably the best running back in the league and a key part of the Steelers offense, why do the Steelers not want to sign him to a long-term contract?

ANSWER: What makes you think they don't? The Steelers put the franchise tag on Le'Veon Bell last offseason, but then before the deadline to work out a long-term deal they made an offer that Bell didn't accept but one that many in the industry viewed as a credible one. The offer would have paid Bell $30 million over the first two years and $42 million over the first three. This alone leads me to believe the Steelers were very interested in a long-term arrangement with Bell. Whether their level of interest will be the same this offseason is to be determined.

GRAYSON ROGERS FROM ANTIOCH, TN:
Now that Todd Haley is out, do you see them running a lot of the same system moving forward, or do you think the new offensive coordinator will change up everything?

ANSWER: Based on Ben Roethlisberger saying he could be interested in three more seasons, my opinion would be that continuity would be desirable. A new scheme with new terminology could take a couple of years to implement completely, and Roethlisberger's clock is ticking.

TREVOR MCCLEARY FROM FORT SMITH, AR:
With Todd Haley gone, is there any chance we can get Bruce Arians to come out of retirement and make him the offensive coordinator like old times?

ANSWER: The good old days of the quarterback getting sacked close to 50 times a year? No thanks.

PERCY SMITH FROM ATLANTA, GA:
Who do you see available in the draft that would be a good fit as a replacement/addition to the group of inside linebackers for us next year?

ANSWER: Since you're from Georgia, how about a player from your home state: Roquan Smith. A few days ago, Smith announced he would be entering his name for the 2018 NFL Draft, but while he will be eligible to be drafted he won't be available to be drafted by the Steelers, who have pick No. 28 in the first round. He's the only inside linebacker with whom I'm familiar at this early stage.

HOWARD ASHCRAFT FROM LANSING, MI:
How many free agents do the Steelers have going into the 2018 season, and how much cap space do they have?

ANSWER: Here is a complete list of the Steelers' free agents heading into 2018. Unrestricted: Le'Veon Bell, Arthur Moats, Chris Hubbard, Justin Hunter, Stevan Ridley, Sean Spence, and Daniel McCullers; Restricted: Fitzgerald Toussaint, Greg Ducre, Anthony Chickillo, Chris Boswell, Roosevelt Nix, Eli Rogers, and Jordan Berry; Exclusive Rights: B.J. Finney, Mike Matthews, and Matt Feiler. Until the NFL sets the salary cap figure for the 2018 season, there's no way to know how much cap room the Steelers will have.

RODRIGO RODRIGUEZ FROM LOS ANGELES, CA:
If I remember correctly, in the past you mentioned that Ben Roethlisberger did not like to run the quarterback sneak, but in his latest comments he seems to be all for it.

ANSWER: What I said is he isn't any good at it at this stage of his career.

MIKE WHITEHEAD FROM LYNCHBURG, VA:
I don't understand, the coach said he doesn't fear failure? What does that mean?

ANSWER: It means he's not coaching scared. He's coaching to win, not coaching with the idea of trying not to lose. It is a reflection of being aggressive.

JOSEPH PARHAM FROM PHILADELPHIA, PA:
Can you please explain to me the reason why it seems that a lot of Steelers fans want the coach fired (despite his success), all of the offensive and defensive coaches fired, and the quarterback traded when the Steelers fall short of the ultimate goal? Haven't Steelers fans followed any other team outside of New England and realized that starting over is idiotic and rarely works in any sport? The Steelers were 13-3 ... oh, I forgot trade your All-Pro running back.

ANSWER: I cannot explain it, except that to me it seems there exists a feeling of entitlement that baffles me. Maybe Mr. Flores (see the next submission) can do a better job.

RUBEN FLORES FROM SANTA FE, NM:
After the coaching mistakes that were made Sunday, do you feel the entire coaching staff should be fired?

ANSWER: I do not.

DAN SANTUCCI FROM AIKEN, SC:
Does the Steelers draft order position change/improve as a result of losing in the Divisional Round?

ANSWER: The Steelers have the No. 28 pick in the first round.

JOYCE WOODS FROM PORT SAINT LUCIE, FL:
After 14 years with the Steelers, why can't our future Hall of Fame quarterback call his own plays? If he did, we probably would have won two or three more Super Bowls.

ANSWER: Joe Montana didn't call his own plays. Tom Brady doesn't call his own plays. Today's coaches don't want to cede control of the play-calling to their quarterbacks.

DAVID OROCHENA FROM POTOMAC, MD:
As a distraction from my angst, has a timeline been established for naming the latest Steelers Hall of Honor inductees?

ANSWER: No timeline has been set, but my guess would be that the timeline would be similar to what it was last year.

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