Wed, 06 Dec 2023

Asked and Answered: Nov. 19

The Steelers
21 Nov 2023, 05:30 GMT+10

Bob Labriola

Let's get to it:

TOM MIHALIC FROM SUFFOLK, VA: What is the history behind "Renegade?" How, when, and why did it become the Steelers fourth-quarter inspiration?

ANSWER: Instead of me blathering on about that, a better and more enjoyable option for you, and other interested readers of Asked and Answered, would be to watch the video embedded here that was put together by Nate Hogan, executive producer, video production.

MARK BERGER FROM FLEMINGTON, NJ: I'm a long-time Steelers fan, who went to home games in the early 1960s with my Pop when they played in Pitt Stadium. The Steelers, as you know, were just plain awful. No matter as we had season tickets and went to each game, rain or shine. I am wondering what really changed the franchise into a perennial powerhouse? Was it the change that made Dan Rooney the general manager and Chuck Noll the head coach? Or some radical change in how the franchise was run?

ANSWER: When Steelers founder Art Rooney Sr. turned over football operations to his oldest son, Dan, there was something of a radical change in how the franchise was run, and it started with the Steelers no longer hiring coaches who either were friends or had been recommended by other people within the NFL. As an example, the coach who preceded Chuck Noll (Bill Austin) had been hired based on a strong recommendation from Vince Lombardi. Dan Rooney convinced his father to hire coaches based on their own search process. At the same time, the process of trading away future draft picks for veteran players - a way of doing business that Coach Buddy Parker had used constantly to the ultimate detriment of the franchise - was halted, and a decision was made by the Steelers to utilize the NFL Draft to select and develop their own players. In Chuck Noll, Dan Rooney found a coach who shared his vision, and when the son presented his candidate to his father for approval, the Steelers were about to enter a new era.

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MIKE FEDERICO FROM COLLIERVILLE, TN: I was reading an article that made me hopeful that Pat Freiermuth may play this week. The article mentioned that the Steelers have until 4 p.m. on the Saturday before the game to activate him. Are there practice/participation restrictions on a player who is on injured reserve? Are the official restrictions related just to game participation?

ANSWER: Players on the injured reserve list are not permitted to practice with the team. That's why teams are allowed to designate a player to return from injured reserve, which then opens a 21-day window where the player can return to practice and help the team to decide if the player can return to the 53-man roster or needs to stay on injured reserve for the remainder of the season. On Wednesday, Nov. 15 the Steelers designated Pat Freiermuth to return from IR, and he began practicing with the team that day. Starting Nov. 15, the Steelers have 21 days to activate Freiermuth to the active roster or leave him on injured reserve for the rest of the season.

BRAD McGILL FROM GROVE CITY, PA: As we dedicated fans cheer on the quest for a seventh Super Bowl win, am I correct in thinking the Steelers were the first to win 4, 5 and 6 Super Bowls before others followed?

ANSWER: The Steelers were the first franchise to win 3 Super Bowls (by defeating Dallas in Super Bowl XIII); and the first to win 4 Super Bowls (by defeating the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV). San Francisco became the first franchise to win 5 Super Bowls (by defeating San Diego in Super Bowl XXIX), and Dallas matched the feat of 5 by defeating the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX. The Steelers were the first franchise to win 6 Super Bowls (by defeating Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII), and since then New England has matched the feat of 6 (by defeating the Rams in Super Bowl LIII).

MIKE CALLENDER MOORESVILLE, IN: How long is Kwon Alexander's contract with the Steelers? I'd like to see him back next year.

ANSWER: On July 30, Kwon Alexander signed a 1 year, $1,317,500 contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, including a $152,500 signing bonus and a salary of $1,317,500. He is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in March 2024.

STEFAN PISOCKI FROM WILMINGTON, DE: The talk of Hines Ward's chances of getting into the Pro Football Hall of Fame got me thinking about what effect winning the Super Bowl MVP Award would have on a player's chances. For the Steelers, Franco Harris, Terry Bradshaw, and Lynn Swann all were voted Super Bowl MVPs and are in the Hall of Fame. Ward is not in, and Santonio Holmes has no chance, in my opinion. So this small sample suggests that more than 50 percent of Super Bowl MVPs wind up in the Hall of Fame. Does this hold true league-wide?

ANSWER: The actual number is way more than 50 percent, because there are 4 former Super Bowl MVPs who still are active players - Patrick Mahomes, Cooper Kupp, Von Miller, and Aaron Rodgers - and there are 7 others who are not yet eligible because they haven't been retired for the required five years - Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Drew Brees, Joe Flacco, Malcolm Smith, Nick Foles, and Julian Edelman. Here is the complete list of former Super Bowl MVPs who are eligible to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame but are not: Harvey Martin, Jim Plunkett, Phil Simms, Doug Williams, Ottis Anderson, Mark Rypien, Larry Brown, Desmond Howard, Dexter Jackson, Deion Branch, Hines Ward, and Santonio Holmes. And Super Bowl LVIII will be played at the end of the 2023 season.

GENE GREY FROM MORENO VALLEY, CA: When a player is waived/waived injured, can he still work out at the Steelers facility?

ANSWER: If you were fired from your job, would you still be allowed to continue to go into the office to use the copy machine?

BOB NEMETZ FROM JACKSONVILLE, FL: With all of the complaints about bad calls especially when they turn into game changing outcomes, do you see the refs being replaced by Ai (artificial intelligence)?

ANSWER: The NFL still uses two sticks and a linked chain to measure for first downs. Does that sound to you like an industry likely to turn to artificial intelligence to replace its game officials anytime soon?

KRIS CROCKETT FROM ALTOONA, WI: When will the date and time be announced for the Steelers at Colts game?

ANSWER: The decision will be made no later than after Week 13 (2 weeks out) for the Week 15 games. And this weekend's NFL slate represents Week 11.

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