Q & A With Craig Gottschalk of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ “Nice Pick, Cowher”


1. Going into this game the Texans and the Steelers are 2-1. What gives the Steelers the edge in this game?

As long as Ben Roethlisberger can stay mobile and not make mistakes of holding onto the ball to long or forcing a pass, the Steelers always have a chance to pull out a win, even when the two other phases of the game are struggling.

2. What is going on with the Steelers offensive line?

It’s the same thing that’s always been going on – they are not that great.  Aside from Pouncey, the rest of the line is mediocre at best and has been for years.  I think it is more of a glaring problem this year because Arians is formulating sub-par schemes.  It also doesn’t help that Rashard Mendenhall is dancing around as if he is trying out for ‘Dancing With the Stars’ whenever he gets the ball.  He used to just find a hole or round the edge and hit the gas – not so much in the first three games.

3. What, in your opinion, will be the matchup to watch between the Steelers offense and the Texans defense?

Johnathan Joseph vs. Mike Wallace.  Wallace has had 6 consecutive 100+ yard games dating since last season.  This season he has 21 catches for 377 yards and 2 TD’s.  If the offensive line can hold the defense back just long enough, Ben could hit Wallace for some deep passes.

4. Which team needs this win more and why?

The Steelers and two reasons why: 1) The shaky play in Indy only amplified all the complaints from the Nervous Nancy’s out there.  The AFC North is always a tough fight for the top of the division – every win is so critical.  The Steelers need to prove in a big way that they will be in it for the season. 2) With the Colts already down 0-3 and with neither the Jags and Titans looking like to be front runners, the Texans have a bit of a comfort level when taking a loss or two outside of the division.

5. If the Steelers lose this game what must they do to stay in contention for the AFC North?

The MUST beat Baltimore later in the season.  They must also play strong the rest of the way through the AFC South – they play all four teams four weeks in a row, crazy – and hope that Baltimore blows a couple games like they did against the Titans in week 2.  They must also assemble a stable and playable offensive line.  They won’t get very far in the playoffs should they just be able to scrap up enough wins to take the division.