Welcome to Aaron Wilson's live Q&A chat. You can start sending in your questions any time now, and Aaron will start answering them when the chat begins at 3 p.m.
I feel differently. I really don't think Mike Tomlin is that impulsive or dumb to risk his reputation to intentionally get in the way. There's apparently plenty of video that he did this repeatedly this season with his back turned and watching the Jumbotron. I do think it looks bad, it's, as he said, embarrassing and $100,000 is a big fine. I disagree with punishing the Steelers with any potential draft pick loss or modification. That, to me, is going too far. He's paid a lot in terms of damage to his reputation and a six-figure fine. I just don't think he meant to do it. I can't say I know him well, but have talked to him at league meetings and consider him to be a nice guy. From the Pittsburgh reporters that know him well like Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette, they told me they would be shocked if he meant to do that. They feel like he's way too sharp and sportsmanlike to do it. Nothing in his past suggests that he would try to interfere and risk injuring a player. I just don't buy it. I don't think smiling later or the path he walks shows intent.
The Vikings are vulnerable in several areas, including their pass defense. They're giving up 287 yards per game and rank 30th in pass defense, 30th in total defense. They're not great against the run, either, allowing 120.6 yards on the ground per game to rank 23rd. Their best attributes are their pass-rushers, Jared Allen, Brian Robison and Everson Griffen. It's not a very stout defense generally and Chris Cook has been beaten deep lately.
They have done far less zone blocking for the past several weeks. Every team zone-blocks. It just was made a huge priority early in the season by run-game coordinator Juan Castillo. They've been back to more of an old-school, straight-forward blocking scheme for several games led by offensive line coach Andy Moeller. Every team always zone blocks, at least a little, so it will be part of the blocking scheme next season. I doubt they ever go back to using it as much as they did earlier in the season.
Yes, they could afford to retain James Ihedigbo. I think a modest one-year to two-year deal is appropriate. He's solidified the strong safety spot, but one thing to keep in mind, Matt Elam has proven this year that he would be a much more natural fit at strong safety. It's like they're playing with two strong safeties now. They have to decide if he's the future at free safety or if they need to put him at strong safety and get another free safety, perhaps in the draft. If that's the case, then they wouldn't have room for Ihedigbo. At this point, I think he's earned a job for next year
OK, thanks guys for all the questions and thanks Aaron for checking in and answering them.
Thanks, guys. Talk to you soon