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Paul from St Paul: I’ve seen conflicting interpretations of the “crown of the helmet” rule in regards to Shazier’s hit on Bernard. Any comments from the league to clarify this?

Gerry Dulac: I doubt you will get any. It will remain vague. Just remember that once a player becomes an eligible “runner” beyond the tackle box, helmet to helmet hits are both common and somewhat accepted, so long as not flagrant. That’s why Shazier was not flagged.

Michael: Gerry, as of this very moment, give us your percentage chance of Ben/DeAngelo/AB(individually) playing on Sunday…

Gerry Dulac: Ben 85-90 percent, Brown 50, Williams 0

Scott from Erie: Any reason to believe that TNT do have a better job running the ball than Deangelo did last time against the Broncos? Maybe having a change of pace back will help?

Gerry Dulac: Well, he didn’t have a whole lot of yards (26 on 15 carries), so its reasonable to assume that Toussaint and Todman will have more than that. But teams DO NOT run outside on the Broncos, so Im guessing Todman will have a more difficult time bouncing runs to the outside like he did against the Bengals.

Mitchell: Well those “busts” Shazier, Jones and Blake sure busted out on defense Saturday. When will the naysayers realize that this defense (ranked 11th in pts/game) is flawed, but certainly does well in defending the scoreboard?

Gerry Dulac: They defense has done a good job against nearly every one of the top offenses in the league, despite the stats.

Hobbster: So, then Williams is going to Play? (Prior to the Browns game I asked in chat if there was a chance he could, you said ” 0 percent “)

Gerry Dulac: Williams will not play, it appears

JR: hat’s the weather forecast for the game this weekend? Do you think the Steelers secondary was aided by the rainy conditions last week?

Gerry Dulac: 37 mostly sunny. The rain aided them on the Blake interception when the ball did not come out of AJ McCarron’s hand properly and was underthrown.

Ken: You have to give Tomlin credit for taking the high road in regards to the Bengal game. However, don’t you think next season when we play them twice or even 3 times the animosity is still going to be pretty high?

Gerry Dulac: Right on both counts.

Scott from Erie: Regarding the concussion protocol…does Brown need to pass a number of tests each day this week to be cleared to play on Sunday? Or does he take the same test every day, and just hasn’t passed it yet?

Gerry Dulac: He has to pass the first step which is the baseline step. Then there are subsequent steps that have to be passed in order. He cannot proceed to the next one until he passes the previous one.

me: Will they dress 3 QB’s on Sunday? If they do, I would suggest de-activating Shamarko.

Gerry Dulac: They should. and I think they will. If not, shame on them.

jim: Was it just me or did L Jones, when he came into the game, looked confused, as though he had not stared all year, when in fact the preseason and a few games this year should have been his training ground for just this type of moment

Gerry Dulac: It’s just you. One thing about Landry, he is very calm and cool.

Michael from Fort Myers: Any other injury concerns that could carry over besides the obvious trio of Ben/AB/Williams?

Gerry Dulac: All good it appears other than that.

JR: Does Todman seem to be the offensive weapon that the Steelers wanted when the drafted Dri Archer?

Gerry Dulac: Well, I think they were thinking Archer could do that and even more, especially in the return game.

Guest: Would you give the steelers any chance of besting the Broncos without AB and a limited Ben?

Gerry Dulac: That will be tough, I agree. I’ve already made my prediction for the game that will appear in the paper and on the PG website in the next couple days. I based the pick on 7 and 84 playing. But I acknowledge if they don’t it could be a whole different outcome.

Scott from Erie: Have you ever seen a more rowdy and disrespectful stadium of fans than what we saw in Cincinnati? I couldn’t believe my eyes when I witnessed empty beer cans being hurled at Ben while carted off the field….And Marvin Lewis thanked the fans for the great atmosphere!

Gerry Dulac: I agree that was as bad as I’ve seen, but that was also because of what was at stake, I say that because see that type of nonsense with drunken fans everywhere I go around the NFL, It’s not just Cincinnati….

rob: Thank God there was no review of Bryant’s TD catch. If you hold the ball but not with your hands, is that good?

Gerry Dulac: There was a review, and it was good.

Guest: Do you expect the steelers to be rather blitz-heavy against a very immobile manning?

Gerry Dulac: I think they will be very aggressive with him.

Jon in Miami: Seems like last week there were a high number of receiver screens and bubble screens; do you think with Ben’s injury that we’re likely to see more of these short, high completion percentage passes?

Gerry Dulac: I think that is a reasonable assumption. But he and we will have to wait to see how his shoulder improves.

Thomas: Concerning the concussion protocol, any insight as to how subjective the tests are? Do they rely on the player being honest with them or can the player “fudge” part of it?

Gerry Dulac: That is part of it except for the first step — the baseline test. There is no lying there. The results are compared to the players normal results from a previous “healthy” test. If they don’t pass that, they can’t proceed to the other tests, which measure how the player feels after rest and then exertion.

dave: Does Tomlin choose not to crack down on the excessive celebrations? He doesn’t sound very bothered by them.

Gerry Dulac: I would say that is a good assumption.

JR: Will the Steelers CBs continue to give huge cushions to Denver’s wide receivers?

Gerry Dulac: I think they will continue to do what they did in the second half of the game at Heinz Field

Scott from Erie: Mike Vick should know the offense much better than he did at the beginning of the season…so if the full playbook is available to him now, is it possible he would be a better option than Landry Jones?

Gerry Dulac: No. But I would dress him for the game just in case.

Jon in Miami: With the ailing offense, would you agree that the key to Pittsburgh winning this game will come down to getting pressure on Manning and do you think the Defense is capable of creating that pressure? Thanks!

Gerry Dulac: I was both very impressed and very surprised with the way the defense played for 3 1/2 quarters in Cincinnati. Big plays everywhere. They rose to a level I wasn’t sure they could attain in the postseason. So we will see. But it will be imperative.

Ryphia: Do you happen to know whether a painkiller injection would help with the type of injury Ben has and, if so, is it feasible that a QB can take one and effectively numb his throwing shoulder?

Gerry Dulac: I’m not sure of the medical advice in this situation. I’ll have to check.

JR: Do you think the Bengals massive inferiority complex resulted in their overaggressive/dirty behavior?

Gerry Dulac: I think the Bengals’ massive penchant for employing players such as Burfict and Jones, and massively tolerating their behavior, massively resulted in the adjectives you used to reflect their behavior,

Grady: The slow starts on offense have concerned me and now Denver may be able to ignore the ability for Bryant to take the top off the defense. What can Haley do to get the offense going? Denver closes quickly on the ball…

Gerry Dulac: Trust me, they will not ignore that. They will pay even more attention to it if Brown can’t play.

The Card Says Moops: Our defense needs to produce a similar performance as they did in Cincy for us to win this game. That’s our only shot, right?

Gerry Dulac: Bingo. Hold your cards

Guest: I read a story about the bengals game which said that McCarron’s comeback in the fourth quarter was due in part to the steelers playing a prevent defense. Did the D play differently with a 15 point lead that you saw?

Gerry Dulac: I don’t know that they played prevent as much as they did more of their nickel package. But it wouldn’t surprise me, especially on the next to last possession that resulted in the TD

Guest: Gerry,mare you still standing by your reporting that AB looks good to play this weekend?

Gerry Dulac: That is what antonio Brown said on his instagram account and was the feeling of others associated with the team based on how he was feeling early in the week. But we shall see how his concussion testing goes. And, as of right now, he hasn’t been cleared to practice.

The Card Says Moops: If Ben can’t throw deep downfield, do you think our running game can take enough pressure off him to win this game?

Gerry Dulac: That’s another big if, Most teams haven’t been able to run against the Broncos and the Steelers didn’t in the last meeting either.

Ron: Why won’t Coach MT get the players to stop the excessive celebration in the end zone? Needless 15 yard penalty.

Gerry Dulac: Good question. He might when the other team takes a short kickoff and runs it back for a touchdown in a key moment

WAROnTheRock: Peyton led Broncos actually seemed to be more effective handing the ball off because SD sat back in mostly a Cover 2…given the recent great play of the LBing corps hopefully we see a blizzards of blitzes…

Gerry Dulac: I think that might be a good recipe…

Touchdown Joey: Gerry, while the Bengals really set the standard for stupidity and poor sportsmanship, the Steelers weren’t exactly exemplars of sportsmanship and intelligence that day, or all year for that matter. Do you think that some of the harsh criticisms that have been leveled at Marvin Lewis for failure to control his players could apply to Mike Tomlin as well?

Gerry Dulac: If the Steelers lost the game in the same manner as the Bengals — with two out of control players taking two stupid penalties back to back after an incomplete pass — then not only would Tomlin get criticized, he would deserve to get criticized. What people fail to understand is this has been going on all year with the Bengals and Marvin Lewis, surprisingly, has done nothing to stop it. He continues to coddle and defend Burfict and this is what you get.

Jon in Miami: Hi Gerry, would you agree that with the status of Brown and Roethlisberger up in the air for this weekend that the key to winning this game will come down to the Defense’s ability to get pressure on Manning and force him out of the pocket and/or force ill advised throws; and do you think the Defense is capable of creating that pressure? Thanks!!!!

Gerry Dulac: I would agree 120 percent that the defense will have to win this game

Vontaze behind bars: With Denver complaining about all the black n gold fans at previous playoff games and then instituting some restrictions to avoid a repeat, do you think steeler fans will show up at Mile High this go around?

Gerry Dulac: They always do

Dumb Yinzer: Don’t you think Ryan Shazier is a bust? Shouldn’t we trade him while his value is as higher?

Gerry Dulac: What’s the name of your chat handle…???

The Card Says Moops: Hi Gerry, are you hearing anything out of Denver regarding Peyton’s level of health for this game. If he is close to healthy, we’re in trouble, right?

Gerry Dulac: He is healthy. But we’ll see…

Scott from Erie: Tomlin admitted that when Ben went back into the game on the final drive in the 4th, he was relying on the Bengals defense not knowing that he could only throw 10 yards downfield. He looked pretty good in there..don’t you think they should have done a better job keeping that quiet after the game (not tip their hand to the Broncos)?

Gerry Dulac: Perhaps, but Ben said that after the game. Too late.

Scott from Erie: Tomlin seemed more on edge than usual during his press conference yesterday…is he living in his playoff fears?

Gerry Dulac: It’s playoff time.Michael: Gerry, let’s play worst case scenario as it pertains to AB’s availability. What’s your take on what the offensive scheme may look like?

Gerry Dulac: They won’t change. The last time the Steelers thought AB was “pout of the game” was in Seattle when Richard Sherman appeared to get in his head. So the Steelers went away from him and went to Markus Wheaton and you saw what happened.

Scott: Earlier this year I saw Ross Cockrell give a good bump to AJ Green and blanket him in the red zone. Maybe with the rain they didn’t need him but he only played 10 snaps against Cincy. If they are going to play Denver tough like they did in the second half of their last meeting, won’t they need Ross Cockrell?

Gerry Dulac: I wouldn’t overstate the value of Ross Cockrell. Not saying he hasn’t done a solid job, but he’s not the key to their defense.

JR: Although against the rules, it seems incredibly common for coaches to be on the field during injury timeouts and other stoppages. After what happened with Coach Porter, do you think the NFL will notify teams that this rule will actually be enforced going forward?

Gerry Dulac: I would say that is a safe bet, especially in these playoffs.

Gerry Dulac: Well, that’s all the time we have today kids. Sorry I can’t get to all the questions. Good chat.