Answer Man

He's watched a week of workouts, so the Answer Man was fully prepared for the softballs Jim Wexell pitched to him.

Q: Since you're giving me the time of day, let's start with the important question. What are you seeing at the center position between Justin Hartwig and Sean Mahan?

AM: What? No hello? No introduction?

Q: You need no introduction. Besides, no one wants to know anything about you, they just want answers.

AM: All right. I'll just sit back and try to enjoy this then. Um, Hartwig's the better player. He's bigger, stronger, has a better base. He doesn't get driven back as often as Mahan, who only got the job because he was anointed. You don't anoint people in this game.

Q: I watch Chris Hoke destroy Hartwig. What does that mean?

AM: Chris Hoke destroys Mahan even worse. Haven't you been watching?

Q: I thought I had been. I guess I just missed it.

AM: Hey, I know it's tough to watch everybody at the same time. I have the luxury of going back to look at tape.

Q: I need to get in that room.

AM: You do pretty well with your instincts. You seem to do better than the rest. At least you have a clue.

Q: Thanks. I appreciate that.

AM: It's just a clue, nothing more.

Q: Still, I'll take it. What about the rest of the line?

AM: The offensive line's in bad shape. I said Hartwig's better than Mahan, but not by all that much.

Q: So he's not the next in the long tradition?

AM: No. Really, there are only two players on the offensive line.

Q: Let me guess – Marvel Smith and Willie Colon.

AM: That's right. Max Starks is struggling. Kendall Simmons is a guy you can win with, but you can't line up with an entire line of Kendalls.

Q: As for the rest of the team, do you see any sleepers?

AM: No, I don't. None of the undrafted rookies impresses me.

Q: What about a guy like Mike Humpal?

AM: I don't consider him a sleeper. He's a tough kid and really smart. He's got a chance to make this team.

Q: Ryan McBean?

AM: His problems are mental. He's too up and down.

Q: Ryan Mundy?

AM: Have you seen him stand out?

Q: No. But sometimes free safeties shouldn't stand out.

AM: Well the best word for him is nondescript.

Q: Is anyone standing out?

AM: Lawrence Timmons is playing really well. He is. I'm looking forward to seeing him hit tonight in Latrobe.

Q: Will he take Larry Foote's job?

AM: Don't matter because you need three there anyway. If Timmons earns it, fine, but he might play more than half the snaps anyway because you can use him in nickel and dime and I'm sure coach will want to give him some snaps in the base, too. You have anything else for me? I'm kind of running late.

Q: I've got some more questions, some real questions about ownership, things like that.

AM: Well, good luck with all that. Come see me next week. Maybe I'll have some answers. Maybe I won't.

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