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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Those noisy Panthers

Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> Spent much of my Monday on the South Side with the Pitt football team and … well, you want to talk about a wakeup call. It was around 8:45 a.m. that I stepped onto the grass for the “high-octane” practice, and there can’t be much louder within city limits than the relentless, senses-shattering screaming of the Panthers’ coaches from drill to drill, through each play, each maneuver. These guys are sprinting even from station to station.

I don’t know what this will mean toward play in the Big East, but I’d have to assume at the moment that the games will look like a break by comparison.

I’ll have much more on this later in the week.

>> Is Jeff Karstens shaping up as the Pirates’ MVP for 2011?

Don’t laugh it off.

>> If Terrelle Pryor’s best chance to get a longer look at quarterback is in Oakland, then yesterday was a good day for him, so long as he doesn’t expect to win at any point.

>> With Trai Essex back in the Steelers’ fold, that would appear to douse some of the internal excitement about Tony Hills at right guard. I wouldn’t assume that. I’d look more at Chris Kemoeatu’s highly uncertain health and a broader lack of depth. Hills has an unusual, interesting pedigree, and if he works out, it could add something to the interior. This coaching staff loves those athletic guys who can stunt.

>> Another day, another Sidney Crosby news cycle. If you’re unfamiliar, this is the formula:

1. A Canadian reporter (or radio producer) with  no connection to Crosby or anyone in his camp produces a definitive statement about his status for camp and/or the season, even though concussion victims have nothing definitive about their status from minute to minute.

2. The hockey world, including the more educated fan base in Pittsburgh, largely reacts with gasps and horror.

3. Crosby’s agent and/or the Penguins reiterate there’s nothing new with Crosby.

4. Rinse, repeat.

Sometime very soon, Crosby will speak about his condition, agent Pat Brisson said last night. How about we wait just a little longer until he does?

>> Speaking of unsubstantiated rumor, there was word going around late last night about the Pirates scoring seven runs in one inning and beating a Cy Young candidate with a rookie recall to finally take down the Brewers.


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