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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Limp for your life, Ben!

Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> Don’t play Sunday, Ben! Limp for your life!

Remains to be seen, of course, if Roethlisberger will. More should be known today.

>> Only the final portions of the Steelers’ practices are seen by the media, but it still could make for some telling stuff. If Mike Tomlin was serious Sunday in Houston — and he sure sounded that way — that the team’s problems are limited to some fundamentals, then I’d imagine we’ll see as many fire-breathing, full-contact drills on the South Side as the new labor agreement will allow.

>> I enjoyed watching Joe Morrow in the Penguins’ camp as much as anyone. Kid skates upright, smoothly and confidently, in the mold of Scott Niedermayer. Moves the puck effortlessly. Shoots like a rocket. But there’s an awful lot that goes into being an NHL defenseman, more than any position, and it’s only fair to Morrow’s development that he learns the right way.

Morrow told me in St. Paul the day he was drafted that he has work to do in his own end, and there were signs of that in camp. If that had been exacerbated even in the scope of nine games — the maximum he could play without things getting messy — it would have turned a positive experience here into a negative.

>> It’s about time the Penguins had a recent draft pick raise some eyebrows, huh?

I’ve never understood why the team’s drafts of late have received so little criticism. Simon Despres looks promising, but they haven’t been great classes.

>> Remember all the times I’ve referenced the Pirates not having many hitting prospects?

Here’s what Baseball America has so far on their individual league lists, along with analysis by Bucs Dugout’s Charlie Wilmoth. Please note, as Charlie does, that Class AAA and AA lists still have to come out.

Oh, and also note that Robbie Grossman, the Pirates’ choice as minor-league player of the year over Starling Marte, did not make the Florida State League list. Yet another sign that management chose Grossman to serve their own purposes, in this one view.

>> Still no word on those offensive line tryouts.

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