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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: No-huddle? No brainer, right?

MESA, Ariz. – Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> High-octane Ben?

I read that back home Ben Roethlisberger is openly lobbying Bruce Arians to get the Steelers to go no-huddle more often, maybe even all the time. That, the QB said, would allow the offense to develop more of a tempo, as well as allowing him to call more audibles.

Much as I’ve hated watching Pitt do the no-huddle, I’d love seeing the Steelers do it.

Makes perfect sense. There’s an elite quarterback and, as we saw again when that ankle limited his mobility against Tennessee, he’s dynamite when working quickly. There’s an elite tight end in Heath Miller, a Hall of Fame possession guy in Hines Ward to go quickly over the middle, a deep threat in Mike Wallace to keep the secondary honest, and a quality running back in Rashard Mendenhall. All that, and it takes the onus off the line the same way we saw against Tennessee. They only have to hold their blocks for a couple seconds.

Do it out here this weekend. Don’t wait.

>> My Thursday feature on the Penguins’ James Neal is exactly what you might expect, if you’ve been reading my annoyances for months now about his tendency to shoot high.

The numbers speak for themselves.

>> We will have our weekly chat today at noon, usual time. You can submit entries as early as 6 a.m. Feel free to ask me where I’ll be going right after the chat. (After Starbucks.)


  1. Jackie Wilson says:

    Are you close enought ot take a peak at Gerrit Cole out there? Not sure how spread out the AZ Fall league is.

  2. JAL says:

    JAL’s Going Out of My Head Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3- 2011-12 Pirates Prospects Off-Season Calendar

  3. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    -Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers Vs. Cardinals: Fondly Remembering an Old Steelers Friend, Joey “Peezy” Porter

    5 Burning Questions as the Steelers Shift from Big Cats to Birds of Prey

    -Steeler Depot

    Harrison Say Eye and Back are Better

    -Steelers Gab

    Polamalu Passes Concussion Tests, Will Be a Go For Sunday

  4. JAL says:

    Pitt Blogs

    Pitt Blather

    Myers Rising?

    Cardiac Hill

    Pitt Basketball: Five Reasons Why They’ll Win The Big East

    WVU Blogs

    Gold and Blue Blog

    PA Safety Commits to West Virginia

    WV Illustrated

    Musings Of A Mountain Man: October 19, 2011

    WVU Picked to Finish Seventh in Big East Media Day Poll



    Johnson, Dupuis and the vets step up. Pens 4, Wild 2

  5. @suckmeter says:

    It sucks the Steelers are better at talking about the no huddle offense than they are actually using it. Either do it or don’t…just shut up about it.

  6. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    DK-Thanks for the article on Neal. I’m learning more and more hockey through your articles.

    I do have a question, it might be a dumb one, but where is the 5 hole in hockey terms?

  7. radio wave says:

    Will you have any time to check out Pirates prospects in the Arizona Fall League?

  8. Milo Hamilton says:


    The 5 hole is between the goalie’s legs.

    Picture a cardboard cutout of a goalie in the net. They number each corner 1-4, between the legs is 5, under each arm, 6-7. It’s a practice tool for kids, mostly.

  9. CWalton_67 says:

    Enjoyed the column on Neal. Great to see him playing well as I believe he will be a key component of this team for many years. Is anyone else also pleased to see Pascal Dupuis playing so well? He has really evolved into a great hockey player over the past few years. And giving him the ultimate compliment, seems like a Pittsburgh guy.

    @Ryan–welcome to hockey. If you’re not already, recommend that you get on twitter and start following writers, fans, bloggers. Start with DK and Josh Yohe, and pick up the bloggers, especially Pensblog writers. You’ll be an expert in no time.

  10. JAL says:

    Dejan is going to the Mesa game today–Cole starting.

    DK: Heading over right now. Will be tweeting, easier than taking laptop.

  11. Hey Dejan, went to the baseball Hall of Fame a couple of years ago in October. The drive was beautiful, (leaves) and we basically had the place to ourselves. My family will tell you one of the best trips ever. ken

  12. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Thanks for the info, I figured that’s what it meant since I reference that to baseball.

    I’m not completly stupid to the world of hockey. I’ve been to live games, watch some on TV, but its hard to watch other teams not named the Penguins. Trying to get involved in the Sharks since its the closest team to me.

  13. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    DK, your head as got to be spinning with all these different assignments you’re getting. Enjoy, I know we always enjoy your insight.

    DK: Spinning in a good way. Thanks.

  14. Jandy says:

    CWalton, I am totally thrilled to see someone else appreciates Duper as much as I do. He’s a hard worker, but he also has some skill. The off season before 2010-2011, Duper actually trained harder, including getting a mountain bike and riding forever to strengthen his legs and endurance. He’s a dedicated player and wants to do whatever he can to help the team. Granted, he’s no Malkin, nor even a Kunitz, but he is very versatile, playing up and down the lines. Your compliment is well deserved, as he has openly said he loves being in Pittsburgh, and hhis family does too, and wants to stay.

  15. Jandy says:

    Ryan, I’m fairly new to this site, but this crowd is fun and informative. I know a good bit about hockey, but am learning more here. =)

  16. Drew71 says:

    Dejan – The Pirates’ spring training schedule was released. There are those two Washington General games in Philly…but NO GAME AGAINST THE DREADED MANATEES

    Seriously, that’s a tradition I’ll miss. I look forward to that – in fact attend it and, not in an anti-Pirate way, root for the kids.

  17. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Jandy-new to the site, I am not. Alot of us on here are castaways from the PG site. Once DK left, it just wasn’t the same and there were waaaaayyy too many technical difficulties for my liking.

  18. Milo Hamilton says:


    No game against the Manatees ? The only thing more disappointing than that are the 2 trips to Dunedin. Has anyone ever gotten busted trying to park at the public library for a game in Dunedin ? It’s like trying to park at the general mail facility on the North Side. They have a police car patrolling the parking lot.

  19. JAL says:

    Cole’s first ground out, fly out, walk, strike out. Then Grossman does what Grossman does and leads off bottom of first with a home run.

  20. JAL says:

    Since the Manatee game is not an official game would it be on the schedule?

  21. Milo Hamilton says:


    Biertempfel says they replaced it with an intrasquad game. But there is still time for public pressure. Didn’t the Manatees beat the Pirates recently ?

  22. JAL says:


    Couple of seasons ago. Pirates won last season

  23. Milo Hamilton says:

    Why are they rushing everything so much this off season ? The spring schedule usually wasn’t released until after the holidays. Piratefest is before Christmas, tickets go on sale in December. Ticket plans are in the mail now.

    Why do they need everyone’s money so fast ?

  24. Drew71 says:

    JAL – Yes, Manatee game was always on the schedule.

    And Bier-man is right…that is the place the Manatee game was played last year – just before the regular schedule began.

    Manatees won in either 2010 or ’09, but that is unusual to say the least. Even with PBC playing minor leaguers….well, last year it was something like 21-1 and the whole stadium of PBC fans felt bad and starting pulling for the Manatees.

    And maybe the crushing score had something to do with their absence from this year’s schedule. If that’s it, and it was the Manatees’ decision, fine. But I sure hope it wasn’t about money. Not to suggest it was, but with the Pirates’ Washington Generals imitation in Philly, there IS precedent.

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