Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …
>> My Wednesday column is based on a one-on-one interview with Sidney Crosby yesterday at Southpointe. Thanks to the Penguins and their captain for the time.
>> I sat with a handful of other players, too, before they left for the swing through San Jose and Los Angeles this weekend. Among them was Chris Kunitz, who might well be atop the list of better-than-you-think Penguins. He’s been skating low and fluidly from the first drop of the puck this season, and the low should stand out for you. When he’s all hunched over and motoring, that’s when he’s going well.
Kunitz talked yesterday of how much the charley horse hurt him in 2010-11.
“Honestly, it just never got any better, and I played through it, but it wasn’t the same,” he said. “I can’t tell you how much better it feels to be going full-tilt like this. I feel great.”
>> Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis are going to be Crosby’s linemates, as I mention briefly in the column. Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Steve Sullivan will stay together, and Jordan Staal, Tyler Kennedy and Matt Cooke will be reunited once all those guys are healthy.
Let’s dispense for now with all the talk of Crosby/Neal or Malkin/Staal. The three lines you see up there will be plenty good enough, and you know they’ll work.
>> Nice to hear Mike Tomlin acknowledge the obvious, that the Steelers can’t throw 50 times a game against everyone. There’s a tendency to take one game’s blueprint and try to apply it across the board. Doesn’t work like that.
Same goes for the man-to-man coverage for the defensive backs, for that matter. Zone defenses don’t work against Tom Brady, but they’ve been known to confuse Joe Flacco.
>> Is anyone anywhere really taking the Bengals seriously at 5-2?
Is no one looking at the AFC North’s schedule this year?
>> Unrelated to anything, but thoroughly awesome …