SAN FRANCISCO – Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …
>> My Wednesday column is about Ben Roethlisberger needing to play. I’m sure this will be greeted with universal acceptance from the agonizing Nation.
>> Among a handful of oddities from Mike Tomlin’s news conference yesterday was his insistence that he had no idea if Roethlisberger was given a cortisone shot. That’s really hard to digest. For one, a head coach really ought to be apprised of such things. For another, even if he didn’t know, he probably should have been aware that both Roethlisberger and head athletic trainer John Norwig told the world the night before that there was no shot.
>> One film review showed that Jerricho Cotchery played 58 snaps, Hines Ward just nine.
Can we finally drop the 1,000-catch controversy now?
>> My plane landed too late to catch the Penguins’ whole victory, so I mostly saw the team getting schooled the entire third period by the Hawks. Not a pretty scene, but somewhat understandable with three defensemen out.
>> Soon, it will be four defensemen out. Deryk Engelland’s head shot deserves a suspension, probably one or two games. It’s astonishing to me that people were able to manufacture debates about this last night.
>> Great to see Ben Lovejoy out there again. An outstanding rush and assist, plus good stamina for first game in nearly two months. He’s always been a sharp fit for the Bylsma system.
>> If Mario Cristobal is fine by Steve Pederson, he’ll have to prove a lot more to a lot of people than the average new coaching hire.
>> I will appear on Mark Madden’s radio show — 105.9 The X — at 4 p.m. today.