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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Patience with Despres

CLEVELAND – Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> My Monday column from the Mistake is about the Steelers’ offense and

beating Tim Tebow even if they don’t have one.

>> Don’t read too much into Simon Despres’ demotion, other

than that it’s a clear sign Paul Martin is set to return. He was going to be the odd

man out almost regardless of his play, and there’s a little more to his play than meets the eye.

I spoke extensively the other day with Despres, assistant coach Todd Reirden and GM

Ray Shero about Despres’ performance. The coaching staff loved what it saw talent-

wise, as well as Despres’ increasing confidence. But what you might not have noticed is that Despres

was matched largely against opponents’ third and fourth lines, smartly putting him in the best

position to succeed. There are times Despres strayed from what the Penguins wanted, times when he

struggled, but he was mostly good.

Time in the minors will only serve him well. He’ll be back, and he’ll be really good.

>> A source told me over the weekend that Root Sports suspended one of its

producers for two games for allowing Dan Bylsma’s swear word to air before a game

last week. That’s pretty tough. They call those segments “all access” for a reason, and there are

risks inherent in airing them.

Root’s energies would be far better invested in better camera angles for hockey, as well as being sure

not to miss key moments such as Sidney Crosby’s return faceoff, a winning goal by

Detroit’s Johan Franzen and the Max Talbot tribute.

>> Want to forget about how awful Pitt basketball has become

Here’s a visit from Steven Adams. Silent, but still noteworthy.

>> I tallied up your votes from those six columns here last week. My point to that exercise,

which I didn’t make all that clear at the time, was for the purpose of submitting for contests. It’s

something all reporters are required to do at newspapers.

These are the results, based on three points for a first-place vote, two points for second, one point

for third:

1. Put away the Sharpie: 67 points, 15 first place.

2. Pirates’ resilient fans rewarded: 43 points, 11 first place.

3. At Penn State, all must go: 34 points, 3 first place.

4. Baseball sticks it to Pirates: 23 points, 4 first place.

5. Crosby ‘magnifique’ right away: 20 points, 2 first place.

6. Big Ben’s big stand: 11 points, 1 first place.

Thanks again for your participation. It helps. I really didn’t think much of No. 2 in particular.

>> My weekly segment on TribLIVE Radio is

today at 11:30 a.m.

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