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Sunday column: Passing issues at arm’s length

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media


The Sunday column looks at the Steelers’ finally unleashed passing game and comes away impressed.

So was Antonio Brown, from his special vantage point …

Here’s the game story of the OT loss to the Chiefs, by Alan Robinson.

Here’s the game notebook featuring Cortez Allen’s return, by Ralph Paulk.

There’s no place like home, Robinson writes in his Sunday analysis.

Photo gallery from Heinz Field, by photographer Chaz Palla.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage. I’ll be writing the Monday column on Steelers, as well. Haven’t counted them, but I think I’m on some kind of streak.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. Ghost says:

    That’s good to hear that Ben and the O-line had a good day. Ben is Ben and will fight for every play, but getting some normal, consistent pass protection is the best way to keep him on the field.

    At AT&T Park, the game wasn’t actually a dog, but it felt that way. Liriano battled after a rough first, but it wasn’t to be. The Pirate bats weren’t comatose for a change, but too many hard hit balls were right at defenders. Barmes would-be screamer down the line particularly stands out. Tabby continued have good at-bats and also Tony Sanchez also swung a good bat. I think tonight was just one of the 54 you lose. New ball game, tomorrow.

  2. JAL says:

    JAL’s Good As Gold Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Is Gregory Polanco’s Move to Right Field a Sign?

    Liriano’s Rough First Inning Can’t Be Overcome in 6-3 Pirates Loss

    Prospect Watch: Indianapolis Clinches Playoff Spot, Meadows and Herrera Homer

    Pirates Notebook: Why Tony Sanchez Has to Earn 26 from 59

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates give up 4 runs in first, lose 6-3

    6 Rumbunter

    Advantage: Pirates


    76 Wins

    8 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Buried In First Inning Hole, Go Down 6-3

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Giants 6 Pirates 3

  3. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    10 San Francisco Chronicle

    Giants’ Lincecum good enough to beat Pirates

    11 San Jose Mercury News

    Tim Lincecum pitches San Francisco Giants past Pittsburgh Pirates

    12 Rant Sports

    Questions Are Starting To Develop Around Pittsburgh Pirates’ Starting Rotation

    13 City of Champions

    Giants strike back against Liriano, hang on to top Pirates

    14 New York Times

    In Race for N.L. M.V.P., Gomez Deserves Votes

    15 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Explosive bats lift Reds to 6-3 win

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Giants Game Preview

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards take third straight from Braves, 6-2

    18 PBC Site

    Bucs drop into first-place tie after shaky start

    Notebook: Marte placed on 15-day DL; Lambo recalled

    19 Beaver County Times

    Three Thoughts: Taillon not the one


    20 Fangraphs

    The Worst of the Best: The Week’s Wildest Pitches

  4. JAL says:

    Good As Gold The Beautiful South 1994

  5. cherokee23 says:

    Will watch the game later today after recording it from NFL network at 1am……DK sounds optimistic, but his description sounds a lot like the same old thing……settle for field goal, touchdown on very short field, bobble another would-be touchdown pass, couple of sacks on Ben & O-line, defense penalized and giving up chunks of yardage…..hope I’m wrong, i’ll check in after watching!

  6. Kevin says:

    DK, good article, but the story is still on our deficient o-line. Ben has to be Ben because our O-line cant block. So expect to see more of the same. Ben holding the ball too long trying to make something happen equals 4+ sacks per game, holding penalties, and another early exit for Ben.

  7. radio wave says:

    What is all this talk about meaningless football games? I thought there was a pennant race? I think there was a game played in San Francisco last night? Where have the priorities gone?

  8. Jim S. says:

    I just watched the 1st half replay, Kevin, and I agree with your analysis. On the TD pass, Adams was beaten easily, and Ben needed to improvise to avoid the sack and get the TD. That is all well and good, because that is what he does best. But, it also means that sooner or later he is going to take a hit that knocks him out for an extended amount of time. Happens every season now, unfortunately.

    I thought this game was a much better performance by the Steelers than the last 2, but how could it not be? And, let’s not forget that the team we played last night on our home field was 2-14 last year. It wasn’t exactly against the 49’ers that we built up the early 10 point lead last night.

    Too many penalties, spotty pass coverage, inconsistent running game. But, it is pre-season. I am trying to remain positive, despite pointing out a bunch of mistakes. Nothing counts until 2 weekends from now. My eye test doesn’t make me very optimistic for this team right now, though. Hope I’m wrong!

  9. Jim S. says:

    I meant spotty pass blocking by the o-line when I said coverage.

  10. Arriba Wilver says:

    189 comments on Pirates game thread.

    16 on Steelers game thread.

    No worries, radio. :-)

    DK: Ask me about the gap between our actual visits to Steelers content and visits to everything else. Hint: Not close.

  11. Arriba Wilver says:

    And you’re a Patriots’ fan, right?


  12. Baywatch says:

    Ho! :-)

  13. Thundercrack says:

    Tony Sanchez hits his first career home run and the players on the bench fail to give him the silent treatment when he returns to the dugout.

    Sure sign that this team is feeling the pressure of a pennant race and is too tight.
    We’re doomed.

    You know who would have made sure they gave him the silent treatment: Casey McGehee.



  14. Baywatch says:

    Seriously, Arreebz, We hang out here and talk Pirates until the On Location: Pirates thread comes up? Or maybe we’re supposed to fly into the ‘Burgh for Sunday morning “Gatherings?”

  15. Baywatch says:

    I LIKED that guy! His numbers were bad, but it sure did seem like he provided an UNQUANTITATIVE spark! Like a host of other former Bucs, playing for the Japs this year! (Lastings Milledge is doing quite well there, by the way: Signed a 3-year, $4.4 million contract with one of those teams, this year!)

  16. Drew71 says:

    I’ll write about the Pirates when they actually, you know, do something.

    Waittaminnit. Where did THAT come from??

  17. Brandie says:

    Sunday Morning “Gatherings” sound ominous, Mr. Watch, Bay Watch!

  18. Baywatch says:

    Brandie, some of the guys and girls – like myself – got in on the ground level of DK’s blog over on the Post-Gazette site, Summer Of The Bay Trade. Whenever we’d get into the ‘Burgh we’d have some get-togethers, and call them “Gatherings.” I remember the first one was at a coffee shop somewhere in town. I enjoyed that original camaraderie so much, I got the phone number for the place and called and talked to a few bloggers – since I live down here Deep In The Heart Of Texas!

  19. Baywatch says:


  20. Brandie says:

    I am a Pittsburgh girl, born, bred, but currently living two hours away. I get the whole camaraderie angle which is why this here blog is so appealing. I have an aunt who lives in San Antonio (unfortunately, her Pittsburgh to the core husband, my favorite uncle, passed away). Where in Texas are you located?

  21. Brandie says:

    Good Afternoon, Drew-k of Earl.

    Oh how I have missed that rapier wit.

  22. Baywatch says:

    I’m in Tyler, Texas – It’s 2 hours east of Dallas and two hours west of Shreveport, in Louisiana.

  23. Brandie says:

    The aunt who us in Texas is originally from Shreveport.

  24. Brandie says:

    She is Steelers to the core.

  25. JAL says:

    Cardiff City 3 Manchester City 2 their first win in the top flight, just got promoted this season, and take down one of the favorites to win the league.

  26. Drew71 says:

    Me, too, Brandie. Me, too.

    I wonder where I left it.

  27. Baywatch says:

    I see Sanchez posted a little gag picture on Twitter of him trying to mount his Pony League ball, saying it just won’t work! Don’t know if y’all read, he was unable to get the home run ball and SOMEBODY threw this Pony League ball back onto the field! I told the boy it was just another character builder! He’s got some potential. But I’m convinced between the ball thing and them not giving him the silent treatment … just another set of circumstances to humble him!

  28. Arriba Wilver says:

    Why are you directing that to ME, DK? I was trying to settle radio down, who mentioned “talking.”


  29. Baywatch says:


  30. DK,

    How many writers do you have on Steelers, including yourself? More writers = more coverage = more opportunity to follow/visit.

    Plus, NO BASEBALL WRITER Trib has is as good as Alan Robinson!!

    One Baseball writer refuses to work 24/7!! The other likes to run crazily with unsubstantiated rumors and paper-thin statistics. Name them Crash and Burn!

    You left a hard and awfully high quality standard to follow, Bud!

    Hamburger doesn’t taste as good after eating filet mignon.

  31. The Pioneers beat Jeff’s Pizza 8-5 in Little League baseball playoffs in our township Saturday.

  32. theplanisworking says:

    The local girls softball team here, the Colts, ran around with their hair on fire, if that counts.

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