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Morning Java: Oh, no! 0-4!

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Friday column looks ahead to Pirates-Cardinals this weekend by stressing that the wild card is the one playoff prize no team should want. Not anymore.

Here’s what Marlon Byrd told me on the topic yesterday at PNC Park …

And here’s the rest of our baseball coverage, including the club being blanked by Yovani Gallardo and the Brewers last night. Rob Biertempfel and Travis Sawchik report.

Here’s Brewers news from Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Cardinals news from St. Louis Post-Dispatch.


>> So the Steelers finish the preseason at 0-4, as Alan Robinson reports from Charlotte, and no small portion of the public will somehow ascribe that to how they’ll fare in the real thing.

Which is insane. Completely, utterly, fantastically insane.

Unless, of course, you think that Landry Jones playing the entire game last night had nothing to do with anything. Or that Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu and a half-dozen other guys didn’t play at all.

At any rate, this is the only Steelers game I get to watch from the laziness of my couch, and here are a handful of random observations: I love Derek Moye. Kid’s got to make the team. Great size for a receiver, good athleticism. I don’t care what he does on special teams. This corps could use him, if not now then down the road. … If Markus Wheaton had an NFL quarterback throwing to him, all of Pittsburgh would be buzzing about him this morning. … Curtis Brown is this close to being a total bust. He might be even closer than that. … Cortez Allen is going to be better than Keenan Lewis, sooner rather than later. … It’s preseason, and analyzing play-calling is generally stupid. But once inside the opponent’s 10 or 15, it helps everyone to work on at least throwing the ball in the end zone rather than all those silly screens and draws. It really can all happen at once. … Last one: David Paulson looked great with that hurdle of an opponent, and he made a couple good catches. But show me a tight end who gets knocked around like a rag doll in blocking schemes, and I’ll show you a tight end who’ll get replaced by an extra lineman — Kelvin Beachum — for the Tennessee game.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

>> You’ll find much, much more in our NFL Preview special section Sunday. It’s 12 pages, it’s packed with features and information and graphics, and it features a compelling cover story on concussions and football by Robinson. And as with so much, it’s far better in print than online.

>> The NFL forks over $765 million to settle all those concussion lawsuits.

>> A bit of trash talk between Pitt and Florida State? Jerry DiPaola reports.

>> Read up on Penn State before the Syracuse kickoff, by Kevin Gorman.

>> West Virginia loses a good back. Bob Hertzel reports from Morgantown.

>> One of the many awesome things about Western Pennsylvania high school is that we name our stadiums cool things like the Wolvarena, site of tonight’s biggest clash, per Chris Harlan. If you’ve never been to the place some of us still call Turtle Creek Stadium, it’s like Rome’s Colosseum.

Oh, and in any battle between George Novak and Jim Render, I’ll take a tie.

>> I’ll say hello to the TribLIVE Radio crew at 11:30 a.m.

>> The weekly chat will follow shortly after that, at noon. As always, it’ll be right here with its own post, and you can submit entries as soon as you see it.

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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.

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