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Morning Java: Special guest Steve Pederson

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show today — 2-3 p.m. — will feature special guest Steve Pederson, Pitt’s AD, on the week of the Notre Dame game and basketball opening up. He’ll be right at the top of the show.

After that, I’ll present to listeners a question: How would you change the Steelers?

All through Mike Tomlin’s press conference yesterday, we heard how nothing will change. And then afterward, the general sentiment seemed to be that nothing can change. Well, I want to hear from you: What about personnel moves? Or strategy? Or approach? Or attitude? Or preparedness? Or effort?

Call me at 412-320-7925. I will work to get your call onto the show.

If you can’t call, email

To listen, just click on the link above. It’s free, easy, no signup. If you’re mobile, try the TribLIVE Radio app.

Hope you can tune in and participate!


>> Columnist Joe Starkey revisits the insanity of playing Ben Roethlisberger near the end.

Tomlin sticks by Dick LeBeau, status quo, by Alan Robinson.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

Here’s Bills news from the Buffalo News.

Here are official game highlights from

And on TribLIVE Radio, Ike Taylor took to his own show to describe his concussion …

>> The Metropolitan Division name stinks, and so does its body of work. Josh Yohe has it.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage advancing tonight’s game at the Garden.

Here’s Rangers news from the New York Post.

Here are official game highlights from

>> On Notre Dame week, Tony Dorsett recalls his 303-yard brilliance against the Irish, by Jerry DiPaola.

>> Jamie Dixon lands a quality point guard recruit, by Kevin Gorman.

>> On the women’s side, Suzie McConnell Serio starts from scratch, by Karen Price.

>> Allen Robinson’s doing it all for Penn State, by Chris Adamski.

>> A.J. Burnett still might retire, his agent tells Rob Biertempfel.

>> The Riverhounds already re-signed league MVP Jose Angulo. Yesterday, they added an MVP finalist, slick midfielder Joseph Ngwenya, in yet another move that illustrates how serious these guys are about going to the next level. Matt Grubba broke the story.

>> Hope to hear from you on the air today!

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 more, including 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 top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.


  1. 6’3″ PSU Allen Robinson would look great as a wide receiver in a Steelers uniform next year !

  2. S FL Sun Sentinel is reporting that the Dolphins staff apparently asked Incognito to “toughen up” Martin after he missed some of the off-season program.

    The plot thickens.

    • I’m curious to know WHY he missed some of that off-season program…

      • That’s a very good question.

      • And here’s another good question. What will Incognito have to say about the Dolphins’ staff involvement with this, assuming that report is true? Will he further implicate the Dolphins staff? We know that often players and coaches in the NFL fear reprisal for implicating teams or taking them on in court.

        Al Davis was notorious for firing coaches and refusing to pay them remaining money owed on their contracts, even though they had a legal right to it. He got away with it because he knew any coach that sued him in court would likely be sealing his own fate as to ever being hired in the league again. So, if Incognito hopes to play again, will he be reluctant to implicate the staff in Miami? This assumes the report is accurate that he was instructed to lean on Martin and toughen him up.

      • I posted this yesterday……………… he missed OTA’s due to the bullying, and not one single Dolphins staffer asked him why. No one from that organization asked a single question. I believe this was right after the “party” in question where Martin, and others had to fork over the $15,000 dollars.

        • well, there ya go…

        • And that’s a huge problem.

          I don’t have a problem with the coaching staff going to a veteran lineman and asking him to toughen him up, however, Incognito’s approach was a way off. You toughen him up on the field, in the locker room by other tatics, not verbal assault on the man and his family.

          I’m pretty certain that other coaches in all organizations ask vets to do this sort of thing, that’s using their leadership abilities, but I’m sure they didn’t say to use a racially motivating style.

          The Dolphins not getting to the heart of the matter is a huge issue.

    • This from FOX Sports website:

      By Sid Saraf,

      Have you been waiting to hear what Richie Incognito has to say?

      Well, here you go. A television reporter ambushed scored a short interview with the suspended Dolphins offensive lineman as the latter was getting into his car.

      As expected, he didn’t say much.

      Incognito to Channel 7: “I’m just trying to weather the storm right now. It will pass.”

      — Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) November 5, 2013

  3. I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts Merv Griffin 1949 Merv went on to a very successful career though not with a lot of hit songs. The free agents are a lovely bunch of coconuts.

    JAL’s I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 MLB Important Dates

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Draft Compensation System Remains Broken

    More Free Agency Rankings and Salary Predictions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Minor League Free Agents

    AFL: Hanson and Ngoepe Collect RBI’s in Victory

    Who Should the Pirates Protect From the Rule 5 Draft?

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Clint Hurdle, Andrew McCutchen named awards finalists

    6 Rumbunter

    Pirates Benedict Has Fan in Philadelphia, Competition in Twitter Happy Leo Mazzone?

    7 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: A.J. Burnett undecided on future

    8 The Green Weenie

    11/4-5: Dick Groat, Wee Tommy, Mike Dunne, John Grabow, Lefty, Manny-for-Chuck, Syd, Rod Scurry & John Russell…

    9 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Why It Was Smart To Let A.J. Burnett Test Free Agency

    10 Pirates Site

    McCutchen an MVP finalist; Hurdle up for top manager

    • JAL, love the song! My Dad had a habit of singing that when I was a child…I hear him singing it now…thanks for the memory :)
      (The free agent comment was spot on LOL)

    • It doesn’t look like the Rule Five draft will be an issue this year. We only have like five or so new guys that need to be protected.

  4. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Seattle Times

    UPDATE: Lloyd McClendon will be hired as Mariners manager

    12 USA Today

    Free agents: Top starting pitchers on the market

    13 ABC 15

    Estranged wife of ex-MLB pitcher Kris Benson pleads guilty in assault

    14 Baseball Nation

    The most and least active teams on the trade market since 2003

    15 Awful Announcing

    Kids aren’t watching baseball, but why?

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    BAR 11.5: What the compensation offer means

    17 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards release three to tidy-up 40-man roster–man-roster/article_485005f6-2e01-5f4d-9925-1e8ccccbb663.html

    18 ESPN

    2013 MLB Free Agents


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Times Through the Order Penalty

    20 Fangraphs

    The Bargains of the 2014 Free Agent Class

  5. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Even my mom knows the Steelers don’t have a Gronkowski

    Antonio Brown was benched at the end of the Steelers’ loss to the Patriots

    Baron Batch continuing with art, hating comparisons to slavery, in post-career life

    22 Steelers Gab

    DeCastro And Wheaton Cleared To Practice; Update On Steelers Injuries


    23 Washington Post

    U.S. national team news and notes

    24 World Soccer Daily

    November 5, 2013 – all the stories you need to read


    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Points Wednesday: Do Shootouts Matter?

  6. Can you ask Pederson how a football coach can hire a DC with very little coaching experience? Can you ask him how he gets by not having a Special Teams coach and employing so many grad assistants who actually have a lot of responsibility? As a marketing man like Pederson, it seems Pitt missed a golden opportunity to win some fans back this year with its home schedule by going on the cheap with the football staff. And before anyone defends any of this who has improved on the Pitt team after 8 games?

  7. So. Aaron Rodgers has a broken collarbone. Isn’t Karma a beyotch?

  8. Tomlin took responsibility yesterday for every draft pick since he became coach. I don’t think that is a completely fair assessment, as the GM and his staff probably have at least as much say as the head coach in who gets drafted. Nonetheless, the coach finally seemed to be admitting that much of this team’s abysmal performance lies with him.

    Per Alan Robinson’s article, 4 players drafted under Tomlin have made the Pro Bowl since he became coach in 2007 – Pouncey, Wallace, Woodley, Brown. Of that group, Brown is the only one I feel can be counted on to help this team improve in 2014.

    My guess right now is Tomlin will not be fired after the season. That is just not the Rooney Way. But, I do believe the heat will finally be turned up on him. The same goes for Colbert. Personally, I don’t think this season is a one year decline. This team started to decline before last year, and this has accelerated in 2013 due to the obvious lack of talent and inability to draft and develop talent. If I were the owner, I would fire them both, and that would pretty much eliminate the entire staff. It is time to rebuild this thing from the ground up.

    I think LeBeau will step aside after this season. This is a long rebuilding project ahead, and I don’t think he’ll want to go through that. I don’t see Haley surviving this debacle. I would fire the Head Coach and GM, but I believe the Rooneys will retain both of them and demand better performance. That will add at least one more year before the true rebuilding begins in my opinion. We’ll have new coordinators on both sides of the ball next year, but the same guy leading them and the same guy managing the roster.

    • “My guess right now is Tomlin will not be fired after the season.”

      I don’t think you have to guess on that one. He’s not going anywhere.

      ‘If I were the owner, I would fire them both,..’

      The roster does not look good and the record is going to stink. But you would fire the GM and coach after and 8-8 season and then whatever this one ends up at?

      • TC:

        I believe an owner needs to not only assess the last 2 years, but the next 2 and beyond. Do you really think after they go 4-12 or whatever this season, the outlook for next season is much better? How about the one after that? It isn’t only about what they have done of late, but the direction the team is headed. My opinion is next year will be another mess, and so will the one after that. As owner, I would conclude these 2 guys have set me up for disaster – the kind of disaster that could erode a lot of the mystique of my franchise in this city.

        I said I don’t believe the Rooneys will fire them. But, yes, that should take place if the Rooneys are concluding, like I am, that things are not getting better and in fact are getting worse. Even in the down Cowher years, there was always hope of a turnaround on the horizon. I don’t see that in the immediate future now, do you?

        • I agree with you Jim. If I owned the team I would make change at the end of the year as well barring a miraculous turnaround. Even with that, I would change up the scouting and draft strategy. Tomlinson would have much less input into picks.

          If the past 5 drafts have been this bad how can this combo be looked upon to turn it around? Seems like wishful thinking to me. The talent evaluation has been abysmal. Not just drafts but players we cut that are successful, John Kuhn, Urbik.

          • Tomlin, not Tomlinson …darn auto correct

          • It’s a tough call, Billy. In everyday life, we would all want our employers to give us ample time to right the ship when things go badly for a few years after we have proven ourselves in the past. But, results in the NFL are there for everyone to see every single day. And the public perception of a team can plummet quickly, costing the franchise tens of millions of dollars very quickly. That’s a tough life for an NFL coach or executive, but as the old saying goes “That’s why they get paid the big bucks!”

            • Tomlin will NOT get fired because he was the first hire under the Rooney Rule.
              He is guaranteed to stay at least 1 more year, if not 2.

              • So 7 years as a head coach is still not long enough time to get fired?

                So Tomlin would be save under cover for 8 or 9 years with your ‘statute of limitations’ for being the first hired under the Rooney Rule

              • I don’t like the “Rooney Rule” suggestion either.

                I dont think he’ll be fired either, but not because of the rule.

                Could be a personal Rooney Rule of not firing their head coaches and sticking by them.

              • Agree Ryan.

          • Not absolving Tomlin and his staff from not coaching up some of these guys, but I think the larger problem lies in draft appeasement.

            Ben wants a tall wide receiver? Say hello to Limas Sweed, Ben.

            Haley wants his Jamaal Charles from his KC days? Hey, we’ve got Chris Rainey for you, Todd.

            Tomlin wants his next Casey Hampton? How’s Ta’Amu Alameda sound to you, Coach T?

            Our talent evaluation and choices in the draft are what’s hurt us the most . . . too many swings and misses. Coaching is a close second.

            And on the topic of coaching, I got a kick out of Tomlin’s comments yesterday that, after watching the tape, it was not really a lack of effort. Here you are the head coach, on the field, witnessing everything unfold in front of your eyes and you are unable to put your finger on root causes? Do you need to watch tape before you can dissect precisely what’s occurring and make appropriate adjustments on the fly on both offense and defense?

            I think that inability, in particular, is one of Coach Tomlin’s weakest traits.

        • I don’t see a turnaround for next year. I think they have rebuild the roster and their cap situation. And as someone else mentioned, their scouting department should be looked at too.

          I think both Tomlin and Colbert have had enough success (and some of that was recent) that they should be afforded the opportunity to fix things. And I think they are qualified and smart enough to do it.

          I do agree with DK that it doesn’t seem like Tomlin knows how to react (or act) to all this losing

    • Meant to post this here, in response to Jim:

      Not absolving Tomlin and his staff from not coaching up some of these guys, but I think the larger problem lies in draft appeasement.

      Ben wants a tall wide receiver? Say hello to Limas Sweed, Ben.

      Haley wants his Jamaal Charles from his KC days? Hey, we’ve got Chris Rainey for you, Todd.

      Tomlin wants his next Casey Hampton? How’s Ta’Amu Alameda sound to you, Coach T?

      Our talent evaluation and choices in the draft are what’s hurt us the most . . . too many swings and misses. Coaching is a close second.

      And on the topic of coaching, I got a kick out of Tomlin’s comments yesterday that, after watching the tape, it was not really a lack of effort. Here you are the head coach, on the field, witnessing everything unfold in front of your eyes and you are unable to put your finger on root causes? Do you need to watch tape before you can dissect precisely what’s occurring and make appropriate adjustments on the fly on both offense and defense?

      I think that inability, in particular, is one of Coach Tomlin’s weakest traits.

      • Rainey and Ta’amu weren’t just misses on talent evaluation, they were misses on character too.

      • Good point in the first part of your post on the graft situation. Whatever happened to “best athlete available?”

        I was talking to my uncle this past weekend, who is a huge Bears fan ( he lives in the Chicago area). We were in an airport watching the beginning of the Steelers game, and discussing the plight of the Steelers. He mentioned that he was very impressed with Cowher as an analyst. He said he seemed to be a great judge of talent. Thought that was interesting, because he was just going from Cowher as an analyst.

  9. Defense starts with stopping the run.


    • What’s Hampton been up to?

    • Agreed on stopping the run. Part of the turnaround from 98-2000 was drafting Hampton. Wish it was as easy as bringing Casey back.

      They need to make NT a priority. But I have little confidence that the Steelers current draft brain trust will identify the correct prospects.

    • I heard someone on the radio yesterday (Kaboly or Robinson) say that losing Foote has hurt the run defense more than anything. That was his big upside at inside linebacker.

      • Agree that the loss of Foote hurt the run D this year. Foote is and always was primarily a run stopper.

        Bot Foote or no Foote, the first thing in stopping the run in a 3-4 is an NT that takes two OL to block. This frees up the LBs to make the tackle. McClendon is good at getting penetration but that can actually be detrimental against run in 3-4. The penetration creates cut back lanes that must be covered by the LBs. if they pursue hard tp the point of attack a good runner sees it and cuts back. If they don’t pursue hard to the point of attack then there is more room where the play was supposed to be in the first place. It doesn’t guarantee the plays success but it increases the onus on the defender covering that gap to make a play. If he doesn’t, you see the big gains this year that we’re not used to seeing.

        The Steelers have a lot of needs, LT probably being the greatest. I would say a an OL occupying, run clogging NT is likely 2nd for the 3-4 to continue to be successful.

        If you can’t stop the run, that limits the defenses ability to tee off on the pass rush even, to an extent, when down and distance dictate a passing down.

  10. NOT a believer in precipitous firings. Never!

    Coulda fired Hurdle after Collapse I
    Shoulda fired Hurdle after Collapse II
    Now Hurdle Manager of Year

    Wisely (it pains me TREMENDOUSLY to say this) Huntington and Nutting did NOT fire Hurdle.

    Do not be more stupid than Neal Huntington and Bob Nutting, and their inebriated friend:
    Quit talking about firing Tomlin. Let he and Colbert build. Two trips to Super Bowls should not be overlooked.

  11. Can YOU fire Steve Pedersen?

  12. 15 years on paper for Anna Benson. Sure hope that staying away from bars is not one of her probation conditions. She needs someway to make a living.

    Somewhere, the Mets front office is relishing her current state of affairs.

  13. is reporting that the Mariners have hired Lloyd McClendon as their next manager.

  14. At the risk of starting another firefight, on the Varlamov situation yesterday there were several references to a 911 call with her screaming and him laughing in the background. Some sounded like they had heard the 911 call. I have been unable to find it. Can someone point me to it?

    In looking, it appears that police in Denver, when called to a house on a domestic disturbance call , they are mandated to arrest the alleged perpetrator. No discretion. In this case, from what I can tell, he turned himself in. Also, this, from an interview with her:

    ” There’s a limit to anything. I used to love this man. I wanted to have family with him. I was thinking that he would change over time. But people don’t change. And this event was my limit, my last drop. I didn’t want to go to the police this time either. But when I got back home, I saw my stuff by the door. I was thrown out like a dog. And that was the reason I decided to go to the police. Please tell them that until recently he (Varlamov) was thinking that I was joking with him, that I was just fooling and I wouldn’t go to the police. When I texted him that I was going to the police, he just replied wishing me good luck. He thought that this time he would also remain unpunished.”

    That’s from a translation of an interview with her in the Denver Post.

    • I saw the info about her stuff thrown outside, but have also been unable to find the 911 call.

    • I think we should just assume he and all other men are guilty because they are men.

    • What an incredibly sad interview.

      Terribly obvious that this man enjoyed abusing power even more than abusing alcohol and women.

      • Could be. But yesterday it was all about a 911 call with her screaming and him laughing in the background. I’m just trying to figure out what the facts are. Is that somehow verboten because it’s a woman accusing a man? If you dare try to find out the facts, you are automatically calling her a liar? That’s a scary place to be for me, regardless of gender, race, color or religion.

          • Fact-finding. It’s the great equalizer to me. Once we can agree on the facts it’s much easier to solve problems because many conflicts are based on having different views on what the facts are, not really on how to deal with them once/if you can agree on them. Your “facts” seemed to have ended with an allegation. That to me is dangerous for us as a society. And I got attacked yesterday for merely suggesting it was fair to hear the accused’s side (hear it) before acting. You don’t find that a troubling concept?

            • Not from me you didn’t.

            • “At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Vavrinyuk pointed to her chest, stomach, head, neck and arms — places where she said he had left bruises. In a police report, a detective had made note of bruises.”

              Please, Sherlock, what other “facts” need presented?

              DK: Honestly, the default mode here for so many is just sickening.

              • Sherlock? OK, I get it. No discussion needed. That’s a BS response to what I thought was a serious discussion. OK, put him away and throw away the key and make sure he never plays another game in the NHL. How dare someone suggest getting his side of the story first.

                By the way, did you miss that I said yesterday it was highly unlikely she was making it up. Your response makes me think of a word that starts with “A” and ends with hole.

                Still waiting for the 911 call.

                Question. Have you ever been pulled over by the police for something you didn’t do?

              • DK– do you have a link to the 911 call? Or any backup that she was screaming and he was laughing? All I’m asking for now is factual backup. (Yesterday all I was saying was that it was fair to hear his side before taking action) now, I’m asking for more because of this, if you dare don’t bow down and accept this without any questions you’re a bum. I just have what I consider to be reasonable questions, and I get this BS from Sarah and NMR, which you apparently support.

                DK: I’m not convicting the guy. I’m saying there’s enough there to get him the hell out of the NHL until someone figures it out. This isn’t a court system. It’s a private employer. If he’s damaging the brand — and he is — you get him the hell out.

              • And don’t EVEN get me started on cops, especially small town cops. I can’t stand them.

              • Arriba,

                Ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe, you got some bad information regurgitated on an internet blog?

                The victim claimed in an interview that Varlomov was laughing while he brutally beat her. Not on the 911 call.

                What possible difference does that make?

              • I abhor violence on all levels, especially against women, children and the elderly. Not just because I’m a minister, but because I live by the Bible and anyone who does hates it, too.

                I’ve never hit a woman and very few men, except on the football field, but having said all that, I have to agree with AW. This is America, not Russia. This guy and any guy or gal is innocent until proven guilty. You can get bruised in many ways, even bruise yourself. Not saying she did, but she could have.

                There are, obviously, to coin a word, two distinct sides to every story and they must be heard before judgment is passed.

              • And there is an obvious difference between finding facts, such as the physical brusing documented by police in the exact areas she claimed to have been beaten, and going on a wild goose chase looking for any possible reason to doubt her story, like trying to track down a phantom 911 call you heard about on an internet blog.

              • How can it be any more obvious that this is the EXACT type of thinking that ENABLES these abusers?

                Nobody will believe you, its your word against mine.

                This isn’t a friggin’ traffic stop. It is a brutal beating of a female for christ sake.

              • Couldn’t agree more Lucky. I’ve always been proud to say that between my wife, son, and me, none of us have ever hit anyone or been hit.

              • How does it enable anyone to hear both sides?

                It’s your kind of narrow thinking that get’s innocent people convicted every day.

                And it’s not for Christ’s sake, it’s for ours.

                Nobody is exonerating the guy. Just let him have due process. If he’s guilty, hang him upside down by his family jewels, but he’s living in America. Give him the right to defend himself.

              • I love how Spunky stated that….with the family jewels.

                I do feel due process should be followed…and a court decide who is guilty and who is not.

                There is another facet of these type situations that happens. The guy (let’s say he IS guilty) posts bail. He’s pissed, so he goes back after the girl, only this time he kills her.

                Now it’s too late.

              • Let the courts handle this lunatic (not one of DK’s), but the team must do something. Suspend him indefinetly and if the findings become false, reinstate him. (I don’t see how they could be false)

                Incognito gets suspended for words, this dude beats up a woman.

                Something is wrong here.

              • Good point, Jandy.

                And, as for DK’s comment to AW, I could care less about the NHL brand. Put the guy in prison if he’s guilty and throw away the key.

                Or do the other we described.


              • Ryan THAT is indeed Dejan’s point. Something is wrong with the NHL. They lack leadership from Bettman.

                Spunky, I support either method ;)

              • I know it is and I agree with him on that.

                For Bettman to sit back and do nothing, is pathetic.

                This guy has needed it for awhile but,


              • Lucky,

                Nobody has ever suggested both sides not be heard.


                The enabling comes when we begin to question this woman like SHE is the one that committed the crime. Like SHE is the one that has something to hide. Think about the specific type of crime we’re talking about. Rarely is there traditional evidence like eye witnesses, fingerprints, video. Time and time again it has been proven that predators rely on this type of thinking to convince their victims that they won’t be believed. And sadly, they are absolutely correct.

                This isn’t my opinion. It is sad, cold fact.

              • Fair enough, NMR.

                I guess I don’t have a predator mentality, nor do I know it, thank God, and I never will.

              • Lucky,

                It is every one of our duties to understand predatory mentality, ESPECIALLY someone with close access to children.

              • Sarah questioned it yesterday, but since facts don’t matter, who cares.

              • “At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Vavrinyuk pointed to her chest, stomach, head, neck and arms — places where she said he had left bruises. In a police report, a detective had made note of bruises.”


              • Another good point. I have 3 grand children, all girls, all under 5.

                Even in this under-populated wasteland we live in here, there are those types.

              • Dejan’s point re: damaging the brand is right out of Crisis Management 101: admit responsibility and remove the product. Anyone have any bad feelings about Tylenol? Probably not. How about if you hear the term Exxon Valdes or maybe more recently BP in the Gulf. From that perspective, Avs failed to get it right.

            • Duke lacrosse ring any bells ?

            • Dejan’s wish is to get Varlamov out of the NHL. And I agree.

              NMR has a totally different beef. (I’m not picking, just saying).

              it’s apples and oranges here.

            • AW you’re hilarious but you don’t get to re-write history.

              Nobody attacked you, but your numerous silly assertions met with some push-back.

              You started out by saying that the employee was entitled to some fairness by the employer – hilarious! I pointed out this was not only demonstrably false, but naïve. Especially so in this case where the employer has a very public perception to protect, like the NHL. More importantly, you missed DK’s point.

              You came back with “but but but it’s the Unions!” which I pointed out was moving the goalposts since your original assertion kind of omitted that notion. Yes Unions are involved and should the Avs decide to suspend Varlamov, which I doubt, the Union will decide whether to file a grievance. So actually this “employee” gets a good deal more protection than the average wage-earner, since you’re so concerned.

              Today it’s all about “fact finding”!

              Yay. MISSED THE POINT AGAIN!

              Like DK said way back: THIS IS NOT A COURT OF LAW, IT’s A COURT OF PERCEPTION. THE AVs BLEW IT.

              • No one attacked me? Sarah—”Whether it’s the likes of troy or AW Man-splainin to us why it’s all SO unfair to the guy or Milo casually saying how that movie was back when Kelly McGillis was HAAWWT (what is she now?” I consider that an attack. You totally misrepresent my point. Still haven’t said whether you think it was fair to hear his side. Just belittle me. That’s OK, I’m a big boy. I can take it. But still going to ask questions.

          • Like I said, just hear his side of the story, which they did. Now I’m accused of all kinds of things.

            NMR– what does it matter? People on here were coming to conclusions based on the alleged 911 call. If it didn’t happen, that doesn’t trouble you? I’m not saying it means that he didn’t kick her or laugh, but a recording of that is better than an allegation with no backup. You think everything she said is true and accurate? Everything? Facts don’t matter?

            What’s kind of weird is I’m getting painted as supporting the Avs’ decision to keep him playing, and all I’m talking about is the process. I don’t know whether they made the right decision or not. But they had to talk to him, and in fairness should have. But this idea that because of the issue involved any questions make you an outlier is McCarthyism to me. And that includes DK’s bold reamings. Very disappointing.

            • Arriba,

              The 911 phone call situation has nothing to do with the investigation. It was incorrect information you picked up on the blog. And ONE person referenced it, and she clearly used more than that to come to her conclusion.

              As I said before, not a single person on here has suggested facts be left covered. But when you have a situation where the alleged victim has given no inconsistencies in her story, has shown no motive to lie, and has physical evidence of abuse in the exact areas where she claims to have been beaten, why continue to put the burden on HER?

              • You are wrong on all counts, You are incorrect that only one person referenced the 911 call. Plan did on multiple occasions. He’s not a “she” as far as I know. DK referenced the laughing. I have no idea how you came to your other conclusions that
                “But when you have a situation where the alleged victim has given no inconsistencies in her story, has shown no motive to lie, and has physical evidence of abuse in the exact areas where she claims to have been beaten, why continue to put the burden on HER?”

                How do you know that! I haven’t put the burden on her at all. I’m getting excoriated because I’m asking questions. And the fact I’m asking questions I’m getting accused of all sorts off things by you, Sarah and DK. Yes, as the father of three daughters I find questions about my sensitivity to these issues insulting. And that’s what’s happening. I have a knee jerk reaction? Puh-leeeze. To hell with anyone who thinks that in their ivory tower. My guess is I have way more hands on experience with these issues than the people criticizing my posts, including DK.

                Do I have to mention every time I think he’s probably guilty?

              • I know, I know, I’m a “fellow traveler.”

              • How do I know that?

                I read the godd*mn police report.

                Probably a good place to start in your “fact finding” mission.

              • Wow, this discussion is getting very heated.

                NMR, I see your passion about this subject in your responses, not only to AW, but to myself as well. As I said yesterday, you are very black/white. I’ll let that be at that.

                AW, I feel your pain. I get painted pretty badly at times too. We all need to take step back here and breathe deeply.

              • Flame me all you want, but Dejan deserves no criticism.

                His thoughts are 100% consistent with how he treated the PSU/Sandusky scandal and all those people accusing him of not waiting for the “facts” to come out.

                DK: Those people would still have all of us waiting, by the way.

              • NMR–you don’t see a difference between audio or video proof compared to verbal proof? That would be a dangerous change to the US justice system. So, if in a certain situation a verbal allegation deserves the same credibility as video or audio proof? Or documentary proof? Wowsa! I hope no one ever gets upset with you,

              • I pity the fool who relies on police reports to convict someone. But it would save us lots of money.

                Oh yeah, Dejan does. He backed you and accused me of a knee-jerk reaction to this gender issue. That’s very insulting to me, as I’ve stated above.

              • It just got real, AW pulls out the Mr. T within him!

                Well played sir, well played.

              • Excuse me.

                Plan did not reference the 911 tape “multiple times”.

                Plan referenced the 911 tape once, at 10:25AM.

                I have stayed out of the conversation about this today. Please dont try to drag me in this, or state misinformation.

                Thank You.

                Resume arguing.

              • Plan,

                This isn’t an argument, it’s a spirited discussion. OK, it’s an argument.

              • Of course I see the difference, AW.

                Now please tell me how one can convict 99% of domestic and sexual abusers with your antiquated thinking?

                We HAVE to approach these situations differently. There is no choice.

                Chosing to fall back on traditional evidence will continue to enable predators. You hear the same thing time and time again from victims.

                I obviously know that this makes it easier to fabricate accusations. But I will side with those ACTUAL victims who are afraid to come forward in fear of not being believed over the POTENTIAL of a person being wrongly accused ever single day.

                And I’m damn proud of it.

              • Milo, make up your mind…



              • What’s my ” antiquated thinking” NMR? Specifically. I’m not in charge of what happens to him. All I said was it was fair (and required) to get his side of the story before deciding what to do with him. They did. I’m still curious what the facts are and get excoriated by the likes of you, Sarah, and DK when I dare ask. I honestly don’t get that. I’ve yet to even suggest what they should do with him. I’m just asking questions. That’s what bothers me. That’s what’s scary. Antiquated thinking? Asking questions?

              • Plan— you are correct, sir, I apologize for the factual error.

              • “So, if in a certain situation a verbal allegation deserves the same credibility as video or audio proof?”

                That is specifically what I’m referencing.

                We know by now that in cases like this one, many times verbal accounts are all we have. I’d still like to hear how we are ever supposed to stop these predators without holding verbal evidence in the same regard as physical.

                And I also still don’t know where I said not to ask any questions. I just don’t like the attitude of continueing to pick and prod at minutae trying to poke a hole in this victims story while the obvious physical evidence is staring you right in the face.

                Also, kudos for invoking the US Constitution, McCarthyism, and STILL having the balls to tell anyone else to get out of their ivory tower.

                Truly impressive!

              • No one , including you, said “don’t ask questions. ” But when I ask them I get this kind of BS from you, and others. I’m not saying verbal accusations should be ignored. I’m saying that there are levels of evidence. The thing is, I ask questions and you say BS like “I just don’t like the attitude of continueing to pick and prod at minutae trying to poke a hole in this victims story while the obvious physical evidence is staring you right in the face.” You are putting your spin on the motivation for my questions, which is Mccarthyism to me by trying to halt any such questions or me being labelled an enabler of violence against women. I find that offensive, from you, DK and Sarah.

  15. Great article on Dorsett’s singular performance against Notre Dame in 1975.

    That was Dan Devine’s first year in South Bend. The Irish had one of the great LB’s in collegiate history in Luther Bradley. TD ran all over him that day.

    My mom was a huge ND fan and I remember listening to that game on radio (!). I became a big TD and Pitt fan that day. Man, they had some talent in those days.

    • Pitt opened their 1976 season in South Bend in a nationally televised game (you can find it on YouTube). the higher ups at Notre Dame were so spooked by the 303 yard performance on Pitt Stadium’s pool table like astro turf, they let the grass at Notre Dame stadium grow ankle high. And it worked. Dorsett only gained 181 yards that day & Pitt won that one too.

  16. Is it just me or is sports and their players turning thing into soap operas?

  17. Pouliot, 19, has starred for the Portland Winterhawks since returning to the team, contributing 15 points (3G-12A) and a plus-15 in 14 games with the team. He leads all team blueliners in goals, assists, points and plus/minus.

    Earlier this season in a game against the Tri-City Americans, Pouliot notched a pair of assists and was on the ice for all eight Portland goals for and zero goals against – accumulating a plus-7 figure.

    Pouliot, who was drafted by the Penguins with the No. 8-overall selection in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft, scored one goal in two exhibition games with Pittsburgh.

    Can someone explain to me how you can be on the ice for all 8 goal for…and not on for any against…and be a +7???

  18. Mike Golic going off on Dan LeBatard about the Dolphins incident. A former player standing up for both players in this incident to a media guy that has never been in a locker room.

    To Golic’s side, he understood both sides of it but didnt agree with how Incognito handled it. Thought Martin should’ve stood up for himself a little more, but understood him walking away from it as well.

    • I heard LeBatard on their show yesterday and I didn’t hear Golic go off on him then.

      LeBatard was on the Michael Kay show (NYC) and I thought he, again, gave some very thoughtful insight.

      A few other things from LeBetard:
      -Incognito got Tannehill to buy him a set of jet skis
      -Incognito has been playing very poorly, so it wouldn’t be that great of a loss if he never comes back to the Dolphins.

      • I just watched it. Got pretty heated. Not sure when it was, I assume this morning.

        • On the radio LeBetard said that Martin may have thought about fighting Incognito but decided against it because Incognito has a screw loose (obviously) and is one of the strongest guys on the team.

          I wondered what would have been the reaction if Martin did fight Incognito and they both got hurt and couldn’t play the rest of the season. When they asked Martin why he started a fight and his answer was “because I wanted to stop the bullying”. Wonder what everyone would have said then.

          And I still can’t get over why it is so hard for jocks to understand that when they say “why didn’t he do something about it?” —-Martin did do something about it. He decided to leave and get away from that environment. Not every conflict, no matter how macho the atmosphere/culture, has to be decided with violence.

          • And that’s what they were discussing as well. Golic’s point was that he was standing up for himself and that fights in the locker room are broken up quickly.

            He also said that he didn’t have a problem with him walking away either, he has just not seen that approach before. He thought the fight would’ve/could’ve ended the situation.

            I didn’t take it has him calling Martin out or siding with Incognito.

  19. To answer DK’s question about how to fix the problems with the Steelers is tough to do.

    There seems to be many issues,but I think it comes down to 1 of 2 things.

    1. Play calling
    2. Talent level

    Is the play calling wrong for the situation or is the player talent level not there for the play calling?

    If its the play calling, time to find new coordinators, which would fix the issues quicker.

    If its the talent level, this could be a long, uphill climb for the organization.

    • There’s alot of issues with the Steelers (certainly play calling is one of them) but unfortunately “lack of talent” is the biggest issue.
      I have a tough time identifying even one younger player that is currently on the upswing.
      I guess one could say Cam Heyward…..But it took him three years to get to just to this point.
      This is going to take a major fix, and the way the cap problems are described makes it clear that it can’t be done in a year or two.

      I think there comes a time (and the time has arrived) where reality sets in.
      Winning is always a priority, but this team needs to find out who is worth keeping between now and the end of December.
      They also need to get the highest position on the chart draft wise, and that won’t happen trying to save some face at 7-9 or 8-8.
      Two years ago the Colts bottomed out, and they’ve been right back in the hunt since then.
      That is the only realistic way out of this mess anytime soon.

      • That’s the way I lean towards as well.

        Talent level. I don’t like all the play calls, but I would assume they are made based on the players’ ability.

        I don’t see the team tanking to get a better draft position. I don’t think this team is 1 player away from swinging the pendulum to the winning side.

        Cutting ties with certain players, may hurt them even longer with the cap issue. If you’re paying them, might as well have them on the team.

        The Raiders are a prime example right now for cap hits Daq, they are currently paying 4 players upwards of $40 Million, however, next year, they are the team to watch. All of the money falls off and they are free to spend again.

        I don’t know the Steelers cap requirements or limititions to address that subject even further.

        • 4 players that are NOT on the team.

        • Again…It’s got to start with the highest draft position possible.
          From there, they can wheel and deal for more picks (if they choose).
          I don’t like to use the term “tank the season”, and you can bet no one in an NFL position will either, but you go with younger and less-developed guys and let it take its course.
          Realistically…This team isn’t going to win more than about three games in the second half anyway.

          • You’re right. Let’s see what they have out there from the younger guys.

            Does that include Landry Jones?

            Seriously, what was that pick about?

            I like LJ, I really do and he had a great career in OU, but it was a wasted pick, if you ask me.

          • If the Steelers were going to play the young guys for next year, they would have already done so by now.
            They were delusional to think they could still make the playoffs.

            I see tomlin NOT playing the young guys, because he wants to win as many as possible.
            This will do 3 things:

            1) Stunt the development of the young players,
            2) Screw the draft position,
            3) Allow him to keep denying player decisions were wrong.

            I see this team pulling out a few more victories, and settling for a 10-4 draft choice, where if they would play the young guys, they could get a 4-8 draft choice.

            But, thats football, I guess.

            • it’s going to be a couple more seasons before we see consistent improvement.

              • My feeling is similar to daquido’s……..

                blow it up this year, suffer the cap consequences next year, then have a good plan to rebuild. By continuing to play the players that wont be in the Steelers future, it only hampers their ability to improve, and keeps kicking the can down the road.

                Bite the bullet, and dont drag this process out.

      • I think DeCastro is on the upswing.

  20. DK –

    Changes Steelers can/should make this year:

    On Offense:

    - Spread formations. Ben is most comfortable in this set. And the Steelers seemingly don’t have ability to operate out of tighter sets. It gives Bell more room to break runs, and also more space for AB. I think this also allows the offensive line to better identify who is coming on the pass rush since not as many people can be around the line of scrimmage.

    - Work in Wheaton on offense now that he is healthy. He is fast and looked good in pre-season. Let’s find out where he is and if he can be a contributor next year.

    - Try Gilbert at left tackle. Beachum has been about as bad as Adams. Not expecting much here, but at least worth trying.

    - Also have to give more help to the left tackle, no matter who. Adams got roasted agains the Vikings. But honestly… who didn’t expect at least some of that 1-on-1 against Jared Allen? The coaches failed in that game at least as much as Adams for not giving him help from a TE or back.


    - Play Jarvis Jones. I’ll just reiterate DK’s points.

    - Play more of Wood on the DL. Let’s see what we’ve got there, and he looked good before. No need to see more of Hood at this point.

    - Play more of Shamarko Thomas. Doesn’t have to mean benching either Polamalu or Clark, but I’d like to see Thomas rotated into the base defense to start to get some looks.

    - Play more aggressively throughout. D-line should look to penetrate more than play 2 gaps. DBs should play more press coverage. The more conservative ‘tackle the catch’ philosophy is not working. Probably part is personnel, part is the continued ramp towards offense that the NFL has dictated. Either way, it isn’t working. The defense NEEDS to find a way to make more plays, even if it means a more aggressive, risky style. We know the status quo isn’t working.

    That’s all I’ve got for this year. Offseason/next year… my biggest concern with the coaching staff is the inability to develop young players. Maybe Gilbert and Adams don’t have what it takes. But Adams in particular seems to have regressed from last year. That shouldn’t happen and a lot of that is on coaches. That seems to be throughout most of the young players. The only young player who is on the rise is Heyward, and the coaches didn’t play him until recently. I’m not sure if this is on Tomlin, the coordinators, or the assistants. But I think there needs to be some changes that address the inability to get young players up to speed and performing.

    The NFL has changed. Players don’t get to develop for 2-3 years before they play. They should be ready in their first 2 years. That is the standard, and the Steelers are below the line.

    DK: This is great, Dan. Thanks, and welcome!

    • Agree with Thomas. I think he might wind up being the best pick in that draft. Just young and has to learn, but I’ve been impressed with his play thus far.

      • I would most definitely play Thomas more in the second half of this season.
        He shows potential, but that lack of size of his is always going to be a concern to me.

    • Agree on much of what you said.
      I would also add, it is high time the coaches adapt to the talent they have, not continuing to try to force square pegs in round holes.

      As for playing more press coverage, when the Steelers did try that on 2 or so plays, they got burned deep, one for a lengthy touchdown. The talent is not there to win with.

      Offseason, the Steelers need to blow things up, but I dont see that happeneing. I see minor adjustments, and more pomposity from those involved. Quite sad if you aske me.

      Oh, and before Jandy bites you……………. have you listed your location so we might know ehere you are joining us from? If you post it, Bizrow keeps track of those things on the blog………

      • I’m in Columbus, OH.

        BTW, you’re right about getting beat in press. But we’re getting beat in zone too. I guess I’m resigned to the likely fact that we will continue to get beat. I’m hoping that at least by pressing more, we’ll at least somewhat balance getting beat with making some stops and/or (gasp) turnovers.

        Also great point about adapting to the talent they do have.

        • Welcome to the Asylum, Dan :)

        • Oh, and pay Plan no mind. I don’t bite, I kick ;)

        • Dan, first, I love Columbus. Have been there many times for concerts that skipped Pittsburgh. That city got it……….. first it was a capital and university town, then they added Health Sytems, and other industries.

          Your point about getting beat in both press coverage, and zone coverage brings a great point…………. a lot of posters here seem to be clamoring for the “4-3 Tampa 2″ defense Tomlin used to run. That defense only works if you have 4 very good D-Lineman, and 2 great corners. Who on the Steelers fits that description? The 3-4 is supposed to hide those flaws…… D-Lineman occupy gaps, LB’s put pressure on the QB, protecting the DB’s. That isnt happening either. But Tomlin, and LeBeau just keep doing the same things, even though they dont have the talent to do it anymore.

          But I ask this question all the time…….. what do I know?? ;)

          • Dan, the answer to that last question of plan’s is:

            More than he lets on ;)

          • The 4-3 Tampa 2 is what Tomlin used to run in Minny and learned from the master, Tony Dungy.

            I don’t believe anybody in here references that defensive scheme in regards to this current group of players, but assume Tomlin would move to that scheme if Lebeau moves on.

            This team WAS built on the 3-4, which they have used for YEARS, so therefore wouldn’t have the ponies up front to run such a scheme.

            Though I think Cam Heyward might be a decent DE in a 4-3.

      • What if they have been adapting though?

    • To add to your list, we should let Dwyer get a larger portion of the carries. We’re using Bell too much and we don’t need him to get any wear and tear on the tires for a lost season.

      However, our biggest goal for the rest of the year should be to lose every game. We need to obtain OT Bruce Mathews or OT Taylor Lewan to solidify LT for the next decade to come.

      • If we stay where we’re at we still might have a chance at Mathews, what a beast.

        I agree with Dwyer as well. Let Bell get the bulk, but JD needs to touch the ball more.

        • I wonder if we might miss out on both guys. In the past few drafts, OLMan have been flying off of the board. It seems that the only exception was DaCastro in 2012. OT have really been the hot commodity. Three of the top four picks in last year’s draft was OT and another was taken with the 11th and 19th overall picks. Some rank Mathews as the 2nd best player in the draft. I doubt he’ll fall to us.

      • Regarding losing the rest of the games to get an OT………

        First, Tomlin wont let that happen. I see them fighting to get to 6 wins, like I predicted pre-season. That will get them a pick from 8-15.

        Second, taking an OT early is a risk. St Louis, Miami, Buffalo, etc have done this in years past, and that isnt working too well for them. No Matter where the Steelers pick, they have to do on of 2 things………

        1) Take the best possible player, regardless of position, or
        2) Trade the pick for multiple picks in return.

        Anything other than that, the rebuilding process will take even longer.

        • Unfortunately, you are correct. We’ll probably end up with the 10th overall pick or so and we’ll miss out on both OTs.

          I would LOVE it if a team like the Browns, who are clearly looking to move up to take their franchise QB, made a deal with us. But I doubt that will happen as the Browns wouldn’t be interested with a deal with a division rival and the first two picks in the draft will go to the Jags and Buccaneers and they’ll be grabbing the to QBs.

          • Regardless of how many wins the Steelers get, I think the most prudent thing to do in the draft is to trade the 1st round pick in exchange for multiple picks. The Steelers many woes wont be solved by one player.

            I might go as far as to have them trade their pick in every top round for bonus picks……. at least the 1st 3 rounds. That would get 5-6 more picks to fill holes. But, then we get back to the people doing the picking.

            The steelers have many problems, and they are great.

            • Not a bad plan, Plan, but I don’t see them making moves like that.

              This years draft is going to be different from what the Steelers have been used to since they draft BBR so I think status quo is out the window.

              I’m always cool with trading picks to get more picks if the main guy on your board can be had later in the round.

  21. APB out for Jim S. Come in Jim S.

  22. Speaking of the NFL draft, we have ONLY six months to go.

    Today is the exact 1/2-year mark till the draft commences.

  23. I see the Tigers have named Dave Clark outfield instructor. Hope he instructs his outfielders to stay away from each other and the wall.

  24. * the “metropolitan” division is far too reminiscent of the NY Mets. UGH. Bettman strikes again.
    * Buh Bye coach obvious. aint gonna happen but…
    * Looking forward to the Panthers hoops season in the ACC. This should be fun.
    * When Yev-Genny gets on the score sheet (which I believe will be tonight), look out cuz I think he’s gonna explode!
    * Jandy, can you do an offensive game plan for haley this week? Would it consist of telling Ben, “Dude, just do what you want!”
    * AJ Burnett should have run for mayor of the city of Pittsburgh. of course he would have had to move into the city limits, but hey, the dude’s got some caysh! Tell me da ‘Burgh wouldn’t jump all over dat one! Imagine the fist pumping at budget meetings! What a total hoot.

    Dat’s all I got for now from the big apple ‘n’ ‘at. I’ll be at MSG tonight with my Kasparitis jerzee on, right behind the Ole two-niner, mister Bulaklak. c-yinz, and don’t forget to…

    ETCH IT!

  25. Nelson Cruz as Pirates RFer. Any thoughts?

    No this did not happen, but….

    • I have like a billion snarky ones, but I like you, so I’ll say that the only reason I’d want Cruz is for the sweet puns Dejan would throw in his headlines.

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