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Morning Java: Veracity of concept vs. reporting

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Monday column shares my firmly held belief that Ben Roethlisberger isn’t going anywhere.

Here’s some of what the QB had to say afterward …

And a more-upbeat-than-we’ve-seen-in-a-while Mike Tomlin

Random randomness from the event: This is all I’ll add regarding the reporting of the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who I don’t know at all, by the way. There are two discussions to be had here, and a lot of folks seem to mix them. One is whether or not Ben could be traded and the plausibility therein. The other is the veracity of the reporting itself that Ben and/or the Steelers already are planning such a thing. Drives me nuts, too. These two issues have nothing in common. Ben could be traded exactly as the report laid out, but if the report itself was inaccurate (that such a thing is being planned right now), the report still stinks. … Good to see Jonathan Dwyer running well. And hard. And straight ahead. Again. This is a repeat of a repeat. … Most offensive linemen prefer run-blocking. They’d rather be the aggressors, not back on their heels. But Kelvin Beachum really loves it: “That’s us, man. We just want that push. We had it out there. Felt good.” … The Steelers looked to me more conservative, less stunting on defense, and that might have helped them shut down what had been a really good Buffalo ground game. But Tomlin didn’t see it that way when I asked: “We tackled well. It’s fundamental. You maintain your ground, you shed blocks, you make tackles, and you’re where you’re supposed to be. That’s what we were able to do.” Obviously. … Easily the one facet that kept the day from feeling complete for the Steelers was getting only two touchdowns in five red-zone trips. (And one of those TDs came after the Bills insanely encroached on a field-goal try.) “That to me is what sticks out,” Roethlisberger said. “We’ve got to do better with those chances.” … Maybe all punters everywhere are terrible. It’s a possibility, right? … You’ll probably hear a lot in the days and weeks to come about attendance at Heinz Field, so at least be armed with facts. The actual turnstile count yesterday was 60,406, which is roughly 5,100 in terms of no-shows. … Hey, they’re 3-6 and two games out of a wild-card spot. Should we … ? Nah.

The game story focuses on defensive redemption, by beat writer Alan Robinson.

The news coverage of the Ben nonsense, by Robinson.

The power returns to the offense, by Mark Kaboly.

The defense kept it simple, by Ralph Paulk.

The Bills ran out of running, by Chris Harlan.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage, including game balls, turning points, injuries.

Here’s Bills news from the Buffalo News.

Here are official game highlights from

And here’s our Steelers photo gallery by Chaz Palla, including this of Jason Worilds destroying E.J. Manuel


Oh, one last Steelers thing: If you missed the Sunday column on Larry Foote’s loss, I hope you get a chance to take a look, if only for the input of Vince Williams. Neat kid.

>> Dan Bylsma reflects on the late Fred Shero’s coaching innovations. Beat writer Rob Rossi has it.

Have the Penguins benefited from a soft schedule? David Golebiewski breaks it down.

>> Scott Harrington wants to skate in Olli Maatta’s footsteps. Jonathan Bombulie files his weekly minor-league report from Wilkes-Barre, always a terrific feature.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Flyers news from the Philadelphia Daily News.

Here are official game highlights from

>> Anyone who still doubts that Neal Huntington and his front office were in legitimate trouble after the 2012 season, here’s a compelling interview of the Pirates’ GM done by our Karen Price.

>> Ray Vinopal’s redemption was a fun part of Pitt beating Notre Dame. Kevin Gorman looks back.

>> Even with Bill O’Brien curiously keeping his players from commenting after the loss in Minnesota, our Chris Adamski soldiers on and files a Penn State notebook.

>> If you couldn’t stay up for last night’s Subway Final Word on WPXI-TV, we tackled a whole bunch of Steelers, Penguins, Pitt and more. Fun show.

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio today at 11:30 a.m.

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. Pucknutz says:

    5,100 no shows – I am thinkin thats about average – good times or bad.

  2. Thundercrack says:

    The only thing that could have made that report about Ben a lot more fun & interesting would if it had come from Jay Glazer.

    DK: Yes.

  3. Drew71 says:

    I thought you said you wanted to be traded.

  4. james thompson says:

    Ben might be trying to stir things up a bit in hopes of eventually getting more favorable contractual terms, or else trying to wake the Steelers up, or trying to get Todd Haley replaced, or it could’ve been an expression of understandable anger, frustration, and worry that he now regrets, or it could be all of these, although we’ll likely have to wait by season’s end to be sure.

  5. dubb says:

    Denials these days, from athletes and coaches, don’t hold much water with me. Even if the report were true how many would actually come out and say they want to be traded? The only ones who do are those who aren’t getting playing time and won’t hurt locker room morale with that person.

  6. 21sthebest says:

    I’d like to trade him and two other posters to Smizik’s blog. I wonder what they’d give up?

  7. Depends on who the other posters are.

  8. Jandy says:

    Sorry, I have a no-trade clause

  9. Very good and inspiring column. A must read for many folks nowadays who give up at the first sign of resistance to anything.

    Fitting column for Veteran’s Day.

  10. Jandy says:

    + many

  11. You’ll never be traded or released.


    Drew has been traded to a paper in the arctic wild lands of Minnesota for a poster to be named later.

  12. Jandy says:

    Thanks, Revvie! :)

    But don’t worry, Drewster will be back…one way or another!

  13. kr70 says:

    is there any consequences for reporting untruths? Does Ian Rapoport have any accountability? It’s not like Drew and his SEC reporting.

  14. Naje says:

    Great piece on Larry Foote and the ripple effect his loss has had on this year’s defense. Anyone bashing the safeties have know (and see) that they’re really playing 1.5 to 2 positions because the linebackers are so green and don’t know the schemes. Polamalu and Clark, when doing their jobs only, are still among the best in the business. But when they have to cover for LBs that may or may not know where to go or what to do on any given play, well, it shows.

    The piece was really strong…like that Charlie Morton piece a few years ago about his cutter/sinker. Thanks for the revealing look…

    DK: Thanks, Naje. In an odd kind of way, this was actually one of my favorite pieces all year, entirely for the subjects matter and how it unfolded.

  15. Drew71 says:

    Evidently I’m in Minnesota now. So it’s the Big 10.

    For a few laughs.

  16. Dom says:

    I know the Steelers wont trade Ben but would that be a good idea?

    I personally wouldn’t think so. Really it depends on how long someone feels Big Ben will be around.

    The Steelers have so many issues that I cannot see us being competitive till the season after next at the very earliest. Therefore, if one feels that Big Ben will be around for five years, then it would make sense to keep him around. If someone feels that he has too much wear and tear on the tires to be around 2-3 years from now, then it could be argued that we part with him after the season and obtain multiple first rounders in exchange.

    On a side note, happy Veterans Day and thank you to all the troops for your service.

  17. Jandy says:

    So, did that 84/67 become 35/20?

  18. Jandy says:

    In honor of all veterans, and past and present day heroes:

  19. Drew71 says:

    If that last, um, set refers to my wife, you left off the final number.


  20. theplanisworking says:

    Ben, Ben, Ben.
    Does he want traded?
    Do the Steelers want to trade him?
    Should the Steelers trade him?

    I dont think he will be traded. Here is a link to the salary cap next year. The key column is the “dead money” column. Ben will be owed over $13 million dollars, whether he plays for the Steelers or not. Food for thought.

    There are other players with less dead money, and bigger savings.

  21. theplanisworking says:


  22. theplanisworking says:

    If you trade me, I wouldnt bring anything of value in return. Releasing me, well thats another story.


  23. MadTurk says:

    Ben still has 2 years, keep him next year and find someone to groom. We have Grad…. to fill in for a year in his place (we are not the good anyway). We need so much on this team I don’t see keeping him longer than another year or two. Trade him after next year for draft picks (make them count).
    This team is in need of a rebuild (young blood), being mediocre for the next few years with gaining nothing will hurt us in the longer term then trading him sooner and gaining cap room and young players that are on the rise and not the downhill side of their careers.

  24. Jandy says:

    my pleasure!

  25. Jandy says:

    You ain’t going anywhere, Hipposter, you’re stuck with us :P

  26. theplanisworking says:

    I would be remiss if I didnt mention a huge thank you to all the veterans past, present and future, from our country and our allies for making the country truly the greatest, freest country in the world.

    Thank You.

  27. Jandy says:

    LMAO! You are SO BAD !!!!!

  28. Dom says:

    Who on that list that is making big money do you suggested releasing?

    I would have to go with Heath due to his injuries but the only other guy on list that I can understanding removing is Ike but we really have no replacement for him.

  29. Thundercrack says:

    I heard Subway delivered subs to the set of The Final Word.
    I would have thought that would have distracted at least one participant of that panel

  30. theplanisworking says:

    Here is the thing………. no matter what the Steelers do, there will be pushback.

    To the point, here is who I would trade/release……..

    Levi Brown, and

    I know it is sacrilege to even mention Troy’s name, but with his history of injuries, and age, he would be a possibility.
    This isnt going to be easy, but you cant have the top 8 players making almost $80 million next year, then have $45 million for the remaining 45 players.

  31. theplanisworking says:


    Actually, Madden has lost almost 100 pounds.
    Dont know if he had surgery or not, but the fat jokes dont really apply to him much anymore.
    I wonder if his doctor scared him, or something.
    He can still be obnoxious, heavy or not.

  32. Thundercrack says:

    Couldn’t they restructure his contract by adding 2 more years and spreading the money over what would then be 4 years of the contract?

    Just wondering.

  33. Jandy says:

    I think they’ve already done that at least once…

  34. theplanisworking says:

    I dont know the ins and outs of contracts, but I would imagine simply adding years would be a big pay cut for him.
    Not to mention the union would have a cow if a marquee player like Ben added years without bonus $$$.

    Just living in salary cap hell………….

  35. Jim S. says:

    I have argued that exact point, Dom. It makes sense to consider a trade of Ben, if only because this team has so many glaring holes that they likely won’t be a contender for a few years even if they do everything right going forward. They should be finding about what Ben would bring in return. If it turns out that a team on the cusp, or Arizona, would like to provide a big return for him, why not do it? The Colts got back on track pretty quickly. I’d rather get back on track quickly than see if the team can turn it around and have Ben lead them to the playoffs one final time.

  36. Jim S. says:

    Time to end the sentimentality, plan. What did Chuck Noll say, “Time to get on with your life’s work.”

    Noll, btw, was pretty bad at parting with the former stars even though he had that phrase to describe it. I think it is hard for any organization to part ways with guys who have meant so much, and a large % of fans don’t want to see it under any circumstances. But, if “the standard is the standard” and I assume the standard is to contend – then it needs to be done.

    And, if they are to release guys like Miller, Taylor and Troy you can be sure Ben is more likely to feel justified in asking for a trade at that time. He may not be asking for one now, but just remember Peyton 2 years ago when the team was gutted around him. Peyton did not want to leave Indy at first, but then he realized the team didn’t want him and everyone else was leaving. So, he eventually wanted out as well.

  37. Jim S. says:

    How much do they add, Thunder? No one ever restructures w/o getting more money.

  38. Jim S. says:

    Ben would not spread the same money over more years. No one would.

  39. Dom says:

    Mark Madden said that troy was ranked as the 7th best Strong Safety in the league before the Patriots game. I forget the source though.

    I think we can get away with parting ways with only Miller and Brown. However, I can certainly understand going beyond that so we’ll actually be ahead of the game for once.

  40. Jim S. says:

    I’ll see your pluses and raise you a few more, Jandy.

    Happy Veterans Day to all who have served proudly!

  41. Thundercrack says:

    Sorry, I wasn’t clear with my first post.

    They would do more than just add 2 years and spread the money.
    They would add 2 years, add money, and spread the new deal over the 4 years

  42. hockeymonster says:

    Well said!

  43. theplanisworking says:

    Actually, that makes it even harder, I think.
    I dont have any answers……… I just see bad things coming with this cap….

  44. Jim S. says:

    Many here have said, wait until the entire story comes out. I still don’t think it is all out.

    Incognito says he has texts of Martin saying some inflammatory things to him as well …. “I will kill your entire family!”

    Incognito brushes them off as the kinds of things brothers and best friends say to one another. Maybe in a locker room, but not anywhere else that I know of. That is different world in there, for sure.

    I also saw a report scrawling across the bottom of the screen on NFL Network today that Ireland (GM) and Philbin are not expected to survive this situation. I don’t know who could know this right now, other than the owner of the Dolphins.

  45. theplanisworking says:

    Actually, Branch Rickey’s ” I can lose with you, and I can easily lose without you” quote may be more appropriate……….

    With Ben’s cap number, I dont reallistically see him being traded, whether he wants one or not. I see the other players going first.

    No easy decisions here….

  46. Jim S. says:

    Didn’t Jarred lose a couple hundred pounds exclusively eating Subway?

  47. theplanisworking says:

    And after the Cheatriots game, he was 20th, or something.
    This is going to be a head scrathcer, for sure…….

  48. Jim S. says:

    You are right about his cap number. Good point.

    That was Branch Rickey with that famous quote, wasn’t it? I was thinking it was Harrison Ford.

  49. theplanisworking says:

    Jarred was a special case.
    I read one of the Subway brochures years ago, right after he had that weight loss. He ate a 6 inch sub for lunch, and dinner. He had no other food for the entire day, and only drank water. Here is the key part……… he walked 3 miles to and from the Subway for each meal…… thats 12 miles a day. So Subway helped, but the key was water intake and walking 12 miles a day.

  50. Dom says:

    Keep in mind that Troy’s contract expires at the end of next year. I doubt we’ll be able to obtain a first rounder in exchange for one year of Troy or maybe even five years of Troy at this point.

    I’d expect us to keep him next year and maybe resign him to a one year deal. At that point he might retire.

  51. 21sthebest says:

    Maybe it’s Ian Rapoport who knows.

  52. NMR says:

    Classic salary dump, plan. We all know who makes the big bucks around here. :)

  53. Jandy says:

    + many lol!

  54. theplanisworking says:

    HA !!!

  55. 21sthebest says:

    245 pounds and he also ran the NYC Marathon in 2010.

  56. Jim S. says:

    I only saw snippets of highlights from yesterday’s game. I was following it on my phone otherwise. Sounds as though the defense was pretty dominant. I hope this is the start of a revival for the rest of the season, but we tend to do well against young QBs. Let’s hope it keeps up against a few real QBs. Then, maybe I will put more stock in our strong performance. But, at least it is a start.

    And, I am quite sure the loss of Foote is a big one from the standpoint of a young guy like Williams suddenly having so much responsibility thrust upon him. But, honestly, Foote is Foote – which is to say he might be a smart veteran, but he’s not a great player and never has been. There was a reason they allowed him to leave a few years ago while an aging Farrior was still around. Foote has never been fast, never been a big hitter, and never caused turnovers. If our defense is so dependant on Foote (and I don’t doubt that it currently is) that is testament to the fact that we have a very ordinary defense under the best of circumstances.

  57. Dom says:

    At the moment we’re at around a $130 million payroll for next year. By some estimates that will be about $5 million over the cap.

    If we part ways with both Levi Brown and Heath Miller, then we’re saving a tad over $12 million. I’m not going to tally up all the guys I’d expect us to cut at the end of the season such as Curtis Brown, but I’d estimate it at $3 million. That will place us $10 million below the cap and about $5 million of that goes to draftees. Plus, we could ask guys like Troy or Ike to take pay cuts.

    I really don’t see the cap being a huge issue for us this offseason. Sure, we’re going to have to part with at least one guy who we don’t want to but I don’t see this being a huge issue.

  58. Jim S. says:

    Correct, plan. I was just having fun. He ate the healthiest sandwich they had every day, and walked miles to get it as you said.

  59. Jim S. says:

    Once again, though, we’ll be dumpster diving for the cheapest free agents in the league. Even the Steve Breastons of the world will be too much for our budget.

  60. Wild Bill says:

    If the Steelers can do what you’re suggesting, Tc, it could actually make Ben easier to trade down the road. More years under control for the next team.

  61. Dom says:

    We all know the Steelers never go out and obtain free agents. Whether or not they should is a different issue. I think with the $7 million left over we should be able to obtain a decent OT. I really don’t care if we get anyone else as the 2014 is going to be a lost year. If we would want more free agents we’ll cut Ike but that will just create another hole and I don’t think he’s been playing all that poorly.

  62. Jim S. says:

    Actually, I think our history has been to get a few key free agents that are under-valued. We have historically found emerging players to fill holes. We haven’t had the cap space to even get those kinds of guy the past few years. And, we won’t again next year. That is an issue.

  63. hockeymonster says:

    Anyone else think pens need to reinforce their bottom 6 with more offensive potential? Good to see Bennett back HOWEVER I think its time to make a rather bold suggestion(hold the bold reaming till after you read below) :)

    Following up on my post last week suggesting potential trade targets to bolster our bottom 6 I wanted to make the following suggestion. To me there seems to be a solid hockey trade to be made with Colorado involving Sutter and Nisky for Ryan O’Reilly. Cap wise it makes sense as well but with 4.3M going to Colorado and 5M coming back there would need to be minor alterations to the deal. Speaking of alterations…I think you guys know who i’d consider trading for O’Reilly as well.

    Colorado has a logjam at center and with O’Reilly being a RFA this off season its unclear that they want to sign him long term unless they want to trade someone like Stastny instead. Sutter would give them a long term defensive center and nisky would bolster their depth on defense enough to make them consider the deal. And with 2 right handed players and 35-40 minutes going to Colorado our expected return should include at least a 2nd round pick or prospect coming back. Furthermore I would be willing to see if samuelson could be included in a deal to secure a stronger return.

    O’Reilly is positionally sound and would give us another center capable of making plays in the event sid and geno get shutdown or hurt. Obviously with PM hurt right now trading nisky isn’t ideal but I believe it would behoove us to be proactive to ensure that previous post seasons aren’t repeated. And between Scuderi coming back and depth in WB we can absurb making this trade from a position of strength. Then when considering Shero’s track record maybe I’ve underestimated possible return.

    P.S. when I included Ryan Reaves as someone who could help our bottom 6 last week I didn’t expect him to fight engo off the bat, score a goal and in general be a beast… bad :)

  64. NMR says:

    As bizarre as that interview was, I think it only reinforces the beliefs of many that said this is the result of a culture problem, not a Richia-Incognito-is-a-big-meany problem. Richie Incognito may be no worse a person than any of those other guys, but Richie Incognito, undoubtedly, is ignorant. He’s a product of a learned enviroment where not only is that behavior accepted, it is encouraged. That much is fact.

    Throughout the entire interview, he seemed oblivious to the obvious chance that maybe, just maybe, Martin wasn’t like the other guys. I don’t expect Incognito to have any in-depth knowledge of psychology, but his ignorance is simply unexceptable to me in 2013.

  65. Wild Bill says:

    Interesting stuff, hm. I’m guessing that Shero is not oblivious to the need and to our defensive surplus.

    Somebody like you is going to look smart one of these days.

  66. Wild Bill says:

    Atlanta Braves announce a new stadium for the 2017 season. Turner Field is only 17 years old.

    More luxury boxes, perhaps?

  67. Dom says:

    I wouldn’t be very happy if I was a tax payer in Atlanta.

  68. Thundercrack says:

    That is crazy. If I was a taxpayer there I would be pretty mad.

    Wasn’t Turner Field built for the Olympics?

  69. It’s in Cobb County, not Fulton County.

  70. 21sthebest says:

    I thought Brady restructured in 2012 by converting salary into bonus, thus giving the Patriots more cap room without it resulting in more money to Brady. Although they did extend him in 2013 so maybe the restructuring was done with the understanding that they were still going to extend him.

  71. Wild Bill says:

    That’s right. No Atlanta taxes involved. Cobb County and team funds, with overruns to the Braves.

  72. Dom says:

    It sure was. I remember it was built right next to the old stadium and both were used during the Olympics. It’s pretty sad how two decades is apparently the life of an MLB stadium.

    What is the real reason why they want a new stadium? Do they want to build a new one just for the sake of doing so?

  73. Wild Bill says:

    They didn’t say, but isn’t it always about revenue streams? Luxury boxes, parking with revenue to the team, new naming rights, etc.

  74. Thundercrack says:

    I really doubt the Steelers will ever trade Ben.

  75. Stuart says:

    I’m wondering if the whole Ben brouhaha wasn’t about adding another nail to Haley’s coffin?

    BTW I thought the O-line played better, but I know it was only the Bills.

    I think it is within the bounds of Ben’s persona to anonymously float a dissatisfaction balloon to hurry Todd’s removal.


  76. Sarah says:

    Given the drought that Genonand Did are enduring, I would be happy to see a little movement in line combinations, and (gasp) DB try something totally off the wall like match lines when on the road, so I’d doesn’t have to look at Chara all game or whatever.
    I think Genonwill be helped by Neal, and much as I love Duper, if he’s on the first line and Bennett is on the 3rd line, well, problems.
    It would be different if teams in playoffs didnt completely snuff out the first line by keying on Sid. He needs line-mates when it counts.

  77. Sarah says:

    Er, Did was Sid. geez. More coffee….

  78. CWalton_67 says:

    Brother and sister veterans, thank you for your sacrifice.

  79. Sarah says:

    I cannot disagree, but I say that as a non Ben fan….

  80. Wild Bill says:

    I am a big skeptic about Haley’s offense, but until we have a quality line to block for it, I’m not sure we really can judge him fairly.

    Maybe the rumors were more about getting an extension going?

  81. 21sthebest says:

    The Braves are saying Turner Field needs close to $200M in repairs.

  82. Wild Bill says:

    Nice, CW.

  83. NMR says:

    Pretty sure Turner Field was originally built for the Olympics and then “repurposed” for the Braves. The fact that it apparently needs a couple hundred million bucks worth of work only two decades later is actually fairly consistant with Olympic-style development. Pro tip…hosting the Olympics probably isn’t gonna work out well for your city’s finances.

    As for the why and where, Atlanta is infamous for it’s sprawl. No doubt that Cobb County gave the Braves a sweetheart deal that the City wouldn’t match.

  84. Wild Bill says:

    Somebody did not take maintenance nor capital improvements seriously if that claim is to be believed.

  85. Brandie says:

    Great read DK. The Steelers are going to have to do some belt tightening and part ways with some cash favorites. Happens to everybody. Bottom line is that what the Steelers were doing with salary restructuring is just not sustainable in the long term.

    To Plan, Jandy, and all others who have made mention…

    Blessed Veterans Day. It was the military who made it possible for my uncle to help others when they needed to turn their lives around the most. Thank you to all of our veterans, past, present and future for giving so much.

  86. Brandie says:

    Not cash favorites…fan favorites! I swear this tablet has a mind of its own.

  87. hockeymonster says:

    Neal and bennett will help with puck possession and flow but every cup worthy team has a solid top 4 that can hold our top 6 in check with the help of their forwards. Dont see our 3rd line as currently constructed being able to cycle down low and get the puck to the net as consistently as staal, cooke and kennedy did. Nothing against sutter but finesse role players like D’Agastini, jeffrey, bennett and even TK aren’t going to be recipients of a lot of time and space with sutter as their center. Sutter needs bigger wingers that are proficient along the boards to be effective IMO. If our 3rd line is going to consist of finesse players listed above we need someone like O’Reilly to make plays for them. If O’Reilly isnt attainable we need to bring in more physical well rounded players like the ones suggested last week to play wing with sutter in our bottom 6.

  88. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    When a team slides as much as the Steelers have in the past two years, there’s no question that everything has to be examined.
    All options must be considered.
    Though he vehemently denies it, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ben might’ve mentioned a trade request in a fit of anger roughly 24 hours after a recent loss.
    I agree with DK’s article, and I don’t believe he really wants that to happen.

    As far as the Steelers go….They would not be doing their job if they didn’t investigate all options.
    If the right deal was presented on the table, it has to be considered.
    The money factor (as mentioned by others) doesn’t seem to add up to all that great of a cap savings

    I believe someone would have to lay down a “minimum” of two first round picks to get the Steelers interested. Though I still believe Ben has a decent amount of good football in him, I don’t particularly see anyone being that interested (Arizona perhaps being the only possibility).

    The other factor (and perhaps most important) from the Steelers stand point is the fact that they would have to come up with a franchise-like QB in return.
    As we all know from the 80’s and 90’s…..They don’t grow on trees.

  89. NMR says:

    Google the history behind Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

    This kind of situation seems to be the norm rather than the exception.

  90. Scott says:

    Super Bowl-caliber quarterbacks don’t grow on trees. Look how long it took the Steelers to find one – they won zero Super Bowls between Bradshaw and Big Ben. They probably would have won the ’95 SB if they had a QB just a little better than Neil O’Donnell. Ditto ’03 with Kordell Stewart.

    When you have a SB-caliber QB, you don’t get rid of him – you build around him by giving him the best possible offensive line and set of receivers and backs (which is, sadly, the opposite of what the Steelers have done.)

    Brady and Manning are thriving well into their late 30s. Ben has the talent to do the same, but only if they start protecting him ASAP, or he’ll be in a wheelchair by 35.

  91. hockeymonster says:

    wait a sec..i dont sound smart already?!?! :)

  92. Scott says:

    Ike Taylor is definitely out. So is Levi Brown. You have to consider dropping Troy, but I think they’ll keep him since they will also be letting Ryan Clark go, and you can’t have two unproven safeties back there (in addition to an unproven corner replacing Ike).

    They can probably finesse enough cap room by replacing other mid-level salary guys (Suisham, Gay, McClendon, Spaeth) with rookies. If that doesn’t work, I suppose you cut Heath. But you can’t cut Troy, or 3/4 of your secondary will be totally green.

  93. Dom says:

    The Falcons are also replacing their stadium by 2018.

  94. Jandy says:

    + many

  95. Wild Bill says:

    Even smarter when the trade happens, I meant – but I think you knew that, cause you’re so smart!

  96. Scott says:

    They’ll definitely need to strengthen the bottom 6 before the playoffs, but that’s a relatively minor thing. Compared to past years where the team was lacking a big top 6 winger or a tough defenseman, their needs this year are fairly modest, which is good news. Shero will have no problem filling up the bottom 6 before March. And I would hope he can do it without trading away a defenseman, since we’re seeing now how easy it is for them to get injured. I want this entire D crew available for the playoffs.

    I do think you may be onto something with the idea of trading Sutter. It’s crazy that some people actually thought this guy would be better then Staal – so far he’s not even in the same universe as Staal.

  97. Dom says:

    I never understood why a city even wants the Olympics. Especially in foreign countries. They build these state of the art stadiums and now they’re rotting away. Just look at Beijing and Sydney for examples.

    Didn’t London lose money on the Olympics?

  98. hockeymonster says:

    hmmm…thanks for backhanded compliment…i think

  99. NMR says:

    Montreal didn’t finish paying off Olympic Stadium until ’06, thirty years after the Olympics. Actual cost including financing was over $1.6B.

    Not just Olympics, though. The Marlins new stadium will cost the taxpayers well over a billion dollars over the length of financing.

  100. Wild Bill says:

    Daq, I think the clock is ticking on the amount of good football left in him. His mobility looks way down from what it was a couple years back, and he continues to get hit a ridiculous amount of times.

    Again, as I posted earlier, if we could get an extension for about four total years at a reasonable price, and deal him after, that might be the best we can do.

  101. Dom says:

    Why do the tax payers fall for this? Why would they want the Olympics in their town if they have to pay for a brand new stadium that will be used for two weeks?

  102. Wild Bill says:

    Scott, Jordan Staal has four total points this season and is a minus 3. Maybe his universe wasn’t so hard to be a part of, after all.

  103. Jandy says:

    I also think Sutter is doing pretty well as a shut down Center…I think we did just fine on that deal.

  104. Brandie says:

    Good observation. :-D

  105. Jandy says:

    Thanks Sistah! Good to see you :)

  106. Dom says:

    Why is Ike definitely out? He has been injury prone like Heath this year. Of the two I got to cut Heath. Plus, are you comfortable going with Gay and Cortez Allen as the starting two CBs?

    Clark’s contract is up at the end of the season so he is obviously not included toward the cap next year.

  107. NMR says:

    Proponents will undoubtedly argue that revenue from the event as well as the exposure justifies the cost.

  108. Brandie says:

    Good to be in your company!

  109. 21sthebest says:

    Taxpayers don’t seem to have a choice most of the time.

  110. Dom says:

    Joe Mauer is to move to first base next season.

  111. NMR says:

    Excellent interview by Karen Price.

    “If (Nutting) made a different decision a year ago, I would have walked out the door believing this organization was much better off than when we walked in the door, and believing that they were a few good decisions away from being a playoff-caliber team,” Huntington said.

    Pretty sure this would’ve been laughed at last winter, and that the actual events of 2013 show how wrong it would’ve been to do so.

    “I’ve also been around long enough to recognize that the sustaining is harder than the building, and that there will be a point in time where they’ll call for my head again and I’m right back to being the guy that was thought of as I was a year ago,” Huntington said.

    Bingo. This guy gets it.


    “I think the Pirates have earned respect around baseball as a well-run organization for their market…” Hart said.

    That would be John Hart, a real person with the stones to put name with opinion. Unnamed Front Offices executives could not be reached for comment.

  112. Jandy says:

    Blog is acting up. Who broke it this time?

  113. NMR says:

    Yikes. Small markets and $23m first basemen are usually not good combinations.

    For those of you counting, Mauer will have started just 192 of 1296 possible games during his eight year extension at catcher.

  114. Stuart says:

    Hope it wasn’t me, but I have twice posted replies to Wild Bill’s reply to me. Nothing controversial just agreeing with him.

    BTW, do you put the Shelby away for the winter? I put my Miata away on Nov 1. When the wife and I take it out we call it Geezer Touring.


  115. Jandy says:

    We keep it in a portable “garage.” This is the first winter for the Shelby. We did have a 7-Up Mustang we kept in the same portable garage, and we took it out if it got really decent outside. Otherwise She stays inside and waits…

    LOL Old Geezer Touring…we don’t quite qualify for that..unless 50-something is an “old geerer” ; )

  116. Thundercrack says:

    He was a $23 million catcher for that small market

    Not a great combo either.

  117. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Because of the salary cap hit, trades of the star players make things more difficult to an organization.

    Watching the game yesterday I thought it reminded me of the old Cowher Steelers football. The same type of football Steelers fans have wanted in the past from Bruce Arians days. It was effective.

    Overall decent game.

    More importantly, Happy Veteran’s day out there to all the men and women who serve and who has served. Without them, we would not be able to do what we do in life and in virtual reality.

  118. Stuart says:

    No, you have a way to go before achieving Geezer status. I think my Miata acquires “antique” status next year as it is a 1994. Runs great, but I may need some reupholstery on the seats in the spring. Thinking about a place in Altoona on the Blvd.

  119. Stuart says:

    Ryan, on Vets day I usually reflect some about my military time. This year I was reminded of it by the big typhoon. It hit Cebu in the Phillippines. I spent a lot of time on the next island (Mactan) which is (or was) just a short ferry ride from Cebu City.


  120. Jandy says:

    Tony & Ryan’s. Let me know how that comes out…looking a them to do the Chevelle :)

  121. Stuart says:

    Yes, they helped me replace the back window on the convertible, and I was happy with it. I’ll let you know. Taking son back to Pitt this PM so I’m off.


  122. NMR says:

    Hard to imagine a scenary where the Twins would not have been better off trading Mauer and Morneau instead of extending them.

    This is what happens when small markets keep star players.

  123. Sarah says:

    Agree on all monster.
    I guess my frustration stems from RS assuring us that this team would be “hard to play against” I.e. sandpaper-y….and as currently constructed, they are far from that. They lack sandpaper Wingers enormously – unless you count Engelland I guess!!
    The frustration felt by Sid and Geno is palpable. The stars (even Sid lately) continue to make dumb plays and give up turnovers such that if they were rookies,they’d be eating nachos in a suit in the press box.
    They are easy to play against.
    And worse, they are easy to coach/scheme against….(here’s where I need Plan and the hangman’s n-o-o-s……)
    But don’t get me started on DB on a Monday…..

  124. CWalton_67 says:


  125. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Thank you for your service Stu

  126. JohninOshkosh says:

    There were considerable non-baseball related considerations in the Mauer deal. Hate to say Twins management had no choice, but it was pretty close.

  127. theplanisworking says:

    If a 17 year old stadium needs 299 million in repairs, then the original construction was substandard, and possibly rushed. Good Lord, PNC Park is 13 years old, and not a peep about needing repairs……… in a Northern climate, no less……

    So what happens to Turner Field once the new stadium is built?
    That is what I would be mad about as an Atlanta taxpayer………

  128. theplanisworking says:

    Then we need to plant better trees.

    Hanging on To Ben on the downside of his career could harm the franchise even more.

  129. Thundercrack says:

    I think they had choices, but yes there were other factors.
    Brand new ballpark and Mauer is a hometown kid.

    ‘This is what happens when small markets keep star players.’
    When you put it like that NMR you make it sound like it is a bad thing all the time. I don’t think all the time. It has to be a smart deal. The one with Mauer doesn’t seem to be.

  130. theplanisworking says:

    Errrr……. 200 million.
    Jandy disease………

  131. And you, Ryan and Chris and all.

    Speaking of service, been raking leaves all day since the office is closed.

    Still waiting on Jim S. to show up with his rake.


  132. theplanisworking says:

    I forgot to mention this earlier…………..

    Was going to flip between the Pitt and pens games Saturday Night.
    3, yes 3! seconds into the game, there was a pre-staged fight. I cannot see the wisdom of this. No previous bad blood between the teams, just a fight. The knuckle-dragging part of the NHL, and the fanbase was probably giddy with this.

    Someone said the fight may have been to send a message, or relieve tension. If a team has to fight 3 seconds into a game for tension, they are a mess of a team. I also dont see what message that sends……. that the pens were going to lose 2-1? That Sid and Geno were going to struggle again?

    As long as hockey pulls crap like that, they will never, ever be taken seriously as a major sport. They will always wallow in 5th or 6th place in US sports. Wonder if a fight like that will take place at the Olympics?

    Made my saturday night viewing easier, as I switched , and stayed with the Pitt game.

  133. buggee says:

    you’ll be a ‘Burger for life, Jandylicious

  134. buggee says:

    TC, I hear the Stillers are looking for a new cap guru!
    Do they miss Omar Khan or what? That dude is a cap wizard

  135. Iceman says:

    Just saw that Steven Stamkos had to be stretchered off the ice during the Tampa Bay/Boston game. Stamkos and Dougie Hamilton got tied up while Hamilton was driving the net and Stamkos was backchecking. Nothing looked dirty from the play that I saw, but Stamkos lost an edge and collided with the Tampa Bay goal and it sure looks like his leg just snapped.

    Really unfortunate to see one of the top talents in the league go down like that. For my money, Stamkos is the best pure goal scorer in the league. Hopefully he has a quick recovery.

  136. Sarah says:

    I believe that was me!
    And I should have been clear – was not referring to that fight in particular, but in general fights in the early going are about messaging.

    And yes – saw no reason for that at ALL. No prior incidents, no bad blood. Unless you count the Plager Brothers in 1974 or something.

    All I can think is someone started yapping at someone and when the puck dropped they dropped gloves.

    I would be dishonest however, if I didn’t say that in my own experience, some fights have actually settled a game down and made it safer for the rest of us.

    That is not to condone it – just speaks to the ridiculous culture. I personally know refs in the AHL and they say there are times they will let two guys go (as long as no ones getting creamed ) and it calms everyone down and makes the rest of the game safer and cleaner.

    And yes, it is a crazy culture.

  137. NMR says:

    Knowing what I know about development in Atlanta, they’ll tear it down and build a bigger parking lot.

  138. NMR says:

    I really needed to state that a smart deal would’ve been worth it?

    Good luck writing up a “smart” long term extension for a superstar player.

  139. Sarah says:

    Good lord that was gruesome. Broken leg I would say. Poor Stamkos, heal fast.

  140. NMR says:

    Sounds like the Twins let the inmates run the asylum.

  141. Naterosboro says:

    And for anyone looking to see the injury….

    That’s a broken leg. Most likely sidelined for 8-12 weeks depending on how bad the break is and how quickly his body can heal.

    Olympics could be in doubt as well for Stamkos.

  142. Sarah says:

    Ugh what terrible luck.

  143. hockeymonster says:

    Way I see it is that glass, vitale, adams, engo…they’re all the same in that they play hard and can be physical along the boards but don’t have enough finish to their game. They can plug along in the regular season but I think we need better all around players in our bottom 6 against better teams and in the playoffs. I just wish they tried playing a more defensive system prior to staal trade but that’s all history and we are where we are…lets see what shero thinks going forward.

  144. cherokee23 says:


  145. Jandy says:

    Someone’s taking my name in vain ;)

  146. Jandy says:

    Bahahahahahaha! :D

  147. Jandy says:

    Ouch! That is horrible. Stamkos is fun to watch….poor guy.

  148. hockeymonster says:

    Ya never good to see a stretcher on ice…stamkos is a class act. Hope its a clean break he can come back this season from. Was looking forward to a line of Kunitz-crosby-stamkos in Olympics too.

  149. Naterosboro says:

    Just retweeted by fearless leader DK:

    @aaronward_nhl 5m

    Source, Steven Stamkos has broken tibia. Told will require surgery. #TSN

  150. theplanisworking says:

    When you find out who it is, let us know…..

  151. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, all the fights in the Caps-Flyers game really helped calm the game down, LOL !!!

    Bettman the doofus, all throughout the lockout, kept saying the NHL needed to contain costs, while driving up revenues. They got their cost containment, but does he really think that fighting will drive up revenues? To the casual fan, who they desperately need, what appeal does the fighting bring?

    Stupid is as stupid does, I guess……..

  152. theplanisworking says:

    Looks like he might be out until the playoffs………..
    What a shame.

  153. Wild Bill says:

    The ‘ning dynasty is officially dead in the water. What a great young player, and what a sad injury.

  154. hockeymonster says:

    I don’t think sarah was referring to or condoning flyer/caps situation. Spontaneous fights can and do prevent further cheap shots from occurring but the secondary and staged fights need to be up for major discussion.

  155. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, I wasnt poking at sarah, just making a funny observation….

    The only fight I would condone is a “retaliatory” fight……. i.e. someone takes a run at Sid, Adams goes after said player. All the other fights are 101% unnecessary…… but will stay in the game as long as the knuckle-dragging wing of the league allows and wants it.

  156. Wild Bill says:

    What I don’t understand is why the refs can’t give the guy (or both) who cause these staged fights a game misconduct, and they get the night off from there.

  157. Bizrow says:

    It can happen to anyone at any time

  158. Naterosboro says:

    If it requires surgery, I’m going to say that goes from 8-12 (2-3mo) to 12-16 (3-4mo), as he’ll need time to heal from the surgery before he’ll be able to start rehab.

  159. NMR says:

    Watch CBS at all recently?

  160. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Thanks Lucky

  161. hockeymonster says:

    Ya its an up hill climb to get by them. And as much as anything I think the nhl protects its stars much less than any other league. Can you imagine what stern would’ve done if MJ got elbowed upside the head from the blindside??? Punters get better league protection than nhl hall of famers…

  162. Thundercrack says:

    Well what you wrote makes it sound so absolute.

    I guess we’ll have to see if contracts to Cutch, Votto and Braun were bad for those markets

  163. Sarah says:

    They should.

  164. Thundercrack says:

    Omar Khan is still listed as an employee of the Steelers.

  165. Sarah says:

    I would actually say that some of the Messaging makes Sid less likely to get cheap-shotted.
    Thinks of it as Pre-retaliation lol!

    Anyway it’s all asinine and indicative of how cowardly Bettman is and how stupid the culture.

    It is left to the refs and the players to police things.

    Sometimes the players do a better job.

    And NOTHING concerning the Flyers applies to anything I just said.
    They are pathetic and a blight on the league. Emery should have been GONE, double digit games.
    See Coward, Bettman, above.

    Madden actually had a creative response: make the team with the suspended player play with 17 skaters for the length of the suspension. Interesting, but will never happen, See Bettman, above.

  166. theplanisworking says:


  167. NMR says:

    Cutch’s contract isn’t equivalent to the one’s given to Mauer, Morneau, Braun, or Votto since it only buys out arbitration and a free agent year.

    Cutch’s equivalent would be extending him long term well into his 30’s like those other guys.

    Morneau is closest with six years, two of which were arb eligible.

  168. Thundercrack says:


    I thought the criteria was small markets keeping their stars.

    This seems more about giving a catcher an 8 year contract for very big money

  169. Sarah says:

    Anyone catch Ian Rapaport on The Fan or Madden today ? Not sure I would say he back pedaled. He seemed to say that the Steelers and Ben spent a lot of time denying assertions thatvhebdidnt actually make….

    Anyone catch it?

  170. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    As mentioned, I believe all avenues have to be investigated.
    I think when all things are considered, Ben stays and is still good for at least three more years….Barring major injury.

    Plan – Have you watched any of these QB’s that are supposed #1 picks?
    I saw three of them in the past week and they impressed me little.

  171. Dom says:

    I did and I also got the same impression.

  172. twentytwo22 says:

    Look at that innovative playcalling. Tackle eligible and a reverse on a punt return. Schiano picking on a team that’s down. lol

  173. Milo Hamilton says:

    Wanny !

  174. Milo Hamilton says:

    Ben Cherington wins Executive of the Year Award. Neal Huntington finishes 2nd.

  175. theplanisworking says:

    Now that is a huge bunch of horse crap.

    The BOS/NY/LA media bias continues.
    Sadly, I called this…… but I am still upset it happened.

    Milo, we were getting worried about you, since we didnt hear from you since Friday afternoon. Sorry about Highlands.

  176. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey Plan. Still recovering from the Pitt game. Actually been feeling like crap since late last week. I was here today, just reading you guys.

  177. theplanisworking says:

    What do you think of Cherington winning?

    Yeah, I am still happy with the Pitt game.
    Hope you feel better soon, sir.

  178. Jandy says:

    Yeah, what Hipposter said….feel better, Milo, we miss you :*

  179. theplanisworking says:

    Its after dark.
    Arent nuns supposed to be in bed? ;)

  180. Milo Hamilton says:

    The only thing I’ll say is that the award is voted on by their peers. And that can cut a lot of different ways. Cherington had to hire a manager also.

  181. Jandy says:

    Not THIS Nun ;)
    Going soon, though…4am comes too early lol

  182. Milo Hamilton says:

    Thanks Jandy.

  183. Jandy says:

    Hope to see ya tomorrow, Milo :)

    You, too, Hipposter :)

  184. theplanisworking says:

    Good Night to the both of you.
    See you on the flip side.

  185. Milo Hamilton says:

    I kinda like the Dolphins new uniforms. That’s all I have nice to say about them.

  186. JohninOshkosh says:

    Tonight’s the night the ESPN networks show live basketball for 24 hours straight. Hawaii is always guaranteed a middle of the night game, Their game starts at 4 AM CT.

    And, yes, Jandy, I consider 4 AM the middle of the night.

  187. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Reds have hired Jay Bell as bench coach. Upwardly mobile.

  188. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hitting coach to bench coach to manager.

    Mail room to executive to CEO.


  189. Milo Hamilton says:

    Benedict Bell.

  190. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    That’s a lot of Pirate data heading over to the Reds. A move made for more reasons than one.

  191. Jim says:

    I listened to Ian on a local radio show Monday. I thigh he sounded like a combination of a used car salesman and a politician as he explained how he “got” the story. My wife happened to be in the room at the time and asked me, “who is that guy?”, he sounds shifty and tricky. I know he has a reputation nationally , but I’m not impressed.

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