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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Steelers 27, Browns 11

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

CLEVELAND — Looking ahead to kickoff …

Game: Steelers (4-6) vs. Cleveland Browns (4-6)

Time: 1:02 p.m.

Site: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland

TV, radio: CBS (national), WDVE-FM, ESPN Radio 970

Here is the official live summary.

Here is our Steelers page. Alan Robinson, Mark Kaboly, Ralph Paulk and I are by the lake. And if you missed it, this was the Sunday column on the Steelers turning over a quarter of their starting lineup.

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. Drew71 says:

    Oh, that’s right.

    There’s a Steelers game today.

  2. 21sthebest says:

    I hope they play well or I’ll have to tweet mean things to Dejan.

  3. Drew71 says:

    It’s always the same dozen people.

  4. Brandie says:

    There’s that moist sense of humor. Good Day Sir Drew-k!

  5. Thundercrack says:

    I can’t wait for what Ian Rapoport reports/tweets this week….you know, from the ‘mystery Steeler insider’

    Then I can’t wait for the local media go crazy over it.

    But I still probably won’t be able to stay up for the last word.

    DK: The harshest criticism of his work has come from the national media.

  6. Bizrow says:

    If the Steelers ever have a 2-14 season, well as long as the wins are against the Brownies….

  7. Rbilak says:

    1. Brown vs Hayden, key matchup

    2. Campbell never been impressive to me. Gordon and TE must be watched. Browns D pretty good.

    3. Which punter shows up today? Which Ike Taylor shows up?

    4. Can Cotchery continue to be the TD machine?

    5. Can Bell run at all vs Browns?

    6. I expect a 10-9 game, just not sure which team wins. Could be ugly.

  8. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’ll be interested to see how Ben and the receiving corps does against TJ Ward. The dude is scary good.

  9. theplanisworking says:

    Hoping for a good game, but both teams are bad, and so is the weather.

    High of 24 here today, low supposed to go to 17.
    Not SEC weather to be sure.

  10. Dom says:

    Now THAT’S a kick.

  11. Lad 9 says:

    Even for a 3-4 defensive end, Ziggy Hood moves glacially.

  12. theplanisworking says:

    So do I.
    Does that mean I can replace him? ;)
    he’s no Aaron Donald, eh Lad?

  13. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think it’s 25 . . . Or is that 48 . . . Out of 30k+ followers.

    DK: It’s 63 now.

  14. Lad 9 says:

    That’s for sure. More like Donald Duck. There was a lot of talk yesterday on the Pitt thread about the Steelers drafting Aaron Donald. But the sad thing is my friend, I don’t think the Steelers will pick Donald even if he falls to them in a good spot. I am betting that he doesn’t fit their idea of a 3-4 DL. Just my opinion.

  15. theplanisworking says:

    Oooooooooo !!!
    A running tally. ;)

  16. theplanisworking says:

    Too undersized.
    In the right system, he will be a beast.

  17. theplanisworking says:

    2 rookies looking good so far……………. Bell and Jones.

  18. Dom says:

    Who is the other guy on the d line since McLendon is out?

    DK: Al Woods is in the middle. Good run-stopper. Limited otherwise.

  19. Wild Bill says:

    Holy doo doo, the Steelers have to find a real punter. I nominate the kid who punted for Nebraska yesterday against Penn State. That kid could boot it.

  20. Dom says:

    Oh they just said it was Woods.

  21. theplanisworking says:

    McLendon out for the game……..

  22. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jarvis is showing up today.

  23. aaron says:

    Through a quarter and a half I think Worlids is answering the question you put forth in your talent/position article. It seems Worlids in Woodley’s spot and Jarvis at right is working!

    You mentioned that releasing Woodley is not an option, but what about a trade (for whatever they could get) just to clear the books? I understand some other team would have to be willing to absorb the contract, but as long as Oakland is in the league there is always a chance!

    I think the Steelers may have something if they are willing to be creative with their offensive line. Keep Velasco at center, move Pouncey to left guard, keep Beachum at left tackle, allow Adams another chance at right tackle, and then you have some depth in Foster, Gilbert, and Wallace. With all of the needs in the secondary, linebackers, etc the Steelers can’t keep focusing all of their attention on the line.

    Just a thought….


  24. theplanisworking says:

    Nice catch by Brown !!!!!
    10-3 Good Guys.

  25. Wild Bill says:

    Really nice throw and catch for the td.

  26. Brandie says:

    Think of the cartoon character Ziggy. He moved glacially too! Hood’s 40 time must have been kept using a sdun dial.

  27. theplanisworking says:

    Mr. Bell seems to be answering the bell today.

  28. I see there are some who still aren’t convinced we have a shot at the playoffs. 27 comments at halftime.

    Should increase if we take this one and whip the Ravens on TG.

  29. theplanisworking says:


  30. theplanisworking says:


  31. Sarah says:

    3rd and 1 let’s hand off 7 yards behind the LOS.

  32. Sarah says:

    Good God I hate Haley

  33. theplanisworking says:

    Worse than Bylsma?? ;)

  34. JohninOshkosh says:

    You could have given me a year and I would not have been able to tell you the name of the stadium the Browns play in. FirstEnergy ? Who’d thunk it.

  35. Sarah says:

    Hah! I care about hockey so much more than football.
    So, no.

  36. JohninOshkosh says:

    Steelers up 20-3. This would be a nice road victory and would make my in-law avoidance television watching on Thanksgiving much more enjoyable if the Steelers are playing Baltimore to get back to .500.

    Get back to .500 with 4 games to play. Anything can happen.

  37. Even Paul Brown’s town has sold out to crass commercialism, John.

    Good win by the Badgers yesterday, BTW.

  38. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks. Good one for the Buckeyes as well. Michigan and Michigan State are a tough way to finish the season. Michigan State is much better now than when they lost to Notre Dame.

    I think it stinks that a guy might be in a position where he has NEVER lost as a head coach at a school and will not get a chance to play for the national championship. I don’t think Florida State runs the table in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes are better than the Seminoles. I don’t care what the computers say.

  39. Rob says:

    As someone who can’t watch the game can someone tell me why Ben is doing the punting?

  40. I believe you’re right, but Drew may disagree.

  41. theplanisworking says:

    Mr Gay with a pick 6 and big sack today.

  42. Steelag70 says:

    Rob, I was wondering the same thing. Is Suisham hurt??

  43. 21sthebest says:

    Tough game for me to watch. I’d rather play better competition.

  44. Arriba Wilver says:

    Our punter stinks.

  45. Steelag70 says:

    The Browns have been tough at home. This is a great win for the Steelers!

  46. Steelag70 says:

    One negative from today though is allowing a big game to Gordon…unbelievable….

  47. Sarah says:

    Hopefully that has iced the game, Plan!

  48. Arriba Wilver says:

    Fire Dick LeBeau!

  49. cherokee23 says:

    Wild card is getting interesting…….Steelers in a good spot to control destiny with games against Miami & Baltimore…..Chargers may be the spoiler when all is said and done over next 4 weeks!

  50. Mark says:

    Here at about 4:30PM ET, the Steelers currently hold the #6 seed in the AFC playoff standings, at 5-6, just crazy. Steelers division head-to-head against Baltimore eliminates them, as does the Jets over the Dolphins, and then Steelers head-to-head over Jets. Either Oakland or Tennessee will go to 5-6 later (unless a tie!), so that should knock Steelers down again, but other crazy tiebreakers could also come into play. Who’da thunk?

  51. Mark says:

    Good point by cherokee23 above too, with a bit of favorable control moving forward…

  52. theplanisworking says:

    I dont know what to make of this win.

    In no way am I complaining about it.
    I just dont know how good the Steelers are, because Cleveland was that awful.
    Good play today from Bell, Jones, Worilds, and others.

    The final WC spot in the AFC is being contested for by 9 teams.
    doesnt mean any of them are good teams.

  53. cherokee23 says:

    At first glance, it seems to me that the only team with control over Steelers in the long run would be San
    Diego. I don’t think Oakland or Tennessee will find themselves in position to have control over Steelers. Of course, this assumes Steelers keep improving & winning

  54. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I’m not going to get overly confident here, but the Steelers have shown definite improvement in the past few weeks.
    OL and defense in particular.
    Could Kelvin Beachum be the OL version of Hines Ward at WR?!
    Ben has room to breathe, and it’s obvious he is still a franchise QB.
    Cut the trade talk….

  55. Dom says:

    Thank you, DK.

  56. JohninOshkosh says:

    Generally, playoff teams start to gel and play better in late November and early December. It’s officially crunch time and Thanksgiving will have a good game to watch.

    I didn’t get the Steelers on TV. I had to watch a tie game. If I wanted to watch ties, I would watch soccer.

  57. Chuck H says:

    Same old Steelers offense- yes I know they won, but their offense is too predictable. Running backs blasting into the
    middle of the defense, maybe gaining a yard or two or nothing. Ben was outplayed by Cleveland’s back-up qback because of better execution of receivers. Anyway, Steelers, let’s run the table and make the playoffs.

  58. Drew71 says:


  59. cherokee23 says:

    Same old offense.I know what you’re saying, but I take that as a positive today! Very vanilla. The only play i remember that wasn’t straight forward was the reverse to Brown, and it went for a loss. This offense lined up against one of the stronger defenses going, and played a simple straight forward game and was productive.

  60. cherokee23 says:

    I also don’t think Ben was outplayed by Weeden!

  61. Barb says:

    Just wanted to let you know that this is the first win by the away team in the AFC North. Thank goodness it was the Steelers!

  62. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yeah, that’s a strange statement to make. And, not true.

  63. pattonbb says:

    + a lot.

  64. theplanisworking says:

    Saskatchewan leading the Grey Cup 31-6 at halftime.

  65. Milo Hamilton says:

    Dan Haren to the Dodgers – 1 year / $10 million. And the Pirates thought $14 million was too much for AJ Burnett.

  66. The Browns were easier to beat than first feared, and now, hopefully, the Steelers can emerge on Thanksgiving night 6-6. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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