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Sunday column: Above the line

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Sunday column spotlights what I feel has been the best coaching job by anyone on the Steelers’ staff this season.

And here’s a fun video — you’ll see why — interviewing Jack Bicknell Jr.

It’s Steelers vs. Bengals in prime time tonight. And what? Spoiler role? Anything else? Alan Robinson looks ahead.

How to keep Jason Worilds? Robinson looks further ahead.

The NFL lives off Pete Rozelle’s parity, by Bob Cohn.

The Xs and Os to watch, by Mark Kaboly.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

Here’s Bengals news from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Here are official game highlights from

I’ll make a cameo appearance, no more than 40 seconds, on WPXI-TV’s pregame show that covers the hour leading into NBC’s national programming and the kickoff.

Also, remember that after the game, WPXI’s Subway Final Word will air following the local news. I’ll be busy writing while Alby Oxenreiter, Bill Phillips, Josh Yohe and Mark Madden fill the big screen.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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


  1. Ghost says:

    Yeah, I, for one, didn’t see the O-line turning it around like these rag-tag guys have done. They should take a bow. Or rather, I should bow to them. Had blasted them earlier in the season. And I was genuinely perplexed at just how they’ve done it when I started reading this column. But the column was about the answer to my question. Coach Bicknell: a bright spot in a dreary season, building something we have to look forward to in the future.

  2. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    No question this OL has improved as this year has proceeded.
    When you couple that with the adversity they have been through…..A pretty nice job by Bicknell.
    I think the biggest question mark is the fact that they have not had a 100 yard rusher in almost two dozen games.
    But….I think that will come soon.
    I “would not” spend a high pick next spring on OL.
    Too many other glaring holes….

  3. The OL has been a major problem with the Steelers for the past couple of seasons, although, hopefully, it will continue to improve and not be a major concern due to injuries, which never seem to cease anymore, unfortunately.

  4. Neat video. And good column.

    DK: Thanks. See 84’s photobomb?

  5. Lad 9 says:

    Very nicely done DK. Entertaining and informative. With the three players on IR returning, you potentially could have some very nice depth on the O-line next season. Maybe even some completion for starter spots. And I agree with Daq – do not spend a high pick here. You have glaring holes at inside linebacker, DL, safety, and cornerback to fill, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a burner type at WR or another TE that can actually, you know, catch the ball.

    DK: Thanks regarding the column. I don’t feel as strongly about a second pass-catching tight end. Not if Markus Wheaton gets you a legit No. 3. WR.

  6. JoeyBats says:

    Blind side OT still worries me….a lot.

    1) Mike Adams….bad feet….bad technique…seems “slow” to adapt.

    2) Mr. Beachum looks like a journeyman@ best. I like his versatility …but are we willing to bet Ben’s health on a “fill in” ?

    If we keep losing…..still might think about one of picking one of the top 2 or 3 stud OT’s (I know…..I know) :-(

    ……………DB….D.Line…WR…etc. are crying for help next year.

    DK: Trouble is, getting an LT through free agency is enormously expensive. Adams has the body type and, ostensibly, the skill. He’ll keep getting chances.

  7. twentytwo22 says:

    Jay Cutler with 2 INT so far against Cleveland. 1 in the offensive endzone and 1 returned for a TD.

  8. twentytwo22 says:

    Kirk Cousins 9/12 199yds 2td

    DK: Mike Shanahan offers up one of his digits to the world.

  9. twentytwo22 says:

    They had 7 turnovers and went for two at the end and lost 26-27.

  10. theplanisworking says:

    Very nice piece about coach Bicknell, and the job he has done. One wonders how much better the line would have been if the “zone blocking” scheme hadnt taken up so much time in the preseason.

    Wonder who has done the better job this year, coach Bicknell, or coach Jim Turner of the Dolphins, with their injuries/suspensions. Both have been small miracle workers.

  11. Brandie says:


    Thank you for providing insight on what it takes to manage a line with more personalities than Sybil! Jack Bucknell Jr. deserves special thanks for keeping the unit cohesive and improving!

  12. Lad 9 says:

    BRANDIEEEEEE! How are you Muppet?

  13. Sarah says:

    “Brandy throws INT to end the game”
    We re sweeter words ever spoken???

  14. Sarah says:

    ER BRADY!!!! Damn you auto correct!!!!!

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