Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

« Font size »
Decrease | Reset |Increase

Morning Java: Pitt’s response to Franklin?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show today — 2-3 p.m. — will feature you. Again. We opened last week’s show with a ton of calls, and really good ones at that. That’s how I’d like to get started every week, by hearing from you and having a conversation about any topic at all.

So do it. Call me at 412-320-7925.

Feel free to email if you can’t call. But I’d really rather hear from you.

At 2:30, we’ll tackle the topic of Pitt football recruiting and how it might respond to James Franklin throwing down the dominate-the-state gauntlet the other day at Penn State. Our Pitt football beat writer, Jerry DiPaola, will visit in studio to discuss.

I’ll also catch you up on the latest from Consol after covering the Penguins-Capitals morning skate.

And, of course, more wit and wisdom from our @SuckMeter.

To listen, just click on the link up top. If you’re mobile, try the TribLIVE Radio app.

>> Pitt shakes off a sluggish first half to shoot down Georgia Tech. Kevin Gorman reports from Atlanta. The Panthers had to be just delighted to see James Robinson, in particular, step up as he did.

That said, no one player will replace Durand Johnson, by Gorman.

Here’s our full Pitt coverage.

>> The Penguins face off against Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals tonight at Consol, and Rob Rossi breaks down how a defense schemes to shut Ovi down.

What happened to those classic Pens-Caps matchups? Columnist Joe Starkey asks.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Capitals news from the Washington Post, including coverage of their lost last night to the Sharks by shootout.

Here are official game highlights from

>> Penn State players love Franklin, by Chris Adamski.

Also, Bill O’Brien rejects the notion that the Paterno Wackos drove him out of Happy Valley. Which I found curious considering I can’t recall that case ever really having been made. Unless I missed something.

>> The Steelers’ local TV ratings were down but still great, by Alan Robinson.

Also from Robinson on the Steel Mill blog, a contractual quandary involving Cam Heyward.

Interesting stuff yesterday from Ike Taylor on learning about the media by being part of TribLIVE Radio for so long …

Here are official game highlights from

>> The Pirates will invite top pitching prospect Jameson Taillon to the big-league camp in spring training, by Rob Biertempfel. Main goal with such moves always is to keep that pitcher near Ray Searage for as long as possible.

>> Hope to hear from you on the show. The Thursday column will be off Penguins-Capitals.

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. Bizrow says:

    A good win by Pitt.

    Anyone know where to get a good sized Jolly Roger flag?

    I need one for my window, have a good sized Terrible Towel hanging, it might be time to take that down ;-)

  2. Eric Bowser says:

    *Major criticism that I have with Jamie Dixon, he rarely has someone defending the inbound or having full court defense late in games with a lead. There was no reason for what we saw a few times with Georgia Tech easily going up the court and laying the rock through the nylon.

    But hey, a win is a win is a win. 4-0 in the ACC and Syracause on the docket. I’ll miss the game… will be on vacation.

    *I guess Wayne Gretzky knew what he was doing drafting Blake Wheeler as the fifth overall pick in the 2004 draft for the Phoenix Coyotes. I have no doubt, Ray Shero is going to make a big offer to Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to acquire Wheeler. Probably something like Pouliot, Bennett, and 1st round pick, which I saw Rossi mention. Evander Kane isn’t a player that fits the Penguins mold.

    * Keith Butler… let him go.

  3. Drew71 says:

    Maybe Dejan will let you borrow his.

  4. tdb1977 says:

    Probably not the answer that you want to hear, but I got ours when we were on vacation down on the Outer Banks 2 years ago. Picked up a 3’x5′ one while down there for vacation. Have been flying it ever since.

  5. Well, Pitt is 4-0 versus the ACC and this is also the Panthers’ first win versus Georgia Tech in 6 tries, and Pitt is now 16-1 and justifying its no. 22 ranking, and along with Coach Jamie Dixon, I couldn’t be happier. And now, it’s on to Syracuse on Saturday.

  6. JAL says:

    JAL’s Operator Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 MLB Important Dates

    4 Pirates Prospects Spring Training Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Top Prospects: #14 – Andrew Lambo

    First Pitch: Getting Uncomfortable With Andrew Lambo

    Six Pirates File For Arbitration

    6 Rumbunter

    All Pirates Fans Eyes Should Be on Tyler Glasnow

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Mariners to sign John Buck

    8 Green Weenie

    1/14: Billy Meyer, Chet Brewer, Hank Gornicki, Steve Cooke, Moises Alou, Adam LaRoche…

    9 Saber Bucs

    Gaby Sanchez: Baseball’s Best – at “HIS” Job

    10 Sports on Earth

    Waiting For A Sign

    11 Pirates 101

    Top 12 Series on the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 2014 Schedule

  7. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 San Jose Mercury News

    Rounding third, heading for the theater

    13 The New Yorker

    Baseball’s Worst Mascots

    14 Through the Fence

    The Hit List: Top 7 baseball scandals of all time (other than A-Rod)

    15 MLB

    Free-agent market offers slew of bargain opportunities

    16 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Pitcher Jeff Locke About to be Hosed — Temporarily

    17 New York Times

    Two Arbitration Rulings, Reflecting How Baseball Has Changed

    18 Baseball Nation

    Hey Cubs, where’s all that money going?

    19 Fangraphs

    Tom Glavine’s Allegedly Generous Strike Zone

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    Twelve Non-MLB Athletes We’d Like to See Playing Baseball

  8. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers 2014 Roster Projections: Tight ends/fullbacks

    Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley could make himself head coaching candidate in 2015

    22 Steelers Depot

    Steelers Likely Will Wait Until May to Exercise Cameron Heyward’s Fifth Year Contract Option


    23 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Premier League Double Dippers: Who Scores AND Assists the Most – Rooney, Suarez & Lambert

    24 The Telegraph

    Arsenal find perfect blend for solidity with centre-back partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny


    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Points Tuesday: Timing of Bennett’s Return Puts Pens in a Bind

  9. theplanisworking says:

    Try one of the vendors in the Strip District, Biz.

  10. Jandy says:

    Agreed on Kane.

    have fun in Disney :)

  11. theplanisworking says:

    What to do about Penn State’s “gauntlet”? Just recruit. One doesn’t win recruiting battles by talking. Both Pitt and Penn State have a much bigger issue………. Ohio State comes in to Pennsylvania and gets many of the top recruits. So, until that changes, I just tune out the white noise. Also, for a team to be successful in today’s NCAA, Florida, Texas, and California have to be recruited effectively. Look at the top schools, and see where their recruits come from.

    Pitt played an interesting game last night. Poor first half, great 18:00 of the second half, then almost gave the game away in the final 2 minutes. Yikes! Zanna continues to be a beast inside. Patterson had a poor scoring game last night, but had 7 assists. I know Pitt has had Syracuse’s number the past few years, but a much better effort will be needed to win Saturday.

    Can’t wait for the Pens game tonight. Love seeing Ovie slumped over in defeat every time. Very easy to dislike him. Yet another case of million dollar talent, 10 cent head.

  12. Jandy says:

    Can’t wait for the game….miss hockey…than no game until Monday.

  13. Jandy says:

    Ahhhh love me some Croce :)
    Thanks, JAL

  14. Jandy says:

    lol. I’m sure he could get one in the strip district and save the shipping :)

  15. theplanisworking says:

    For Milo, Casper, and a very few others here on the blog……..

    Last night, a rarity occurred in high school sports. The number 2 and 3 ranked teams in the state played this early in the year. New Castle went to Hampton and won 58-42. Yes, Pitt recruit Ryan Luther didn’t play due to injury, but a 16 point win on the road isn’t much to sneeze at. This is New Castle’s 58th consecutive regular season win, and the 6th consecutive win against Hampton.

    Normally the top teams in the state don’t face each other until late March.
    I feel like a soccer person on the blog talking about it.
    Now we resume your normally scheduled blog………..

  16. theplanisworking says:

    Who are you calling cheap? Biz, Jandy, me, or the flag? ;)

  17. Jandy says:

    Now ThAT’S a deal :)

  18. Jandy says:


  19. theplanisworking says:

    The Trib story says it was the fifth win for New Castle over Hampton the past 3 seasons, it’s actually the sixth. :)

  20. Drew71 says:

    Sprinkle in a vague air of anti-American snootiness and you’ll nail it.

  21. Steelkings says:

    DK’s Article: Want to whine, baseball? Go big

    Oakland and San Fran split a mid Major TV market. Cincinnati is a tiny TV market. Do you think there is a lot of money floating around in Detroit? The difference is Billionaire owners. Nutting is 25th richest owner in baseball. Which is about where their payroll is. In other words the more money you have gives you a better opportunity to win if you want to.

    As fans of a small market team we really need to be leery of things going the other way during the next collective bargaining session. Million/Billion – aires will be willing to give up more revenue provided the players give up parts of the guaranteed contract structure. Owners would like to see an NFL like structure but would settle for partial buy out structure like the NHL and the NBA. If that happens then you will really see the talent bar graph get stretched out.

  22. Considering the value of such an item, that’s remarkably low-priced.

    There. Is that better?


  23. Jandy says:

    bring it Hipposter…bring on more basketball ;)

  24. NMR says:

    58 in a row for New Castle? Dang.

  25. Jandy says:

    Feel better now, Hipposter?

  26. Jandy says:

    See? NMR likes basketball too :)

  27. NMR says:

    Ha, honestly made me question how much Franklin knows about recruiting this region, Plan.

  28. theplanisworking says:

    Mucho better-o. ;)

    Buenos mananas, Reverend.

  29. theplanisworking says:

    Yes, I do.
    Wouldn’t want to face the day being labeled “cheap”. ;)

  30. theplanisworking says:

    Honestly, I think he gave a great soundbite to fire up the alums.
    Nothing wrong with that at all.

  31. Jandy says:

    Spunky, you must be more “politically correct” :P

  32. hockeymonster says:

    That much for wheeler? Holy cow…i wouldn’t give up that much for kane who i believe is better.

  33. theplanisworking says:

    And most of the games aren’t even close.
    A couple of near 50 point wins, most wins by 20-25 points.

  34. Jandy says:

    hey it’s the Monster Mash

  35. hockeymonster says:

    Good morning Jandstar! :)

    I see that FF got a piece of that roundtable thingy.

    For the record…Rossi should have himself committed if he thinks shero will give up pouliout, bennett and a 1st for wheeler. If Shero makes that move i’ll reveal my identity by running naked down 5th ave to protest the move at consol.

  36. wally says:

    Pitt / Cuse in a slam dance on Saturday. Whats old is new again….

  37. Jim S. says:

    A quick post about Pitt hoops last night before I go back up top and work my down the comments from today:

    * I predicted 71-63, and the margin was pretty close. But, this was not really the game I expected. Pitt put on an offensive clinic in the 2nd half, after throwing the ball all over the place in the 1st half. 2nd half ball movement and passing were things of beauty. Very unselfish offensive effort.

    * Zanna and company were dominant on the boards all night. He has really made himself into a very good big man.

    * Big game by Robinson. He sensed Patterson was being shut down in the 1st half and seemed to make it a point to go to the hoop.

    * Pitt’s defense was awful for most of the night, IMO. They had no clue how to defend GA Tech’s big man. And, they allowed Golden to drive at will and shoot freely. I know he’s a very good PG, and I also knew he was throwing up 25-footers. But, whatever happened to guards playing defense with their legs? Keep the man in front of you. Their defense needs to get a lot better if they hope to have any chance vs. Cuse on Saturday.

    * Pitt moved the ball so well last night that they really did not miss the outside shooting and slashing to the hoop of Durand Johnson. I still contend they will feel his loss at a few very inopportune times this season.

    * Recent history says Pitt will go into the Carrier Dome and give Cuse all they can handle. We’ll see. 4-0 looks good. But, the defensive lapses last night did not.

  38. Jim S. says:

    Very well said, Lucky.

  39. Jandy says:

    Thanks for the link, Mash. Jesse is pretty cool.

    hahaha! love that last sentence!

  40. Jim S. says:

    That schedule is weird. They seem to play 4x per week for about a month, then 1 game in 8 days? Circus in town or something?

  41. hockeymonster says:

    I thought you said they wanted to hear from me?…do i need to take my talents to south beach too? :)

  42. Jim S. says:

    Red meat for the hungry masses. Talk them in off the ledge. All the kids are doing it!

  43. AJS says:


    The argument was somewhat made by David Jones of the Patriot News. After O’Brien left he wrote an article detailing a conversation where O’Brien told him that the fact that any of these “Paterno People” are criticizing anything he does makes him want to put his fist through the winshield of the car he was driving at the time. And that it would be the reasson Penn State would be looking for a new coach come the new year.

    It reinforced the fact that he really didn’t like the politics of college football coaching. He wanted to coach football. he didn’t want to schmooze boosters or put up with a fractured BOT. The fact that he fired Vanderlinden for what is believed to be calling out the D-Cooridinator that O’Brien named for being in over his head and suggesting they do things more like they did under the old regime points to it.

    While it wasn’t a very vocal argument it was out there.

  44. Jim S. says:

    I don’t even live in PA any more, plan, and I love hearing about it. They play again next month, right? I think Luther should be back, right?

  45. Jim S. says:

    Traditional ACC powers squaring off in a pivotal mid-season game for conference supremacy, Wally! :-)

  46. Jim S. says:

    He’s faking it. :-)

  47. NMR says:

    Once upon a time I actually played a little!

  48. NMR says:

    Been about a decade since I followed WPIAL hoops. Great to see NC back as a powerhouse. Lots of history there.

  49. NMR says:

    My thoughts exactly, guys.

  50. Jandy says:

    I think I’ll tell them to stay mum ;X

  51. casper in a-town says:

    Good morning, Mr. Plan. It’s a great day to be a New Castle and Pitt hoops fan. It’s great to see a fellow NC alum follow the Runnin’ Red Hurricanes. However, that seems to be the norm for those from NC. It never ceases to amaze me how the whole city, young and old, is passionate about NC hoops. NC fans travel like Steelers’ fans and so many listen to the game on the radio and over internet. I probably get more text messages from my friends when NC plays than I do when the Steelers/Pirates/Pens play.

    To add some statistics to Plan’s: New Castle is 68-2 in the last 70, with the only 2 losses coming in the state tournament. They’ve won 34 straight conference games and each of the past 2 seasons they’ve gone undefeated through the WPIAL championships. Their last loss was February 8, 2011 (Blackhawk).

    For those wondering, NC and Hampton play February 7th and the New Castle Fieldhouse. I fully expect NC to be undefeated and Hampton to have only one loss and both ranked very high in the state (NC should be #2 and Hampton in the top 5). It’s not very often we get to see such highly ranked teams on the state level play twice in the regular season and perhaps once more in the WPIALs.

    Have a great day everyone.

  52. absolute59 says:

    On Dixon, agreed. How about a little token pressure to make make GT burn some time bringing the ball up court and to make it a bit more difficult to get the ball into Golden’s hands who everyone in the building knew was going to take the shots.

  53. PetroSteel says:

    Can we talk about the Pirates?

    I’m driving to Maryland today to bring back a tall tatoo’ed dude. Anybody coming with me?

  54. absolute59 says:

    Plan: I’ll bite. About a week ago Section 3 had three of the top 7 teams in the state in Hampton, New Castle and NA. The other thing is that Hampton and NC were both AAA teams before last year and will be AAA teams again next year. Either one of them would have run away with AAA state crown.

  55. Milo Hamilton says:

    I was kind of down yesterday because I couldn’t see that game. Turned out I had a triple OT slugfest. I guess you never know.

  56. JohninOshkosh says:

    Props to Kevin Gorman for his great Pitt basketball beat reporting.

    God send to us in absentia Panthers fans.

  57. JohnS says:

    The David Jones article was pure baiting of O’Brien. Jones asks if he is bothered by the Paterno People questioning his firing of Vanderlinden. O’Brien supposedly erupts. Truth is it wasn’t Paterno people quesitoning firing Vanderlinden, it was all fans wondering why a very successful coach with multiple all pros would be released. I find that to be a natural response by a fan base.

    If he did erupt like that than he is in for a lot of anger in his career because every fan base questions every coaching decision. Just look at today’s blog, people don’t understand why Dixon doesn’t guard the inbounds play.

  58. JohnS says:

    I can’t believe that DK is trying to create a story out of “Dominate the State.” What will be Pitt’s response? That is our goal as well. If they would say anything I would be amazed. As Plan said the bigger issue is OSU coming into PA and poaching a lot of elite talent.

  59. Jandy says:

    Pens recall P3L, we will prolly get to see him play tonight:

  60. Milo Hamilton says:

    For all the obsessing about the weather for this year’s Super Bowl, there’s a good chance that it won’t even be the coldest one. Super Bowl VI in New Orleans was 39 degrees.

  61. Jandy says:

    Morning skate lines:
    James Neal, who missed the past two days with an upper-body injury, is back on the ice with the team for the morning skate. The group used the following workflow…



    Taken from the Pens website.

  62. Jandy says:

    39? 39?? 39????????????????
    That’s not cold, that’s warm!

  63. Milo Hamilton says:

    Tell me about it. Yesterday afternoon was wonderful.

  64. Jim S. says:

    A word of advice, Petro. If he says things like “STFD” don’t let it deter you from your mission.

  65. Jim S. says:

    And Michigan. And Michigan State.

  66. Jim S. says:

    How about Dallas a few years ago? I think it was ok for the game, but the lead-up was an icy mess I think.

  67. Jim S. says:

    Am I the only one who thinks James Neal gets little nicks and dings a bit too often? I love the guy, but c’mon.

  68. Drew71 says:

    Celsius, maybe.

  69. Milo Hamilton says:

    The weather outside was frightful but the game was indoors.

  70. Damon says:

    I have to agree – that is way too much to give up for Wheeler. I understand they would want Bennett because they are looking for forwards and not giving them up, but Pouliot is supposedly doing very well wherever he plays lately. I’d actually would be OK with Bennett and Despres (no pick) for Wheeler.

  71. Damon says:

    That 4th line should scare the bejeesus out of anyone trying to take a cheap shot or start a fight. Not sure how effective it will be, but man….

  72. hockeymonster says:

    They called up leblond too? At this point they should call up tom kostopoulous. #freeharryz

  73. wally says:

    Just win.

    Do that and the recruiting will take care of itself…

  74. bpn8pitt says:

    I went back and looked at where some of the top recruits in Western PA were considering and where they ended up the last few years. Maryland, Virginia, Virginia tech also get there share…You go down into the lower tiers Toledo, Western Michigan, Temple.

    Franklin and Penn State arent going to dominate anything. There goal should be to get the best of the best. And honestly FSU, Alabama, and the aforementioned Ohio States and Michigans take serious runs at those players.

    You watch the press conference once or twice on the Big Ten network and hear those remarks, and they sound foolish. Franklins going to rub a lot of people the wrong way.

  75. Jandy says:

    Damon, I thought the same thing! lol
    Big bodies….

  76. Jandy says:

    I am curious to see what Leblond is all about…

  77. scapper says:

    Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond….sorry, Hakan Loob, but you just lost your title of “Greatest Name in NHL History.”

  78. Steve says:

    Good post Jim. Pitt’s end of game defense in particular was disconcerting. Just gave too mush leeway to Golden who got hot. I think GT had something like six consecutive three point plays between Golden’s longe range bombs and the 7 footer making easy layups with the Pitt “defender” fouling him from behind. I think Dixon was being very cautios with Zanna once he picked up his fourth foul.

    The number of turnovers by Pitt was alarming to me.

    Nice to see Patterson find himself in the second half. He made some wonderful passes and had some big buckets. His three point play on the put back fairly late in the second quarter may have been what ultimately did in the Yellow Jackets. Mike Young with four big free throws late.

    Pitt doesn’t need to respond to James Franklin’s bravado. They just need to go about their business and recruit the best players they can to play football for the University of Pittsburgh.

  79. JoeyBats says:

    Folks….I’ve seen several recent comments about THE Ohio State coming in and poaching eilte Western Pa talent…….

    …and I’m sure that has been the case in some other years….(e.g., Mr. Pryor)… I decided to take a look at the 2013 Buckeye football roster.

    There are 2 players from Western PA….that’s all….and both seniors… it hasn’t been a long, recent history of poaching given the evidence on this roster.

    Corey Brown ….Monroeville PA
    Jordan Hall ……Jeannette PA

    I realize Coach LJ…..changes some of that dynamic….for the immediate future.

    As a PITT fan….I hope the the Panthers coaching staff is up to defending the turf (and am frankly disappointed in their UNDERWHELMING perofmance the past 2 years.) Tyler Boyd, last year, O.Lineman this year….yes…. but big losses elsewhere.

    ** gotta get better in Florida recruiting & in the rest of ACC land (especially on the Defensive side of the ball)

  80. Jordan White says:

    Those have to be the worst 3rd/4th line combos of the Crosby era.

  81. Milo Hamilton says:

    He’s about beating people up.

  82. Jandy says:

    Pierre L3 lol

  83. Jandy says:

    Ahhh! I’d like to see him do that to AO :)

  84. Milo Hamilton says:

    He said this morning he wants to make Ovechkin his 1st hit. We used to call a guy like that a deterrent. Just in case you guys want to start anything, we brought up Ogilthorpe.

  85. bpn8pitt says:

    Bats, there are a number of guys going back farther than that. Me, I count Terrelle Pryor in there along with Dorian Bell, who I think is at Duquesne now. Regardless of what you think of Bell now, guy was a top recruit. There are some DBs and Wr but I dont have time to look them up.

    Im sure Franklin got a player or two from PA while he was in Vandy but I seriously doubt there was some kind of pipeline going to Nashville… Who are some of Franklin’s assistants? Who’s his crack recruiting coordinator? Anyone? Bueller?

  86. PetroSteel says:

    Can we talk about the Pirates?

    I’m driving to Maryland today to bring back a tall tatoo’ed dude. Anybody coming with me?

    DK just called…He said he would drive. We are borrowing his Dad’s 75 Ford LTD…We should be able to fit at least 8 more. Come on, who is coming with us???

  87. hockeymonster says:

    @Damon and jandy(from above)

    Well if they’re that enamored with wheeler than i would understand Pouliot for wheeler straight up. Wheeler’s cap hit isn’t insignificant considering he hasn’t achieved much consistency in producing numbers worthy of that cap hit. Including bennett, even with the emergence of megna, would defeat the purpose of acquiring wheeler or kane. I’d be ok trading pouliout and sameulsson for Kane. Not crazy about his maturity but he’s still very young and could see him maturing in a hurry here.

    That being said, i dont think we’ll win the bidding war for any of the winnipeg forwards. I had an outside the box thought of trading for Big Buff as a forward on the cheap and playing him with sid. Lets see how many cheap shot punches Chara throws at Sid with Big Buff riding shot gun. But unless the jets eat half his cap hit i dont see that happening either.

    I wouldn’t include despres in a trade. He’s on the verge of being a legit top 6 dman and we’ve won too many games with him in the lineup. I wouldn’t budge on despres if i were shero. Bortuzzo, dumoulin, maatta and harrington should all be untouchable as well.

    I’d be more willing to include Pouliout who still needs seasoning before he can be relied on defensively. Offensively he’s a left handed Karlsson(perhaps with less goal scoring) but defensively he still has the lack of focus i noticed while watching Portland play. If he had the same drive without the puck as he does with it he’d be big time.

    My preference would be to go for a smaller deal. Marcel Goc and Brad Boyes keep popping up on my radar and my crystal ball tells me they’d be great fits to replace Super Duper by committee. Boyes is a right handed shooter and can more or less be a poor mans Billy G(ok maybe a very poor mans billy G) and Goc brings the speed on forecheck, backcheck, PK and he has hands and IQ. Most importantly they can be acquired for A LOT less than any of the other names i’m seeing and hearing about.

    Wonder what it would take to get Ryan O’Reilly out of the land of bigfoot and Stewart out of STL?!?!

  88. bpn8pitt says:

    Does Franklin or his assistants know any of the coaches at Clairton, Gateway, North Allegheny, Penn Hills, Central Catholic, Upper St Clair et cetera?

    Has he recruited any player from WPIAL? Out East?

  89. Milo Hamilton says:

    DISCLAIMER: This is not a political post, just a lame attempt at humor. Thank you.

    Widespread pothole patching & cameras there to capture it all. Ahh, the smell of a new mayor.

  90. Jandy says:

    Nice to know I was on the right track ;)

  91. Jandy says:

    Who’s buying dinner??

  92. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ask DK to take along his Jolly Roger flag. It might help.

  93. Arriba Wilver says:

    We haven’t had one for about a year and a half.

  94. hockeymonster says:

    Would you prefer the christie approach? :)

  95. patrick(ri) says:

    A great line in today’s Providence Journal from the head sports writer, Jim Donaldson (folks up here are still interested in Super Bowl match-ups, and the line anticipates Belichick vs. Carroll): “I’d say it was a stark contrast in personalities, except that Belichick doesn’t have one.”

  96. Jandy says:

    I’ve not seen O’Reilly play, does he have speed and can he think on the fly? You gotta have both to play with Sid. 31 points in 44 games is good. Have you heard any rumbles about him being on the block?

    The Pens just fixed Depres, no way he should go now.

    I’d love top have Bigfugginugly, but his cap is ridiculous.

    I think Wheeler could be a good fit with Sid, but not at so much expense. Pouliot and a pick or Pouliot and Bennett. Don’t want to see him go, but man, he seems too fragile.

  97. Jandy says:

    LOL! Now THAT’S funneh!

  98. Jandy says:

    I think Biz just got zinged ;)

  99. Damon says:

    Winnipeg wants forwards back in a trade, so I’m not sure they’d take two Dman for Wheeler. Don’t forget Wheeler is signed long term, and they would get Dupuis back next year, so they would be stacked with top-6 forwards – Bennett would therefore be somewhat expendable. Wheeler is a know commodity, and Bennett is still an unknown. You have to give to get.

    Buff isn’t fast enough to play on Sid’s wing, but he would be a good fit on the 3rd line…if he didn’t cost so much. He makes $5.2 million, and probably isn’t worth the assets needed to get him.

    I’d be OK with getting Goc if it didn’t cost too much. He’d be a good fit in Bylsma’s system, good fit on the Pens.

    O’Reilly keeps saying he wants to stay/re-sign in Colorado, so I’m not sure he is an option now. Speaking of Colorado, I read somewhere Shero is asking about Talbot…..hmmmm. He would improve the 3rd line in my opinion.

  100. Jandy says:

    he gets his share for sure….but man this team is plagued with injuries!

  101. Jandy says:

    tell me about it!!!!!

  102. Jordan White says:

    I am sooooo on the same page as you. Good comments.

    I also wanted to add, and I hate myself for complaining about one player, but why does glass get a spot on this roster? He’s so redundant with craig adams. If they switched jerseys, would anyone notice (it’s a joke, don’t bring up lh vs rh)? I feel like we need to bring in “the bob’s” to ask him “what exactly would you say you do here?”

  103. patrick(ri) says:

    Having watched countless interviews on local tv, I thiink Donaldson is correct. What adds a bit of spice is that Belichick replaced Carroll.

  104. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not intentionally. ;-)

  105. Jandy says:

    I’ve always liked Big Buff, but you’re right, Damon, he’s too slow….but he sure could kick some azz!

  106. absolute59 says:

    Franklin’s D coordinator is Bob Shoop who is from Oakmont.

  107. hockeymonster says:

    Jandstar, O’Reilly is big time. Not really thinking him as RW for sid but he’d be great anywhere in our top 9 and he’s a RFA after the season so he’ll need a new deal. He’s making 5M this season and i have a feeling the Avs would need to either trade him or Stastny. He can play center or could be LW with real deal and geno. That line would be lights out. Believe you can guess who’s cap hit i would try to move to make that happen. Just believe wheeler is too perimeter oriented to really mesh with sid, especially in playoffs.

  108. bpn8pitt says:

    Well there you go…Wasnt exactly lighting the world on fire at Columbia, University of Obviously, and Vandy though was he?

  109. hockeymonster says:

    Like i said, dont believe the jets are the trading partner we need. And about Bennett being unproven, i’ll just say that wheeler’s career high is 21 goals. He is on pace to exceed that and one year he did have 64 points but IMO he’s too perimeter oriented to mesh with sid when it counts.

    Big Buff with sid would be highly entertaining….i think milo would approve :)

  110. Jandy says:

    I just googled him. Yeah now I remember who he is. he sat out half the season to make a point.
    But yeah, he’s good. So, you wanna trade Letang for him eh? ;)

  111. Jandy says:

    Bennett can score. the question is, what will he break next?

  112. hockeymonster says:

    How’d you guess….

  113. hockeymonster says:

    Not sure we should hold that against him. If you get slashed not sure what you can do other than maybe try gloves that protect further up the wrist.

  114. theplanisworking says:

    Very much agreed. New Castle has the odds against them in AAAA, as the Philthy schools are just so loaded every year. Matter of fact, when you look at the top 10 in the state, New Castle will be #2, Hampton #6, and NA #7. New Castle beat those 2 schools by 16 and 22……….. the rest of the top 10 is Philly schools.

  115. theplanisworking says:

    Casper, that’s because there isn’t anything else to do besides follow the kids. ;)

    But the fanbase is large, and passionate.

  116. theplanisworking says:

    Do you broadcast basketball games also, Milo?

  117. Jandy says:

    I can’t say one way or another if he’s that fragile or that unlucky.
    But man, this injury thing….team-wide….sure is getting old.

  118. Jandy says:

    a little monster told me ;)

  119. theplanisworking says:

    What??? You are bringing Rodman back??? ;)

  120. Jandy says:

    Oh Good Lord! Mercy!

  121. theplanisworking says:

    Drew is buying dinner……….

  122. Damon says:

    Wheeler had 19 goals in the 48 game season last year that projects to 32-33 goals which is pretty much his pace this year. Wheeler reminds me of a younger Dupuis which we know would fit well with Sid. I’d be all for getting him – especially since he is signed long term, and he could be the fit on Sid’s RW for awhile. If not, he’d work on the 3rd line as well.

  123. theplanisworking says:

    He is gonna shut down the potholes, instead of a donut shop?
    I’M IN !!!!!!!!

  124. Jandy says:

    Ha! Count me in, then ;)

  125. Jandy says:

    $5.6M cap hit is high…especially for the 3rd line…

  126. theplanisworking says:

    Great story coming out of the 49ers-Seahawks rivalry……..

  127. Damon says:

    I guess you’d be betting on him playing well with Sid. That is a tough number to work with though, and that’s why I’d say maybe either offer much less for him than Rossi said, or offer Bennett and Despres and have them eat some of that salary.

    I’m sure Shero has other players he is kicking the tires on as well. Wheeler is just the name we keep hearing in rumors. That player needs to be top-line capable though, and that is going to cost a lot.

  128. Jim S. says:

    Maybe he helped recruit Jeter of Beaver Falls for hoops. :-)

  129. Jim S. says:

    Agreed across the board, Steve.

    Good point about Mike Young. Very nice stroke from the line.

  130. Jandy says:

    I agree on the cost, for a top liner…let’s see what kind of magic Shero can work.

    In Shero We Trust

  131. Jim S. says:

    And he blogs here. Move over, Howie! Milo’s the new King of All Media.

  132. Jandy says:

    that’s cool stuff, Hipposter :)

  133. Curtis Bray, former assistant coach at Duquense and Pitt and currently at Iowa State, collapsed and died at 43 this morning while working out. May he rest in peace.

    DK: I went to Gateway with Curtis. Knew him. Changing gears and writing Thursday column about him, his life and one very valuable lesson it teaches.

  134. Jandy says:

    Hear, hear!!!

  135. Milo Hamilton says:

    And he’s never scored much when he has played.

  136. Jandy says:

    Oh My! :(
    Sad…only 43…

  137. Jim S. says:

    Wow! That is really sad.

    Wasn’t Curtis the Parade HS Player of the Year as a senior? Or, am I mis-remembering?

  138. bpn8pitt says:

    I actually thought Shoop’s Ivy league background was impressive, :) but I guess we’ll see about Big Ten defense and recruiting. Penn States D needs a serious infusion of talent from the handful of games I watched last year.

  139. Milo Hamilton says:

    Sure, let’s bring a slacker into the country club.

  140. Jandy says:

    true…he’s shown flashes, but never really scored much.

  141. Jandy says:

    Who are you referring to, Milo?

  142. theplanisworking says:

    WHAT ?? ;)

  143. theplanisworking says:

    So sad!

    Paul Rhoads must love the Western Pa. connections.
    His newly named offensive co-ordinator is New Castle’s, and former Kansas HC Mark Mangino.

  144. Vette60 says:

    Haven’t closely followed WPIAL hoops in awhile, but sure do remember NC fans really showing up on droves at playoff games. My HS was A or at times AA and NC sometimes took the court after our team.

    Going to those HS playoff games was a blast and some of the most fun I had was when my school played at the Field House for the championship.

  145. Jandy says:


  146. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yes Plan, hoops too. The good news here is that you don’t have to hear me talk. :)

  147. Jim S. says:

    Are there as many Shoops in CFB as there are Stoops?

  148. Jandy says:

    c;mon Milo, don’t put yourself down like that :)

  149. Arriba Wilver says:

    That reminds me, was there ever any report as to Evan Chambers’ cause of death? He was only 24.

  150. Milo Hamilton says:


  151. Jandy says:

    That’s weird, a search brings up nothing … Dec 2 he died….autoposy should have taken 2 weeks at most…but…nothing!

  152. Damon says:

    Man that is sad. Being 43 myself, it is also scary….

  153. hockeymonster says:

    He’ll need a rocket booster up his azz to catch him…

  154. theplanisworking says:

    I am sure you would be just as good as JAL on his broadcast. You would “own the booth”. :)

  155. Jandy says:

    LOL Monster!

  156. hockeymonster says:

    Good call on last season being short Damon. But i still believe he’s not capable of grinding it out in the playoffs. JMO

  157. Jandy says:


  158. hockeymonster says:

    Very sad…way too young.

  159. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t consider that back-pedaling per se.. God knows we all say stuff we wish we hadn’t at times. And weren’t the comments made during a car ride, where his guard may have been down? And he didn’t say the “Paterno people” weren’t annoying. ;-)

  160. Damon says:

    Who knows really. That’s why I Amen-ed Jandy’s In Shero We Trust. He knows who will work, and I am sure Sid will have someone suitable to play his RW soon.

    Maybe Sutter will get a hat trick tonight and be the answer on Sid’s RW. Or not.


    Will Bucs renew their pursuit of a Division Title, or renew their pursuit of a high draft pick?


  162. hockeymonster says:

    I think being within a month means DK wont give you any bold reamings for bringing it up…

  163. Jandy says:

    true dat, AW.

  164. Jandy says:

    After being caught nekkid on TV, he jus might ;)

  165. theplanisworking says:

    WHO’S ON FIRST????????????

  166. hockeymonster says:


  167. Jandy says:

    third base!

  168. Bizrow says:

    Sounds like Neal May be in the lineup tonight

  169. Jandy says:

    indeed, Biz, that’s what I heard.

  170. theplanisworking says:

    Vikings to hire Mike Zimmer as HC.

    Browns owner Haslam preaches patience regarding their HC search, as another person says no to them. Look at Haslam’s face to see how he is handling all this……… ;)

  171. Bizrow says:

    Big picture wise, PVC will always be looking at tomorrow

  172. theplanisworking says:

    Any luck with the flag search?

  173. Jim S. says:

    I think it really is about revenue, Steel. Some owners may be willing to take a loss (Detroit), but most of them are at least looking to break even, I think.

    The Nuttings definitely are not billionaires, or near that. And they seem to insist on earning what they consider a certain level of profit each year. That may put the Bucs at a competitive disadvantage with owners who are ok with breaking even or even accepting a small operating loss because of their huge net worth. It can be frustrating that our owners are not willing or able to stretch as far as many others.

    I think local TV $$ is where the disparity in revenue really is, and that is about the size of the market. It is about eyeballs available – just like all of the conference realignment in CFB was about. And, the right demographic eyeballs at that.

    San Fran / Oakland / San Jose is not a mid-level market, btw. It is a huge market.

  174. JoeyBats says:

    LJ’s #1 recruit…..just flipped from PSU to Florida ==>

    ” PSU’s top recruit, Thomas Holley, a 5-star DL just flipped to Florida ”

  175. Bizrow says:

    Not yet, but thanks to all

    I’m currently sitting in the car listening to the FAN while the better half is using some of her severance benefits.

    When we get home, I’ll go on the net and order one :-)

  176. Jandy says:

    You’re a keeper, Biz :*

  177. buggee says:

    I’m leasing out my room-sized Jolly Shuttlecock. Me give you good price.

  178. Don’t bet the family jewels on that Monster Mash.

  179. Arriba Wilver says:

    There was a report last year or the year before that the Nuttings were worth a billion.

  180. hockeymonster says:

    Thanks jandstar! That is some funny stuff!

  181. Jandy says:

    :covers eyes:

  182. Jandy says:


  183. hockeymonster says:

    Would never bet those on anything :)

  184. Jandy says:

    My Dad laughed his butt off at those guys…sweet memories :)

  185. JohninOshkosh says:

    Former blog whipping boy, Rod Barajas, has retired. He will manage SD Rookie League team.

    Happy trails, my good man.

  186. Jim S. says:

    Definitely not. Plus, who needs an extra set if you win that bet?

  187. Bizrow says:

    NH was just on the FAN

    Nuttin really new. Still talking to AJ

  188. Jim S. says:

    How long can those conversations be?

    NH: Hey, AJ. What are you doing?

    AJ: Not much. Honey do list, mostly. Just re-painted bathroom #6.

    NH: So, have you changed your mind about coming back?

    AJ: Are you willing to increase your offer?

    NH: Would it make a difference?

    AJ: I don’t know.

    NH: Ok, talk to you next week.

    AJ: Ok, bye.

  189. Jim S. says:

    I bet it took a lot of practice to get that routine just right.

  190. bpn8pitt says:

    I like Kershaw a lot, but man, for a guy that only plays every 5 days thats a ridiculous amount of change.

  191. Jim S. says:

    Really? I never heard that.

    What are the Pirates worth? North of $500M now, right?

    I honestly did not know the Nuttings were worth that much.

  192. Jim S. says:

    7/$215M for Kershaw. I guess that eliminates one of our competitors in the AJ Burnett sweepstakes. :-)

    Seriously, though, how much are the Dodgers going to pony up for Tanaka now?

  193. pattonbb says:


    But he’s the best starter in the game. No way LA could not lock him up.

    It would’ve been interesting to see what free agency brought him, though.

  194. Jim S. says:

    It’s ridiculous for anyone. Can’t argue there. But, on that 5th day he is the most important guy on the field, by far, I think. And, he’s the best pitcher in MLB.

    Still … Wow!

  195. Jim S. says: has announced their Top 10 RHP prospects, and #5 should be interesting here. Also, notice who else they talked about right after the Top 10?

  196. JohninOshkosh says:

    If my math is correct when starting division to get a yearly breakdown: 7 goes into 21 3 times…

    I’m a big fan of Kershaw both as a pitcher and a human being. I know he will put a lot of that money to good use. But, still, wow….

  197. hockeymonster says:


  198. Brandie says:

    That puts a lot into perspective. Make your moments count. Cherish your loved ones. May Curtis Bray rest in peace. Prayers to his family.

  199. Steelkings says:

    You are right about it being a large market, but its split 2 ways.

Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back | Stories Behind Trib Stories  

» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News