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Morning Java: Safety first

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show will return at its usual 2 p.m. Wednesday slot next week. Today will be a travel day to Florida, Fort Myers, specifically, where the Pirates and Twins will play. I’ll be there for six days, four columns and a bunch of other stuff.

>> So the Steelers put safety first in signing Mike Mitchell, formerly of Carolina, to fill the spot now officially vacated by Ryan Clark, as beat man Alan Robinson reports.

It’s a smart move positionally, it’s above-and-beyond in terms of how the team usually operates in free agency, and it might end up even better from the personnel standpoint. Mitchell is only 26, he’s a former second-rounder, and he very much comes with the bio and background and overall feel of a highly capable talent with an upward arrow. Fact is, if you look in particular at his reputation as being a fierce hitter who sometimes crosses the line, then picture him paired in the secondary with Troy Polamalu, it’s hard not to think of him as a younger, faster version of Clark. Sniff at that all you want, given how Clark performed last season, but for the first half of 2012, he might have been the Steelers’ overall MVP. The guy could play.

Beyond that, it’s always worth applauding when the Steelers a) recognize a real shortcoming and b) find the dollars and the will to address it from the outside. They’ve made a bed with these recent drafts, but it doesn’t mean they have to lie in it.

Here’s the Trib’s Steelers page.

>> Brooks Orpik and the Penguins swept the Capitals in a home-and-home, this time by a 2-0 shutout. Josh Yohe reports from Consol.

I asked Sidney Crosby about his backbreaking goal in the third, specifically how he played off Chris Kunitz on the two-on-one …

Random bloggery from the rink: Lee Stempniak wasn’t one of the official three stars, but he should have been along with Crosby and, of course, Marc-Andre Fleury for his shutout. Stempniak was strong on the puck, quick to move it and, above all, the guy can keep up. Remember, that’s priority No. 1 with Crosby and Kunitz. “No question he’s got the wheels,” Crosby told me afterward. “He can do a lot of things quickly.” Don’t expect this spot to be handed to Beau Bennett. Stempniak deserves a shot. … Orpik really was that good. As Dan Bylsma observed, he was extra-physical Monday, then extra-smart last night, but that made for a 1-2 punch for which Alexander Ovechkin had no answer. … I don’t know that there’s a player anywhere in the NHL less invested in a game’s outcome than Washington’s Mike Green. Man, what’s happened to that guy? He was never good defensively, but he at least went through the motions. … Simon Despres will keep getting called for interference so long as he keeps holding up his man on the right-wing boards every time the puck goes beyond them. Refs aren’t stupid. They remember who does what. The call against Despres in the third was exactly the right one, and it’s well past time he learns from it. … Did Craig Adams and Taylor Pyatt really log more ice time in the third period than Evgeni Malkin and James Neal? … Which aspect of Fleury’s 32-save shutout impressed him most, I asked? “That I wasn’t really busy at all early on. It wasn’t an easy game to get into.” Typical goalie. They’d always rather have shots than not. Fleury faced six in the first period, 20 in the third. He was equally sharp throughout. … If you’re a Pittsburgh fan, you should pray for a first-round matchup with Washington. And not just for the usual historical reasons.

Here’s the Trib’s Penguins page.

>> An Andrew McCutchen sequel for 2014? Travis Sawchik looks back and ahead on a spring off-day for the Pirates.

Here’s the fourth episode of our Jameson Taillon video series, by Rob Biertempfel and Chris Horner

Here’s the Trib’s Pirates page.

>> Robert Morris lost big in the NEC championship game, by Paul Schofield at the Sewall Center. Columnist Joe Starkey writes that there’s no shame in the Colonials’ season.

>> Pitt can learn from ACC tourney history, by Kevin Gorman.

>> Duquesne has found a sharp-shooting gem in Micah Mason, by Chris Harlan. And Mason, I might add, is exactly the kind of local recruit the Dukes need to pursue like their lives depend on it. Not necessarily NBA height or material, but deadly from the outside.

>> I’ll visit with my friends at TribLIVE Radio today at 12:30 p.m., live by phone from Hammond Stadium, southern home of the Minnesota Twins.

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.

Comments

  1. Mizery says:

    First!! Great win by the Penguins. This is how they need to play if they want to win the cup. Very disciplined on D. Washington just looks awful. They need to overhaul their roster (minus Ovie, of course), because they don’t look cohesive out there.

    Great signing by the Steelers. If they get DE Carrington previously of the Bills, then I think we upgraded the roster without paying the big bucks we thought they would need to do it.

    I don’t always post, but there has been some good stuff to comment on lately.

  2. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I’m extremely happy about the Steelers acting on the first day of free agency.
    They obviously targeted Safety Mike Mitchell…And got him.
    This was much needed effort by the FO, and they’ve shown me that they mean business by the swiftness of their actions.

    I watched Carolina several times this past season, and that was one impressive defensive unit.
    Hopefully….Mitchell can add some much needed toughness to the Steeler defense.

  3. DK: Been terrific having you. Hope you stick around.

  4. theplanisworking says:

    A totally uncharacteristic move by the Steelers signing Mitchell … but one that was necessary. I think Mitchell’s speed will help Troy, by allowing him to freelance a bit more than last season, something he couldn’t do too much of because of Clark’s declining skills. This also means Shamarko Thomas gets to learn the LeBeau defense another year, something Troy benefited from in his second season.

    The Pens looked very good last night. The D was solid, Ren and Stempy played very physical on the boards, and MAF looked solid again in net. That the Pens outchanced, and outhit the caps, but only scored two goals was a bit of a mystery, but Halak always seems to play the Pens tough.

    And finally, I understand Ovechkin has won Art Ross and Hart trophies in his career, but I can’t help but feel he is overrated. He can score goals, yes, but he doesn’t make any teammates better, exhibits no leadership skills. Quite the contrary, he helped get Boudreau fired, and disappears in the playoffs and Olympics. Yet another classic case of million-dollar talent, ten-cent head. Glad he implodes regularly when he faces us. Seems like a long time ago Ovechkin was THE thing in the NHL.

  5. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, and one more thing: Jonathan Martin was traded from the Dolphins to the 49ers. If he thought Incognito was bad, wait till he plays for Mr. Sunshine.

    I wish him the best in all seriousness.

  6. theplanisworking says:

    Mitchell played for Ron Rivera, a very good defensive coach.
    Hopefully, he blends in well with LeBeau’s schemes.

  7. Ghost says:

    The Steelers secondary just got a lot quicker.

    But I appreciate these years we had with Ryan Clark. He helped bring two Super Bowl titles to Pittsburgh. He was the Steeler defense’s version of Hines Ward in wearing his heart on his sleeve and always speaking from that heart. And he was a Steeler to the end. Alan Robinson’s story cites the warm welcome he sent out to Mitchell and the gratitude he expressed to the Rooneys and the organization on his way out.

    Thank you, Ryan Clark.

  8. Brandie says:

    Point is Ryan Clark manned up and accepted what was to befall him with grace and humility…which is a lot more than I can say for LaMarr Woodley, Gladiator.

  9. Brandie says:

    I like the signing by the Steelers. They identified a pressing defensive need and addressed it by signing Mitchell, a quality player instead of a spot filler. Penguins also addressed pressing needs by acquiring players who could mesh well with the veterans and provide line consistency in Goc and Stempniak. In both cases, the farm was not mortgaged.

    Kudos to prudent results-oriented business decisions.

  10. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    DK: Headed out to our airport in back of Yellow Cab with guy playing NPR and changing gears every 2.5 secs. Odd mix.

    Should be at Fort Myers Starbucks — a good one off Daniels Parkway — around 10 a.m.

  11. Matt says:

    “Mr. Sunshine” recruited and was his head coach in college. The move makes total sense.

  12. JohninOshkosh says:

    Renée Montagne rules!

  13. defil21 says:

    Now this draft will be key just as much as last year’s and with all the picks we should have with compensatory included Colbert, Tomlin, and Company need to hit on at least 6-7 of these picks. Not all need to be starters but if 3-4 can be and another 3 make it for depth purposes the Steelers should be on there way back to winning the division and playing for the first round playoff bye. I’d be smiling like a butchers dog if we could get Velasco, Cotch, and either Woods or Hood re-signed.

  14. JoeyBats says:

    I don’t like the Steelers’ Mike Mitchell signing………………
    ….I LOVE the signing!

    Totally uncharacteristic of the organization on Day # 1 of Free Agency (….but VERY necessary).
    * Frees up one draft spot to going shopping for their many other glaring needs >>>>>

    Cover Corner, Inside Linebacker, Outside Linebacker Depth, D.Line Depth, Splash Play receiver (WR or TE), O.Line depth, Running Back depth

    I’m disappointed they haven’t signed Cotchery yet. Shows there is no meeting of the minds internally….that should have happened already :-(

    Would prefer they keep Woods @ the D.Line……Ziggy Hood is a “bust” in my analysis. Let some other team babysit him. I would only keep him as a last resort…at the absolute veteran minimum. Agree, with some of my friends (above) ….hope they can UPGRADE the D.Line with Carrington (F.A.) ….or draft.

  15. Jandy says:

    Miz, I echo Dejan. Stick around and join us more.
    Does biz have your hometown in Dejan’s Lunatics’ Directory?

  16. Milo Hamilton says:

    See you tomorrow in Port Charlotte. Duty calls, have to go to Tampa today so I can give everyone a comprehensive report on the Tigers bullpen. :)

  17. BillyBaduka says:

    Well said.

  18. And now, it’ll be interesting to hear what Ryan has to say as an analyst, probably for ESPN, for which he’s likely been angling all this time.

  19. And now, the Pens will be playing the Flyers back to back this weekend. And, hopefully, they’ll play just as well against them as they did back to back versus the Capitals.

  20. I LOVED the Penguin game last night. Marc Andre Fleury is showing he has returned to elite status. I can’t wait for the Playoffs to see the proof.

    Except I am confused———I have learned from this blog’s hockey “experts” that Dan Bylsma doesn’t make adjustments and he never matches personnel. So I guess that means that the Pens were really LUCKY! last night that every time Ovechkin went on the ice last night, it happened to be Brooks Orpik’s turn to also go on the ice. And Orpik ate Obechkin’s lunch, with 7 hits and allowing Ovechkin ZERO shots in the first 2 1/2 periods and only 2 overall. This is the same Alexander Ovechkin who leads the NHL in both shots AND goals.

    Boy, were the Penguins LUCKY! to have Orpik’s turn come up so often at just the time Ovechkin was on skates, since Bylsma doesn’t match or adjust. And the Pens were luckier still that Orpik did so well, because I have learned from these same blog “experts” that Orpik is no good anymore. That Orpik should be benched for Bortuzzo and/or Engelland. And that one “expert” here is fixated on Orpik’s contract status for NEXT year when we are in the stretch run for THIS year’s Cup. Boy, are the Penguins LUCKY! that old, decrepit Brooks Orpik happened to be on the ice every time Ovechkin was skating and that Orpik happened to fall into Ovechkin 7 times at just the right time.

    Oh well, with a coach like Dan Bylsma and defensemen like Brooks Orpik and goalies like Marc Andre Fleury, it’s better to be lucky than good, I guess.

  21. JAL says:

    JAL’s 98.6 Morning Links

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykN6Cz05bLM

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsjN0zO-DxI0dDNkaWxFNWIwNDVUQzEwYXp5SlpGNkE&usp=drive_web#gid=0

    4 Pirates Prospects Spring Training Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/st2014

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Most Important Pitch For a Pirates’ Pitcher?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/03/first-pitch-the-most-important-pitch-for-a-pirates-pitcher.htmll

    The Art of Pitching: Mastering the Sinkerball

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/03/the-art-of-pitching-mastering-the-sinkerball.html

    6 City of Champions

    Could Russell Martin Be Pittsburgh Pirates Team MVP In 2014?

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2014/03/11/pittsburgh-pirates-catcher-russell-martin-bucs-mvp-2014/

    7 Rumbunter

    Sad State of Affairs in Pirates Search for Depth

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/03/11/sad-state-affairs-pirates-search-depth/

    8 Call to the Pen

    Pittsburgh Pirates need Russell Martin – for a variety of reasons

    http://calltothepen.com/2014/03/11/239592/

    9 SaberBucs

    Tuesday Poll: Should the Pirates Have Paid Garrett Jones?

    http://saberbucs.net/2014/03/11/tuesday-poll-should-the-pirates-have-paid-garrett-jones/

    10 Minor League Ball

    PCL Tales: Joe Sprinz’s attempt to catch a baseball from a blimp

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2014/3/11/5491812/pcl-tales

  22. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Beaver County Times

    Could be last chance for Pirates’ Snider to prove his worth

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/pirates/could-be-last-chance-for-pirates-snider-to-prove-his/article_72eff44e-60d8-503d-b80d-892d296388ab.html

    12 Pacific Daily News

    Rookies who will be on the radar in 2014

    http://www.guampdn.com/usatoday/article/6308635&usatref=sportsmod

    13 CBS Sports

    Spring buzz: Here are14 major leaguers who could be moved

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/jon-heyman/24478126/spring-buzz-here-are14-major-leaguers-who-could-be-moved

    14 Pirates Site

    Pirates fan growing up, Kinney living the ‘dream’

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/pit/pirates-fan-growing-up-reliever-josh-kinney-living-the-dream-in-bucs-camp?ymd=20140311&content_id=69113288&vkey=news_pit

    15 Washington Post

    San Jose wants to overturn baseball’s antitrust exemption

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/03/11/san-jose-wants-to-overturn-baseballs-antitrust-exemption/

    16 NY Times

    Scoring a Baseball Bargain at Spring Training

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/11/travel/scoring-a-baseball-bargain-at-spring-training.html?_r=0

    17 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Injuries keep Reds’ roster plans in flux

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/blogs/2014/03/11/reds-injuries-roster-opening-day/6290253/

    18 St. Louis Post Gazette

    Gordon: Depth allows Cards to stay patient

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/jeff-gordon/gordon-depth-allows-cards-to-stay-patient/article_b4f8f9b5-ac11-5773-ac14-cf209a8d7a7b.html

    19 Fangraphs

    When Position Players Get Away from Coors Field

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/when-position-players-get-away-from-coors-field/

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    The BP Wayback Machine Rick Ankiel and Guillermo Mota: Two Careers in Player Comments

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23015

  23. Jandy says:

    Oh My!

  24. Fine Girl,

    Woodley had a contract and Ryan Clark did not.

    Clark has been transitioning for his “life’s work” for the last two years. His bombastic words about his teammates and recreational drugs shut the locker room door more than Woodley’s tweeted pictures.

    There’s more than one way to burn bridges.

  25. Jandy says:

    Pssst! Groat! Fine Girl has a job interview today, wish her luck!

  26. Jandy says:

    So, the Pens have three days off to heal up some bumps and bruises and get ready for Philly. Another back to back rivalry weekend. Sweet.

    Good to see the Steelers doing something smart in the Mitchell signing. Keep up the good work, guys!

  27. Brandie says:

    Groats and Honey,

    That may be but it seems like, for 5 minutes anyway, Clark did the right thing and did not go out like a screaming egotistical pompous windbag. He saw the writing on the wall that said…due to attitude issues, declining skills, and an azz ton of pomposity, we don’t want you anymore. He was more gracious in his exit than Woodley, who knew what he was signing and did not hold up his end of the contract.

    BTW…I like you. You can call me Fine Girl forever.

  28. Wild Bill says:

    Find myself confused with your endorsement of the interference call on Depres, DK. I understand the matter of reputation, but a d-man doesn’t literally have to move out of the way of an o player who wants to go by him. Depres was backing up and staying on the line he’d established, which is what the broadcast crew noted.

    It seems like a subjective call by officials whenever it is called, but I guess most of them are.

  29. Brandie says:

    Safe travels Dejan.

  30. Wild Bill says:

    So the Steelers are moving out less productive players AND bringing in young capable replacements??? Who’da thunk it?

    And then there’s Ike.

  31. Brandie says:

    Good way to inject a bit of perspective into the pitchforks and torches crowd. :)

  32. I saw the Pens game last night on NBC Sports and some of the Robert Morris debacle versus Mount St. Mary on ESPN 2 and I would certainly hope that the Colonials can do better in the NIT Tournament.

  33. Well? We’re all waiting…

  34. Not 1 typo. BTW, what can I call you?

    ;)

  35. Wild Bill says:

    Groat, I’m very pleased for Orpik. Always have liked him. I’m not owning everything that has been said on the blog about him recently, and which you are citing, but what I have said was that since the concussion he seemed more reluctant to engage physically, and that’s always been the best part of his game.

    In the last week or so, he’s clearly turned that corner, and I’m thrilled for him, and for the Pens, who need that element.

  36. Fine Girl,

    Knock ‘em dead in your job interview!!!

    I’d hire you in a second! You express your self well! Let ‘em see that and THEY are the fools if they don’t hire you.

  37. Couple random thoughts:

    Despres might have developed a bad reputation for the interference call but last night he did move out of his line. He established his ice skated backwards in a straight line but when the Caps player skated into him the ref called despres. Crafty play by the Caps player more than a penalty by despres.

    Crosby is obviously making a late run for the selke on top of everything else. His last few games are what datsyuk looked like in his prime when he was wracking up cups and selke’s.

    Geno on the other hand is looking like he may need some…ah the hell with it. Somebody tell comrade geno to snap out of it already!!!! Jandiskova, i’m authorizing you to use methods not sanctioned by geneva conventions.

  38. Dom says:

    But what about Shamarko Thomas? Why did the Steelers use a 3rd round pick to draft someone who they’re not going with as a starter? With the acquisition of Mitchell and with the extension of Troy, Thomas might not be a starter until the last year of his contract.

  39. Brandie says:

    Anything your Revvie heart desires.

  40. Jandy says:

    Agreed Wild One. It was ridiculous and put the Pens in a terrible position at the end of the game. Time for me to bring back my Garage League avatar!

  41. Interesting to hear Dejan’s view of that call on Despres.

    Both Bob Grove and Phil Borque on the post-game called it a Phantom Call and no penalty.

    Different eyes . . . . different calls on the call.

  42. Jandy says:

    Ha! He needs my size 9 wides in a special spot for sure!

    He also needs to sit a game or three to think about it.

  43. Brandie says:

    If it becomes more of an open competition, then Shamarko better step up his game.

  44. Jandy says:

    No wonder Depres is a head case. He’s dayumed if he does and dayumed if he doesn’t!!

  45. Domske,

    Mitchell is better than Thomas.

    Defense was poor last year, from the back forward. What more reason do you need?
    A team needs more than 2 safeties.

  46. stewart says:

    My sister and nephew are carolina panther season ticket holders and love Mitchell Said he is fast and a hard hitter but a little loose in his coverage. Surprised to hear he’s only the 10th best safety in FA?

  47. Jandy says:

    that’s not always a bad thing. And if Troy goes down, the fill in will be ready.

  48. JandyGirl,

    I LOVE that “garage league” avi!

  49. JohninOshkosh says:

    (Copy and Paste)

  50. BillyBaduka says:

    Thomas is built for Strong Safety. FS is not his natural position. Why waste a year of training and development with him in a position that he won’t stay with long term?

  51. Brandie says:

    BTW…Touchdown Tony…When you post on this site, your posts come in either as defil21 or under your first name Anthony with a few letters of your last name. I felt bad for calling you by your first name, especially if that freaked you out a bit.

  52. Wild Bill says:

    10th best? For 5 mil for 5 years? He’d better be better than the 10th best FA safety at that price.

  53. BillyBaduka says:

    And now, for something completely different…

    The Larch

    http://sacredcalf.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/larch.jpg

  54. likeabugonarug says:

    The announcers on the NBCSN telecast thought it was a good call against Despres. I don’t think he kept a straight line, I think he drifted. But, I think the main reason for the call was that he stuck his forearm up and into the chest of the Caps player. And there is where the impeding.

    But, don’t see anyone complaining about the phantom call that Maatta drew against Backstrom. From the one angle, I don’t think the stick even caught his face. And there’s no question he intentionally skated into the stick. It was right there in front of him, and where he was looking, the whole time.

    Kevin

  55. Jandy says:

    Good for Maatta ;)
    he’s a fast learner!

  56. Brandie says:

    And then there’s Ike!
    And then there’s Ike!

    And then there’s Ike!
    And then there’s Ike!

    And then there’s Ike!
    And then there’s Ike!

    And then there’s…

    That uncompromising, enterprising, anything but tranquilizing…

    RIGHT ON IKE!

    Long way to go for a “Maude” reference.

    With apologies to Norman Lear.

  57. Jandy says:

    Time to bring it back!

  58. BillyBaduka says:

    LOL

  59. Jim S. says:

    Well said, Ghost and Brandie. Clark handled this with class. Maybe he wants to be a coach in the league, or a commentator. If so, I think he took steps toward setting himself up as a class act.

  60. Jandy says:

    LOL! ya nut!

  61. BillyBaduka says:

    I was surprised by the length and amount of the contract considering Mitchell’s ranking.

    Maybe there isn’t much guaranteed.

  62. Jandy says:

    Oh mY!

  63. Jandy says:

    Getting ready for the snow and winter again, Jimster? Did it hit you yet?

  64. Jandy says:

    :blushing:

    Awwww…

    :*

  65. Jim S. says:

    What does that profile say now, Jandy?

  66. Jim S. says:

    We got about 5 inches. It started as rain last night, then turned to hail, then snow overnight. So, it is the really thick, heavy stuff. We are over 80″ now. That is so much for us. I hope this was the last.

  67. Those rankings mean nothing! What matters is how the Steelers see him fitting into their defensive system.

    And no other team in the National Football League has a safety like Troy with whom to partner. I just hope Troy gets to play safety this year and not linebacker.

  68. Jim S. says:

    I can’t recall the last cab I was in anywhere in the US where NPR wasn’t being played. I think it must be the only station they get.

  69. JohninOshkosh says:

    I get Starkey’s overall sentiment that Robert Morris should not feel shame about the loss last night to Mount St. Mary’s. I get they were depleted with personnel.

    Nevertheless, they lost at home again in the conference tournament final. They lost to a below .500 team. I was way more impressed with MSM game plan. The coach had eight players to deal with to formulate his offensive and defensive schemes. When I was taught basketball, eight is enough.

    Apparently, criticism in Pittsburgh about coaches not making adjustments and teams failing to advance in the postseason are limited to the high profile sporting organizations. I don’t expect Starkey to rip a small school or college kids, but I don’t think a “no shame in losing” column was necessary, either.

  70. Jim S. says:

    Cotchery may want paid, Joey. I think he has one last contract coming. They signed Mitchell, but there can’t be much money left.

  71. Brandon says:

    I agree w/Wild Bill’s thoughts. Orpik has been subject to frequent turnovers when the opponent is strong on the forecheck. He was exceptional against the Caps – a true Pen! The Flyers will be better forechecking team to judge puck retrieval and turnovers…DK’s comment regarding Depres’ laziness in properly playing right side dump-ins will need to be fixed as well; Depres is improving and strong on the puck if he can avoid those issues.
    No way Bennett is on the top line consistently for this year…Stempy has been a great upgrade. MAF continues to be underappreciated by the mainstream. Looking forward to seeing him shut down the Bruins.

  72. The big 29er has spoken.

  73. Oops…meant to say despres didn’t skate out of his line.

  74. If I had a company, I’d hire you. Anyone that can think on your feet (or other body part) like you, I want in my company.

    Problem is, the only company I have is a church and it’s too small right now to hire even a janitor. You would be drastically over-qualified for this state job, although my friends at Protection and Permanency across the hall could sure use someone of your skills.

    Anyway, I believe you’ll be blessed in your interview today and have favor with God and man.

    :D

  75. Dom says:

    Come on everyone, Ike isn’t so bad…

  76. In the Guess the Theme contest this week, I haven’t got an entry. Care to share, Joe?

  77. Jim S. says:

    & Bea Arthur – pre Golden Girls. Although she already seemed like a Golden Girl as Maude.

  78. Jim S. says:

    Most frustrating player I can think of. Totally dominant when his mind is right. His mind is not right often enough, though. In about 6 weeks, his mind had better be right.

  79. Jim S. says:

    I think Ike has been great, Dom. And, he loves this team and this town, which is commendable. But, last year showed me that he is past the point of starting and playing above the line. I’d be ok with him as a back-up/situational player this year.

  80. Two years in a row they should have had that 16-seed in the tourney and they’ll be hosting an NIT game. No shame in playing in the Nobody’s Interested Tournament. Now, if you believe that and 21 wins is OK, I have property here in KY you will definitely like.

  81. Brandon says:

    Dom,
    Thomas had been designated as a strong safety…I.e. – Troy’s backup. His skills don’t fit as well for free safety, but he should get plenty of opportunities in 5 & 6 d-back sets before Troy hangs (em up.

  82. Jandy says:

    He’s sulking. An attitude adjustment will do just fine :)

  83. Jandy says:

    I’m just as lost as you are, Revvie.

  84. DJ says:

    Orpik has played two solid games in a row. I actually thought he was better last night than Monday night from a positioning standpoint. But two games does not a season make.

    I don’t believe anyone on this blog wishes any ill will towards Brooks. I certainly don’t since he used to be one of my favorite players. If he plays well down the stretch and into the playoffs that also improves our chances. I think everyone would welcome that.

    We’ll all see if that happens but I’m certainly not going to be holding my breath, just based upon his recent performance, and by that I mean the last two years. Let’s hope he surprises.

  85. Dom says:

    No, Ivan the great corner isn’t a starter anymore but he would be a credible backup.

    CB is probably our biggest weakness at the moment. Cortez is good but injury prone. Gay is just under the status of being a credible starter.

    I’d expect us to nab a CB in the first two rounds of the draft. Hopefully, someone like Justin Gilbert will fall to us.

  86. Jandy says:

    ewwww…it’s coming our way. To start raining now, with thunderstorms thru early this afternoon and snow by 6 this evening. That’s to only till about midnight or so, but the wind starting this evening is 20 – 30 mph with gusts to 50. I HATE that! Grrrr! And temperature is to steadily drop…tomorrow morning it’s to be 6 degrees with a wind chill of -13!!!

  87. BillyBaduka says:

    I hear ya.

    The Steelers think he’s better than that ranking. I hope they are right and they probably are.

    I’m more surprised by the 5 year term than the 5 mil a year.

  88. Very enjoyable oldies, though.

  89. Jim S. says:

    I have been harsh on the direction of the Steelers this off-season. And, I think they have handled a lot of payroll/salary cap issues pretty badly for a few years now. But, I give them credit for boldly targeting a young, talented, athletic safety and going and getting him on Day 1. I wish they could get a few more players, but I don’t know if that is possible without cutting more players and setting up more cap space problems down the road. This draft is critical. I think there is still so much to be done with this roster. But, 26 year old players with upside are who they should be targeting as free agents. Well done, Steelers.

  90. Jim S. says:

    At least, we don’t need to draft a safety in those slots.

  91. BillyBaduka says:

    +

  92. Brandie says:

    Because I like to make folks smile and as a way to say thanks for the vibes, I have decided to pen a beginning to the song above…

    Joey Porter was a mouth sort-a…
    He didn’t care if the whole world looked.

    Ryan Clark, with the “Swag” to guide him…
    He was a brother who really cooked!

    Ooh ooh ooh ooh

    And Troy Polamalu
    Was quite a barn burner!

    Man we’re glad he showed up!

    Oh Yeah!

    And when the defense was fallin’ apart…
    Lamar Woodley couldn’t make the cut!!!!

    And then there’s Ike…

    I thank you all!

  93. pattonbb says:

    Raiders drafted him in the 2nd round a few years ago. Most teams didn’t even have him on their Draft board. Until last year, most considered him a total bust.

    Last year he signed a 1 year deal with Carolina and became a fan favorite. He’s fast and aggressive, but known for taking some dumb penalties. Most Panther fans feel his stats were the result of playing behind one of the best front 7s in the NFL.

  94. Jandy says:

    hear hear!!!

  95. DJ says:

    I like Ike’s signing for one year. If we had at least one proven, first-tier cornerback in the fold already, then I might feel differently. We don’t. The jury is still out on Cortez Allen and Willie Gay is a Grade B back-up to play in nickel situations.

    One year of Ike to teach a new corner the ropes is a good bridge to the future.

  96. Excellent. Will you be here all week and should we try the veal?

    :o < singing emoticon

  97. DJ says:

    Agreed. One less position to draft but, more importantly, to develop.

  98. BillyBaduka says:

    This is why the term surprises me.

    If he had done this more than one year, long term contract makes more sense.

    I like the signing, I just hope the Steelers will not have to carry much dead money if it looks like he isn’t working out in year two.

  99. Dom says:

    I really only see the Steelers drafting one of four guys in the first round:
    Justin Gilbert CB
    Darqueze Dennard CB
    Eric Ebron TE
    Mike Evans WR

  100. chethejet1 says:

    Steelers have to get a corner and could still use a FA cornerback as well. That is a no brainer. Later can address WR 2nd round as draft is deep and inside Lber and DL as well.

  101. Jandy says:

    profile? You mean my Garage League avatar???

  102. Jim S. says:

    I can honestly say that I knew of him, but didn’t know that much about him, patton. I never have reason to watch the Raiders unless they are playing the Steelers, and I don’t see Carolina all that often.

    I am reading the criticisms of him, as well as some optimistic viewpoints. I am hoping the Steelers see the upside and potential. They used to be as good as, or better than, any NFL team at this sort of thing. I hope they hit the mark on this signing.

  103. cosmo says:

    Couple o Steeler tidbits, Greg Warren has been resigned by the team. Al Woods to visit Titans, and Woodley to visit Raiders.

  104. Jim S. says:

    Yes, I meant your avi. Sorry, for the mis-statement. It was different earlier this morning. It had a sign that said congratulations, but all of the words were too small to make out. Anyway, it’s gone and the Garage League avi is back.

  105. Jim S. says:

    We did not get the cold this time. It was high 20′s when I left this morning, and I think it will be back to 40 or so tomorrow, and 50′s on Friday.

  106. That ESPN piece on Mitchell’s signing mentions the Steelers’ successes in FA like Clark and Farrior and also the one that tanked, the Sean Mahan signing. I might add Duce Staley to the tank list, although he did have a couple decent seasons with us.

    I hope they hit the mark, too, Jim.

  107. Brandie says:

    Possible Woodley to Raiders?

    Dumpster Fire Alert!

    Seriously…might as well write the contract on toilet paper right now.

  108. scapper says:

    Saw a great article on blahblah.com that explains how the Pens have managed to win 44 games despite being coached by that Bungling Bylsma and also how Dumb Dan is directly to blame for the 17 losses.

    Oh yeah, and the last two paragraphs expertly break down how Mr. Ineptitude’s handling of the shootout lineup cost them those four OT losses. Brilliant stuff. About time somebody exposes this farce of a coach who has once again managed to stumble his way to the top of the Eastern Conference.

  109. Jandy says:

    Interesting stuff about Tanner Glass from the Pens’ website:
    http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=709133

  110. JohninOshkosh says:

    Best wishes on your interview, Brandie.

    I hate job interviews but, when I was unemployed, I went to so many that I sort of got used to them. Sort of a devil may care attitude developed. I hate questions about your strengths and weaknesses and where you see yourself 5 years from now and all that crap. I’m sure you will do great and have learned all the right answers. “My greatest weakness is that I have an over attention to detail and cannot accept anything other than perfection!” Just once, I wanted to go all Larry David and say, “look, I need the job because I need money to live and benefits to keep me healthy. I’ll do my best for you as long as you will have me and I am here!”

    Anyhow, good luck. I can tell you have a personality that is fun to work with. If I was in a hiring position, that would be one of my top concerns.

  111. Jandy says:

    :blink:

  112. Jandy says:

    eww..that would be on dirty contract ;)

  113. Wild Bill says:

    To what tune should we sing it, Brandie?

  114. theplanisworking says:

    I am guessing a health theme somewhere……….

  115. Jandy says:

    there’s my silver lining :)

  116. Jandy says:

    It was a certificate about Being A LOONIE, Planimal found it and I stole it for a bit…I’ll use it again some time :)

  117. Brandie says:

    It is the theme song to the TV show “Maude” which is continuing on a theme you floated with your…And Then There’s Ike comment.

    You inspire me Untamed William!

  118. theplanisworking says:

    Dom,

    players need 2-3 years to feel comfortable in LeBeau’s D.
    Happened to Troy.
    This year is a crucial year for Shamarko.

  119. Wild Bill says:

    With all our yak about Depres and Orpik this morning, let’s not forget a shout out to the Flower, who was in full bloom last night. Hope he gets both Flyer games this weekend.

  120. Brandie says:

    You are a gentleman and truly Wisconsin’s Finest.

  121. Brandie says:

    See your above post for the explanation.

  122. Wild Bill says:

    Sorry, wasn’t a Maude watcher, and didn’t catch on right away.

  123. Milo Hamilton says:

    A message to Neil Huntington. The Astros have released Brett Wallace. I know things haven’t gone so well at 1st base this spring but please, please resist the temptation. That’s all. Off to Tampa, it’s going to rain.

  124. Jim S. says:

    Well, Ervin Santana won’t have to face the horror of only making about $9 million this year in some place like Baltimore. Atlanta, apparently desperate, signed him to a 1-yr $14M deal this morning.

    The Braves’ GM Frank Wren said the team’s top brass agreed to go well over their projected payroll limit with this signing. They want to win now.

  125. Jandy says:

    Be safe and have fun, Mye lo!

  126. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree with Ghost. And the difference in contract status is relatively meaningless.

  127. Brandie says:

    It is okay. Just consider it a wicked trip through the windmills of my mind.

  128. Arriba Wilver says:

    Lions and tigers and bears.

  129. Brandie says:

    What is Detroit, Detroit, and Chicago?

  130. Arriba Wilver says:

    Daily Double (triple?)!

  131. theplanisworking says:

    BRAN !!

  132. bpn8pitt says:

    On the fence about the Mitchell signing. I mentioned Shamarko Thomas in a post yesterday. Mitchell is a little bigger, more experienced. But are they not the same type of safety? On line with Clark no less. Why the heck did you move up in the draft last year to select Shamarko only to put him back on the bench this year? Why the heck re-sign Will Allen?

    I didnt think the Steelers biggest problem was coming up and playing the run (although, there were tackling issues). I thought the secondary’s main issue was coverage.

    So we now have two free safetys under 27, that are more known for tackling than coverage and a Strong Safety who took a lot of snaps at LB last year. An Ike Taylor who’s clearly lost a step, a disappointing Cortez Allen and an aging Willie Gay. Will Allen. Thats your secondary?

    Remember the Steelers are trying to stop AJ Green and Cincy’s receivers/TE, Dennis Pitta and Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron- among others. As well as good pass catching RBs like Giovanni Benard and Ray Rice.

    Would have preferred a center fielder type safety myself.

    But what do I know, I think Edison Volquez sucks…

  133. Brandie says:

    Hope you are enjoying scrolling through the posts.

  134. Jandy says:

    LOL!

  135. theplanisworking says:

    Yes, you do bring sunshine to this cloudy day.

    Some others, they bring clouds to any sunny day.

    I am glad you are always the first category.

    Good Luck later on that job thingy.
    Break someone else’s leg for luck.
    As a fallback, maybe you could do the interview in Muppet voices?

  136. Mizery says:

    Yes he does. Not from me though. I live in Denver, which is why I get to post so early. His morning blogs are up around 9:30 MST. From Duquesne about 2 blocks from Kennywood. Thanks for the warm reception DK and Jandy.

  137. Brandie says:

    Funny thing…

    I used to do Muppet voices when I did therapy with kids.

  138. Sarah says:

    Agree.

    And Groat, just say what you mean, we’re big boys and girls.

    You think Eric, DJ, Plan, and myself are FOS when we say that DB does not make the most of this team schematically or with personnel choices.

    Fine. He does match occasionally. Such as When he faced Crosby in the Olympics.
    And Orpik is not useless….but in our opinion frequently outmatched and not contributing the way he used to.

    A couple of games showing otherwise is great. 4 years showing something different holds more water in our books.

    But the passive refs to “so called experts” is just getting old.

    Just say what you mean. And back it up.

  139. Sarah says:

    Also if one shutout shows you that MAF has returned to elite status, I’d suggest you rethink that and wait until say June for a more informed evaluation.

  140. theplanisworking says:

    And, I am sure that the kids loved it, and you for doing it.

  141. Jandy says:

    My pleasure, Miz. Pop in more often :)

  142. Arriba Wilver says:

    And I understand their TV contract is in the bottom half of the league.

    ;-)

  143. bpn8pitt says:

    No pass-rushers, DT or MLB?

  144. Brandie says:

    Revvie…you and I need to get together one day and create an agency that combines both of our skill sets. We could focus on how to grow families using positive communication and play. I envision it as a live in program where we can have identified families work on budgeting, securing and maintaining employment, and learning how to have disagreements with one another without endangering themselves or their kids. We could make it happen! :)

  145. Jandy says:

    I’ll say this, Brandie said it above. This weekend will give us a better perspective on how well players are doing. Back to back with Philly. bring it on!

  146. Brandie says:

    You truly are a warm hearted lady.

  147. pattonbb says:

    Mitchell and Thomas will be the starting safeties in 2 years. Mitchell has played a lot of FS and SS.

  148. Brandie says:

    Hope you enjoy your stay here in the asylum.

  149. bpn8pitt says:

    You know, Mitchell was on a one year 1 million dollar deal with Carolina last year. Only got to play when Godfrey got hurt. While I admit he played well, he was on a team with a much, much better pass rush. No matter who is back there, if they dont get to the QB it wont matter.

  150. Jim S. says:

    I heard that SOME teams got extra national TV $$ this year. And, of those that did, some of them applied it to this year’s payroll. It’s just a rumor at this point. I’m still trying to get to the bottom of it.

  151. Jim S. says:

    Al Davis passed away. They now write contracts on napkins, thank you very much. ;-)

  152. bpn8pitt says:

    Carolina had 60 sacks to the Steelers 34.

  153. Thundercrack says:

    I think the Braves just want to win. Two of their starting pitchers are hurt. They need someone to help fill out the rotation

  154. Dom says:

    Broncos sign Aqib Talib. Pats fans must not be too happy with their team.

  155. Andrew says:

    That was post 2004-05 lockout call when there were 5.85 power play opportunities a game Currently it sits at 3.33/game. While I think make up calls are more myth then reality, I think the officials were looking for a penalty after the questionable high stick minor that Maatta drew.

  156. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yeah, this off season made it perfectly clear there was a lot of money floating around MLB. Not just the usual suspects spending it.

  157. Sarah says:

    I think the fact that Orpik has recently been paired with Maatta, who’s forced to play on his off-side, tells us a lot about what the coaching staff thinks of Brooks.

  158. Sarah says:

    Groats not just citing. He’s calling people out without saying so.
    Just say so dude.

  159. Brandie says:

    Cottonelle vs. Bounty. Classy!

  160. Jim S. says:

    That’s exactly it, TC. Their GM is saying the top brass has allowed him to go to an uncomfortable place as far as payroll for this year.

    For Santana’s part, he was out begging for work one day, then squeezing hard for top dollar the next. Timing is everything.

  161. The Gunner says:

    Wallace isn’t coming to Pgh, I guarantee it

  162. JohnS says:

    She amazingly had “old lady” hair for a very long time.

  163. Dom says:

    I mentioned some of the same sentiments earlier.

    I have nothing against Mr. Mitchell. I’m sure he can be a great safety and he’s certainly a safer option since he’s a solid three inches taller and has a more proven record. But, since we did dedicate that third rounder on Thomas, he should have been given the keys.

  164. 21sthebest says:

    “The Braves’ GM Frank Wren said the team’s top brass agreed to go well over their projected payroll limit with this signing. ”

    How convenient.

  165. Dom says:

    I suppose we should add Louis Nix and CJ Mosely to the list. I did get the impression from one local writer that the steelers are not looking to draft ILB early but it could certainly still happen.

  166. Brandie says:

    And Tom Hanks when he was in drag on Boson Buddies was her younger doppelganger.

  167. pattonbb says:

    Pat fans will be giddy when they land Revis.

  168. Dom says:

    I thought the browns were looking to obtain him.

    Speaking of which, I find it interesting how many acquisitions the Browns have been making as of late.

    If they can obtain a QB they would be a playoff caliber team.

  169. bpn8pitt says:

    Agree, Dom. Got nothing against Mitchell either, hope he plays well. But he played in 4-3 system with Hardy, and Charles Johnson at DE and Star Lotulelei and Kris Jenkins up the middle. Thats a hell of pass rush and a far cry from what the Steelers currently do.

    Isnt it gonna take him 7 years to learn how to play the Lebeau’s system? lol

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9992021/carolina-panthers-stellar-defense-blast-past

  170. Jim S. says:

    It’s nice to have extra salary cap money for just such opportunities. I heard Cleveland is making a strong push.

    You would think a local kid might even offer somewhat of a hometown discount to the team he grew up idolizing. Alas …

  171. cmat0829 says:

    Santana is healthy, to be sure, and he’s a solid major league pitcher…but he is not an ace, nor will he be an ace on the Braves staff this year. 1 year contract at $14M not a huge deal, but Braves are now well behind the Nats in that division and battling it out with the Mets and Phillies IMHO.

  172. JohninOshkosh says:

    Notre Dame plays Wake Forest at 1:00 ET on ESPN2 in opening game of the ACC tournament.

    Pitt gets the winner tomorrow.

    Big East tourney tips off today at magnificent MSG. Kinda strange Pitt isn’t there.

    PAC 12 tournament opens today in Las Vegas. Not too shabby of a road trip for kids from those schools.

  173. JohnS says:

    Great Call. Buffy and Hildegard hanging at the Susan B Anthony Hotel.

  174. Thanks be unto God.

  175. cosmo says:

    It may take a huge discount for the hometown team to get him.

  176. Yes, we could. As long as it’s up there and not down here. No offense to the blog, but the looneys have run the asylum so long in these parts, you can’t tell which is which.

    There is hope for the northern region. Some amount of sanity still exists there, but here, you can’t tell the players without a scorecard, or even who the players are. Like that book, Animal House, all the pigs are dressing and standing and looking like people. And the rest just say “we will work hard”.

  177. Jandy says:

    Amen!

  178. Dom says:

    Oh, I forgot he’s from Aliquippa.

    Yeah, he should come play for us!

  179. Arriba Wilver says:

    Church Lady sighting,

  180. JAL says:

    The theme is no there. I am counting down the KDKA Aces of the Air survey from the week of January 9 to 15 of 1967. 98.6 was number 40.

  181. JAL says:

    That is the theme is no theme

  182. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t get the logic of putting a guy in a position because of where he was chosen in the draft, same thing with how much a guy is being paid. I thought it should be based on the best players.

  183. Thanks. Makes perfect sense.

    :)

  184. Arriba Wilver says:

    Too many numbers for me.

  185. JAL says:

    The tournaments are often fun to watch but they have little meaning to most teams. A few bubble teams can make their case and then there is the team that has no chance to make the tournament which wins the tournament and knocks out a bubble team

  186. Dom says:

    Anyone know the line on that game?

  187. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t know, but I would think having a conference tournament crown means something to the team that won it. I can guarantee you that Virginia winning the ACC regular season (not the tournament, but not the NCAA’s either) for the first time in 33 years means something to them. And every school has banners up in their buildings about all the stuff they have won.

  188. JohninOshkosh says:

    Absolutely. ++++

  189. JohninOshkosh says:

    Which one ?

  190. Dom says:

    Notre Dame / Wake Forest

  191. absolute59 says:

    “‘uncomfortable place’… you mean the back of a VW?

  192. bpn8pitt says:

    Wilver, you just watched a team win a Super Bowl with undrafted free agents and late round picks on defense. Hence they were cheap. It allowed them to sign guys Percy Harvin and so forth…The Steelers moved up in the draft to take Thomas. Now, Im not sold on him, but using the NMR “Andrew Lambo Deserves a Look” Theory, did you honestly see enough of the guy to say, no we need to spend 25 million on this guy over here instead? Could that 25 million come in handy signing Ben, Pouncey, Heyward? Maybe another defiency in 2015?

    This is another example of the Steelers preference to play veterans over young players. And I think its stunted the development in some players, while creating needs out of bad circumstances in other situations.

  193. JohninOshkosh says:

    This was for both JAL and AW. Excellent points, both.

    For years, the Big Ten did not have a postseason tournament (Bob Knight hated the idea for one and, two, the league played round robin conference play). I was conditioned to hold the conference play in high regard. But, I like the banners at the Kohl Center, whether for regular season or conference tournament champions. I still refer to those teams as the Big Ten champions so I guess it matters to me.

    The Ivy League still has conference play determine the NCAA representative. It is old school, definitely. Also, the conferences that only send one representative are often bitten by the tournaments. Just witness UW-Milwaukee last night. That’s it for the Horizon. A mediocre representative to the Big Dance and the team with the best conference record playing in the NIT.

  194. JoeyBats says:

    RE: Shamarko …..

    * odds are Troy does not play a full 16 games in 2014

    * better odds …Shamarko plays a lot in the nickel and 6 man package

    * if I were a betting man…..(Steelers redid the Troy contract for “CAP” reasons) …I’m betting >>> Troy hangs them up AFTER the 2014 season

  195. bpn8pitt says:

    Ive seen Shamarko Thomas play a hell of lot more games than Mike Mitchell, if you go back to his Cuse days. Mitchell might be a good player. But he also might be a guy that landed in a good situation and just cashed in. Over the years there have TONS of free agents like that.

    To be perfectly frank, I didnt know who Mitchell was until yesterday and some of the comments on here talking about his age and ability are comical. Dude was a draft bust by the Raiders and was a backup on one of the league’s best D’s this time last year.

  196. Crematorium,

    “1 year contract at $14M not a huge deal.”
    Don’t dare repeat those words in front of BMTIB.

    Apparently Pirates did not get the $21-27 million ($6 held back for league) that the other teams got.

  197. JohninOshkosh says:

    The lines I have seen have Notre Dame as 3.5 to 4 point favorites.

  198. Jandy says:

    ZING!!!!!

  199. Dom says:

    Thank you.

  200. Arriba Wilver says:

    You may be right, overall, but not because of where he was chosen in the draft. Consider for a second that the Steelers, after seeing him up close, MAY think they made a mistake, or may think he needs a lot more development. . Should they still give him the keys because of said “mistake” so they aren’t admitting it to themselves? I’m talking about the logic of playing him solely based on where he was picked in the draft, which is what Dom and you seemed to be saying.

    And I don’t know if the investment is good at this point, either, but how much of that $25 mil is guaranteed? That’s the key issue if we’re talking about the expense. Because of the cap rules stuff gets done a little differently than MLB where all contracts are guaranteed.

  201. JAL,

    Having grown up with the ACC, the Grandaddy of all Tournaments, the ACC Tournament is a BIG DEAL! Teams like Wake Forest and Clemson and North Carolina State know it’s their last chance to have a meaningful season. It is better to go and lose in the Big Dance than to make the semis of the NIT. This is their chance to grit their teeth and make their season shine! Everybody wants to be Jim Valvano’s NC State.

    I would rather DUKE win the ACC Tournament than the regular season title. I congratulate Virginia on its 33 year quest and conquer, but I’m looking for my Dukies to Take Them Out!! That’s the banner I want, along side another National Championship banner.

  202. JoeyBats says:

    Dom……SPOT ON with the 4…………and 6 names you have listed for the Steelers for Rd. # 1 ! :-)

    (i didn’t see a REPLY on the item below)

  203. bpn8pitt says:

    It worries me that the Steelers just handed 25 million to Mitchell and whatever they give Worilds in the coming days, and collectively 2013 was the first time they both saw significant playing time. But your right, if Ive learned anything the last week or so, its that these contracts are pretty meaningless and the NFL’s cap is a lot softer than anyone thinks it is.

    I think they should have blown this up after Dallas, Wilver. There plugging holes instead of building in my opinion and are just wasting some good years of Roethlisbergers.

  204. 21sthebest says:

    :-)

  205. bpn8pitt says:

    Thought this a good list. Some very good ones in there, but also a lot of forgettable ones.

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/03/history-of-steelers-free-agency-signings-under-kevin-colbert/

  206. 21sthebest says:

    Judging by the number of teams that get to conference tournaments, for a lot of them their only remaining chance to get to the big one is winning or a great showing at the conference tournaments. So I would say they have a lot of meaning for a lot of teams.

  207. david s says:

    don’t forget if a ping pong ball had bounced differently, ovie would have been a penguin. instead, we get malkin. funny how things turn out. sometimes you win by losing.

    DK: Not necessarily. Craig Patrick insists to this day he would have taken Malkin over Ovechkin with the top pick.

  208. Steelag70 says:

    I happen to really like this signing of Mitchell. The thing to remember is that Mitchell was brought in to play FS. Shamarko Thomas is a SS…so Mitchell is not blocking Thomas.

    As for Mitchell being a draft bust, he is viewed that way because Al Davis reached waaaay to early for him due to his fascination with speed. Throw in a constant state of upheaval with that team and it is easy to see how his development could have been stymied. Mitchell was finally able to be in a stable situation last year and produced.

    The NFL always seems to pay on potential and projection. I like his upside.

  209. Arriba Wilver says:

    We take what we can get. :-D

  210. Steelag70 says:

    Steelers re-sign Cody Wallace to 3yr deal…

  211. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree about the concern overall on plugging holes and missing Ben’s good years left. I’m crossing my fingers that cutting Woodley, etc. and signing Mitchell is a recognition they needed to do something different. But the draft will still be the key. Fingers still crossed.

  212. bpn8pitt says:

    Agree Wilver. Not only do they got to hit with that #1, they got to find a few late round gems.

  213. Jag7 says:

    Caddyshack line stealer!

  214. BillyBaduka says:

    To Lucky (no reply link under his post on my mobile)

    I think you mean ‘Animal Farm’ not Animal House.

    Both fine works but very different in tone and subject matter.

  215. Brandon says:

    Thanks Jandy – good article which outlines with the stats what most have been seeing – Nisky has been great!

    Now, they definitely need to prioritize him….particularly in lieu of Orpik!

    On a related note, interesting to see that #4 “on the ice for the least # of goals allowed” chart is Ben Lovejoy, a message to the staff and FO regarding some of the younger, physically good d-men like Depres & Dumoulin.

  216. bpn8pitt says:

    Guy played on a much better defense, and better pass rush FWIW

  217. bpn8pitt says:

    Hell, Bats. Lol. They may go back and re-negotiate next year. I dont even understand it anymore to be honest.

  218. Arriba Wilver says:

    Great points, Steelag70.

  219. Pitt will face Wake Forest tomorrow afternoon, and, hopefully, the Panthers will do as well as they did against the Demon Deacons as they did during the regular season.

  220. Dom says:

    Is the game in Pittsburgh?

  221. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think they’re in Greensboro. But Pitt has a better ACC record on the road.

  222. Jim S. says:

    And, if UVA wins both the regular season and conference tournament, they will have had one helluva season.

  223. Jim S. says:

    They have been carefully collecting draft picks and shedding dead weight. They were one of the top 3 teams as far as room under the cap. I have been saying for awhile here that I think the Browns are getting their house in order.

    The truck stop guy that was a Steelers investor before buying the Browns seems pretty intent on winning to me.

  224. Jim S. says:

    Good post, Arriba! How true about that Pitt record this year at home vs. road. Strange season for them.

  225. Dom says:

    I dont know if i like our odds.

  226. Arriba Wilver says:

    If we’re talking odds, I like them better in Greensboro than at the Pete.

  227. Dom says:

    Do you think we’ll win?

  228. Arriba Wilver says:

    No frickin’ idea. Even if we knew who the opponent was, which we don’t.

  229. Dom says:

    I thought we faced the winner of Notre Dame and Wake Forest…

  230. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pitt will play Wake Forest at 2:00 ET tomorrow at Greensboro Coliseum.

    Winner of that game takes on North Carolina Friday at 2:00 ET.

  231. Arriba Wilver says:

    We do. What’s the point? I don’t frickin’ know who will win. I think that puts me comfortably in the ranks of 99.9% of the population.

    What do you think?

  232. Dom says:

    just looking for others opinions.

    Id say wake forest.

  233. Jim S. says:

    As this season has shown, they can be losing (or winning) by 5 with :30 to go, and we still wouldn’t be able to predict the outcome with much certainty.

  234. Jim S. says:

    The Browns have released Brandon Weeden. He was drafted #22 in the first round, and played 2 years for the Browns. He will be 31 in October.

    I liked it when the Browns were the team that did things like drafting really old guys with 1st round picks and a whole lot of other stupid things. I don’t think they are that team any more.

  235. Nate83 says:

    That seems about right. How long did Couch, Quinn and McCoy last? It seems like two years is about the expiration date on Browns QB’s.

    Well at least Weeden is old enough to retire and at least there was one team run badly enough to take him in the first round and give him all that bonus money when most teams probably had him as a 3rd rounder.

  236. cosmo says:

    Housecleaning under new ownership continues.

  237. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think you have a 50-50 chance of being correct, or wrong, Dom.

  238. Worked out even better than that. If we got the top pick that year we would’ve been ineligible to get the #1 overall pick sid’s draft year post lockout. Double jackpot!

  239. Comrade groatsky, just saw this…what to bring the hammer down…get it..hammer…ah nevermind….

  240. DJ says:

    No response. Not surprised.

  241. DJ says:

    It will be a better test, for sure.

  242. BillyBaduka says:

    Like the signing even more after reading the contract structure.

    Not much money guaranteed or in first two years. Hope he does well but if he doesn’t they can move on with minimal cap hit.

    Better yet, if he does well could have FS wrapped up for 5 years.

 
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