By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media
Morning, Lunatics …
>> The Friday column is about — what else? — the Steelers’ center of attention for the day, Maurkice Pouncey’s mega-extension. And, of course, the extension that still isn’t.
A snippet won’t do Pouncey’s brief press conference justice, so here’s the full reel from the team’s official site. Well worth the view.
And here’s a question about Pouncey I had for Ramon Foster: yesterday:
News coverage of the extension, by beat man Alan Robinson.
LeGarrette Blount plans to play a bunch, by Robinson.
Dri Archer will see time at receiver, by Mark Kaboly.
Blogginess from the scene: It was the last day of OTAs, but it might have had the headline items not only in Pouncey’s extension but also Archer’s time at wide receiver. We’re not supposed to get vivid in our descriptions of what happens on the field — the Ravens are reading, don’t you know? — but suffice it to say Archer made more than just a cameo. What’s more, Mike Tomlin zeroed in on him like a hungry hawk and had no issue barking out what he did and didn’t like. It was much more positive than negative. … Every player on the roster showed for at least part of OTAs except Troy Polamalu. It’s voluntary, I’ll remind. … Ben Roethlisberger was at every session but one, and the only one he missed was for family reasons. He also was an enthusiastic, vocal participant. His receivers, in particular, never had to wonder what he wanted after a given route. The whole world knew about it. … The linebackers are a pack. Yes, position players stick with their own at OTAs. That’s the way drills are structured. But these guys are sticking like glue. “We’re a family,” Jarvis Jones replied when I tossed that his way. … Darrius Heyward-Bey drops a lot of footballs. Lance Moore doesn’t drop anything sent within his ZIP code. Speed is overrated at receiver, you know. … So many different defensive sets, so many looks. That’s going to wind up a story unto itself by the time the Browns arrive. Not sure the Steelers will need a nose tackle. … This team is younger, faster and more excited. I could go into all kinds of elaboration, or I could just offer these two words: Ryan Shazier. You’re really going to like this kid. … The three-day minicamp, which is mandatory, is June 17-19.
Oh, and if Ben’s volunteer football work weren’t enough, he joined the Pirates for batting practice and shagging flies before last night’s game …
>> Edinson Volquez and the Pirates beat the Cubs. Karen Price reports from PNC Park. And I’ll add here that Volquez’s ERA is now at 3.89, while his .232 opponents’ batting average and 1.18 WHIP are now best of anyone on the rotation. Someone else isn’t faring as well, except at the bank account.
Cole Tucker, the first-round pick, signed up, by Rob Biertempfel.
Neil Walker is still sore, by Biertempfel.
The bullpen is on cruise control, by David Golebiewski.
Here’s Cubs news from the Chicago Tribune.
Here’s Marlins news from the Miami Herald.
Here are official game highlights on MLB.com.
>> Jim Rutherford’s Carolina express continues with the Penguins, by beat man Rob Rossi.
The rise and fall of Dan Bylsma, by Josh Yohe.
Here are official Stanley Cup final highlights on NHL.com, including all kinds of preview material to the potentially climactic Game 5 tonight at Staples Center.
>> Thank you, as always, for reading.