How the Chips may fall on the Penguins Blue Line


[/hide]3. There’s not a better receiver in the NFL than Antonio Brown. He doesn’t have the measureable’s that a Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, or Julio Jones have, but Brown is uncoverable. What makes Brown so special of a player is how he’s perfected his craft with hard work. Whether you put him on the outside or in the slot, he causes nightmare matchup problems for the opposition. Despite his size, Brown is near impossible to jam at the line of scrimmage because of how great of a route runner he is. That’s what separates him. 4. At home Penn State put up 27 points against Buffalo, had just 13 points through three quarters. Duquesne last season at Buffalo scored 28 points vs the Bulls. Christian Hackenberg was 14/27 for 128 yards, averaging just 4.7 yards per attempt. There were some key drops, notably sophomore tight end Mike Gesicki twice on a thirdRead More »

Daily 5: Brady playing in week 1 impacted Steelers decision to sit Thomas


1. Guys like Sean Rodriguez have an expiration date. Hopefully the Pirates found that out Monday afternoon. Rodriguez was excellent in the Pirates three game series vs the Cardinals, going 6-for-7 with a home run, 3 RBIs. Clint Hurdle has a great admiration for Rodriguez and has admitted that himself. It wasn’t a shock to see Hurdle reward Rodriguez by putting him in the lineup Monday afternoon with the quick turnaround, but shortstop? A position Rodriguez has made zero starts at this season and just three starts over the last three seasons. In a game where the Pirates with a win were guaranteed to gain a game on the Cubs or Cardinals. Rodriguez had a nightmare day, two errors, getting picked off in the ninth inning with the tying run at the plate. Those days happen but there’s always this infatuation to over-play the backup and it’s only a matter ofRead More »

Benz: James Harrison….The Moderate voice on a Roger Goodell matter


TUESDAY-COLUMN James Harrison can speak about this from an educated point of view. He knows what it is like to get picked apart by Tom Brady. He knows it’s actually possible for Pittsburgh to win in Foxboro if Brady doesn’t play. And he knows what it is like to wrangle with Roger Goodell. So the quotes he gave Monday about the looming DeflateGate ruling…and how he gave them…spoke volumes even though Harrison granted them in his usual taciturn way. When asked for his opinion on what Federal Judge Richard Berman may do, this is what the linebacker flatly stated: “I don’t see what a federal judge can do with something the players signed in the CBA which gives Roger Goodell the power to do what he wants to do. So if he is going by the letter of what it says then there is nothing he can do.” Interesting. FinallyRead More »

Daily 5: The Penguins and Cody Franson


1. A.J. Burnett on Sunday threw around 70 pitches, 40 fastballs, 20 cuveballs, 6-10 changeups and the velocity was very encouraging. “He threw all three pitches effectively,” GM Neal Huntington said yesterday. “Curveball was good. Changeup was good for A.J. and the fastball showed life.” The Pirates are about 10-14 days from needing to figure out their rotation for Burnett’s expected return for the Cubs series. “We’ll have a challenging decision to make,” Huntington said. Jeff Locke is the prime candidate to come out, but for Huntington and the Pirates, would there really be any drop off by keeping Locke in the rotation and planting Charlie Morton on the bench? For whatever reason there continues to be a narrative that Charlie Morton is a quality starting pitcher. The only difference between Locke and Morton — Morton makes about $8 million, Locke $531,000 — 2. The Pirates believing they brought GregoryRead More »

Steigerwald: Mike Vick says he learned his lesson and not the lesson everyone is thinking about


MONDAY-COLUMN Mike Vick says he learned his lesson. No, not that one. We’re pretty sure he’s learned his lesson about electrocuting and drowning defenseless dogs. Twenty-one months of hard time probably took care of that. Steelers fans everywhere have had several days to deal with the Steelers’ decision to bring Vick in to back up Ben Roethlisberger and how they will treat him. I wouldn’t bet a lot of money on the people who said they would never root for the Steelers again fulfilling that promise , but there will be thousands of people holding their noses and rooting for Vick to succeed if Roethlisberger goes down. That’s when the Steelers will be hoping that he learned his football lesson. The Jets brought Vick in to back up Geno Smith last season and, from the minute he signed, Vick was considered a good bet to be the starting quarterback beforeRead More »

Daily 5: McCutchen, Penguins-Blueline, Trade Talk


2. Looking more into the future, three years from now everyone will be fretting over Andrew McCutchen’s long-term future. However, McCutchen will be 31 years old at the end of his deal in 2018. Some good years left in him but can anyone imagine Bob Nutting paying McCutchen $20-$25 million per season for a player in his 30’s or anyone for that matter? The Pirates would be paying for a handful of down years. When it comes to the time of dealing with McCutchen’s contract, Marte and Polanco are likely to be stars in the prime of their careers and the Pirates have another potential gem in their system in outfielder Austin Meadows. If there’s anyone deserving of a $150 million+ deal and someone you’d want to continue to be the face of your franchise it’s McCutchen, but the decision with McCutchen three to four years from now is goingRead More »

Benz: Michael Vick paying his debt to society doesn’t mean that you’ve paid your debt to humanity


TIOPS WEDNESDAY COLUMN I’m not sure what sickens me more: The Steelers decision to sign convicted dog-fighting killer and washed up QB Michael Vick? Or the length the fanbase is going to in an attempt to justify the move. What Michael Vick did makes him human excrement. And I don’t want him playing on the team I’ve rooted for my whole life. I’m not telling you that you have to feel the same way I do. I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t. After all, we are the same fan base that disparaged the Patriots for employing Aaron Hernandez. We mocked Bengal felons over the years. We turn our nose up at the Ravens for building a statue to Ray Lewis and paying Terrell Suggs. And we wag our finger at the legacy on the “White House” era Cowboys. But, sure. Let’s bend over backwards to rationalize the signing ofRead More »