Daily 5: Crosby’s power in the organization



Rumblings, Musings, Opinions

1. Mike Johnston when constructing his lines believes in pairs of two’s. What’s good to see is he isn’t overthinking things and Sidney Crosby will get the first shot at playing with Phil Kessel.

“You’d probably find Kessel starting on the right side with Sid to begin with,” Johnston said today at the Penguins Alumni Outing. Malkin will surely get some looks with Kessel in the preseason but the Penguins plan going into the season with Eric Fehr injured is:

Crosby – Kessel
Malkin – Hornqvist
Bonino – Dupuis

And let the other pieces fall into place.

2. There was a report in Canada on the day the Penguins traded for Phil Kessel that Mike Johnston at the draft was already kicking the idea around of Kessel playing with Evgeni Malkin. What changed?

Sidney Crosby is not LeBron James when it comes to dictating personnel moves or who he wants to play with, but Jim Rutherford has made a point this summer to pick Crosby’s brain on things revolving around the team, much more so than last summer where Rutherford kept his distance, even hinting at times that the Penguins had a leadership problem.

With an ownership change looming, it’s a smart move by the old savvy GM to get close to the player in the organization with the most power.

3. Bruce Gradkowski’s career with the Steelers isn’t just likely over, this might be it for his career. The surgery on Gradkowski’s left index finger was only going to sideline him four weeks and what ended his season was doctors determining yesterday that he needs shoulder surgery. The red flags were there from the get-go.

The Steelers envisioned by now in year three that Landry Jones would surely be ready to take on a No. 2 QB role but that’s never going to happen and as one long-time Steelers observer told me today of Jones, “he’s the worst quarterback I’ve ever seen with a pedigree like his.”

4. People are passionate about their animals, especially dogs. I’m one of them. Dogs are like family to many. No surprise there was a huge backlash from Steelers fans today as soon as the news broke the Steelers were bringing Mike Vick in for a visit.

All you had to do was go on twitter or turn on 937 The Fan. These die-hard fans who say they will never watch another Steelers game, does anyone believe they will suddenly stop rooting for Steelers or let alone stop watching games? That number likely doesn’t even reach one fan when it comes to someone who can be described as a die-hard fan.

This will boil over and the Steelers know it. That’s why they’re not worried about a PR hit or they wouldn’t be wasting their time signing a backup QB with baggage.

I’m one of the biggest dog lovers out there but I don’t have a problem with the signing because Vick isn’t the only bad guy in the NFL and likely not the only one on the Steelers.

What I have a problem with is Vick the person. Just because he served his time doesn’t make what he did a forgivable offense or that we should embrace him as some kind of changed man because he’s had the will power to not kill dogs anymore.

Guess pup night isn’t happening at Heinz Field anytime soon.

5. Better player now and in the long run?

Tyler Murphy & Dri Archer …….It’s only a debate because Archer is a third round pick and there’s a false narrative that he can still amount to something because of the high pedigree.

Check out the TIOPS Daily Five Monday – Fridays

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

Comments Disabled

Comments have been disabled for this post.