Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Pitt lost 41-13 to Florida State on Monday night. It was the first game for Pitt in the ACC and was a huge national stage that Pitt could not take advantage of. Pitt fans have grown accustom to Pitt not preforming well when the bright lights are on. Despite the score and the Seminoles's dominance there was some good to take away from the game.
Pitt played 18 true or redshirt freshman. This is a very young team and the experience of getting playing time against a top ten opponent will only help the development of the young guys.
Tyler Boyd looks every bit the playmaker that he was at Clairton. Boyd had 151 total yards on a limited number of touches.
The offensive line did not play that badly and at times played well against a very good defensive front. Savage was sacked a few times but for the most part had time to throw the ball. I thought he was a bit late on a few of his throws and decisions. He does throw a much better ball than Tino but he needs to be smarter with the football and quicker with his decisions.
Pitt's defense and especially the secondary was awful. Not sure if it was a scheme issue or just bad play but I would guess it was a combination of both. Florida State receivers were wide open all night and there were a number of missed tackles. The Panthers got little pressure on Jameis Winston and the freshman quarterback made them pay. Pitt played the run pretty decent with a number of tackles for loss by the defensive front.
Pitt will get better but there is a clear and wide talent gap between Pitt and the elite team in the ACC. This will only be fixed with stability and recruiting. Chryst will need to time to get his players into the system and will need to land elite skill position players to get Pitt back into the top 25.
Friday, June 21, 2013
The Penguins roster will look a bit different heading into the 2013-14 season.
Marc Andre Fleury
Chance of staying 97%
Many have suggested that the Penguins trade Fleury and go with Voukon. That is not likely to happen, Voukon will be 37 in a few weeks. Fleury has not been great in the playoffs but was solid all year and has won a cup.
Chance of staying 40%
Letang is in the final year of his deal and is reportedly asking for $7 million per year for his next contract. Letang is a great offensive defenseman but is not great on the power play and was awful in defense in the playoffs. The Penguins could trade him and receive a good return. Whatever they choose to do with Letang will directly affect everyone else on this list.
Chance of staying 75%
Duper loves Pittsburgh and Crosby loves Duper. The only question is will Dupuis give the Penguins a good deal for the second time. On the open market he could get $4 million a year. The Penguins will likely be looking in the $3 million range.
Chance of staying 35%
I think Jarome would like to stay in Pittsburgh and try to win a cup, but does it work from a financial standpoint? He could probably find a team that will over pay for him but Jarome has made his money and may sign on the cheap to make another cup run.
Chance of staying 1%
Not sure there is much interest on either side
Chance of staying 5%
I think the only way that Murray stays is if the Penguins trade Letang and need another defenseman. Even if that happens I think the Pens look elsewhere.
Chance of staying 15%
There is no way that the Penguins will give Tyler Kennedy the $2 million a year he was making. However, another team might and he may be a top 6 forward on another team. Those may be two factors that lead Kennedy out of town.
Chance of staying 25%
Adams had a very steady playoff run especially on the penalty kill and is a guy the Penguins should try to get re-signed.
Chance of staying 50%
Cooke really is more than just a goon. he has a unique skill set and the Penguins are a better team with him. His reputation may keep some teams away from him but it will come down to money for the Penguins.
Chance of staying 20%
Eaton was solid all year long but with Despres and Burtuzzo likely getting a bigger role Eaton could be the odd man out.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
The Penguins now find themselves down 3-0 against the Boston Bruins after last nights heartbreaking double overtime loss. Unlike last years disappointing first round exit this series has been about the Pens inability to score goals. The Bruins have held the Penguins to just two goals in 11 periods. That is astonishing given the offensive firepower the Penguins posses. Crosby, Malkin, and Letang have failed to register a single point. The Penguins have managed to ring the post a ton in the series but close does not count in hockey.
Give the Bruins some credit, they have essential shut down Sidney Crosby and Rask has been outstanding in goal. The Penguins played their best hockey of the series last night but it was not good enough to get the win. The season which had so much promise just a week ago has turned sour. The Pens need a miracle to win the series. Do you believe in miracles?
Thursday, April 25, 2013
After a disappointing 8-8 season the Steelers hold the 17th pic in this years draft to be held later today. With so many positions of need it is hard to predict what the Steelers do. The most common names have been Georgia LB Jarvis Jones, Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert, and Texas S Kenny Vaccaro. Jones seems to be the most common choice from the so called experts. The Steelers could take West Virginia WR Tavon Austin or Utah DT Star Lotulelei if they fall but that is unlikely. So my prediction.... Tyler Eifert. Heath Miller will not be ready to start the season and may not be ready all year. Most NFL teams are going to two TE sets and Eifert can also line up at receiver. It is harder to find a top tier TE than a WR. For the record i would love for Austin to fall to the Steelers.
Friday, March 29, 2013
The Pittsburgh Penguins have now won 14 hockey games in a row after beating the Winnipeg Jets 4-0 on Thursday Night. The performance was dominating in every aspect of the game and the score could have easily been 8-0 if not for some outstanding goaltending by the Jet's Al Montoya. The Penguins outshot the Jet's 43-20 and did not even have a power play opportunity. As impressive as the performance was on the ice the performance by the Penguins front office off the ice has been just as solid.
Last night around 12:40 I checked my Twitter timeline and saw that Jarome Iginla had been traded to the Boston Bruins. I will admit I was a little concerned that the Bruins had finally added some firepower that they needed to win the East. This morning as I checked my Twitter timeline I saw a tweet by the Pittsburgh Penguins that everyone was on the ice expept for Letang and Iginla. I thought well of course he is not on the ice he plays for the Bruins. Then I looked deeper into my timeline and saw that Iginla was indeed a Penguins. My next thought was well who did they have to give up to get him. Then I saw the trade and immediately crowned Ray Shero a Jedi Knight. Shero obtained Jarome Iginla, Brendan Morrow, and Douglas "Crankshaft" Murray for some draft picks one good prospect and two prospects that would never make the Penguins roster.
The Penguins as currently constructed may be every bit as good as the 92-93 Penguins team, maybe even better. We all know what happened to that team in the playoffs. Hopefully history does not repeat itself this time around.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
The Big East Tournament starts today at Madison Square Guarden in New York City. The Pitt Panthers will not play until Thursday at 2:30 pm and will likely face Syracuse in their first game. Pitt received a double bye for finishing in the top four pf the Big East regular season. The other three times the Panthers received the double bye they lost their first game. That is not a huge concern because in the Big East, when playing any of the top eight teams, you are playing an NCAA tournament team.
Pitt has pretty much owned the Orangemen over the past few years and they should be able to beat them on Thursday. If they do advance they will likely play Georgetown on Friday night. The Panthers crushed the Hoyas by 28 earlier this year at Georgetown. Although, the Hoyas have been nearly unbeatable since then. I don't think Pitt will be intimidated by the Hoyas and it is a very good match up for the Panthers.
If the Panthers get to the championship game on Saturday night they will, in all likelihood face Louisville or Marquette. Pitt is 0-3 against those teams this year and either team is a bad match up for the Panthers. Although, all three games Pitt had opportunities to win.
I think the Panthers win the first two games and lose to Louisville on Saturday night. That would be a great showing by Pitt and likely land them a 4 or 5 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Monday, March 11, 2013
The Steelers parted ways with James Harrison over the weekend and will likely lose Mike Wallace to the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday as the NFL free agency period begins. The Steelers would love to have both players back but this is about money. Wallace is expected to sign a deal worth $10-$12 million per year. Way too much for the Steelers liking. Harrison was set to count $6 million against the cap this year and close to $9 million next year.
The Steelers must find a wide receiver and linebacker to replace Wallace and Harrison. The linebacker position could be filled with the #17 pick in the draft. There are a number of linebackers that could help the Steelers at that spot. WR will be a bit tougher to find. The Steelers could trade back into the late first round and pick up Tavon Austin the former WVU standout. The could also wait and find a gem like they did with Wallace who was a 3rd round pick.
The Steelers have never been a big player in free agency and that is unlikely to change this year. There are a number of players the Steelers should at least look at. Here are my Top five:
Steven Jackson RB
Michael Turner RB
Danny Amendola WR
Brent Grimes CB
Shaun Phillips OLB