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With the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, the Steelers selected Kentucky linebacker Alvin "Bud" Dupree. While a lot of people were looking for a cornerback with the first pick, and will criticize, going with another linebacker, the Steelers made the right choice after Dupree fell into their lap. While the Steelers do need to retool the secondary, it is even more important that the defense regains the ability to get consistent pressure on the quarterback. Dupree, a 6'4" 270lb physical freak, has the size, speed and power to be that disrupting presence off the edge to help take a lot of the pressure off the secondary.
Another benefit that Dupree brings to the Steelers, is that his physical presence should benefit Jarvis Jones's development as well. If Jones can stay healthy, both he and Dupree have the ability to be the type of bookend linebackers that can bring the heat like Lloyd-Greene and Harrison-Woodley did. Add in Ryan Shazier and Sean Spence/Vince Williams, and suddenly the Steelers have a group of big linebackers that can make plays all over the field.
Bud Dupree has the tools necessary to have an immediate impact on the defense. He'll get to learn from two of the best in Joey Porter and James Harrison, who can only add to the impressive arsenal of pass rushing moves he already deploys and help him to become more consistent day in and day out. Welcome to Pittsburgh Mr. Dupree, here's to you continuing the great legacy of Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers and terrorizing quarterbacks.
What MATTers: 2014-2015 a Year to Remember for Pitt Basketball -
The 2014-2015 season will be a year to remember for Pitt basketball. Boy, will it ever. Shattering expectations, 20 victories, and a berth in March Madness are just a few accomplishments. Wait a minute. Pitt didn't play in the NCAA Tournament! What team am I speaking of? That's right, Pitt women's basketball. Your 2014-2015 Lady Panthers had quite a successful campaign. Did you know the Ladies were selected to finish dead last in the ACC preseason polls? Despite this, Pitt clawed its way to a 20-12 record, including 9-7 in conference play. Pitt subsequently earned an NCAA Tournament berth. I know, I know, a wild dream, right? The Lady Panthers will remember this season for some time because of these achievements. Head coach Susie McConnell-Serio deserves a tremendous amount of respect. Her ability to guide the team to the postseason, after the team went 20-41 in its past two seasons, is remarkable. That is why she was a Naismith semi-finalist for Women's Coach of the Year. Job well done, Susie. Be proud. Be loud. Because you earned it and your players earned it. Speaking of players, Pitt senior G Brianna Kiesel emerged as the team's go to player. I'm sure you are familiar with her because Kiesel averaged 18.4 points per game, to go with 5.0 rebounds per game, and 4.5 assists per. There is little doubt in her fantastic basketball ability. Kiesel was named the USWBA National Player of the Week, during her collegiate career, a first in program history. Brianna also netted herself in supreme company as a selection to First Team All-ACC and All-ACC Academic Team. The latter, for the second year in a row. Kiesel and McConnell-Serio were the key figures in Pitt's turnaround, but the underclassmen cannot be ignored for their contributions. Incoming freshman Alysia Bugg, Stasha Carey, and Yacine Diop all aided Kiesel in scoring. Diop (9.4), Carey (9.1), and Bugg (6.0) finished as the third, fourth, and fifth scorers, respectively. For the women, it was a total team effort, from the top down, which produced a year to remember.
Now unfortunately for the men's team, the outcome of 2014-2015 was the polar opposite. As us Panther fans know, there is not much to discuss, other than the season was rather uneventful. Jamie Dixon failed to lead his team to a spot in March Madness for only the second time. The Pitt men failed to win 20 games, too. As a... [Read More]
Let's start out by saying that Antonio Brown has been nothing short of a hard working, team first, class act since he arrived in Pittsburgh as a sixth round draft pick. Antonio has come through for the Steelers in clutch situations, as often as the sun rises and has never shown any signs of being a "me first" kind of player on or off the field. He leads by example and has taken young receivers like Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant under his wing, much like Hines Ward did for him. In short, Antonio Brown is the quintessential Pittsburgh Steeler.
In the last few days, it has come out that Brown wants a new deal and that he isn't going to show up until he gets one. This really isn't newsworthy or worth worrying about until training camp rolls around and he still hasn't appeared. Players wanting new deals is really nothing new, and inevitably will continue, but yet it seems like half of SteelerNation is losing their minds over this and comparing him to Mike Wallace. The biggest difference between this and Mike Wallace, is that Wallace put plenty of pouty quotes out there, while Antonio Brown has said nothing. All we are hearing about Brown's demands are from unnamed sources.
Based on his history, I'm guessing the unnamed source is Drew Rosenhaus. The more Brown makes, the more Rosenhaus makes. Obviously Brown is out playing the recent contract he signed, as well as three other top receivers around the league who are bringing in better than $12 million a year. While I don't believe that Antonio is guilty of becoming a selfish diva overnight, the only thing he may be guilty of is taking bad advice from his agent. It would definitely be in his best interest to demand that Mr. Rosenhaus keep this out of the media and between him and the Rooney's, seeing as how they don't respond favorably to these sort of tactics.
In the meantime, for all of those rushing to judge Antonio Brown as being a greedy diva, we haven't heard a single word out of him, and, let's just wait until all the details emerge. That's the least he deserves for being a clutch, hard working team first guy, who has lead by example during his time in the Black 'n' Gold. I firmly believe he will be there when training camp opens, to be the Antonio Brown who tortures defenses and brings us the explosive big plays we live for each fall.
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Casey Sadler used a strong outing to help the Indianapolis Indians top the Louisville Bats 3-2 Friday night at Victory Park. The win raised the Indians record to 4-5, which ended the opening home stand of the 2015 season. Sadler went six innings, giving up one run on four hits with four strikeouts, while not issuing any free passes. Reliever Charlie Leesman got the win after giving up one run and three hits in his inning of work. In between Sadler and Leesman, four relievers helped to hold the Bats in check, including Brad Lincoln, who induced a rare 6-2-5 double play to end the top of the tenth.
Offensively, the Indians wasted three opportunities to put this game away including when they had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the eleventh. In the bottom of the thirteenth however, the Indians finally ended it with a walkoff single by pinch hitter Elias Diaz off of Bats reliever Nick Christiani. Christiani started the bottom of the thirteenth by walking Jaff Decker and Mel Rojas Jr. on 6 pitches. Steve Lombardozzi, 2 for 3 with 2 RBI , then stepped to the plate and drove in Decker and advancing Rojas to third, then moved to second on the throw to the plate. Wilkin Castillo was then intentionally walked to load the bases, which was followed by Diaz's game winning single.
The win for Indianapolis helped negate an effective start by the Bats Raisel Iglesias, who went five strong giving up one run on three hits, with three strikeouts and a walk. Louisville catcher Ramon Cabrera also showed off his arm by throwing out two base stealers in one inning. However, those efforts were negated by the bat of Steve Lombardozzi, who continued his hot start to the season, by raising his average to a team leading .423 and driving in his first two runs.
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| Apr 05, 2015 - 8:50 PM
Tomorrow afternoon, the 2015 Pittsburgh Pirates season begins. Expectations haven't been this high for a baseball team in Pittsburgh since the 1992 season. 2 Straight visits to the Playoffs, a more experienced team.. these Pirates are expected to do more than the 2013 and 2014 teams.
That is exciting.
Going into a season with those types of expectations? We could only dream of that 5 years ago, now here we are on the eve of Opening Day and the excitement and hysteria for Pirates baseball is as high as it is for the Pens and near that of the Steelers.
Can't you feel the excitement?
The grass is getting greener, the air is smelling like spring, the temperatures are getting warmer and the crack of the ball off of baseball bats in ballparks nation wide are on their way professionally!
What of the Pirates? What are the keys for the Pirates this year to accomplish their goal of getting to the World Series? Winning the Division is the biggest need, so that they can avoid the 1 and done scenario, so how do they get there?
Without divulging into a bunch of stats and sabermetrics, since there's enough bloggers that have done that, I'll spare you the need to have a Math degree!
1. NO BAD MONTHS
The Pirates would have won the division if they'd have just played .500 ball in the month of April. They got off to such a bad start going 9-16 in April that they spent most of the season climbing out of that hole. 2 games back. 13-12 or 12-13, the Pirates win the division.
2. NO REGRESSION
The one thing that can happen in sports with players is that they can have that bad unexplained season. The Pirates need all of their players to meet or exceed expectations. Josh Harrison can't return to being a sub .250 hitter. A.J. Burnett can't repeat what he did in Philadelphia last season. Marte, Walker, McCutchen, Alvarez, Cole, & Polanco need to meet expectations.
The Central Division is extremely tight. St.Louis hasn't gotten worse. Milwaukee played well for 4 months in 2014, the Reds are contenders and the Cubs made a few nice offseason moves to add to a young and upcoming club. IT's not only a tight division, it's a very difficult division, one that the Pirates can't afford any player set backs if they expect to win it.
3. BEAT DIVISIONAL OPPONENTS
You see how I segued from #2 to #3? The... [Read More]