The North Shore Drive Sports Podcast

   

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October 26, 2021 Off Script: Pitt is in ACC Coastal driver’s seat

Pitt insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer revisit Pitt’s big afternoon against Clemson. The Panthers showed up, and now they’re 6-1 and ranked No. 17. Did this game legitimize Kenny Pickett’s Heisman case? Plus, we share big picture takeaways from Saturday’s victory and consider whether any team can catch Pitt.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

October 25, 2021 Varsity Xtra: Forecasting the final week of the regular season

High school football insiders Mike White and Brad Everett preview the biggest games and top storylines of the final week of the regular season. Plus, we debate whether Laurel Highlands quarterback Rodney Gallagher will become the 12th player to pass and rush for more than 1,000 yards in the regular season.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

October 22, 2021 Pod of Steel: Steelers are back in the AFC North race

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko take a closer look at last Sunday’s matchup with the Seahawks and share their lingering thoughts from the game. The Steelers are back in the AFC North race, but can they make some noise coming out of their off week? Plus, what’s up with the defense?

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

October 20, 2021 From The Point: Which Penguins have surprised us early on?

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo break down which players have surprised them in the early going of the 2021-22 season and try to nail down whether this team is the offensive juggernaut it started out as, or the plodding version we've seen recently. 

Music from https://filmmusic.io

"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

October 19, 2021 Off Script: Pitt wins big — and earns a ranking

Pitt insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer take a closer look at the Panthers’ 28-7 win against Virginia Tech and break down why this was a crucial win. Is the Western Michigan loss completely behind them? Plus, Pitt is ranked now, but can the Panthers keep that going with their upcoming game against Clemson?

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

October 18, 2021 Varsity Xtra: Making sense of logjam in Class 5A

High school football insiders Mike White and Brad Everett break down the top teams behind No. 1 Moon in Class 5A and discuss who should receive the highest seed if there is a tie atop the Northeast Conference standings. Plus, we debate the best mascots in the WPIAL and City League.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

October 15, 2021 Pod of Steel: Can the Steelers’ offense turn the corner?

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko revisit Pittsburgh’s 27-19 win against the Broncos. Is the Steelers’ offense fixed? Plus, we discuss JuJu Smith-Schuster’s season-ending injury and preview the upcoming game against the Seahawks.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

October 13, 2021 From the Point: Penguins open the season with a dominating win

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo react to the opening-night win in Tampa — and then overreact. What did the Penguins do in the 6-2 win that's sustainable? What was just a case of a small sample size?

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

October 12, 2021 Off Script: Will a win against Virginia Tech earn Pitt the respect it wants?

Pitt insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer preview the Panthers’ upcoming game against Virginia Tech. Will a win get Pitt the rank — and the respect — it’s looking for? Plus, we discuss what the conference is looking like now.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

October 11, 2021 Varsity Xtra: Golf tales with Michael Jordan from a former WPIAL QB

High school football insiders Mike White and Brad Everett discuss some eye-popping numbers being produced by Moon senior Ben Bladel and predict some of this week's biggest games. Plus, we're joined by North Allegheny grad and former NFL quarterback Mike McMahon, who offers his view on the current crop of WPIAL quarterbacks and shares some memorable stories from his time spent golfing with Michael Jordan, Lawrence Taylor and others.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

October 08, 2021 Pod of Steel: Steelers need a win to get back in AFC North race

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko revisit the 27-17 loss to Green Bay that felt more lopsided than the score suggests. Could that blocked punt have changed the game? Plus, we take a look at the Steelers’ biggest problems, discuss when things could improve and preview the Week 5 matchup with the Broncos.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

October 07, 2021 BUC’N Trends: And that’s a wrap on the Pirates’ season

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak take a closer look at the end of the team’s season. What are the takeaways from GM Ben Cherington’s postseason comments? And what opportunities exist for the club in the offseason? Plus, we discuss playoff baseball.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

October 06, 2021 From the Point: Which fringe Penguins players have improved their stock?

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo take a look at the team's fringe players. Which players have improved their stock? And which ones haven’t done much to help? Plus, we discuss COVID-19 updates and what to watch through the rest of training camp.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

October 05, 2021 Off Script: Pitt is changing the narrative. Is it sustainable?

Pitt insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer revisit the Panthers' win against Georgia Tech and discuss how the narrative surrounding Pitt's football program has drastically changed since a few weeks ago when the Panthers lost to Western Michigan. Can they actually win the ACC? Plus, we look ahead and evaluate the rest of the conference.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

October 04, 2021 Varsity Xtra: Previewing a must-see matchup in Class 6A

High school football insiders Mike White and Brad Everett preview this week's marquee matchup in Class 6A between No. 1 Central Catholic and No. 2 Mt. Lebanon. Plus, we're joined by Gateway coach Don Holl to discuss his team's high-stakes showdown vs. Penn-Trafford this Friday.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

October 01, 2021 Pod of Steel: Can the Steelers get back on track?

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko share their lingering thoughts from Sunday’s 24-10 loss to the Bengals and preview the upcoming trip to Lambeau Field. Can Ben Roethlisberger bounce back against the Packers? Will the Steelers finally turn the corner? Plus, we discuss injury updates, what needs to be fixed and more.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

September 30, 2021 BUC’N Trends: Is next year going to be better?

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak discuss Roansy Contreras’ performance and how he fits into the club’s future. Plus, we consider what the Pirates should do in the offseason, what fans should be excited about, 2022 rotations and more.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

September 29, 2021 From the Point: Penguins hockey is officially back

With a preseason game in the books, Penguins insiders Mike DeFabo and Matt Vensel take a look at where the team stands. When it comes to position battles, who's a lock and which spots are up for grabs? Plus, we rate prospects’ chances of making the roster and discuss Tristan Jarry’s first preseason performance.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

September 28, 2021 Off Script: Where does Pitt fit in the ACC?

Pitt insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer take a look at both the ACC and the Coastal division. Where does Pitt fit in? And what does the rest of the conference look like? Plus, we break down Pitt's dominating 77-7 victory over New Hampshire.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

September 27, 2021 Varsity Xtra: Handing out midseason awards

High school football insiders Mike White and Brad Everett hand out midseason awards to the top player and coach of the year so far. Plus, we’re joined by Laurel Highlands phenom Rodney Gallagher to discuss his team’s 5-0 start and the Mustangs’ must-see matchup vs. top-ranked Belle Vernon on Friday.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

September 24, 2021 Pod of Steel: Who’s to blame for the Steelers’ offensive issues?

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko share their lingering thoughts from the 26-17 loss to the Raiders. Is the offense mostly to blame for that loss? Plus, we discuss the Steelers' injuries and how that could impact their matchup with the Bengals.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

September 23, 2021 BUC’N Trends: Making sense of the Pirates’ recent progress

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak break down what’s been going right for the team recently. Are there some good storylines coming from the Pirates? And have they really gotten better offensively over the last month? Plus, we take a look at the most intriguing minor leaguers.

Music from https://filmmusic.io

"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)

License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)    

September 22, 2021 From the Point: The most interesting Penguins to watch at training camp

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo are getting ready for training camp to open Thursday. Which players will be the most interesting ones to watch? Who will step up and claim a spot?

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

September 21, 2021 Off Script: Is this Western Michigan loss the worst of Pat Narduzzi’s tenure?

Pitt insiders Craig Meyer and Johnny McGonigal revisit the Panthers’ loss to Western Michigan. Where did Pitt go wrong? Was this kind of game to be expected? Plus, we discuss what stood out from Kenny Pickett’s performance and whether or not there’s hope for this team.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

September 20, 2021 Varsity Xtra: Is Western Pa. still producing top-tier football talent?

High school football insiders Mike White and Brad Everett discuss the lack of top-tier talent being produced by WPIAL and City League schools in recent years and whether it is affecting Pitt’s performance at the next level. Plus, we’re joined by Belle Vernon coach Matt Humbert to discuss the Leopards’ highly anticipated showdown vs. Thomas Jefferson on Friday.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

September 17, 2021 Pod of Steel: Steelers could put themselves in a good position for a strong start

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo are ramping up for a Week 2 Steelers-Raiders showdown after an upset in Buffalo to start the season. There are a lot of takeaways from the Steelers' shocking win against the Bills, but which one is the biggest? Will this be a season of close wins for the Pittsburgh? Plus, we share our predictions for the Steelers' home opener.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

September 16, 2021 BUC’N Trends: Taking stock of the (future) Pirates

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak break down what the Pirates have to offer in the future. What can the bullpen look like next year? Which guys will continue to impress? Plus, we discuss why this offseason will be a crucial one for the Pirates.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

September 15, 2021 From the Point: Can the Penguins handle Sidney Crosby’s absence?

Penguins insiders Mike DeFabo and Matt Vensel discuss the news of Sidney Crosby's wrist surgery and what it means for the Penguins as they prepare for camp to open. Which players will step up in his absence? Plus, we project the team's lineup and take a look at the upcoming prospect camp.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

September 14, 2021 Off Script: How important was Pitt’s win against Tennessee?

Pitt insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer break down Pitt's victory over Tennessee and why it was important for the Panthers to prove they wouldn't fold. Plus, we discuss the standout players and look ahead to Pitt's next matchup.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

September 13, 2021 Varsity Xtra: Separating the contenders from the pretenders

High school football insiders Mike White and Brad Everett break down the fast starts by Laurel Highlands and Leechburg and debate whether or not Aliquippa will keep its streak of 13 consecutive WPIAL championship appearances alive. Plus, Mt. Lebanon coach Bob Palko joins us to discuss the Blue Devils’ rise in Class 6A.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

September 10, 2021 Pod of Steel: T.J. Watt is getting paid

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo break down the biggest news of the week: T.J. Watt's new contract. It took a while to get here, but the deal is official and now the focus is on Week 1. Plus, we take a look at the Steelers' first game of the season and evaluate this year's Bills team.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

 

September 09, 2021 BUC’N Trends: What is the Pirates’ plan?

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak take a look at everything that has gone wrong for the Pirates and wonder: Where is the team going with this? Fans deserve more entertainment, so something needs to change. But all of those negatives doesn't mean there aren't some positives to discuss.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

September 07, 2021 Off Script: What to take away from Pitt‘s 51-7 victory over Massachusetts

College insiders Craig Meyer and Johnny McGonigal break down Pitt's Week 1 51-7 win over Massachusetts. How should the victory be evaluated? Plus, we look ahead to Saturday's matchup with Tennessee.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

September 07, 2021 Varsity Xtra: Biggest winners in Week 1 of high school football

High school football insiders Mike White and Brad Everett break down the biggest winners from Week 1 of the high school football season. Plus, we take a look at where Swin Cash ranks among Western Pennsylvania’s greatest athletes of all-time.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

September 03, 2021 How concerning are the Steelers’ IR announcements?

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko break down the team’s roster cuts and keeps. Were any of the names surprising? Plus, we discuss the latest injury reserve news for Stephon Tuitt, Zach Banner and Anthony McFarland. Could some of these issues linger well into the season?

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

September 02, 2021 What to make of the Pirates’ expanded roster choices

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak take a closer look at the players the team chose to bring up to fill their expanded roster. Was Shelby Miller an OK choice or should they have made a more exciting pick? Plus, we discuss Roansy Contreras’ performance with the Altoona Curve and the encouraging things we saw from his game.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

September 01, 2021 Which changes will make the Penguins better this season?

With just a couple weeks before the Penguins open training camp, insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo take a look at the changes the team made over the offseason. Is the roster better than it was a season ago? Or are the losses the biggest changes? We discuss the uncertainty of this year, what to make of Tristan Jarry, which players have something to prove and more.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

August 31, 2021 Off Script: The Pitt game day countdown is on

College insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer preview Pitt’s season by dishing out superlatives. Who will be the Panthers' best offensive player? Best defensive player? Plus, we discuss which games could be upsets and share our predictions for Pitt’s record this season.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

August 30, 2021 Varsity Xtra: Which teams and players stole the show in Week Zero?

High school football insiders Mike White and Brad Everett revisit Week Zero to recap the eye openers and shining stars from the first week of the season. Plus, we're joined by Central Catholic standouts Donovan Hinish and Anthony Speca.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

August 27, 2021 NHL's Metro Division preview

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo preview the Metro Division by breaking it down into three tiers: Playoff Locks, In the Hunt and No Freaking Way. Where do the Penguins stack up in what looks to be a division full of parity?

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

August 26, 2021 What in the world are the Pirates doing with Gregory Polanco?

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak take a look at the question everyone is asking: What is the plan for Gregory Polanco? He’s a veteran and valuable to the clubhouse, but is that enough? Plus, we discuss what we’re hoping to see from Mitch Keller, updates with the prospects and more.

Music from https://filmmusic.io

"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)

License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)   

August 25, 2021 Steelers facing final preseason game and roster decisions

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko discuss the surprise release of Antoine Brooks in the latest round of cuts. We also revisit the Steelers’ victory over the Lions and look ahead to their final preseason game. Plus, we talk about what we hope to see from key players before the season arrives.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

August 24, 2021 College football fantasy draft

Post-Gazette college insiders Johnny McGonigal, Craig Meyer and Nubyjas Wilborn are joined by Steelers insider Brian Batko and Pirates insider Mike Persak for a college football team draft for the 2021 season. Which teams will be picked? And which insider will be the champion?

Music from https://filmmusic.io

"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)

License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

August 23, 2021 High school football is back

High school football insiders Mike White and Brad Everett discuss the return of high school football and make predictions for the biggest games of the opening week. Plus, Sean FitzSimmons of Central Valley joins us to share his takes on the start of the season, COVID-19 protocols and more.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

August 20, 2021 Steelers training camp comes to a close

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo take a look at some of the most interesting storylines from Steelers training camp: How well will Joe Schobert fit in with the team? How long will the backup quarterback narrative continue? Plus, we discuss what we’re expecting to see Saturday when the Detroit Lions come to town.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

August 19, 2021 What the Yoshi Tsutsugo signing means for the Pirates

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak share their thoughts on the team signing Yoshi Tsutsugo. Who is the new guy? And why would the Pirates DFA the players they did? We also discuss Wil Crowe's latest performance and consider what he will be for the team longterm. Plus, we forecast the 2022 starting rotation and get some minor league updates.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Cle8n" by Kevin M8cLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://cre8tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

August 17, 2021 Expectations for Pitt and Penn State football

College insiders Craig Meyer, Johnny McGonigal and Nubyjas WIlborn discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Pitt and Penn State as the college football season approaches. Plus, we evaluate which players will step up to fill in holes.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

August 13, 2021 From bylines to Stanley Cups, Tom McMillan’s legacy is intertwined with the Penguins

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo are joined by Tom McMillan, a former Post-Gazette writer and recently retired Vice President of Communications for the Penguins, to discuss his career as a journalist and his role in the team’s organization. He shares what it was like writing about phenom Mario Lemieux, watching hockey become important to Pittsburgh, going through the franchise’s dark days, winning the Stanley Cup (multiple times) and more.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

August 12, 2021 We should have seen this coming from the Pirates

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak share their takeaways from the team's latest performances, and they come to the same conclusion: We should have seen this coming. We also play general manager and discuss which minor league promotions we would like to see. Plus, we discuss our thoughts and predictions for the Pirates’ 2022 lineup.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

August 11, 2021 How concerning is T.J. Watt’s contract situation?

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo break down Mike Tomlin's latest comments on the team's situation with T.J. Watt. Is it personal or just business? Plus, we discuss Joe Haden, angry Ben Roethlisberger, the upcoming preseason games and more.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

August 10, 2021 Where does Pitt's offense stand in camp?

Pitt insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer analyze the Panthers’ offense, and it all pretty much begins and ends with one player in particular: Kenny Pickett. Most of Pitt’s hopes rest on the quarterback, but there are other groups that have something to prove this year. Plus, we take realistic and idealistic looks at how the offense can improve

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

August 06, 2021 Steelers’ Hall of Fame Game is in the books

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko take a closer look at the Steelers’ 16-3 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Thursday’s Hall of Fame Game. While it wasn’t the most exciting game, it offered a chance to see Mason Rudolph, Dwayne Haskins and even Josh Dobbs on the field. Plus, we discuss how the rest of the offense performed, what we saw from the defense and Pressley Harvin III’s big night.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

August 05, 2021 What the Pirates should do with key players

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak take a look at key players and share what they think the Pirates should do with them. Plus, we discuss performances from Bryse Wilson and Steven Brault and the issues with the bullpen. We also consider Derek Shelton’s record and what we know about him at this point.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

August 04, 2021 Penguins’ free agency defined more by what they didn’t do

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo take a closer look at the team’s new faces and discuss what the Penguins didn't do: address their goalie situation. Plus, we consider the big-picture implications of these moves, anticipated competition and more.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

August 03, 2021 College sports mailbag: Pitt quarterbacks, realignment and more

Pitt insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer are back to answer your questions. We discuss conference realignments and consider hypotheticals. Plus, we look at the Panthers’ backup quarterback situation, team expectations and recruits.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

July 30, 2021 Which Steelers are most exciting to watch in training camp?

It’s finally training camp as usual — or the closest thing to it — so Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo are back to discuss what they’ve learned so far. Najee Harris has definitely shown why the Steelers believed in him. But which other players are standing out? Plus, we break down camp battles, the new-look offense, and more.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

July 29, 2021 How the Pirates are handling the trade deadline

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak break down the Pirates’ week of trades. How should we evaluate the returns? And how do the Pirates’ moves compare to other trades around the league? Plus, we consider how impressive it is that the team had so much success with this draft and share what we’re expecting from the remainder of the season.

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July 27, 2021 Takeaways from college football media days

College insiders John McGonigal, Nubyjas Wilborn and Craig Meyer break down the conversations that came out of this year’s college football media days. We discuss NIL updates, realignments and vaccination numbers. What are the Panthers trying to get out of this season? What are the best college football realignment solutions?

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

July 26, 2021 Analyzing the Penguins’ draft picks

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo are joined by Hockey Sense’s NHL draft and prospect analyst, Chris Peters, to break down the Penguins’ draft picks and prospect pool. How did the pandemic impact this year’s process? What were teams prioritizing in the draft? Plus, we take a look at free agency and discuss whether or not the Penguins will have a busy week.

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July 23, 2021 Steelers training camp full of new faces

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko break down the first day of training camp. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is back, but he’s surrounded by a sea of new faces. Will the offense be able to adapt? Plus, we discuss the latest signings, Vince Williams’ retirement and other team headlines.

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July 22, 2021 Breaking down where the Pirates are at — and where they will be

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak take a look at the major league talent and their recent performances. Are we ever going to see a light at the end of thee tunnel? We also dive deeper into the team’s draft picks, signings and potential. Plus, we answer your questions on trades, injury returns and more.

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July 20, 2021 Realistic expectations for Pitt football’s 2021 season

College insiders John McGonigal, Craig Meyer and Nubyjas Wilborn take a big-picture look at the Pitt football program and discuss what we should expect for the upcoming season. Plus, we evaluate Pat Narduzzi’s tenure and Kenny Pickett’s hopes for himself and the Panthers.

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July 19, 2021 Did the Penguins leave Seattle with an obvious choice?

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo break down the Jared McCann trade and discuss the Penguins' protection list. Did Pittsburgh make the right moves? Plus, we look ahead to Wednesday's expansion draft. 

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July 16, 2021 Did the Steelers avoid drama this offseason?

Steelers insider Brian Batko is joined by digital producer Adam Bittner to revisit the latest headlines about Devin Bush, Dwayne Haskins and Ben Roethlisberger. How quiet was the Steelers’ offseason? Plus, we discuss Pittsburgh’s Hall of Fame honors.

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July 15, 2021 Pirates draft recap: How did Pittsburgh do?

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak evaluate the Pirates’ draft picks and discuss how the team did. Which picks are the most exciting? Plus, we take look at how this impacts the Pirates’ farm system and analyze MLB rule changes.

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July 14, 2021 Penguins offseason is about to heat up

With the expansion draft, entry draft and free agency all on the horizon, Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo break down what moves the Penguins might make during these key dates on the calendar. Plus, we set the stage for what should be a busy two weeks.

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July 13, 2021 Is this a chance for Pitt basketball to hit the reset button?

College insiders Nubyjas Wilborn, Craig Meyer and John McGonigal discuss the current state of the Pitt men’s basketball program. How do things look for the team? Where do the Panthers go from here? Plus, we take a look back at what the program has been.

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July 08, 2021 How the Pirates are looking at this year's MLB draft

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak break down Wednesday’s game and look for bright spots in the loss. Then we turn toward the 2021 MLB draft. How are the Pirates approaching it this year? Which player should they take with the first pick?

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July 06, 2021 How Pitt, Penn State athletes will benefit from NIL rules

College insiders Craig Meyer and Nubyjas Wilborn break down the longterm and local impact of the recent changes to name, image and likeness compensation. Penn State is quickly taking advantage of it. But is this more of a future play for Pitt? Plus, we discuss the Nittany Lions’ latest recruiting success.

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June 30, 2021 Breaking down the biggest questions facing the Penguins

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo go position by position and consider the biggest questions for each group. Will the Penguins explore new goalie options? Which centers will they protect? Plus, we take a look at the situations with defensemen, left wingers and right wingers.

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June 29, 2021 How NIL rules will change the landscape of college athletics

College insiders Nubyjas Wilborn, Craig Meyer and John McGonigal break down the NCAA’s name, image and likeness possibilities and how athletes will benefit from the changes. But what are the challenges, pitfalls and questions? Plus, we discuss Pitt’s recent success with recruits.

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June 25, 2021 Can the Steelers find another David DeCastro?

Steelers insider Brian Batko breaks down the release of David DeCastro — the biggest news of the week. Plus, ESPN’s Brooke Pryor joins the show to discuss Steelers training camp and to assign Taylor Swift songs to the players.

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June 24, 2021 At this point, we know what the Pirates are. So let's look ahead.

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak look ahead to the MLB draft and consider the moves Ben Cherington might make. Who should the Pirates pick? Plus, we discuss the Pirates’ chances of having more than one player go to the All-Star game and evaluate Derek Shelton’s pitching choices.

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June 22, 2021 The importance of former Nittany Lion Carl Nassib’s announcement

College insiders John McGonigal, Craig Meyer and Nubyjas Wilborn discuss Carl Nassib’s announcement, Jaylen Twyman’s health status after being shot four times and the Supreme Court’s latest ruling against thee NCAA. Plus, we get into some heated Hawks and Sixers talk.

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June 18, 2021 What we learned from Steelers minicamp

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo recap Steelers minicamp and break down what they learned about the offense, defense and special teams. Which rookies are standing out? Are there competitions brewing? Plus, we look ahead to training camp and how that could be different this year.

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June 17, 2021 Everything that could go wrong for the Pirates has gone wrong

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak discuss just how bad things have gotten for the Pirates, who have now lost 10 straight games. Is this team even equipped to win? We break down the worst parts of their struggles and wonder: Will it be this bad all the time? Plus, we take a look at what’s happening in the minors.

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June 15, 2021 It's recruiting season — and Pitt is taking full advantage of it

College insiders Craig Meyer, John McGonigal and Nubyjas Wilborn discuss schools’ recruiting efforts now that the dead period is over. Pat Narduzzi and the Panthers are wasting no time getting players in the city, on campus and in the facility. Plus, we discuss the state of Pitt basketball, college football playoff expansion and more.

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June 11, 2021 Will Mason Rudolph be Ben Roethlisberger’s successor?

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo recap OTAs and discuss what they have learned about this 2021 team. After hearing from Mason Rudolph this week, we might have a better picture of the Steelers’ quarterback plans for 2022. Plus, will Robert Spillane start, and did JuJu Smith-Schuster  really sign out of loyalty?

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June 10, 2021 Just when the Pirates’ lineup was getting healthy...

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak discuss the return of key injured players and what Colin Moran’s new injury means for the lineup. Will it have an impact on his future with the Pirates? Plus, we break down Ke’Bryan Hayes’ home run gaffe, compare this season to last season and share our minor league scouting reports.

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June 09, 2021 Which Penguins are most likely to leave?

Penguins insiders Mike DeFabo and Matt Vensel discuss the news of Evgeni Malkin’s knee surgery and how that might shape the way the Penguins approach the offseason. Then we break down which players we think are most likely to leave and why.

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June 04, 2021 Steelers OTA takeaways: Is this Ben Roethlisberger’s final season?

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko share their takeaways from the second week of OTAs. The highlight of this week was getting to talk to Ben Roethlisberger and hearing what he had to say about last season, this year and more. Are we buying what he’s selling? Plus, we discuss Chase Claypool’s comments, Tunch Ilkin’s retirement and more.

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June 02, 2021 Penguins must answer some key offseason questions

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo take a quick look back at the Penguins’ quick playoff exit before looking ahead at the difficult offseason questions facing the team. What happens with the core? What do they do in net? And how will the approach the expansion draft?

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May 28, 2021 Steelers tackle Week 1 of OTAs

With Week 1 of OTAs in the books, Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo break down what they’ve learned from the team. Plus, we consider why the Steelers are OK with certain players not attending and introduce a new segment to discuss what we are and aren’t buying from Week 1.

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May 27, 2021 The Pirates are bad right now, but is there hope for improvement?

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak evaluate the current state of the Pirates, which is, in a word, bad. How are injuries impacting their performance, and how are those injured players progressing? Plus, we take a look at the Pirates’ lack of depth, their starting pitching, expectations and more.

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May 26, 2021 How local football, basketball programs are building rosters in age of transfer portal

College sports insiders John McGonigal, Craig Meyer and Nubyjas Wilborn look at how the transfer portal has affected Pitt football and Duquesne basketball in a whirlwind of roster-building decisions. Plus, we dive into our offseason binge watching obsession, “Mare of Easttown.” 

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)   
May 25, 2021 Do the Penguins have another option in goal?

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo, fresh from the wreckage of a tough Game 5 loss, discuss the team’s options going into a do-or-die Game 6 against the Islanders. Do they have any options in net other than the struggling Tristan Jarry? And what happens to the core and coaching staff if they suffer another first-round playoff exit?

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)       
May 21, 2021 Steelers rookie minicamp takeaways

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo break down what they learned from rookie minicamp — or, as Mike Tomlin calls it, “football in shorts.” Najee Harris made a great first impression, but who else stood out? And what did the rookies reveal? Plus, we discuss OTAs, Hall of Fame celebrations and more.

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May 20, 2021 Excitement is building as injured Pirates are nearing their returns

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak discuss the latest injury updates and what those returns could mean for the lineup. Plus, which players are most important to the rebuild? We also take a look at what’s happening with the Pirates’ top prospects in the minors.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

 

May 19, 2021 Penguins pushed back in Game 2, but still have more to prove

Penguins insiders Mike DeFabo and Matt Vensel share their initial takeaways from Game 2 of the Penguins-Islanders series. One of the big storylines was Tristan Jarry, who proved he can bounce back. But was he as good as the stats suggest? Plus, we discuss Evgeni Malkin’s extended absence, the physicality of the series, what’s next and more.

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May 18, 2021 College sports mailbag edition

In a special edition of The North Shore Drive, college insiders Craig Meyer, John McGonigal and Nubyjas Wilborn answer questions straight from readers and listeners. What should Pitt coach Jeff Capel’s focus be? Will Pitt or Duquesne ever add hockey? Plus, we discuss NIL rights, reasonable expectations for Pitt football, cruise lines, pizza and more.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

May 14, 2021 Breaking down the Steelers’ 2021 schedule

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo are back to take a closer at the biggest news of the offseason: the 2021 schedule. We make predictions for the historic 17-game season and share how confident we are in those picks. Which teams stand out as challenges? And which could be easy wins?

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May 07, 2021 How do the Steelers compare to the rest of the AFC North after the draft?

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo are tying up some loose ends from the draft and breaking down the latest news on Terrell Edmunds, Justin Layne, Al Villanueva and more. Plus, we discuss how the draft played out for the AFC North and what those picks mean for the Steelers.

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May 04, 2021 Looking at local draftees’ new teams

College insiders John McGonigal, Craig Meyer and Nubyjas Wilborn discuss the local players from Pitt and Penn State who were drafted over the weekend. Which players have the best chance of making an immediate impact? Plus, we address the Rashad Weaver situation.

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May 01, 2021 Breaking down Steelers' 2021 draft class

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo analyze the 2021 draft class, from Najee Harris to Pressley Harvin. Did they do enough to address the biggest areas of need? Who could be the sleeper star? And what might they have done differently if they were Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert?

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)    
April 29, 2021 The Pirates have their flaws, but lately they're playing good baseball

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak break down how well the Pirates have been playing recently and discuss what’s been standing out. While the bullpen has been terrific, the starting pitching has to go deeper. And what is going on with Mitch Keller? Plus, we talk about player accountability, evaluate the future of the lineup and draft Pirates we would want on a football team.

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April 28, 2021 Are the Penguins playing the right kind of hockey for playoff success?

Penguins insiders Mike DeFabo and Matt Vensel break down the team’s performances in their important two-game series. How close are the Penguins to playing the kind of hockey necessary to be successful in playoffs? Plus, we discuss how important defense and goaltending will be going forward and debate what needs to happen with the power play when Evgeni Malkin returns.

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April 27, 2021 With spring camp behind them, Panthers, Nittany Lions shift focus to fall

College insiders Craig Meyer, John McGonigal and Nubyjas Wilborn review Pitt and Penn State’s spring camps and games. Performances matter more than points, but we still learned plenty from Pitt’s Blue-Gold game. Who pulled ahead in position battles? And which players have more to prove? Plus, we discuss the local intrigue in this year’s draft.

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April 23, 2021 NFL draft preview: Who are the Steelers picking?

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo take over as Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert for the day as we host our very own 2021 NFL mock draft. Using a simulator, we go round by round and pick by pick to analyze the Steelers’ options. Will the first round be a nightmare or a dream for the Steelers? What surprise moves might they make?

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April 22, 2021 Who’s going to finish the season with the Pirates... and who will be dealt?

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak break down Wednesday’s doubleheader and the Pirates’ recent flurry of moves. Who’s standing out — for good or bad reasons? What do these roster changes mean? And which Pirates will be the next ones to go? Plus, we discuss the best moves for Colin Moran.

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April 21, 2021 Penguins need to get back on track

Penguins insiders Mike DeFabo and Matt Vensel break down Tuesday night’s game against the Devils. The Penguins let their foot off the gas and nearly lost the game. Should we be concerned? How will they respond Thursday night? Plus, we share our impressions of Jeff Carter and discuss what the lineup would look like with everyone healthy.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)