The North Shore Drive Sports Podcast

   

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January 21, 2022 Pod of Steel: Wrapping up this Steelers season

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko wrap up the 2021 season. It’s time for the Steelers to turn the page at quarterback and with the offense. Does Mike Tomlin really want Matt Canada back? Plus, we discuss receiving corps decisions, finding rookies to produce on defense 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/)

January 20, 2022 From the Point: Penguins return from road trip

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo recap the longest road trip of the season. What do the All-Star game nods say about Tristan Jarry and Jake Guentzel? And could the Penguins finally get a fully healthy lineup? Plus, we look ahead to the matchup against Matt Murray.

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

January 18, 2022 Off Script: What Pitt basketball proved with a win over Louisville

Pitt insiders Craig Meyer and Johnny McGonigal break down the Panthers’ interesting week. What did their win over Louisville prove? Which players are standing out? Plus, we discuss the hiring of Pitt offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti.

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

January 14, 2022 Pod of Steel: Believe it or not, Steelers playoff football is here

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko revisit the crazy events that kept Pittsburgh’s season alive. Did anyone actually see this coming? Plus, we discuss JuJu Smith-Schuster returning to practice, look ahead to the Chiefs matchup and share our predictions for the playoff weekend.

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

January 13, 2022 From the Point: Evgeni Malkin is back

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo break down Evgeni Malkin’s season debut. Which parts of the team will benefit most from his return to the lineup? Plus, Jeff Carter returns to L.A. How has his time with the Penguins changed his career?

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

January 11, 2022 Off Script: How has Pitt basketball gotten to this point?

Pitt insiders Craig Meyer and Johnny McGonigal take a closer look at where is Pitt basketball now. It was a rough start to the season, but the Panthers are turning things around and forming an identity. What opportunities are ahead for them? And can John Hugley continue to impress? Plus, we share our final team of teams update.

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

January 07, 2022 Pod of Steel: Gearing up for Ben Roethlisberger’s final ride

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko share their lingering thoughts from Pittsburgh’s sendoff for Ben Roethlisberger Monday night. Did that game represent a passing of the torch? Plus, we break down the defense’s necessary performance, discuss T.J. Watt chasing the sack record and preview the Steelers-Ravens game.

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

January 06, 2022 From the Point: Sidney Crosby goes “beast mode”

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo break down Wednesday night’s win, including a closer look at Sidney Crosby’s big game and Casey DeSmith’s concerning performance. Plus, who won the Sam Lafferty-for-Alex Nylander trade? And how many more years can the core stay together?

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

January 04, 2022 Off Script: Takeaways from Pitt’s Peach Bowl loss

Pitt insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer review the Panthers’ Peach Bowl performance, discuss Brennan Marion's departure and break down the latest transfer news.

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

December 31, 2021 Pod of Steel: Can the Steelers step up for Ben Roethlisberger on Monday?

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko break down Ben Roethlisberger’s big news of the week: Monday night will likely be his last game at Heinz Field. How will these final games go for him? Plus, we discuss the latest coaching staff departure and preview the upcoming game against the Browns. 

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

December 29, 2021 From the Point: How are the Penguins navigating the latest COVID-19 situation?

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo break down how COVID-19 is impacting the team once more and how changing CDC guidelines could impact the club. When will the Penguins play hockey on ice again? And what will they need to do to pick up where they left off before the pause? Plus, we share the latest injury updates, including Evgeni Malkin’s recent comments.

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

December 28, 2021 Off Script: Pitt’s Peach Bowl preview

Pitt insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer are gearing up for this week’s Peach Bowl. With Kenny Pickett opting not to play, it’s time for the Nick Patti show. Can the Panthers wrap up a special season with win No. 12? Plus, we discuss Kedon Slovis’ transfer to Pitt.

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

December 23, 2021 Pod of Steel: Pro Bowl selections are in. Were any Steelers snubbed?

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko take a closer look at Pro Bowl selections. Were any of Pittsburgh’s players snubbed? Plus, we share our lingering thoughts from the win against the Titans, discuss the latest COVID-19 situations and preview Sunday’s Steelers-Chiefs matchup.

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

December 22, 2021 From the Point: Penguins’ hot streak halted by NHL’s break

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo discuss the NHL’s decision to hit pause early and try to mitigate its COVID-19 crisis. Did the league make the right choice? What happens next? Plus, we consider how this impacts the Penguins and Olympic participation.

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

December 21, 2021 Off Script: Is Kenny Pickett making the right choice by opting out of the Peach Bowl?

Pitt insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer discuss Kenny Pickett’s decision to not play in the Peach Bowl. Is he making the right choice or should he be playing? And where does the Panthers’ quarterback situation go from here? Plus, we revisit the volleyball team’s Final Four match.

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

December 17, 2021 Pod of Steel: Can the Steelers keep their faint playoff hopes alive?

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko take a look at how COVID-19 is impacting the league once again and how the NFL is handling the situation. Plus, we assess the Steelers’ disappointing run defense, discuss why it’s crucial for the team to start stronger, preview the matchup with the Titans 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/)

December 15, 2021 From the Point: The Penguins are on a hot streak

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo assess the team’s recent hot streak. What are the biggest reasons for the Penguins’ success? Has this changed expectations? Plus, we discuss Jake Guentzel’s injury, Kasperi Kapanen on the top line and how newcomers are making a difference.

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

December 14, 2021 Off Script: A closer look at Kenny Pickett’s Heisman weekend

Pitt insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer recap Kenny Pickett’s Heisman weekend and assess where Pitt goes from here at offensive coordinator. Plus, we discuss Pitt volleyball’s run to the Final Four and the current state of the men’s basketball program.

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

December 13, 2021 Varsity Xtra: Recapping an unforgettable season

High school football insiders Mike White and Brad Everett recap last week's PIAA football championships, which saw an unprecedented four WPIAL teams capture state titles. Plus, we share our favorite memories of the 2021 season and give our picks for Player of the Year and Coach of the Year.

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

December 10, 2021 Pod of Steel: Who or what is to blame for the Steelers’ failures?

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko break down Thursday night’s surreal game against the Vikings. How did the game go from 29-0 to 36-28? Plus, we discuss the heat Chase Claypool is facing and consider how much he deserves it. And while it might be easy to blame the players, the Steelers’ coaching efforts should also be criticized.

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

December 08, 2021 From the Point: Takeaways from the Penguins’ road trip

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo break down the Penguins’ road trip and Jake Guentzel’s recent hot streak. Can he keep it up? Plus, we evaluate the new-look lines and take stock of the Metro Division.

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

December 07, 2021 Off Script: How Pitt claimed the ACC championship

Pitt insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer break down the Panthers’ ACC championship. What stood out most from that game? Plus, we discuss Kenny Pickett being named a Heisman Trophy finalist.

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

December 06, 2021 Varsity Xtra: Previewing the state championships

High school football insiders Mike White and Brad Everett look ahead to next week’s PIAA football championships, with an unprecedented five WPIAL teams competing for state titles. Plus, we discuss the top storylines to watch for in the upcoming high school basketball season, which tips off 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/

December 03, 2021 Pod of Steel: Steelers have a long list of improvements to make

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko share their lingering thoughts from Sunday’s blowout. Why does that loss feel so atrocious? Can the Steelers get this turned around? Plus, we discuss how COVID-19 and injuries have impacted the team, question the struggling run defense, preview the Ravens game 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/)

December 01, 2021 From the Point: What has Tristan Jarry proved with his recent run?

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo evaluate Tristan Jarry’s hot streak and consider whether or not it’s too early to consider it a redemption story. What more does he need to show? Plus, we discuss Casey DeSmith’s numbers, overtime 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/)

November 30, 2021 Off Script: ACC championship game and the future of Pitt’s football program

Pitt insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer take a look back at the win that gave the Panthers’ their first 10-win regular season since 1981. How will that impact the program moving forward? Plus, we look ahead to the ACC Championship game, award expectations 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/)

November 29, 2021 Varsity Xtra: WPIAL championship memories and state semifinal predictions

High school football insiders Mike White and Brad Everett discuss their favorite memories from this past weekend's WPIAL championship games at Heinz Field and offer predictions for all 12 state semifinal matchups. Plus, we're joined by Penn-Trafford star running back Cade Yacamelli to recap his epic performance in the Warriors' first WPIAL title win.

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

November 26, 2021 Pod of Steel: Is the Steelers’ offense actually getting into a groove?

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko share their lingering thoughts from Sunday’s 41-37 loss to the Chargers. Are we buying the Steelers’ explanations and optimism? Plus, we preview the upcoming matchup with the Bengals and share our predictions.

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

November 24, 2021 From the Point: What did the Penguins’ road trip prove?

Penguins insiders Mike DeFabo and Matt Vensel evaluate the team’s latest three-game road trip. How has it changed the outlook for the team and, more specifically, Tristan Jarry? Plus, we discuss what is working for the Penguins, take a look at the standings, share stick taps 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/)

November 23, 2021 Off Script: Pitt’s path to being ACC Coastal champs

Pitt insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer discuss the ACC Coastal win, Jordan Addison and Kenny Pickett’s national awards status, the Panthers’ possible ACC title game matchup and what this season could do for Pitt in the years to come.

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

November 22, 2021 Varsity Xtra: Previewing this weekend’s WPIAL championship games

High school football insiders Mike White and Brad Everett discuss Bob Palko’s place among the all-time greatest coaches in WPIAL history after winning his record-tying ninth WPIAL title on Saturday. Plus, we preview the five WPIAL championship games taking place at Heinz Field this weekend.

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

November 19, 2021 Pod of Steel: Steelers are facing some major health issues

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo share their lingering thoughts from the Week 10 tie with Detroit Lions. What kind of backup is Mason Rudolph? Plus, we take a look at the team’s current struggles with COVID-19 and injuries. Is this the most undermanned they’ll be? Who’s actually good for Sunday?

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

November 17, 2021 From the Point: Penguins closing in on an agreement to sell

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo break down this week’s big news: The team is in the process of selling to Fenway Sports Group. We clarify what that means for the Penguins, what you should know about FSG and more regarding the news. Plus, we discuss just how much the team has been struggling lately.

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

November 16, 2021 Off Script: Pitt could claim the ACC Coastal title

Pitt insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer look ahead to the Panthers’ upcoming game against Virginia. It’s a huge game for Pitt because the winner of that game claims the ACC Coastal. Plus, we evaluate the disappointing start to Pitt’s basketball season.

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

November 15, 2021 Varsity Xtra: Previewing the WPIAL semifinals and Class 6A championship

High school football insiders Mike White and Brad Everett discuss how Steel Valley can overcome a season-ending injury to star running back Nijhay Burt in order to reach the WPIAL Class 2A title game. Plus, we give our predictions for all 10 WPIAL semifinal matchups, as well as the WPIAL Class 6A championship between Mt. Lebanon and Central Catholic on Saturday.

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

November 12, 2021 Pod of Steel: Steelers are playing for the division lead

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko break down how Pittsburgh overcame its uneven performance and managed a win against the Bears. Can the Steelers find a way to fix the issues that keep popping up? And how difficult will the rest of their season be? Plus, we preview the upcoming Lions matchup and make some bold predictions.

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

November 11, 2021 From the Point: Which Penguins have helped or hurt their stock?

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo evaluate whose stock is up, whose is holding and whose is down. Plus, we take a look at the Penguins' early-season slump and the trends we've seen so far.

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

November 09, 2021 Off Script: Pitt football bounces back

Pitt insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer revisit the Panthers’ win against Duke and consider how they picked up after a slow start. Plus, we discuss the remaining games on Pitt’s schedule and look at the upcoming college basketball season.

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

November 08, 2021 Varsity Xtra: Takeaways from first-round playoff action

High school football insiders Mike White and Brad Everett share their reactions to the opening round of the WPIAL playoffs and hand out Shining Stars to the top performers from last Friday’s games. Plus, we look ahead to the biggest matchups in this week’s quarterfinal round, along with the Class 6A semifinals.

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

November 05, 2021 Pod of Steel: The arrow is pointing up for the Steelers

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko share their lingering thoughts from Sunday’s victory over the Browns. When the Steelers lost Chris Boswell, the odds were stacked against them, but they showed up. Plus, we discuss the Melvin Ingram situation and preview Monday’s game against the Bears.

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

November 04, 2021 From the Point: What is the ripple effect of Sidney Crosby testing positive for COVID-19?

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo discuss the latest setback for the team: Sidney Crosby and Brian Dumoulin testing positive for COVID-19. Now the Penguins will be missing their top-line center and three of their top six defenseman. Who will need to step up? And who is most impacted?

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

November 02, 2021 Off Script: Pitt’s margin for error is much smaller after Miami loss

Pitt insiders Johnny McGonigal and Craig Meyer dive deeper into Pitt’s deflating loss to Miami. Kenny Pickett set three records in that game, but the Panthers still lost. How will they adjust over the coming weeks? Plus, we discuss college football playoffs, rankings 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/)

November 01, 2021 Varsity Xtra: Breaking down WPIAL playoff picture

High school football insiders Mike White and Brad Everett discuss  the WPIAL playoff picture and debate whether the committee got it right. Plus they offer their first-round predictions and look at the final Shining Star of the regular season.

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

 

October 29, 2021 Pod of Steel: Is this Browns game a must-win for the Steelers?

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko preview the upcoming Steelers-Browns matchup. How important is this game when it comes to the AFC North race? Plus, we discuss challenges the Steelers will face Sunday, the Browns’ injury report, the current state of the division 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/)

October 27, 2021 From the Point: Paul Bissonnette shares his Penguins memories and takes on the season

Special guest Paul Bissonnette joins this week’s From the Point podcast to take a look back at his time with the Penguins, discuss how Pittsburgh’s season is going and more. Plus, insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo break down the Penguins’ first regulation loss of the season.

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

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. 

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"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?

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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"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.

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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.

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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.

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"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?

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"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/)


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