Jerry Micco's sports chat transcript: 03.23.2011
Share with others:
James_Indiana: Jerry, would you keep Matt Cooke if you were the Penguins owner?
Jerry Micco: I would only because I think he makes my team better on the ice. Though in my mind he's essentially run out of chances. If he gets suspended again, I'd probably cut him and eat the salary cap expense. But no matter what, my job as owner is to win. He helps me to win if he changes his act. And besides, imagine if I cut him and the Flyers or Caps pick him up.
James_Indiana: Jerry, can the Penguins pull off the unexpected and beat the Flyers twice in their final nine games and possibly win the division?
Jerry Micco: I think that's going to be tough to do because while I think the Flyers are cooling off a bit, they have a game in hand and a five-point lead. Tough to make that up in 9 games if you're the Penguins. I think if the consolation prize is fourth place, that's not so bad. Unless Montreal gets ahead of Tampa for fifth. Then it's a bit dicey.
WyattBurp: Afternoon, Jerry. 2011 Draft. Jon Baldwin of Pittsburg, 6-4, 228. What round do you expect him to go?
Jerry Micco: Low first, high second. By the end of the first round, WRs and RBs will be plentiful and good ones will be available. I think Baldwin may go there.
WyattBurp: CB Chimdi Chekwa of Ohio State, 6-0, 190, 4.33 forty. What round will he go?
Jerry Micco: I have no idea. CBs are always in demand, so he could go second round.
James_Indiana: Jerry, do you have any picks for which MLB team will make a surprise run at the playoffs this year?
Jerry Micco: Haven't even really thought about it. Has to be in a weak division, so the centrals in both leagues open that opportunity. Maybe the Royals and the Brewers?
WyattBurp: Giants HC Tom Coughlin says Eli Manning throws picks because "he wants to be a hero." Isn't it more likely that Tom just wants any risks with the ball reduced to zero?
Jerry Micco: Well, if you throw a lot, picks are going to happen. Even the great Peyton Manning was picked quite a bit last season. And let's not get into the number of bad interceptions thrown by Brett Favre throughout his career. I think Eli will be fine as an NFL QB. He won a Super Bowl early, and sometimes that can dog you throughout your career. But he's a good QB and I'm sure the Giants are happy to have him.
James_Indiana: Jerry, how do you feel about kickoffs being moved back to the 35 yard line?
Jerry Micco: I guess I'm in the minority and don't see it as that huge of a change. Yes, fewer kickoffs will be returned, but I often see guys field the ball at the 7 or 8 on kickoffs, which means they'll field them inside the 5. A bit of a setback, but that ball is still returnable. I don't see that every NFL kicker is capable of putting every kick 5 yards deep in the end zone, but maybe I don't watch enough games.
WyattBurp: Charlie Batch. He's in bankrupcy, read that he could lose his Super Bowl rings? Didn't think creditors could take those away.
Jerry Micco: I don't know the legal limitations of personal bankruptcy, and I hope I never do.
James_Indiana: Jerry, I will be back to Pennsylvania this summer, I hope the Penguins make it to the Stanley Cup in 2012 so I can watch the 2012 finals live! That is why I switched my name to James_Indiana.
Jerry Micco: Well, welcome back to the USA, James. I think the Pens will need a lot of help making the Finals. I don't know if Crosby will be along for the ride, but even so, the East is pretty loaded. If Sid doesn't play, I think they will be hard pressed to win the conference.
The Chief: Hi Jerry, I agree that Matt Cooke shud have been suspended, but isn't this more about the player than the head hitting issues: Charro nothing, Heatly two games.
Jerry Micco: Cooke is a repeat offender and nearly put Marc Savard out of hockey with a vicious head hit last year. An illegal hit, by the way. He's the poster boy for what the NHL wants out of hockey, or at least what the Pens want out of hockey, so to me the penalty is justified.
Perry: If Pitt is serious about its basketball program it will find a way to hire Sean Miller. It is time to upgrade the head coach. Can they win a national championship with Dixon? I don't think so.
Jerry Micco: They average 27 wins a season under Dixon, which is impressive. He probably gets more out of his teams than just about any coach in the nation. And when you look around, only one team wins a national title. Can Pitt do that under Dixon? I don't know. They need to recruit players that are individually capable of carrying a team, and they didn't have that this year. They never really have had that. Great teams usually have that guy and then a couple other players who are capable of that in a pinch. I think Dixon is a very good coach, but thus far, there have been few deep NCAA runs, and that has to be considered.
James_Indiana: Will Aaron Williams be a Steeler? I imagine he would be used as a nickle back this year assuming there is a 2011 NFL season.
Jerry Micco: Some mocks have him going to the Steelers. He's a hybrid CB/FS, so in that sense, he fits what they need. Ryan Clark won't be around forever, so maybe that's where he lands if CB doesn't work out. He likely would be a special teams and dime player for the Steelers, if Gay plays nickle. I thought Gay was OK in the nickle last season.
HelpMeWanda: JM, something in Pitt's approach is not translating to the NCAA tourney. I like Dixon, but is it his gameplan? Or is he simply not getting good enough players? If you look at teams who have won the tourney in recent years, they generally have at least one player who is a NBA lock. There's nobody who meets that description on this year's Pitt team..
Jerry Micco: No and again, I'm in the minority that says since we see the Big East so much we just automatically say it's the best league in the nation. Maybe it's the deepest, but there are other teams in other conferences in a one-and-done situation can handle the Big East. We just saw that in the first couple rounds. Pitt made the Elite Eight with 2 future NBA players. Granted, 2nd-round picks, but 2 NBA players in Blair and Young. You need that one superstar player in college to get where you want to go. But even with that, winning a national title is extremely difficult.
The Chief: So what happens on April 8 when the Penguins visit the Islanders?
Jerry Micco: Gary Bettman is on hand to watch. I think the Islanders will try to do whatever they can to get something started. They have nothing to lose. If I'm the Pens, I make sure Godard and Engelland are in the lineup. Rupp, too. And if Sid's healthy, I'd scratch him.
The Chief: Did you catch Hines on Dancing with the Stars or watching paint dry like Smizik?
Jerry Micco: I was watching Pens-Red Wings, two of the best teams in the NHL.
WyattBurp: DL Jabaal Sherard of Pittsburg, 6-4, 260. Will he be drafted?
Jerry Micco: I think fourth round or below. He's a hybrid and probably a better fit as a 4-3 defensive end if he puts on about 15 pounds.
Kibab1979: Should we be encouraged by Crosby skating on numerous occassions over the last week? If he was still having symptoms you would have to think he wouldn't have been out there that often.
Jerry Micco: It's encouraging, but he still has to see if at some point symptoms return. If he can go several days without symptoms, then he can ramp up his workouts. Then, the cycle starts over. Now he's working out longer and harder. If symptoms return, he has to go back to lighter workouts. That's why it'll be difficult for him to go from light workouts to playing in a couple weeks. There's so much in between what he's doing now and what he needs to do in a game.
reyguillen: Will the Pirates lose 100 games this year? Who will get fired?
Jerry Micco: Probably 90-plus, but not 100. And if they lose that many, Neal Huntington is the guy on the firing line, I'd imagine.
WyattBurp: Evan Royster of Penn State, 6-1, 228, ran a 4.61 forty at Combine. What round?
Jerry Micco: Fourth or below is my guess.
James_Indiana: Jerry, read my post. That is the 2012 finals. I won't be back in time for the 2011 finals which the Penguins will have a difficult time making.
Jerry Micco: Ah, I see. Well in that case, if everyone returns and stays healthy, you have an excellent chance of seeing the Pens in the Finals.
Chunkles: Its amazing that when someone makes a stupid statement and someone actually agrees with them, does that make them more stupid? YES! Adrian Peterson comparing the NFL to slavery. Then you get Rashard Mendenhall agreeing with him. STUPID! My question Jerry, where are all the critics who step up when a black athlete is offended now? Are they not offended that some rich, black million athlete is comparing playing a game and becoming extremely wealthy , to a period in black history where blacks were actually bought and sold and abused with no such rewards. I cannot believe that a statement like that gets swept under the carpet.
Jerry Micco: I read and heard where a lot of people took Peterson and Mendenhall to task for those comments. You may need to search around a bit more, but I heard a lot of folks disagreeing with them. And, a few, who agreed, trying to put Peterson's statement into a different context.
James_Indiana: I think Dixon's work with the US under 19 shows that he has the capability, now he just needs to recruit the kind of player that can get him over the hump. I would be worried about Dixon's recruiting than his coaching?
Jerry Micco: He especially did a good job with Sheldin Mack, don't you think? Mack was a member of that squad. Anyway, yes, I agree that Pitt needs to step up recruiting. They get guys who can play tough, physical Big East basketball, but when you run into physical teams with some shooters, Pitt runs into trouble. I think the incoming class looks very good, though.
The Chief: Good art in the Wash Post yesterday about NFL players and their health benefits. Ryan Clarks meds were an example. As this draws what kind of impact will it have on the players to not give in?
Jerry Micco: I didn't see the story, but like a lot of folks who lose jobs, the players have COBRAs and have to have their own health insurance. The top guys can afford it, the bottom guys will struggle a bit. Sure, the owners are counting on that type of financial pressure to get the players to return. But this is going to take a while.
WyattBurp: Hey Jerry! You run a great mock. Thanks for speaking to the fans. You have a great day.
Jerry Micco: Thanks. Actually, you asked for an opinion on many more players, but I wanted to get other folks in here with their questions. We'll be doing live draft stuff this year, so we'll do more then and more before the draft.
The Chief: ACC hoops has been a two team pony the last few years. Do you see any potential for the ACC to approach a couple Big East Schools(U Conn, maybe Pitt) to join the ACC?
Jerry Micco: Well, the Big East does not see another conference as better then theirs for basketball, so my guess is both schools would stay in the Big East. For football, it would make sense for Pitt and UConn to move, but maybe it's a slight downgrade in basketball. It's really a southern league, not an eastern league, having covered it a lot in my early days.
Perry: Speaking of watching paint dry, is there anything more dull than mock NFL drafts?
Jerry Micco: Actually, if you love the draft, and I do, I find them fascinating. I mean, to each his own, but they guys who dope the draft have made it into a rather lucrative industry. When I finally hang them up, it's something I'd probably have fun doing. I won't make a dime, but it gives you a chance to study all the good college talent out there, and see where the next NFL stars will come from.
HelpMeWanda: Jerry, I realize that cornerback - especially if Taylor leaves - is a major concern for the Steelers. But....the offensive line is a travesty. This year, a lot of blame for their woes was put on Starks and Colon being hurt. One problem - those guys aren't that good either, in my humble opinion. Better than their replacements, yes....but good? If you look back at a lot of recent years, from 2007 or so on, as many sacks as the awesome Steelers D is putting up, teams that play the Steelers are out-sacking them. Will Colbert address this?
Jerry Micco: I think you'll see the Steelers take OL high, depending on who's available of course. I think Starks and Colon improve that line. I agree, neither is a Pro Bowl player, but Starks is solid and Colon is almost there. Pouncey is a huge upgrade, so he did address that last season. A lot of mocks have the Steelers looking at TCU G Marcus Cannon in round 2. He's huge and could be a big help. I look for them to draft at least one OL, maybe two.
James_Indiana: Jerry, well he didn't do a good job with Sheldin Mack since he didn't convince him to come play for Pitt!
Jerry Micco: There was a bit of sarcasm in my answer. It probably killed Jamie to see Mack have that game against him. Guy was on fire in the first half. However, as dumb as the Nasir Robinson foul was, how about Mack's on Gilbert Brown? Not exactly the game's best play, either.
PhillyMarty: Playoffs start roughly 3 weeks from today. My opinion is that Sid will not be ready, the PENS win no more than two playoff games against any opponent. With Sid they may win one round. But the current team is putting out too much energy to stay competitive, will have nothing left for the playoffs, not to mention a lack of fire power.
Jerry Micco: I think you might be right about Crosby, Marty. But I think they can win a first-round matchup without him against Tampa. Against Montreal? Maybe not so much. I liked them starting fast, crumbling, then winning a shootout in Detroit. That was a nice win. And they should have beaten, or at least had a point, against the Rangers if not for Cooke's dumb penalty. And Fleury is still Fleury. And in the playoffs, he seems to get better. I don't know, I think they can win at least one round without Sid.
James_Indiana: Jerry, it is interesting about the ACC's bashing of Big East basketball but what has the ACC done in football since their expansion? If my memory serves me correct, not much.
Jerry Micco: No, they have not done much, but Miami and FSU have been down, which has hurt them. I guess I don't see the ACC as much of a football conference and never have. Virginia Tech seems to be the best team, annually, in that league and they are a nice program. But you are correct in pointing out that the ACC doesn't have much to brag about in football. OK, so Miami killed Pitt on national TV. Nonetheless....
Perry: If the Pirates ever had a winning season what would Bob Smizik blog about?
Jerry Micco: I think Bob would blog about the turnaround. But he's had 18 straight years of losing seasons, and a 19th is likely about to happen. So he's fine for a while, I think.
The Chief: Amazing, opening day about a week away and very few questions about the Pirates. Sorry state of affairs for a once great baseball city!
Jerry Micco: The Pirates have plenty of fans, but they are going to have to prove themselves before there is tremendous interest. I'm interested because I want to see how the young guys do, but if they have one of those 10-17 Aprils, that's going to put a hole in that balloon in a hurry.
PhillyMarty: Walker and Tabata, which is likely to experience the very common sophmore slump, perhaps because the league adjusts faster than the hitter. Which is likely to keep improving?
Jerry Micco: As a hitter, Tabata can do more with his bat with less power, so he may put up similar or close numbers. I think there's more pressure on Walker to hit for power, and that may cause a small slide. Though frankly, I think both can put up decent numbers. I think both have shown they can hit some. Walker also has improved mightily at second.
James_Indiana: Jerry, I was being sarcastic as well but Sheldin Mack would have looked nice in a Pitt uniform.
Jerry Micco: At least on that night, yes. He's a very nice player, but isn't he a lot like Ashton Gibbs, except he can play point?
theWellHungarian: What's up Jerry? Long time, no talk.... You think an NBA team will take a flyer on Gil Brown in the 2nd Round? He is pretty athletic and has a good shot. I think an NBA coach is going to think he can do something with him. What say you?
Jerry Micco: Gilbert certainly didn't hurt himself with that performance on Saturday. I don't know if he'll get drafted, though. I think he'll be in a camp, however.
theWellHungarian: ACC Hoops vs Big East Hoops... My take: The top of the ACC is better than the top of the Big East, but the Big East as a whole is more competitive than the ACC.
Jerry Micco: I agree, and that's what I alluded to earlier. The Big East is deep, but I think Duke and Carolina are better than any Big East team. Now UConn may prove me wrong if they face Duke in the region final, but we'll see.
James_Indiana: Jerry, what will we chat about during your sports chat if there is no NFL and the Pirates are already out of contention by May 1? We have to hope that the Penguins make a run with or without Crosby!
Jerry Micco: I always say, the success of the chats is based on the participants' questions and sports knowledge. My regulars will keep it going somehow, I'm sure. One thing I've discovered in nearly seven years of doing this: the people who take time to do this regularly love sports and have knowledge. And that combo makes them fun and successful.
PhillyMarty: While I believe the Cooke suspension was appropriate, the addition of a playoff round is nowhere close to past precedent. This never happens in baseball. Where is the NHLPA?
Jerry Micco: I think the NHLPA, like the Pens, had to accept this one to prove a point. I've seen players suspended for the playoffs and then part of next season, but not the other way around.
theWellHungarian: I don't understand the NFL players reasoning for being against an 18-game schedule. Safety? Give me a break! If that's the case then, if you were a player why would you want to make the playoffs & play additional game. After all, safetty does come first, right? Maybe they should copy NCAA football & have the BCS formula to decide the NFL Champion.
Jerry Micco: Let's not get crazy now, OK? I think if you have those guys play 18, plus, potentially, four playoff games to decide a title, that's a lot of games and a lot on your body. Exhibition games are not played full speed, and the better players play very little. I think the 18-game season was a non-starter from the beginning and my understanding is now it's off the table, for at least 2 years.
The Chief: Stanley Cup winner from the Caps-Flyers game last night or the Red Wings- Canucks game tonight?
Jerry Micco: I'd say Red Wings-Canucks. Both teams seem to be playing very well and are loaded. Vancouver maybe a bit more.
PhillyMarty: I am no labor law expert, but two thoughts on NFL. Players are locked out. Why don't they go to a cable company like Comcast and start a new league? Even if it they lost a year to set up. That could change the dynamic. Conversely, why don't the 32 teams set up a separate entity specifically for the new revenue from the future digital era. The NFL sells the rights for a token amount, shield the bulk of the earnings from the players.
Jerry Micco: You are a money guy, Marty, so I can't even speak to the money involved in what you propose. But Comcast, which owns NBC, would not be a partner to the players, since NBC is a broadcast partner of the NFL. But I just don't see players being that aggressive abou this. I think they'll endure the lockout, probably win in court, and then negotiate a settlement. Probably by late August.
HelpMeWanda: If Dez Bryant gets suspended for the majority of a season for misleading investigators, shouldn't Tressel too, if not longer? He's supposed to be setting an example. I'd also look at the way he's handled this - which has basically been lie and backtrack.
Jerry Micco: My opinion on that was if the players got 5 games, why not the coach who knew about it?
James_Indiana: Jerry, what is your opinion of the Barry Bonds witch hunt? I am not talking about him being guilty or not but the government wasting so much time and money trying Bonds for something that was condoned by his team the Giants and MLB.
Jerry Micco: It's almost like they just want to prove what everyone else already knows. There is a legal issue here with lying before a grand jury, so that has to be adjudicated. But no one with a set of eyes looked at guys in the steroid era and thought for a second that these guys weren't juicing. But unless they admit to it, or it comes out in court, there is no proof. Maybe this leads to some other things, but there is a pretty major charge hanging out there on Bonds.
PhillyMarty: I thought Tressel was a good guy, But since I hate Ohio State, not sorry I was wrong. He should be fired by the NCAA.
Jerry Micco: Well, the NCAA can't do that, but Ohio State certainly can. And it sounds like that was the furthest thing from their minds.
Jerry Micco: OK folks, I need to get back to a couple of other things. Thanks for taking the time to chat this week and for all the good questions. The hour flew by. I'll see you at noon next Wednesday. Have a great weekend everyone.
First Published March 23, 2011 3:18 pm