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Steelers should have given media access to Lake

March 9, 2011
The Altoona Mirror

PITTSBURGH - Here is some midweek news and commentary: Carnell Lake joins the Pittsburgh Steelers coaching staff.

Outstanding players don't necessarily make outstanding coaches. There's a different group of skills involved.

But Lake was a smart player who served the team well as a player. Don't ever forget that he switched from safety to the more difficult cornerback spot when Rod Woodson went out with a season-long knee injury.

Now Lake is in charge of the Steelers defensive backs, and he'll have instant credibility with his players because of what he accomplished on the field.

You can't be sure until training camp starts, but this looks like a good hire.

Lake was unavailable for comment after his hiring.

The Steelers said he was in meetings and couldn't meet the media.

Lame excuse.

An informal briefing would have taken 15 minutes and would have generated some positive publicity at a time when the NFL news is focused on the labor negotiations.

Limiting access to assistant coaches has been a trend since Mike Tomlin took over.

As controlling as Bill Cowher was, he didn't seem to mind if the assistant coaches talked to reporters.

There was no controversy involved in this one. It was a chance for the Steelers to get some nice headlines since Lake's return is a feel good story.

The Steelers blew this one on two fronts: By making Lake unavailable to the media, and by inventing the bad excuse that he was tied up in meetings.

Time is working against Sidney Crosby.

Crosby has been seen in the shadows at Consol Energy Center.

He's coming in to see teammates, but he's trying to stay out of sight while he continues to recover from a concussion.

He still hasn't been cleared to work out, and this is March 9.

At this point, the odds are against his being able to return before the last week of the season.

The more that's learned about concussions, the scarier it is.

Former Penguins defenseman Brad Werenka told reporter Joe Starkey that he couldn't go to the supermarket when he was recovering from a concussion.

The bright lights gave him headaches.

That's what can happen with a brain injury.

Pitt plays in the Big East tournament.

It's amazing how many people think Pitt should take it easy in the conference tournament and "save their energy" for the NCAA Tournament.

Rest easy. They're young men. They typically play several games a day in sweltering heat in outdoor summer leagues.

They have enough energy and adrenaline to get through two tournaments.

Mehno can be reached at

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