PITTSBURGH - What can we learn from the Pittsburgh Steelers' first preseason game?
That there's still a lot of work to be done.
The good thing about NFL exhibition games is they give the coaches some live-action tape to look at in order to make evaluations.
By the way, that's the only good thing about NFL exhibition games, unless you're fond of in-game sideline interviews with starters who have called it a night after one series of plays.
It looks like the offensive line will be a work in progress in advance of the season opener as the staff tries to get the right players in the right spots.
Newly-signed receiver Jerricho Cotchery should get some needed work in the new system beginning with Thursday's home game against Philadelphia.
Otherwise, the preseason games are what they've always been - loosely-run scrimmages that the NFL sells at real game prices.
It's a marathon
If the Pirates' temporary return to relevance does nothing else, it reinforces just how long a baseball season is and how many twists and turns there can be along the way.
On May 23, the Cleveland Indians were 30-15 and held a seven-game lead in the American League Central.
At last check, the Indians were 60-57 and 21/2 games behind Detroit in the division. Since that hot start, Cleveland has gone 30-42, the Indians' winning percentage dipping from the season-opening .667 to .417 in the ensuing 72 games.
At what price?
Carlos Zambrano had another meltdown with the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.
Zambrano was upset with the way things went, cleaned out his locker and left the ballpark.
The Cubs have only themselves to blame. Zambrano has been doing these kinds of things for years.
The Cubs rewarded his erratic behavior with a $91.5 million contract extension in August, 2007.
Nothing says keep on doing what you're doing like a ridiculous amount of money.
But that's what happens when a team gets overwhelmed by what a player can do on the field.
Is it really worth it, though? Can a player like Zambrano be counted on?
The answer is not really. He's a talent, but his inability to harness his emotions and take a greater sense of responsibility keeps him from maximizing his ability.
Mehno can be reached at email@example.com.