John Mehno

Mehno: MLB should shorten spring training

PITTSBURGH — Exhibition baseball starts this weekend with the Pirates playing the first of their 30 games. That’s about 10 more than they need. Spring training is too long, and has been for a while. There was a time when six weeks of spring training was necessary. Players needed that ...

Mehno: ‘The Animal’ was good man and character

PITTSBURGH — Jim Myers died the other day. George “The Animal” Steele did, too. Even though they were the same person, Myers was just short of his 80th birthday, while Steele had just turned 50. It was all part of a fascinating and profitable double life that ended for one of pro ...

Skipping White House trip not bad

Commentary PITTSBURGH — There are some members of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots who will treat their invitation to the White House as junk mail. That’s their right. There is some mild outrage that at least a handful of Patriots players have announced they have no ...

Movement in outfield mostly positive

PITTSBURGH — On the first weekend without football since September, the focus shifts to baseball. The Pirates welcome pitchers and catchers to workouts tomorrow after a sleepy offseason. They’re counting on plenty of in-house improvement, and they’ll try to jump-start that process ...

New England simply the best right now

PITTSBURGH — Are the New England Patriots the best ever? Who knows? That’s a barstool argument that has no real answer. Pro football is always changing and evolving, so comparisons to the past are hard, if not impossible. Are they the best now? Absolutely. Coach Bill Belichick and ...

Replacing Big Ben will be hard to do

PITTSBURGH — Steelers chairman Art Rooney II allowed last week that maybe it’s time to start looking for a quarterback who could eventually replace Ben Roethlisberger. That’s prudent. It’s also frightening. It was either Einstein or Lombardi who first postulated one of the basic ...

Mehno: Steelers not planning on big changes

PITTSBURGH — Art Rooney II held his annual season-ending chat with reporters on Tuesday, and it wasn’t exactly bubbling over with news. n He doesn’t think Ben Roethlisberger will retire now. n He would like to keep Antonio Brown for a long time. n He doesn’t know if the Steelers ...

Steelers need to keep eyes on the enemy

PITTSBURGH — Back when the Steelers won four Super Bowls in six years, they had a significant rivalry with the Houston Oilers. The Oilers were fond of saying that the path to the Super Bowl ran through Pittsburgh, knowing they’d have a likely showdown with the Steelers in the ...

Pittsburgh can win today if …

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Can the Steelers win in New England today? Of course they can. Will they? Probably not likely. This evening’s game is something of a Super Bowl unto itself, a clash of powers worthy of its own spotlight without those NFC infidels serving as the opening ...

Mehno: Locker room video stunt just plain silly

PITTSBURGH — Keep an eye on Facebook this week. Maybe Antonio Brown will post the Steelers’ game plan for the AFC championship game at New England. It’s hard to know what was going through Brown’s mind when he decided to go live via Facebook from the locker room after the Steelers ...

Winning at Patriots will be much tougher

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers are headed to Foxborough this Sunday, but that trip to Kansas City was awfully bumpy. The Steelers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 18-16 Sunday night to advance to the AFC championship game. That’s Tom Brady against Big Ben, and another confrontation with the ...

Mehno: Big Ben has improved off the field

PITTSBURGH — Your opinion of Ben Roethlisberger probably hinges on how he plays tonight in Kansas City. If he plays well and leads the Steelers to the AFC Championship game, he’s the greatest. If the Steelers lose, his approval rating will fall accordingly. That’s how it goes with ...

Decisions by Steelers coaches spoil big day

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers were having a fine day Sunday. That was right up until the time their franchise quarterback started clomping around in a walking boot, just hours before one of their assistant coaches wound up in police custody. Talk about quickly changing the narrative after an ...

Pittsburgh expected to beat Miami

Commentary PITTSBURGH — The temperature won’t even approach the freezing mark today at Heinz Field, yet the heat is on the Steelers. They’ve won exactly one playoff game in the last five seasons, and that only happened because the Cincinnati Bengals saved their most knuckleheaded ...

Stability hard to find in NFL

PITTSBURGH — This is the time of year that a lot of football coaches start packing up their offices and seeking a new opportunity. A bunch of coaches are getting bad news. In the case of Denver’s Gary Kubiak, he left the job on his own. Kubiak walked away because the high-stress existence ...

Mehno: Pittsburgh manages best of both worlds

PITTSBURGH — If we didn’t know this before, we do know: The Steelers can beat the Cleveland Browns without really trying. It wasn’t easy, Sunday’s 27-24 victory in overtime, but it was still a familiar outcome. The Steelers are 15-1 against the Browns at Heinz Field. Ben ...

Test your knowledge of 2016

PITTSBURGH — It’s a brand new year, and it has to be better than the one that just ended. The Pirates did a backslide, and the injury-depleted Steelers were eliminated by the eventual Super Bowl champion. The Penguins rallied around a coaching change and won their fourth Stanley Cup. It ...

Legendary QB lacks insight

PITTSBURGH — Terry Bradshaw was right. He was correct at least to this degree — Mike Tomlin is not a great coach. If the term “great” is to have any meaning, there’s only one current NFL coach who could be considered in that category. It’s everyone’s favorite villain, Bill ...

Game-winning play makes for happy holiday

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers are in the playoffs, never mind the tightrope they walked for three hours to get there Sunday evening. They won the AFC North with a come-from-behind last-second 31-27 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. It will be remembered as one of the most classic games ever at ...

Mehno: Sing along with stories of the year

PITTSBURGH — Christmas is here, and that means it’s time to salute the year in sports by providing new lyrics for familiar seasonal melodies. It’s a great day, a rare collision of feasting and football as the Steelers meet the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field with the AFC North title at ...