John Mehno

Mehno: Steelers must prevail today at Raiders

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers are supposed to win in Oakland this afternoon. Yes, James Conner is out, but the Raiders are 2-10 and haven’t done very much right this season. This game and the season finale at home against Cincinnati are set up on a tee for the Steelers. In between two ...

Anyone miss Le’Veon Bell right now?

PITTSBURGH — James Conner won’t play for the Steelers in this Sunday’s game at Oakland because of an ankle sprain. He’ll be replaced by a committee of running backs so anonymous they could use “Hello, my name is” stick-on tags. Officially it’s Stevan Ridley, Jaylen Samuels and ...

Big Ben needs to be gentle Ben

PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger was right about this much: rookie receiver James Washington has to make the catch he didn’t make last Sunday in Denver. He cost the Steelers a touchdown in a game they lost by seven points. But was Roethlisberger right to go public with his criticism of ...

Denver loss could haunt Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers handed a game to the Denver Broncos and may have given away their hopes for a first-round playoff bye in the process. It was painful to watch the parade of mistakes, which included four turnovers. The Steelers could have overcome that number with some takeaways, ...

Denver’s ‘D’ will be a challenge

PITTSBURGH — Sunday? This is Sunday? It’s been one of those weeks where three or four days have seemed like Sunday, so that accounts for the confusion. OK, if this is really Sunday, the Steelers are in Denver and in a potentially troublesome game against the Broncos. The first problem ...

Ugly win a good sign for Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers’ victory Sunday in Jacksonville was one of their most impressive games of the season, for all the wrong reasons. The defense yielded too many rushing yards (179) to a team that doesn’t pass the ball well. Ben Roethlisberger’s three interceptions helped the ...

Penguins send message with trade

PITTSBURGH — The Penguins made a peculiar trade last week, sending Carl Hagelin to the Los Angeles Kings for left wing Tanner Pearson. The odd thing about it is the motivation. General manager Jim Rutherford freely admitted one of his prime reasons for making the deal was to wake up his ...

No Bell ringing in Pittsburgh for the holidays

PITTSBURGH — Santa Claus is still coming to town. Le’Veon Bell isn’t. His long holdout officially ended just past 4 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon when he didn’t show up to sign the contract tender the Steelers offered him months ago. That means Bell won’t play in the NFL anywhere ...

Wondering what Brown was thinking

PITTSBURGH — If Antonio Brown actually was driving over 100 miles per hour on a suburban highway last week, it begs this question: Why? Was he late for an appointment? Was his Porsche fresh from a tune-up and he was anxious to test it? Did a soccer mom in a mini-van challenge him to a ...

Thursday means money for the NFL

PITTSBURGH — Steelers Sunday comes early this week. In fact, the home game against the Carolina Panthers will be on Thursday night. The good news is once it’s over, the players and staff will have extra time to recover before the next game, Nov. 18 at Jacksonville. That’s the extent ...

Bell’s presence couldn’t hurt team

PITTSBURGH — Aw, who needs Le’Veon Bell, right? That’s been the prevailing sentiment lately as Bell’s contract holdout continues with no end or logic in sight. His absence has coincided with some record-setting work by replacement James Conner. In last Sunday’s game against ...

Steelers make no moves at deadline

PITTSBURGH — Good news. The NFL trading deadline passed Tuesday afternoon, and that ended all the crackpot Le’Veon Bell trade rumors. He’ll either play for the Steelers, or he’ll stay home and lose in excess of $800,000 every time his erstwhile teammates play a game. The Steelers ...

Steelers play with tragedy on minds

PITTSBURGH — Sunday dawned gray and gloomy in Pittsburgh with a persistent drizzle. It was one of those days when the elements matched the mood. The Steelers played the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field, just a few miles from the spot where a hideous tragedy was making international ...

Browns not so easy anymore

PITTSBURGH — The Cleveland Browns are in town today, and their visits have usually been as welcome as those from Santa Claus. It’s generally been a nice way for the Steelers to pick up an easy win. Maybe not now, though. The Browns still aren’t good, but they aren’t awful, ...

Steelers need to think about trades

PITTSBURGH — The NFL trading deadline usually passes with scant interest among Steelers fans. This year is different. Patrick Peterson, cornerback for the Arizona Cardinals, has made it known he would like to be traded before the Oct. 30 deadline. This would make perfect sense for the ...

Admission of lack of effort surprising

PITTSBURGH — Manny Machado is being paid $16 million to play baseball. Effort is not necessarily part of that package. Machado, now with the Los Angeles Dodgers, did an interview with Ken Rosenthal last week that is remarkable for being both candid and clueless. Machado, 26, admitted to ...

Cincy LB very far from Burfict

PTTSBURGH — Vontaze Burfict was sneaky dirty this time. The Cincinnati Bengals linebacker dropped an elbow on Antonio Brown’s head that TV cameras saw but game officials didn’t. After that, players reported that Burfict yelled across the line of scrimmage, “You’re next” at ...

AFC North feud starts back today

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers and Bengals will start mixing it up just past 1 o’clock this afternoon. The relevant question is whether football will be the No. 1 topic of conversation when this one wraps up somewhere around 4 o’clock. The teams have a heated rivalry, and one of the key ...

Oh look … more drama from Brown

PITTSBURGH — Asking the day’s relevant question: Who among us hasn’t tossed an ottoman off a 14th floor balcony in a fit of rage? That bizarre story broke on Tuesday as a man in Florida sued Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, alleging that Brown put his safety in peril by pitching ...

Pittsburgh plays its way in victory

PITTSBURGH — If someone hadn’t seen the Steelers play before Sunday, they may have wondered what all the stress was about. The Steelers rolled to a 41-17 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on a summer-like Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field. They ran the ball well. They got after the ...