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Steelers will lose coaches

| Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2006

Thinking out loud:

- It's still a question mark if Bill Cowher will be back next season to honor the final year on his contract as the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

My guess is his last game on the Steelers sideline will be New Year's Eve in Cincinnati.

Regardless of whether Cowher stays or leaves, expect the team's coaching staff to show a new look in 2007.

Third-year quarterback coach Mark Whipple is a good bet to land the Boston College post, while the performance of the special teams hasn't made Kevin Spencer look very good.

There's also some talk that offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt could be departing if Cowher leaves and the job is given to assistant head coach Russ Grimm.

I can't see Grimm being Cowher's successor.

- Don't be too surprised if this is linebacker Joey Porter's last year in a Steeler uniform.

The Steelers aren't happy with Porter's mouth and he may have worn out his welcome after eight seasons.

- If Ringgold hadn't named Jeff Petrucci its new football coach the other day, Petrucci could have been calling the shots somewhere else.

Another Keystone Conference school, which I won't name, would have created a vacancy if Petrucci had been available.

No, that other school isn't Belle Vernon Area where Petrucci first made a name for himself in the coaching ranks.

- Wonder what's going through Yough High football coach Jim Wehner's mind as WPIAL Class AA champion Jeannette gets ready for Saturday's PIAA title game against unbeaten Wilson at Hersheypark Stadium.

If you have a short memory, Yough handed the Jayhawks their lone defeat of the season, 35-21, in the third game of the campaign.

Speaking of the PIAA playoffs. I still can't believe Thomas Jefferson didn't make it to Hershey after getting run over by twice-beaten General McLane, 28-7, Saturday.

- Pitt may be unbeaten and ranked No. 2 in the country but I can't see the Panthers making it to the Final Four. I hope I'm wrong.

- Who would have thought before the season started that the Big East Conference's football coaching fraternity headed by Rutgers' Greg Schiano, West Virginia's Rick Rodriguez and Louisville's Bobby Petrino would be so highly sought after.

Rodriguez is the old man of the trio at 42. Petrino is 35 and Schiano 30.

- Anyone else think Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield's fan club kept dropping when he stood pat at last week's winter baseball meetings?

It's no secret the Pirates won't be going anywhere without a left-handed power hitter.

- And thanks to Jim Stump, of Rostraver Township, who says quarterbacks and credit cards are safest in the pocket!

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