No one has a crystal ball, certainly not me. But, if the Pitt football team does not have a good season in 2008, I will be shocked.

Everything is in place. An explosive offense featuring three outstanding receivers, and of course, LeSean McCoy in the backfield. The defense is led by “The Human Tackling Machine” Scott McKillop at linebacker.

The key will be on game day. Coach Dave Wannstedt is entering his fourth season and has yet to lead his alma mater to a bowl game. I believe that will change this year.

Wannstedt knows this is the year that the program has to take a giant step. I see it in his eyes when I talk to him. Dave’s always a personable, friendly guy. But this year, you can tell he’s more focused than ever. Wannstedt will need to be.

The margin for error is paper thin. Expectations are high. All the tough games will be at the friendly confines of Heinz Field. In short, there are no more excuses! Time for the Blue and Gold to get it done.

Be sure to catch our exclusive one-on-one interview with Coach Wannstedt every Thursday during the season on “The Last Word” — Thursday nights on WTAE Channel 4 Action News at 11 p.m.

I’m sure you’ve heard many opinions about the Brett Favre situation with the Packers. I’m going to keep this short, but I might as well put my two cents in. Bottom Line: Brett Favre formally retired back in March. For whatever the reason, wether he felt pressured to do so, or he no longer felt welcome in Green Bay, the fact is he announced he was shutting it down. The Packers moved on, and rightfully so. Now, Favre wants to come back, and he wants his starting job back. Look, I’m a big Brett Favre fan. My brother-in-law, Howard is quick to tell me how overrated he is, and maybe that’s true. But, Favre brought fun back to football. He wore his emotions on his sleeve. He always looked like he was having the time of his life out there on the football field. He will go down as perhaps the greatest Green Bay Packer of all time, and that’s saying something. But, he can’t have it both ways. He can’t hold a team hostage as he has for the last three years or so regarding his future. Brett, you made your decision, live with it. Stay retired. Going to another team for a year or two will damage your legacy and erase a lot of the good will you’ve built over the years. I’m not sure how all of this is going to play out, but I would venture to guess it won’t turn out too well. Good luck to all.

Tomlin Takes Charge

August 6, 2008

He’ll never admit it, but Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin appears a lot more comfortable this season than he was in 2007. Last year, “Coach T” was more of an observer. He seemed to be analyzing his team more than directing them. Didn’t turn out all that bad. In his first season as a head coach, Tomlin led the Black And Gold to a division title and a home playoff game. But, this year, it seems a lot different. Tomlin is more animated, more vocal, and he appears more confident. I could see that in the first training camp practice. By banishing nose tackle Casey Hampton to the sidelines until he gets in better shape, Tomlin is letting it be known that the Buddy-Buddy days of Bill Cowher are over. It’s his way, or the highway. It’ll be interesting to see how his team responds, but it’s crystal clear that in year two, Tomlin is in complete control.