The North Shore Drive

40 Episodes
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By: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Join us every week for a look at Pittsburgh sports with a rotating cast of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sportswriters from our home base on North Shore Drive.

Will Mason Rudolph be Ben Roethlisberger’s successor?
#305
Yesterday at 11:59 AM

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo recap OTAs and discuss what they have learned about this 2021 team. After hearing from Mason Rudolph this week, we might have a better picture of the Steelers’ quarterback plans for 2022. Plus, will Robert Spillane start, and did JuJu Smith-Schuster  really sign out of loyalty?

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Just when the Pirates’ lineup was getting healthy...
#304
Last Thursday at 12:21 PM

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak discuss the return of key injured players and what Colin Moran’s new injury means for the lineup. Will it have an impact on his future with the Pirates? Plus, we break down Ke’Bryan Hayes’ home run gaffe, compare this season to last season and share our minor league scouting reports.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Which Penguins are most likely to leave?
#303
Last Wednesday at 11:25 AM

Penguins insiders Mike DeFabo and Matt Vensel discuss the news of Evgeni Malkin’s knee surgery and how that might shape the way the Penguins approach the offseason. Then we break down which players we think are most likely to leave and why.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


RMU hockey players wonder what's next; James Franklin appreciates lessons learned in 2020
#302
Last Tuesday at 11:30 AM

College insiders John McGonigal, Craig Meyer and Nubyjas Wilborn discuss Robert Morris’ decision to end its hockey programs and Mike Krzyzewski’s retirement announcement. Plus, we get to hear what Penn State head coach James Franklin learned from the 2020 season and what he expects from his team this year.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Steelers OTA takeaways: Is this Ben Roethlisberger’s final season?
#301
06/04/2021

Steelers insiders Ray Fittipaldo and Brian Batko share their takeaways from the second week of OTAs. The highlight of this week was getting to talk to Ben Roethlisberger and hearing what he had to say about last season, this year and more. Are we buying what he’s selling? Plus, we discuss Chase Claypool’s comments, Tunch Ilkin’s retirement and more.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Pirates are finally welcoming back Ke’Bryan Hayes
#300
06/03/2021

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak discuss the biggest news for the Pirates: Ke’Bryan Hayes’ return. How will the roster change to accommodate him? Will his return be everything everyone has hoped for? Plus, we take a look at the rotation, the minors and more.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Penguins must answer some key offseason questions
#299
06/03/2021

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo take a quick look back at the Penguins’ quick playoff exit before looking ahead at the difficult offseason questions facing the team. What happens with the core? What do they do in net? And how will the approach the expansion draft?

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Steelers tackle Week 1 of OTAs
#298
05/28/2021

With Week 1 of OTAs in the books, Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo break down what they’ve learned from the team. Plus, we consider why the Steelers are OK with certain players not attending and introduce a new segment to discuss what we are and aren’t buying from Week 1.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


The Pirates are bad right now, but is there hope for improvement?
#297
05/27/2021

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak evaluate the current state of the Pirates, which is, in a word, bad. How are injuries impacting their performance, and how are those injured players progressing? Plus, we take a look at the Pirates’ lack of depth, their starting pitching, expectations and more.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


How local football, basketball programs are building rosters in age of transfer portal
#296
05/26/2021

College sports insiders John McGonigal, Craig Meyer and Nubyjas Wilborn look at how the transfer portal has affected Pitt football and Duquesne basketball in a whirlwind of roster-building decisions. Plus, we dive into our offseason binge watching obsession, “Mare of Easttown.” 

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)   


Do the Penguins have another option in goal?
#295
05/25/2021

Penguins insiders Matt Vensel and Mike DeFabo, fresh from the wreckage of a tough Game 5 loss, discuss the team’s options going into a do-or-die Game 6 against the Islanders. Do they have any options in net other than the struggling Tristan Jarry? And what happens to the core and coaching staff if they suffer another first-round playoff exit?

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)       


Steelers rookie minicamp takeaways
#294
05/21/2021

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo break down what they learned from rookie minicamp — or, as Mike Tomlin calls it, “football in shorts.” Najee Harris made a great first impression, but who else stood out? And what did the rookies reveal? Plus, we discuss OTAs, Hall of Fame celebrations and more.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Excitement is building as injured Pirates are nearing their returns
#293
05/20/2021

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak discuss the latest injury updates and what those returns could mean for the lineup. Plus, which players are most important to the rebuild? We also take a look at what’s happening with the Pirates’ top prospects in the minors.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

 


Penguins pushed back in Game 2, but still have more to prove
#292
05/19/2021

Penguins insiders Mike DeFabo and Matt Vensel share their initial takeaways from Game 2 of the Penguins-Islanders series. One of the big storylines was Tristan Jarry, who proved he can bounce back. But was he as good as the stats suggest? Plus, we discuss Evgeni Malkin’s extended absence, the physicality of the series, what’s next and more.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


College sports mailbag edition
#291
05/18/2021

In a special edition of The North Shore Drive, college insiders Craig Meyer, John McGonigal and Nubyjas Wilborn answer questions straight from readers and listeners. What should Pitt coach Jeff Capel’s focus be? Will Pitt or Duquesne ever add hockey? Plus, we discuss NIL rights, reasonable expectations for Pitt football, cruise lines, pizza and more.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Breaking down the Steelers’ 2021 schedule
#290
05/14/2021

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo are back to take a closer at the biggest news of the offseason: the 2021 schedule. We make predictions for the historic 17-game season and share how confident we are in those picks. Which teams stand out as challenges? And which could be easy wins?

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


What (and why) should Pirates fans be watching right now?
#289
05/13/2021

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak break down all the reasons to pay attention to the Pirates right now. What should fans be taking note of? We also discuss what the Pirates should do with Tyler Anderson and what’s happening in the outfield. Plus, we take a look at Pittsburgh’s latest minor league developments.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Penguins postseason primer
#288
05/13/2021

Penguins insiders Mike DeFabo and Matt Vensel are joined by Josh Getzoff from the Penguins Radio Network to break down Pittsburgh’s first-round matchup with the Islanders. What are the biggest factors that could swing the series? Plus, we discuss who we’re picking to win and what we’re excited to see from the other matchups.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


The Justin Champagnie question is answered. What's next for the Panthers?
#287
05/11/2021

College insiders Craig Meyer, John McGonigal and Nubyjas Wilborn break down Pitt basketball’s latest big news: Justin Champagnie is officially entering the draft. How does this change things for the Panthers? Is their outlook as grim as it seems? Plus, we evaluate Jeff Capel’s time here and give him a grade. We also discuss the NCAA’s NIL rule and Pitt soccer’s historic run.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


How do the Steelers compare to the rest of the AFC North after the draft?
#286
05/07/2021

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo are tying up some loose ends from the draft and breaking down the latest news on Terrell Edmunds, Justin Layne, Al Villanueva and more. Plus, we discuss how the draft played out for the AFC North and what those picks mean for the Steelers.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Pirates prospects creating highlight reel moments
#285
05/06/2021

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak break down Tuesday’s minor league games and all of the prospects’ highlight reel moments. The Young Bucs are giving fans positive things to talk about, but there’s so much more to come. Plus, we discuss the Pirates’ series in San Diego. Which players stood out?

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Evgeni Malkin is back — but it’s just the first step for the Penguins
#284
05/05/2021

Penguins insiders Mike DeFabo and Matt Vensel break down the two-game series against the Philadelphia Flyers. Have the Penguins experienced some slippage? Plus, Evgeni Malkin is back and that’s key — but it’s also just the first step for him.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Looking at local draftees’ new teams
#283
05/04/2021

College insiders John McGonigal, Craig Meyer and Nubyjas Wilborn discuss the local players from Pitt and Penn State who were drafted over the weekend. Which players have the best chance of making an immediate impact? Plus, we address the Rashad Weaver situation.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Breaking down Steelers' 2021 draft class
#282
05/02/2021

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo analyze the 2021 draft class, from Najee Harris to Pressley Harvin. Did they do enough to address the biggest areas of need? Who could be the sleeper star? And what might they have done differently if they were Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert?

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)    


The Pirates have their flaws, but lately they're playing good baseball
#281
04/29/2021

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak break down how well the Pirates have been playing recently and discuss what’s been standing out. While the bullpen has been terrific, the starting pitching has to go deeper. And what is going on with Mitch Keller? Plus, we talk about player accountability, evaluate the future of the lineup and draft Pirates we would want on a football team.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Are the Penguins playing the right kind of hockey for playoff success?
#280
04/28/2021

Penguins insiders Mike DeFabo and Matt Vensel break down the team’s performances in their important two-game series. How close are the Penguins to playing the kind of hockey necessary to be successful in playoffs? Plus, we discuss how important defense and goaltending will be going forward and debate what needs to happen with the power play when Evgeni Malkin returns.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


With spring camp behind them, Panthers, Nittany Lions shift focus to fall
#279
04/27/2021

College insiders Craig Meyer, John McGonigal and Nubyjas Wilborn review Pitt and Penn State’s spring camps and games. Performances matter more than points, but we still learned plenty from Pitt’s Blue-Gold game. Who pulled ahead in position battles? And which players have more to prove? Plus, we discuss the local intrigue in this year’s draft.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


NFL draft preview: Who are the Steelers picking?
#278
04/23/2021

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo take over as Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert for the day as we host our very own 2021 NFL mock draft. Using a simulator, we go round by round and pick by pick to analyze the Steelers’ options. Will the first round be a nightmare or a dream for the Steelers? What surprise moves might they make?

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Who’s going to finish the season with the Pirates... and who will be dealt?
#277
04/22/2021

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak break down Wednesday’s doubleheader and the Pirates’ recent flurry of moves. Who’s standing out — for good or bad reasons? What do these roster changes mean? And which Pirates will be the next ones to go? Plus, we discuss the best moves for Colin Moran.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Penguins need to get back on track
#276
04/21/2021

Penguins insiders Mike DeFabo and Matt Vensel break down Tuesday night’s game against the Devils. The Penguins let their foot off the gas and nearly lost the game. Should we be concerned? How will they respond Thursday night? Plus, we share our impressions of Jeff Carter and discuss what the lineup would look like with everyone healthy.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Spring camp wrapping up for Panthers, Nittany Lions
#275
04/20/2021

College insiders Craig Meyer, John McGonigal and Nubyjas Wilborn break down Penn State's spring showcase over the weekend and Pitt's upcoming spring game. What should we look for from the Panthers? Plus, we discuss Pitt basketball, volleyball and more.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Steelers wrap up a busy week
#274
04/16/2021

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo break down James Conner’s departure and Vince Williams’ return. Is this the fresh start Conner needs? Plus, we discuss the OTA issues and hear Brian’s interview with Zach Banner.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


What encouraging signs are the Pirates showing?
#273
04/15/2021

Pirates insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak discuss the surprises and disappointments they've seen so far during the Pirates’ season. Plus, they debate which players they would buy or sell.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

 


Pitt, Penn State secondary preview; transfer portal extravaganza
#272
04/13/2021

College insiders John McGonigal, Craig Meyer and Nubyjas Wilborn finish our position previews with Pitt and Penn State's secondary and special teams. Plus we address recruiting and transfer news for Pitt basketball, Pitt football and Robert Morris basketball.

Music from https://filmmusic.io "RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)      


Penguins trade deadline breakdown
#271
04/13/2021

On a special trade deadline episode, Penguins insiders Mike DeFabo and Matt Vensel break down the Jeff Carter trade. What kind of production should fans expect out of the newest Penguin and where will he fit in? What forces led Ron Hextall to give up future assets? Plus, we look at the rest of the moves around the East Division.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Steelers need to focus on offensive line
#270
04/09/2021

Steelers insiders Brian Batko and Ray Fittipaldo are back to break down the Steelers’ offensive line. It should definitely be the team’s No. 1 priority, but what changes are we likely to see? Along with sorting out all of the moving parts, the Steelers must also identify what exactly the offensive line’s needs are. Plus, Brian shares an exclusive behind-the scenes-look at his interview with former Steeler Ike Taylor.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Exactly what has gone wrong for the Pirates? (Hint: A lot.)
#269
04/08/2021

The Pirates return to Pittsburgh for their home opener — with a five-game losing streak. What’s gone wrong? (Spoiler alert: Not a lot has gone right.) Plus, insiders Jason Mackey and Mike Persak discuss which players have struggled the most and who needs to prove they have what it takes to stay in the lineup.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Can the Penguins turn their game around?
#268
04/07/2021

Penguins insider Mike DeFabo is joined by special guest Brian Metzer from the Penguins Radio Network to break down the team’s recent struggles. What happened to that stout defensive team we saw in March? Plus, we discuss players the Penguins could target ahead of the trade deadline and how things could change when the team gets healthy.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Breaking down Pitt and Penn State’s defensive line and linebacker situations
#267
04/06/2021

College insiders Craig Meyer, John McGonigal and Nubyjas Wilborn have covered the quarterback and other offensive positions at Pitt and Penn State. Now, we're moving on to the defensive line and linebackers. Do the Nittany Lions have their next star linebacker? The Panthers have a lot of players to replace on the defensive line, but is there still reason for optimism?

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Will the Steelers be interested in these local players?
#266
04/02/2021

Steelers insider Brian Batko is joined by college football insiders John McGonigal and Nubyjas Wilborn for a special episode of The North Shore Drive. With the draft getting closer, it’s time to wonder: Are the Steelers zeroing in on any players from Pitt or Penn State? Should they? We go through eligible Panthers and Nittany Lions to see what they bring to the table and if they fill any of the Steelers’ needs.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"RetroFuture Clean" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)