Government keeps spinning tall tales on Cashless Debit Card despite failure to prove it works

first_imgGovernment keeps spinning tall tales on Cashless Debit Card despite failure to prove it works The Australian Greens MPsThe Greens say the Government should abandon the Cashless Debit Card not continue to throw money at the failed punitive program.“The $30 million “Job Ready Package” intended for the Cashless Debit Card Trial sites must be invested in supportive measures, for all people in regional, rural and remote areas that need support and training.“According to a budget leak some portion of the “Job Ready Package” money will be allocated to assisting with helping people get tax file numbers, driver’s licences or other documentation, this should be happening right now in all areas.“It’s frankly ridiculous that Employment Providers who are being paid billions in Government money are not already providing this essential and very basic support.“Helping people address key barriers like poverty or assistance with administration or access to the internet has been recommended extensively by people in the Jobactive program and by experts for years.“Now we finally have some tacit acknowledgement that we need to help people address what is stopping them finding work rather than just punishing them or telling them to “get a job”.“It’s appalling that Government Senators keep spinning out their tired lines on how good the Cashless Debit Card is. It’s absolute rubbish and it needs to be called out.“This Government has been unable to provide ANY compelling evidence that the card has had a positive outcome or achieved any of its supposed aims.“The Government has spent billions pushing this punitive scheme, and millions on flawed evaluations trying to prove that this approach works and to justify their punitive approach.“Government Senators claim they know what communities want when First Nations organisations have been extremely clear that this card is contrary to the Closing the Gap objectives of self-determination and free, prior informed consent.“The card doesn’t work. It’s racist, discriminatory and punitive. If there was a genuine will to assist people with the barriers they face we would see investments in wrap around services that are delivered by the community and abandonment of the card.“This card causes loss of dignity, shame and stigmatisation, this is what people have said when asked in the Government’s evaluations.” /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:AusPol, Australia, Australian Greens, Closing the Gap, community, debit card, employment, failure, gap, Government, Internet, Loss, money, racist, tax, triallast_img read more

Thousands of Breadfruit Trees to be Planted in Schools

first_imgAdvertisements Thousands of Breadfruit Trees to be Planted in Schools AgricultureSeptember 21, 2014Written by: Bryan Miller Photo: JIS PhotographerRegional Director, Ministry of Education Region 3, Maxine Headlam (right), receives a Ma’afala breadfruit plant from Director of the Trees That Feed Foundation, Cathy Lyn (left). Occasion was the national launch of the Trees That Feed in Schools programme on Friday (September 19), at the Ocho Rios High School, St. Ann. RelatedSt. Elizabeth Farmers Trained to Combat Beet Armyworm Related$27.8 Million Sorrel Processing Plant Opens in Bethel Town Thousands of Breadfruit Trees to be Planted in SchoolsJIS News | Presented by: PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQualityundefinedSpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenPlaycenter_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Story HighlightsThousands of breadfruit trees are to be planted at schools across the island under a project aimed at boosting the school feeding programme, while aiding in reforestation.The project dubbed: ‘Trees That Feed in Schools,’ was officially launched on Friday (September 19) at the Ocho Rios High School, where a number of trees were handed over for plantingApproximately 5,000 breadfruit plants will be distributed to schools island-wide over the next six months. RelatedJamaica Embarks On Commercial Bamboo Production Thousands of breadfruit trees are to be planted at schools across the island under a project aimed at boosting the school feeding programme, while aiding in reforestation.The project dubbed: ‘Trees That Feed in Schools,’ was officially launched on Friday (September 19) at the Ocho Rios High School, where a number of trees were handed over for planting.Approximately 5,000 breadfruit plants will be distributed to schools island-wide over the next six months.Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, in a speech delivered by Custos of St. Ann, Hon. Norma Walters, hailed the project, noting that it provides a good example of sustainable development.“Planting trees is healthy for the environment and is a positive contribution to future generations.  In addition, the planting of breadfruit trees, in particular, has the benefit of increasing food supplies for the Jamaican population while promoting national food security,” he noted.He said that the launch of the project is “very timely,” as it coincides with the Ministry’s revamped school feeding programme, and its mandate to increase school attendance and enrollment.Under the programme, over 200,000 students in the early childhood age group began receiving breakfast and lunch free or at a subsidised price, at the start of the new school year. This is expected to assist in increasing the ability of children to concentrate, learn, and perform specific tasks.Stating that the Government has allocated $4 billion toward the school feeding programme during this financial year, Minister Thwaites said local farmers and commodity suppliers will benefit from the expenditure, while providing scope for employment. “Through the programme, we want to help to stimulate the rural economy,” he added.Regional Director, Ministry of Education Region 3, Maxine Headlam, told JIS News that to date, some 60 schools in St. Ann have been presented with breadfruit plants, and all the other schools in the parish will receive by the end of the year.“I love this project, because it’s a vision that will outlast even the persons, who thought of it, initiated it.  For us (at the Ministry of Education) it means food supply for the school feeding programme,” she said.She said the project also represents economic solutions for small communities, as the schools will not be able to absorb all the produce from the trees planted and as such, persons, from nearby communities, will benefit.Trees That Feed in Schools involves collaboration among the Ministries of  Education, and Agriculture and Fisheries; Trees That Feed Foundation; Rotary Club of St. Catherines South in Ontario, Canada; and the Rotary Club of Ocho Rios East.The variety of breadfruit that is being planted under the project is the Ma’afala, which is very high in nutrition. The trees are smaller than other varieties, which makes the fruit easier to reap, and leads to less waste.last_img read more

A show of strength

first_imgThe outliers here are Latvia and Lithuania, which spend dismally little on defence, and Sweden, which is planning cuts to its already malnourished military. One option is to scrap all mechanised army units. Another is to save the army but give up submarines. Another is to shrink all the services even further, but modernise the remnants. If I were in charge, I’d be frowning, not yawning. Edward Lucas edits the international section of The Economist. “Forgive me if I yawn,” said a senior American official when I asked about Russia’s recent Zapad-13 military exercise. It is true that even the Soviet military was not as mighty as it seemed – “Upper Volta with missiles” was a cruel jibe – and after 1991 the Russian armed forces fell into a pitiful state, fought to a standstill by lightly armed Chechens in 1996. But times are changing. Capabilities are improving fast, as Karlis Neretnieks, a retired Swedish general, has noted in a new paper assessing Zapad. In theory, this was an anti-terrorist drill. But, as he notes, an exercise’s scenario is less important than what really took place. The facts are striking. Zapad was huge: including related exercises elsewhere in Russia, it involved up to 70,000 troops. Moving large numbers of men and machines around is tricky: Russia used to be notably bad at this. In Zapad, it managed the task a lot better. Some 20,000 interior-ministry (MVD) soldiers were involved. Their job is to hunt down enemy special forces. Given how weak NATO’s land power has become, it would depend heavily on special forces in the event of a conflict. Integration with Belarus has improved too, with a joint amphibious landing from hovercraft in Kaliningrad, supported by ship-to-shore bombardment. Russia’s landing capability (for example, in the Baltic states or northern Poland) is an important factor. It has improved. Russia’s air force did well, practising the interception of approaching bombers with a fighter escort (again, nothing to do with anti-terrorist operation, but useful in the event of a conflict in the Baltic). Its UAVs (drones) featured as never before. Russia now has a ‘deep-strike’ capability from its ground-based systems such as the ‘Smerch’ rocket-launcher and Iskander missile (M1983 and SS-26 in NATO-speak). As Neretnieks points out, this is “disturbing” for anyone thinking of using out-of-theatre harbours and airfields to reinforce the Baltic states in the event of crisis – which is just what NATO’s contingency plans indeed depend on. He concludes: “We see a rapidly increasing Russian capability to mount large-scale, complex, military operations in its neighbourhood, co-ordinated with operations in other areas. It would be a mistake to see this just a problem for the Baltic states. It should have implications for most of Russia’s neighbours, and also for other parties interested in the security and stability in the Baltic Sea region.” It is also worth pointing out that this improvement precedes the planned $755 billion (€557bn) decade-long modernisation programme. By 2020, the Russian armed forces will – in theory – have one million active-duty personnel, and lots of new kit: 2,300 tanks, 1,200 helicopters and planes, 50 surface ships, 28 submarines, and 100 satellites. This does not make Russia invincible. It just makes it stronger – and thus requires correspondingly more effort from countries that want to mount a credible defence. As the United States winds down its military presence in Europe, NATO is getting weaker, not stronger. Poland is worried about this. It has started a big military modernisation, based on the (unstated) assumption that it may have to fight alone. The thinking of President Bronislaw Komorowski is that Poland should in future offer less to NATO (especially in missions overseas), and expect less too. last_img read more

KCUR shines light on plight of Prairie Village man facing Medicaid service cuts

first_imgFinn Bullers and his wife Anne, pictured in January.KCUR on Thursday shined the spotlight on the troubling experience Prairie Village resident Finn Bullers has had trying to navigate KanCare, Kansas’s Medicaid administration program.Bullers, a former Kansas City Star reporter who suffers from Muscular Dystrophy, has received round-the-clock in-home medical assistance, helping him adhere to medication regiments, to clean and cloth himself, and to prepare food.But as part of KanCare move to examine costs, several thousand KanCare recipients have had their service levels evaluated. United Healthcare, the company that manages Buller’s Medicaid, told Bullers his attendant care services will be cut by 75 percent. The cuts are scheduled to go into effect Nov. 1.It’s a move that Bullers’ physician told KCUR she finds troubling:Dr. Laurie Fisher, Buller’s doctor for more than ten years, says she was not consulted when United reevaluated Bullers, and she disagrees with the company’s decision.“I understand that there’s concern about people misusing the health system or that certain people get more care than they probably truly need,” says Fisher. “But I really feel like Finn is a very appropriate candidate for 24-hour care and needs it to continue to be able to live.”Read KCUR’s full piece here.And see our previous coverage here and here.last_img read more

Gophers lose first game in Big Ten finale, still earn top seed for NCAA Tournament

first_imgMinnesota led once in the game at the end of the first period, but Penn State took control from there and led 3-2 in the third period.One of Minnesota’s highest scorers, defenseman Jack Sadek, was able to break through and scored the equalizer, his third goal in three games.“It somehow popped out to me,” Sadek said to the media. “I just one-timed the puck. That’s what the coaches are kind of harping on us to do, the defensemen.”Penn State wasn’t involved in just one double overtime game during the Big Ten Tournament.The championship tilt between Wisconsin and Penn State also went to a second overtime period, but didn’t last as long as the semifinal game.Although Minnesota has won all four Big Ten regular season titles, it has only won one of the four tournaments. With Penn State’s victory and tournament title, the Gophers were confirmed as one of the four number-one seeds in the NCAA Tournament.Minnesota will enter the NCAA Tournament for its 37th time, a tournament record, which broke a tie that the team previously held with Michigan at 36.Minnesota had not played Notre Dame since last season, splitting the series that came in November of 2015. The Gophers are 1-0 against Notre Dame all-time in NCAA tournament games.“We haven’t played them this year, but we played them a little bit last year,” captain Justin Kloos said Sunday. “So we kind of know their style, they’re good offensively, [they have] offensive defensemen [who] like to get up in the play.” Gophers lose first game in Big Ten finale, still earn top seed for NCAA TournamentMinnesota set a new record for NCAA Tournament bids Sunday at 37.Carter JonesGoaltender Eric Schierhorn watches forward Leon Bristedt reach to block a pass against Wisconsin on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 at Mariucci Arena. Drew CoveMarch 20, 2017Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintMinnesota fell out of the Big Ten Tournament in its first game Friday, but the Gophers still finished the weekend on top.While the team didn’t win, the Gophers were selected as a one-seed for the NCAA Tournament Sunday and will play No. 10 seed Notre Dame in Manchester, New Hampshire on Saturday.The rollercoaster weekend for Minnesota started Friday when the team played the longest game in Big Ten Tournament history with Penn State.The Gophers looked poised to hold off the Nittany Lions offense in the second overtime period, but the lone penalty in extra minutes on Minnesota proved fatal. A turnover along the boards put the Nittany Lions defenseman Erik Autio open in front of the Minnesota net and he broke the 3-3 tie 93:33 into the conference game, sending Penn State to its first Big Ten Tournament title game.Minnesota’s key to the extended game was its goaltender — Eric Schierhorn.In one of the strongest performances in his two years with the Gophers, the sophomore goalie faced 63 shots and saved 59 of them, a career-high for saves in a game.“The goalies played [well],” head coach Don Lucia told the media Friday. “I was very happy [with] the way Eric played. [He’s] played well the second half of the season.”Facing a total of 20 shots in the two overtime periods, and 43 in the first three frames, Schierhorn kept Minnesota in the game to prolong the Gopher’s hopes.Schierhorn has kept pace with his statistics from his freshman season and improved his save percentage to .908 and his goals against average to 2.60 this season. Minnesota was outshot 63-40, but managed to keep pace with a strong Penn State offense that was able to find its way through the Gophers’ defense.last_img read more

US approves highway bill and EXIM Bank

first_imgSenators voted 83 to 16 to approve the highway bill after it cleared the House of Representatives by a 359-65 margin; the bill paves the way for USD205 billion of investment into highway infrastructure and USD48 billion for transit projects over the next five yearsThe passing of the law marks a significant step towards improving the USA’s ailing transport infrastructure. This was the first long-term highway bill signed in a decade.In a bonus for US manufacturers and exporters, the legislation saw the reauthorisation of the US Export-Import Bank (EXIM).HLPFI has reported extensively on developments at the EXIM Bank. Many were disappointed when its charter expired in June 2015, meaning the bank could not engage in any new business. Supporters said thousands of organisations relied on the EXIM Bank to fund or guarantee international transactions deemed too risky by commercial lenders.Despite opposition from Republicans, the EXIM Bank’s charter has been restored until September 30, 2019, subject to a number of regulatory reforms and a lower lending limit. “This bill is not perfect, but it is a common sense compromise, and an important first step in the right direction,” said US President Barack Obama ahead of the bill signing.”I look forward to signing this bill right away, so that we can put Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, and transit systems, reauthorise the Export-Import Bank that helps our companies compete around the world, and give local and state governments and employers the certainty they need to invest and hire for the long term.”www.exim.govlast_img read more

Qorvo Partners with LEEDARSON to Develop Multi-Standard Smart Lighting Solutions for IoT

first_imgQorvo has partnered with leading lighting and IoT solutions company, LEEDARSON, to create a family of smart home lighting products that operate concurrently with Zigbee 3.0 and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0 protocols.The first of these solutions is a new LEEDARSON smart light bulb and light switch that integrates Qorvo’s QPG6095 system-on-chip (SoC), a multi-protocol/multi-channel smart home communications controller for ultra-low-power wireless applications. This new, smart light bulb is being demonstrated at the LEEDARSON booth during the IFA Consumer Electronics Unlimited show (IFA2018) in Berlin from August 31 – September 5 and will also be showcased at IBC 2018 in Amsterdam from September 14-18.According to IDC, the market for smart home lighting products is expected to grow from $1 billion in 2017 to $3.5 billion in 2022, a compound annual growth rate of 26%.The Qorvo QPG6095 SoC advances the state of smart home networking by supporting different connectivity standards, including IEEE 802.15.4, Zigbee 3.0, Thread and BLE 5.0, for sensors and actuators throughout the home. This enables easy integration of multi-protocol use cases in IoT smart home devices, supporting simultaneous interactions with a BLE-enabled smartphone and the Zigbee network. The QPG6095 is BLE 5.0 and Zigbee 3.0 platform and product certified, and Zigbee certified for Touchlink, for lighting applications. It also provides Green Power energy efficiency, extended range and battery life, and robust interference mitigation.According to Luke Lin, President of IoT for LEEDARSON, Qorvo’s QPG6095 allows them to develop solutions that support multiple IoT protocols, enabling new use cases and applications in the lighting market. Its Green Power feature enables coin cell battery operation, offering a longer battery life of 10 years for light switches and smart home sensors. This greatly reduces cost and time spent by users replacing batteries.last_img read more

Courier Sports Columnist Mike Pelaia says: James Conner will be Steelers’ starting RB in 2018 (here’s why)

first_imgLike us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlFollow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourier CAN’T CATCH HIM—Courier photographer Thomas Sabol captures Steelers rookie RB James Conner escaping the grasp of Falcons defensive end Brooks Reed, Aug. 20 at Heinz Field. Conner had 98 yards rushing on 20 carries in his first professional game.Rookie was impressive against Falcons, Bell eventually may choose to play elsewhereBy now, you know the score. The Steelers won their second preseason game over the Atlanta Falcons, 17-13, Aug. 20. To me, to the coaches and perhaps to you, that means nothing. Wins and losses are meaningless in the preseason, but how you play means everything in this world.For some of these guys, they are playing for starting roles or to be the lead reserve at certain positions. Other guys are just trying to make the team and have a job. The coaches are looking at everyone intently and they certainly saw both ups and downs during this second of four exhibitions.While I’m not a coach, I watch the battles intently and the first thing that stood out to me was the secondary. The good, perhaps the only good, was Jordan Dangerfield with his two picks. I think he has played his way onto the team through camp and with his preseason performance thus far. You must have presence in the secondary and Dangerfield exhibited that presence against Atlanta.On the other hand, Ross Cockrell did not. I’ve long had an issue with Cockrell being a starter on this team as I think he’s better suited for the nickel package, and I think he proved that again on Aug. 20 vs. the Falcons. Whenever you know a cornerback because you see the back of his jersey so often, my friends, you have a problem. That used to be my issue with William Gay; it’s now Cockrell that has become that guy.I don’t believe he can be the starter on a Super Bowl defense and ultimately, I think if Cam Sutton can get healthy and get some time on the field for the Black and Gold, he’ll overtake Cockrell for the number two spot.It wasn’t just Cockrell though. Big plays and third down conversions were given up by this secondary too often throughout the game, to the tune of 255 passing yards allowed. I know that the starters didn’t play much of the game and Mike Mitchell didn’t suit up at all, but that has been the Achilles Heel for the Steelers for some time now and must be rectified sooner than later.I’m very comfortable with the front seven and think the run defense will be one of the better ones in the league with the amount of talent they possess. Anthony Chickillo showed with his five tackles and two sacks against the Falcons that he can play well in big spots, and he and Arthur Moats will certainly continue to battle over the next few weeks for that top reserve role on the outside.Offensively, I was most impressed by James Conner. Conner was afforded 20 carries in his first pro game action ever and he turned those carries into 98 yards. I was impressed by his quickness and ability to find the holes and while he dropped a few passes, I have no concerns about him catching the ball out of the backfield moving forward. He typically has sure hands and he’ll be fine the next time around. I had seen him in camp without pads and was impressed by both his speed and agility, but to see it at game speed confirmed what I had already suspected; Conner is going to be the starting running back in Pittsburgh starting in 2018 if Le’Veon Bell doesn’t lower his asking price. He has already shown me he has the talent to be a starting running back in the NFL, and soon.Conner will certainly have a big role behind Bell this season and it’s starting to look like Josh Dobbs might have a bigger role than originally expected behind Ben Roethlisberger as well. I’ve been very impressed by Dobbs so far through camp and two weeks of the preseason, and while Landry Jones continues to remain on the sideline with an injury and Big Ben rests, Dobbs continues to get reps that a typical third stringer wouldn’t receive. He’s done fairly well through the first couple of weeks to the point that I think there is some serious consideration for him to be the backup sooner than later. I’ve been a big supporter of Jones through the years and think he’s a quality backup but Dobbs can play his way right into the job if he keeps this up. Quite frankly, I like Bart Houston as well but the team won’t keep four QBs, so the best-case scenario for Houston would be as a practice squad stashaway.So, Saturday, Aug. 26 is fast approaching. The “dress rehearsal,” where the starters play at least three quarters to gear up for the regular season. I believe you’ll see just about all of the defensive guys play a significant amount of time at home vs. the Colts with the exception of Ryan Shazier and James Harrison. Everyone else will be asked to perform. Offensively, the play-calling will be relatively vanilla but I believe you’ll see a lot of the same in terms of starters playing at least a half, possibly three quarters with the exception of Big Ben and Antonio Brown. I think they’ll play, but I’d be surprised if they were out there for more than a quarter. Sammie Coates and Justin Hunter will be given their opportunities to prove why they belong on this team and special teams guys like Knile Davis and Trey Williams will show why they should be retained as well.As you watch the game vs. the Colts, the score doesn’t matter…but the plays that are made, the effort put forth and the individual position battles do.last_img read more

This new crop of Steelers ‘got their mojo working’ (Aug. 23, 2017)

first_imgLike us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlFollow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourier NO HELMET, NO PROBLEM—Courier photographer Thomas Sabol captures Steelers rookie LB T.J. Watt still battling, even after his helmet was knocked off, during a play against the Falcons, Aug. 20 at Heinz Field.“Got my mojo working, but it just won’t work on you. Got my mojo working, but it just won’t work on you. I’m going down to Louisiana to get me a mojo hand I’m going down to Louisiana to get me a mojo hand. Got my mojo working, but it just won’t work on you.” (Muddy Waters)The Pittsburgh Steelers faced the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Aug. 20 at Heinz Field and won by the untidy score 17-13. Regardless of how this almost-meaningless preseason game played out, the game caused me to have a flashback to a song that my father and grandfather used to love; “I got my mojo working,” recorded by the late, great Muddy Waters. My “pap” and my father would often refer to a man or woman who had fallen madly in love with the opposite sex as being a victim of “roots” or a well-placed “mojo” or spell that was placed upon them.AUBREY BRUCECOURIER STEELERS CENTRALLet’s fast forward to the Steelers of 2017. If last Sunday was any indicator, the Steelers just might be the new “root” workers in the NFL, especially in the division where they compete, the AFC North. Players with names like Juju Smith-Shuster, Fitzgerald Toussaint and Stephon Tuitt seem as if they are fresh off a Louisiana riverboat looking to make a few friendly wagers. With “Juju” lining up for the Black and Yellow, I am totally convinced that a new “mojo-hand” will have a place of residence in the Steelers nation. Take a listen boys and girls, if the Steelers can’t get their mojo going, I am reasonably certain that they can get their “Juju” workin’, even if “Juju” hasn’t quite proven himself yet. Another one of the sorcerer’s apprentices that may be on the true road to stardom is rookie running back James Conner. After a slow start against the Falcons, Conner turned up the propane tank and torched the Falcons for 98 yards on 20 carries. The one negative about Conner’s performance was that he dropped a few easy passes, but those miscues could have easily been attributed to a slight case of the jitters. Nonetheless, he confirmed that he realizes how important it is for him to be a quality receiver in Steelers offensive coordinators Todd Haley’s offense as well as a great rusher. Conner does not want to be a “situational” back and said as much. “(I don’t want to be) short yardage, I just want to be a valuable receiver,” he said. As the game progressed, Conner also appeared as if he became more comfortable with the Steelers’ zone-blocking scheme.GOIN’ THE OTHER WAY—Courier photographer Thomas Sabol captures the hoopla surrounding one of Jordan Dangerfield’s two interceptions for the Steelers, as they defeated the Falcons, 17-13, Aug. 20.For over the past decade, the real backroom gamblers, the New England Patriots, have kept a mojo-hand on the Steelers. First, they cheated the Steelers, then they beat the Steelers, then they cheated and beat the Steelers. Pittsburgh never really knew whether they were cheated, beaten, outfoxed or outcoached. Pittsburgh oftentimes looked timid, almost appearing to be in a semi-fetal position even before the game began. But hold up lads and lassies…the era of “timidity” in regards to Pittsburgh facing New England seems as if it may have become past tense. A once-unsure and tentative Steelers defense may now have their “Tutu” and the remainder of his D-line cronies operating in sync and that, my friends, does not bode well for the rest of the NFL offenses. “We know we can get to the quarterback, it’s just getting there,” Tuitt proclaimed. “We will be using a lot of different ways (to do that). We gave up a lot of third down conversions at the beginning of the game. They moved the ball on us and they converted third downs but this is a preseason game, we’re just out here—we’re not going to show too much.”If the Steelers back up strong safety Jordan Dangerfield “got no respect” before the Steelers/Falcons clash, I am certain that offensive coordinators from around the league will taking a fresh look at film featuring Mr. Dangerfield after he burned the Falcons for a couple of picks. Rodney Dangerfield may have moved on to the spirit world, but Jordan Dangerfield is very much alive and kickin. ‘Many Steelers’ past players and coaches who may have been “spellbound” by the “riverboat gamblers and sorcerers” from the land of Paul Revere, masquerading as a professional football team…those days may be gone. The cards are now being dealt from a new deck by a new set of dealers and fortunately for the Steelers, the cards are not marked and the Patriots do not get to deal first, and the Steelers younger players are not intimidated by history because they have not been a part of past losers. Can’t you imagine, the wind blowing through the Patriots, the slightly ajar “window of opportunity” for an NFL championship, causing the “candles of exposure” to flicker, casting an eerie glow on the photo of Bill Belichick, causing many skeletons in the New England Patriots’ closet to begin rattling at the stroke of midnight?The Pittsburgh Steelers no longer have to worry about any other NFL teams’ mojo because they may finally have figured out and gotten their own mojo working, and that, boys and girls, spells trouble for the rest of the NFL.last_img read more

Pitt Preview: Panthers looking to take the next step

first_imgPitt’s Quadree Henderson picks up 84 yards on a kickoff return for the Panthers. (Photo by William McBride)PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Pat Narduzzi considers himself a bit of a sloganeer. The Pitt football coach adopted “Earn The Jersey” during his first season in 2015. Last fall the Panthers rallied around “The Pursuit.”This time around, Narduzzi has coined “Take It.” And it means exactly what you think it means.While the Panthers have put together consecutive 8-5 seasons under Narduzzi’s stewardship _ only the third time in the last 37 years Pitt reached the eight-win plateau in back-to-back years _ he doesn’t believe that’s anywhere near the ceiling. Not for a team that was the only one in the country to knock off national champion Clemson last season.In this Aug. 11, 2017, file photo, Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi instructs his players during an NCAA college football practice in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)“We’ve need to take it to the next level,” Narduzzi said. “We’ve got to go take it is really where that comes from. Nobody is going to give us anything.”It’s a mantra that resonates with quarterback Max Browne. A five-star recruit coming out of high school, Browne spent three years at USC fighting for a shot at the controls. When it finally arrived in 2016, Browne’s tenure lasted just three games before he was replaced by freshman Sam Darnold.Frustrated, Browne graduated early and searched for one last shot. He found it at Pitt, which is developing a reputation as a place where quarterbacks can resuscitate their careers. Tom Savage did it in 2013 after making Pitt his third school in four years. Nate Peterman did it in 2015 and 2016 after coming over from Tennessee. Both are now in the NFL.Browne is in no mood to look that far down the road. He simply wants to play. His consistency during spring drills and training camp earned him the starting job for the season opener against Youngstown State on Sept. 2. And he has no plans of letting it go. There’s too much to be done. Namely trying to get that considerable chip off his shoulder, one he’s learned to embrace.“That will be a part of me for football, life, wherever I go,” Browne said. “I think that’s 100 percent the case. After year five, something has got to get you up, and that’s definitely the case.”Browne is hardly the only new face. Shawn Watson takes over as offensive coordinator after Matt Canada bolted for the same job at LSU. The Panthers averaged nearly 41 points a game last season by relying heavily on Peterman’s steady play and a running game led by resurgent James Conner.Watson opted to keep much of Canada’s creative scheme and even with Conner playing next door for the NFL’s Steelers, there are plenty of options. Quadree Henderson was an All-American as a kick returner and hopes to become a more consistent option at wide receiver. A deep backfield is led by 2015 ACC Rookie of the Year Qadree Ollison. Ollison took on a more supporting role in 2016 when Conner returned from a fight with cancer to become the leading touchdown scorer in ACC history. Ollison is eager to get back to work on a more regular basis.“When I was a freshman, I was just running around like with my head cut off,” he said. “Just running and it was a crazy year and it ended up being a good one. Now I’m way better than I was as a freshman.”Other things to look for as Pitt tries to reach the top of the ACC Coastal Division for the first time.ROUGH ROAD: The breakthrough moment of Narduzzi’s tenure came in a 42-39 victory over in-state rival Penn State last September. This year the Panthers have to travel to Happy Valley to take on a team ranked sixth in the preseason AP Top 25, part of a schedule bookended by tough stretches. Pitt faces the Nittany Lions on Sept. 9 and hosts Oklahoma State the following week. The Panthers finish the season by traveling to Virginia Tech then welcoming Miami the day after Thanksgiving.SHORTHANDED: Pitt allowed a staggering 332 yards passing per game last season, next to last in the country. Narduzzi remains dedicated to playing predominantly man-to-man coverage, confident his group will start to win more matchups than it loses. The Panthers will have to do it without highly touted recruit Paris Ford, who the team will attempt to redshirt after he missed the opening weeks of training camp for undisclosed reasons. Pitt will also play its first three games without star safety Jordan Whitehead, who is suspended for a violation of team rules.SHOWSTOPPERS: While average attendance at Heinz Field has risen since the move to the ACC in 2013, it can also be spotty. A record crowd of 69,983 showed up for the renewal of the Penn State rivalry, but only 34,049 showed up for the regular season home finale against Syracuse last year, a record-setting 76-61 victory by the Panthers. That’s not a typo. New athletic director Heather Lyke is working on strategies to keep the fan base engaged. The Panthers will give away a Conner bobblehead against N.C. State on Oct. 14, host a “Star Wars” night against North Carolina on Nov. 9 and move the playing of “Sweet Caroline” from its usual spot at the end of the third quarter. Instead, the staple will be played at different times in different weeks.___More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25last_img read more