By: Mike Vukovcan

Pittsburgh (KDKA)- Here are some local sports news and opinions for Wednesday morning.

*Congratulation to Pitt wide receiver Mike Shanahan for being named a 2011 Biletnikoff Award candidate. I expect him to have a huge season in Todd Graham’s new offense.

*Former Penguins head coach Michel Therrien is rumored to be the leading candidate for the New Jersey Devils head coaching position.

*The Pirates will have an interesting decision to make following the All-Star break when Jose Tabata returns. Which outfielder will they remove from the roster? Candidates are Alex Presley (Indy), Xavier Paul (trade/minors), Garrett Jones (Trade). My guess would be Presley goes back to AAA.

*I’ll be keeping an eye on Cubs 1st baseman Carlos Pena when he’s in town this weekend. He hit his 18th HR last night and is a player I’d love to see the Pirates try to acquire. Legit power hitter, great defensive player and he’s played in playoff races the last 3 seasons with Tampa Bay.

*With the MLB Trade Deadline approaching, everyone is talking about the Pirates trading for a bat. I’d like to see them try to trade for help in the bullpen. Jose Veras and Chris Resop have pitched well lately, but, I’d like to see more 8th inning insurance.

*I’m wondering when the Pirates will decide to promote Altoona OF Starling Marte to AAA Indianapolis? I wonder if Neal Huntington will consider using Marte or Presley as trade bait? The team is developing some outfield depth: Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata, Garrett Jones, Alex Presley, Starling Marte, Andrew Lambo, Robbie Grossman.

*Tiki Barber’s agent is telling the Sporting News that the Steelers and Tampa Bay are on his client’s short-list. I’d be stunned if the Steelers had any interest in picking up Barber’s baggage.

*Pitt received it’s 7th verbal commitment with Upper St. Clair linebacker Dakota Conwell. Don’t want to be negative, but, it’s another recruit that is rated really high. Aside from Pitt, Conwell’s only other offers are from Temple, Toledo and Maryland.

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