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Mark Madden: Omar Khan’s role, Mitch Trubisky’s future, Diontae Johnson’s bad PR move among Steelers storylines

The Penguins season is over, Steelers OTAs are mostly meaningless, and the Pirates lead the MLB in errors. Refreshing sports notes are your last hope. Allez, allez, allez!

• The Steelers spent weeks interviewing GM candidates, narrowed down to six finalists, then hired the in-house guy. That’s entertainment. Here’s betting GM Omar Khan crunches the numbers like he’s always done and assistant GM Andy Weidl handles much of the football stuff. Both, of course, are subservient to coach Mike Tomlin. He’s got final say.

• Mitch Trubisky wasn’t told the Steelers were thinking about drafting a quarterback before he signed. That’s OK. The Steelers weren’t obligated to do so. But it would have been nice since Trubisky is trying to resurrect his career. But what were his other options?

• The Steelers schedule is tight and tough early. So Trubisky figures to start at season’s beginning, then give way to rookie Kenny Pickett after the Steelers go, say, 2-4. That’s a sensible plan. But Pickett, who turns 24 in two weeks, needs to become the starter at some point this season, and the Steelers want to avoid paying Trubisky his lucrative performance bonuses. (What happens if the Steelers start, say, 4-2 with Trubisky at the helm?)

• The Steelers already know what their plan is at quarterback. There isn’t enough time nor snaps to have a true “competition” at training camp, especially with two quarterbacks new to both team and system.

• Diontae Johnson no-showed a youth football camp that charged $125 to participate. Bad PR move, especially when you want a new contract. Don’t ever disappoint kids.

• The only ones not commenting on Stephon Tuitt’s future are Tuitt, his family and his representation. That silence is deafening. Tuitt playing is very unlikely.

• The Steelers have many weaknesses. Fixing the Steelers will take at least one more offseason. They lack a No. 1 cornerback, a No. 1 receiver and a No. 2 running back. The offensive line shuffled the deck, but Chuks Okorafor is still starting. The interior of the defense is a question mark. They’re breaking in a new quarterback. But one problem going mostly unnoticed is edge rusher. T.J. Watt is too often hurt, Alex Highsmith is mediocre and there’s no depth.

• To paraphrase America’s No. 1 football writer, Peter King, every NFL team’s fan base is force-fed optimism as soon as one season ends until the next starts. Then reality arrives. These Steelers aren’t very good. They’re going to finish last in the AFC North. (King agrees. He ranks the Steelers 23rd in his current power rankings, placing them bottom among AFC North teams.)

• The New York Rangers’ Jacob Trouba drilled another foe in the head. Colorado’s Nazem Kadri ran a goalie. So did Calgary’s Milan Lucic. Meatheads just keep being meatheads, and it’s tolerated by the NHL and validated by the league’s network coverage. “That’s playoff hockey! It’s a man’s game!” Hit the mute button.

• The only way to stop Edmonton’s Connor McDavid might be to drill him in the head. (Don’t think opponents aren’t considering that.) McDavid has 25 points in 11 playoff games, his speed is blinding, he’s doing everything at top gear, and his Oilers look like the right team at the right time. If McDavid starts winning Stanley Cups, he’s in the conversation for best player ever.

• Here’s hoping for an Edmonton-Tampa Bay final. It would have the vibe of Edmonton vs. the New York Islanders in 1984 and ’85. The Islanders beat the Oilers for their fourth straight Cup in ’84, then the Oilers beat the Islanders in ’85. A real passing-of-the-torch feel. (Tampa Bay still alive for three Cups in a row is no surprise. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy is an all-time great.)

• What a fraud Florida was. The Panthers didn’t help themselves by adding serial losers Joe Thornton and Claude Giroux. Have you ever seen the Panthers win the Cup?

• The Penguins need to re-sign restricted free agent P.O Joseph to a cheap deal, trade either Brian Dumoulin or Marcus Pettersson, then make Joseph a regular on the left side of defense. Joseph, 22, is a former first-round pick. Giving him a legit shot is long overdue.

• Chad Kuhl pitched five seasons for the Pirates, going 25-30 with a 4.44 ERA. When he returned to PNC Park with Colorado on Monday, he got a tribute video. Yeah, thanks a lot, Cy Young. Pirates games are farcical in so many ways.

• If Tiger Woods keeps competing, let’s admit what he is: Willie Mays with the New York Mets, or Michael Jordan with the Washington Wizards. He’s mostly a museum display.

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