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Monday Planner: New look for our weekly outlook

From the time this site was launched, the Monday Planner tried to list, on a day-by-day basis, what readers could expect.

Office. - DEJAN KOVACEVIC / DKPS

We’ll begin this week by changing how we begin each week.

From the time this site was launched, the Monday Planner tried to list, on a day-by-day basis, what readers could expect. And since there was only one writer in the summer of 2014, that list usually didn’t number much higher than the actual days of the week.

It isn’t quite like that anymore, I’ll bet you’ve noticed. We’ve now got twice as many, sometimes three times as many, files being published in one day that I was able to do in a week. And as a result, the Planner grew longer and longer and grayer and grayer, including back when I was still doing it.

Effective immediately, we’re going to change two things:

1. The Planner will be broken down by your team preferences, rather than the days of the week.

2. It won’t be a complete listing of games, practices and other events but, rather, a feel for what our staff hopes to achieve on that particular beat in the coming week. And those brief entries will be authored by the reporters themselves.

I’ll go first this week, but Audrey Snyder will take over beginning next Monday.

Oh, and before I forget, Tim Benz is on vacation all week and, thus, so is DK Sports Radio. He’ll be back next week.

PENGUINS

Josh Yohe gets the week going with an ambitious piece on the Penguins’ long tendency of embracing college players, one that predates most NHL teams. That’ll run Tuesday, along with my Tuesday Takes which I’m expecting will open with pucks. Josh has another ambitious piece in the works, but that’s got to hold a bit. Lance Lysowski will pick up the team in Raleigh, twinning that trip with Pitt basketball’s travels to Wake Forest. Matt Gajtka’s back from Bradenton, and he’ll orchestrate, narrate and who-knows-what-else all of our buildup to the Penguins-Flyers game at Heinz Field later this week. — DK

PIRATES

I’m flying solo this week in Bradenton, which will take us right up to the beginning of Grapefruit League play Saturday, when the Pirates go split-squad and play the Orioles and Rays. We should be meeting with Bob Nutting at some point Monday, so I’ll have info from that. Also working on a story on the young pitchers who made their major-league debuts last season and now have the run of the clubhouse. — Dustin Dopirak in Bradenton, Fla.

STEELERS

It’s all quiet over on the South Side — and around the NFL — this time of the year. So, let’s take advantage of that because it’s not going to last long. The NFL Combine kicks off next week in Indianapolis and it’s basically off to the races after that. I’ll keep an eye on LeVeon Bell‘s possible franchise tag entering its second week, but don’t expect that until the deadline approaches. But don’t worry, we will have something Combine-related as the week comes to a close.    — Mark Kaboly

RIVERHOUNDS

I’ll check in with the Hounds around midweek as they return from their North Carolina trip, which ended with a 1-0-1 mark. I’ll also have an update on Saturday after their preseason home opener and a more featured look at the team following Sunday’s match with Duquesne in Bethel Park. — Matt Welch

PITT

Pitt will head to Winston-Salem, N.C., where it will face Wake Forest, an opponent with an efficient offense who nearly defeated Duke on the road Saturday afternoon. I’ll bring you live coverage on the road from that game, as well as from the Panthers’ home matchup against North Carolina on Saturday. In between, I’ll investigate how this starting lineup prepared itself to play so many minutes. — Lysowski

PENN STATE

After a busy weekend I’ll have a pair of football stories about how the Rose Bowl defeat still stings for the players and another on Ryan Buchholz and the new crop of defensive ends. As always, I’ll mix in some hockey, hoops and wrestling and look to catch up with football commit Micah Parsons, too. Oh, and I’ll keep an eye on the Board of Trustees meeting in case any news of the upcoming facility master plan is released. — Snyder 

DUQUESNE

Mike Lewis II has emerged as Duquesne’s go-to man, and he’s only a freshman. I’ll explore that and how he got to Duquesne in the first place and why he’s finding success. The Dukes also host Fordham Wednesday at 7 p.m., and I’ll be there with Matt Sunday. — Welch

ROBERT MORRIS

The Colonials play their final two games of the season this week — both at home — on Thursday and Saturday. I’ll be there for both contests and begin to either wrap up RMU’s season or look ahead to the Northeast Conference Tournament. I’ll also provide an update on the men’s hockey team and Gajtka will check in with them at their outdoor game on Sunday. — Welch