Category: Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Green Bay Packers essentially traded Jordy Nelson for Jimmy Graham, salary and all.

From here, it looks like an upgrade.

But it’s still hard not to think they would have been better off paying the extra few million dollars to sign Sammy Watkins or Allen Robinson at receiver, and bringing in a starting tight end cheaper than Graham.

But both offered youth – each turns 25 this summer – and big-play ability. Watkins has the speed to stretch defenses, a career average of 15.9 yards per catch and 25 touchdown receptions despite playing with mostly subpar quarterbacks. Robinson had 14 touchdowns and a 17.5-yard average two years ago.

Lining up one of those two across from Davante Adams had the potential to keep defensive coordinators in the league up late at night.

Or maybe Gutekunst chose Graham at the $10 million he saved by cutting Nelson because he needed cap space for the offer sheet he presented Friday to cornerback Kyle Fuller, who had the Bears’ transition tag. But if that’s the case, the GM was saving the money for a Hail Mary, considering the Bears had far more cap room than the Packers. It predictably failed.

The Bears quickly matched so the Packers’ work was for naught. All they did was negotiate the contract for Chicago, and really they’re lucky the Bears didn’t keep them in limbo for the allowed five days. The Packers still have a couple of big holes at their top three cornerback spots, and not much left in free agency to pick over.

Gutekunst’s first week of free agency ends with Graham signed and Nelson cut on offense, and Muhammad Wilkerson added to the Packers’ defense.

Wilkerson, 28, was a bargain at $5 million plus incentives. Though he flamed out after signing a big contract with the New York Jets two years ago, he was talented enough to get 10 sacks in 2013 and 12 sacks in ’15. If he rekindles his fire, he, Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark could give the Packers one of the best rotations of inside rushers in the NFL.

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Celtics legend Jo Jo White dead at 71

Celtics legend and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Jo Jo White passed away at 71 after a battle with cancer, the Celtics announced Tuesday.

A seven-time All-Star and MVP of the 1976 NBA Finals, White had his No. 10 jersey retired by the Celtics in 1982.

Sheary began the game on the fourth line, but played alongside Crosby for parts of the night — and benefited greatly. Crosby assisted on both goals to help Sheary break out of a slump, as he entered without a goal in 15 straight contests.

“He goes to tough areas and plays bigger than he is,” Crosby said of the 5-foot-8 Sheary.

“Thrilled for Conor,” Sullivan said. “Essentially what I told him is, `Nothing lasts forever.”

Travis Konecny and Jakub Voracek had goals for the Flyers, who lost their fourth in a row.

“We didn’t play a complete game 5-on-5,” Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol said. “We made some mistakes.”

The teams combined for six goals in an electrifying second period.

“In addition to the lateness of the check, what elevates this hit to merit supplemental discipline is the significant head contact that occurs and the force with which it is delivered,” the league’s video explanation said.

The fact that Nielsen was injured was taken into account, as was Backes’ clean record.

The suspension without pay will cost Backes $96,774.

“I think we played that team like where they are in the standings (seventh in the Atlantic Division). I think we forgot that we’re still in the NHL and every team’s good with the parity in this league.”

Goals by Mike Hoffman on the power play in the second period and Matt Duchene in the third gave Ottawa a 2-1 lead before Seguin tied it with his 36th goal of the season.

Seguin first scored from the left of the net on a narrow angle. His shot went in off Ottawa defenseman Ben Harpur’s skate.

Play was stopped with 11:05 left in the first period after Bishop and Dallas defenseman Dan Hamhuis fell in a heap in front of the goal. A trainer attended to Bishop, who stayed in the game but didn’t return for the second period.

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There are no magic wands in the NFL.

Suh can be dominant, but that’s overwhelmed by his reputation as a dirty player, and he has his own anthology of dirty plays. That includes kicking Green Bay’s Even Dietrich-Smith, stepping on Aaron Rodgers’ leg or flat-out body-slamming Jake Delhomme. He has paid a ton of fines and has shown no willingness to change. Suh hasn’t helped his image much in Miami.

The Bills’ season has been a wild one. They got off to a 5-2 start and then slumped before winning three of their past five games, with the two losses in that stretch coming to the Patriots.

If it doesn’t work out Sunday and the Bills don’t make it to next weekend, they will continue in the longest active postseason drought among the four major North American professional sports leagues — a dubious distinction indeed.

But Le’Veon Bell is Secretariat, and the Steel Curtain is coming down hard on offenses. And five of Mike Tomlin’s last seven games will be at home. And the 4-4 Ravens are offensively challenged with a dearth of weapons, and the 2-4 Bengals of embattled Marvin Lewis and Andy Dalton can only hope that injury-plagued first-round WR John Ross can help return them to the playoffs — which they missed a year ago after five straight appearances, before they would probably lose in the wild-card round again.

Out in Los Angeles, the Dodgers are the talk of the town, but Sean McVay — hired as the youngest coach in NFL history at 30 — has been such a quarterback whisperer that QB Jared Goff looks more like a righthanded Clayton Kershaw than a deer in headlights, RB Todd Gurley is running to daylight again and the Rams are 5-2 and atop the NFC West, looking down upon … the 4-2 Seahawks, who have Russell Wilson, the Legion of Boom, the 12th Man and a winning culture. The offensive line remains their Achilles’ heel. But six of last 10 games are at home.

In case you’re wondering about the running game, free-agent signing Latavius Murray ran for 6 yards on two carries against the 49ers while second-round pick Dalvin Cook managed 17 yards on five carries. The duo also combined for 16 yards on four receptions.

While transient big-shot Keith Olbermann, back with ESPN, continues to regard himself as far above the fray, he’s right down there in the slop. He’s another sucker-shot, insult artist who can’t take the slightest poke in return. A bully.

Drafting NFL players is not a precise science. Some teams seemingly never get it right; others have a history of draft success. But every so often, there’s a draft that just defies everyone’s efforts to do their job — and gives GMs a good argument for trading away their

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The Titans aren’t ready to compete with the AFC’s best teams.

The interception ended a Browns’ drive that had started at the Giants’ 39-yard line after Cleveland got a huge punt return from rookie return man Jabrill Peppers. Osweiler might end up winning the starting job, but it’s unlikely that he clinched it on Monday night.

The fact that the Ravens are back in the AFC wild-card race speaks more to the mediocrity of the conference’s middle-class teams than it does of any great resolve by the Ravens. Shutting out the Packers with Brett Hundley at QB was not exactly an accomplishment of historic proportions. But it might have been a good warm-up for facing Tom Savage and the Texans on Monday night.

That was evident during Thursday night’s ugly loss at Pittsburgh, in which QB Marcus Mariota threw four interceptions. But the Titans remain very much in the playoff mix, and they must take full advantage of an upcoming four-game stretch against the Colts, Texans, Cardinals and 49ers.

When kicker Blair Walsh’s would-be game-tying FG fell agonizingly short in Monday night’s home loss to the Falcons, the Seahawks were left looking an awful lot like a non-playoff team. No one fears the injury-decimated secondary. Russell Wilson was a pretty good one-man show Monday, but he simply doesn’t have enough help these days. Coach Pete Carroll’s misguided fake-FG-gone-bad at the end of the first half certainly didn’t help. Perhaps his only defense was: Did you really trust Walsh to make the kick, anyway?

Pittsburgh came back once more, with Roethlisberger tossing a lateral to Bell for a touchdown with just over two-minutes remaining, making the score 42-35. However a questionable decision to use an onside kick gave the Jaguars the ball well inside field goal range after the Steelers failed to recover. A Josh Lambo field goal put the Jaguars up 10 with 1:45 to play, but a touchdown pass by Roethlisberger to JuJu Smith-Schuster closed the final margin to three.chargers_074

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Rob Riggle to host NFL Honors on Feb. 3

Emmy-nominated actor and comedian Rob Riggle will take the stage as host of NFL Honors on Saturday, Feb. 3 at Northrop at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The two-hour prime-time awards special recognizing the NFL’s best players, performances and plays from the 2017 season will air nationally at 9 PM ET/PT on NBC.

NFL Honors, which debuted in Indianapolis in 2012, is an annual event hosted from the Super Bowl city the evening before the AFC and NFC champions meet. Riggle joins Alec Baldwin, Keengan-Michael Key, Seth Meyers and Conan O’Brien on the list of award-winning celebrities to host the NFL’s awards show.

Music for the show will be performed by vocalist-instrumentalist Spencer Ludwig. The trumpeter, singer, and songwriter wowed audiences at a string of festivals, including Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, in 2017, and opened for Bebe Rexha on her North American and European tours. Ludwig signed a worldwide record deal as a solo artist with Warner Bros. Records in 2015 and was previously the featured trumpeter for the multi-Platinum band Capital Cities.

The show includes the announcement of The Associated Press’ annual accolades and the newest Pro Football Hall of Fame class. Preceding NBC’s telecast, NFL Network will air Super Bowl Saturday Night at 8 p.m. ET covering all the sights and sounds from the Red Carpet at NFL Honors.

Fournette and the Jaguars face the Patriots on Sunday in the AFC championship in Foxborough, Mass.

Last week, in the Jags’ 45-42 AFC divisional playoff victory Sunday in Pittsburgh, he rushed for 166 yards and three TDs on 46 carries, despite sustaining an ankle injury that sidelined him briefly in the second quarter.

Fournette ran for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns this season and caught 36 passes for 302 yards and a touchdown.

Brady threw for 337 yards last week, the most by a quarterback in his 40s in a playoff game. He also became the oldest quarterback to win a playoff game, proving he’s still an elite competitor.patriots_005_925c4cc7e3c7882c-180x180

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Mark joined many teammates to participate in a conversation with Senator Cory Booker and RISE regarding current social justice issues.

If I told you that the NFL season was going to conclude with a 13-2 Eagles team facing an 8-7 Cowboys team, you would have been surprised. You would have been shocked had I told you the Eagles punter was going to take his pants off in the middle of the field.

That’s what Donnie Jones did when he accidentally took the field with just over five minutes to go in the first half to try to pin the Cowboys deep in their own territory.

blues_1654Tish Hayward died from breast cancer before the 2016 NFL season, and Hayward is now dedicated to honoring his mother with his foundation.

Irvin hosted his third annual Bruce Irvin Football Clinic in Charleston, W.Va. Bruce was a volunteer coach at Michael Crabtree’s annual youth football camp in Dallas as well as Justin Ellis’ youth football camp in Monroe, La.

Irvin volunteered with the Alameda County Community Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry with his teammates, helping distribute food to 157 low-income families. He participated in the Crucial Catch community event at the Raiders’ facility in which players and 15 breast cancer survivors and guests were led through a group art lesson.

In response to the devastating wildfires that have ravaged the region, Irvin encouraged his teammates to contribute and help those effected by the fires. Irvin donated over $15,000 that was used to purchase food, supplies and gift cards for those who were impacted by the fires.

The Falcons’ run defense finished the season ranked in the top 10, but they didn’t have much of an answer for the Eagles on Saturday no matter who was running the ball. Nelson Agholor even got a shot and made the most of it.

Herzlich is a member of the advisory board for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund, which helps families tackle childhood cancer. He anually attends the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Gala, and the Jay Fund’s Sundae Blitz ice cream social. He currently serves on the American Cancer Society’s Athlete Council. Herzlich and his mother host an annual “Steps to Cure Sarcoma 5K” fundraiser in his hometown of Wayne, Pa. to benefit the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn Medicine, where Mark was treated.

He has been the Giants’ player representative at the NFL’s recent meetings between Commissioner Roger Goodell, players and owners regarding racial equality. He joined teammates Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison and Adam Bisnowaty in a ride-along with the Newark Police Department’s Bronze Shields and Mayor Ras Baraka to learn about the department’s community efforts and the challenges of policing.

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Five of us picked the Bills to win at home last week against the Saints.

All season, we’ve been able to talk about how unpredictable every NFL game was — except for the Browns and whoever they lose to that week. No teams made themselves runaway favorites each week, other than maybe the Eagles. That’s starting to change now, entering Week 11.

Question: Which of the Stars pending free agents cause the other dominos to fall terms of other signings?Rodon said he looks up to Sale because the two share several similarities, then laughed while pointing out those similarities ‘t include body types.Poeltl is someone that is likely to play at the start of the regular season.He can hold his Wholesale Jerseys own against the run and rush the inside gaps against the pass.Redmond was placed on Injured Reserve at the start of the regular , but the 49ers opened up a 21-day practice window for the rookie as the franchise’s designated player to return off IR.

“That is sort of how we talk to each other. We hold each other accountable. It’s hard to explain, but someone will come up to me and tell me it’s time to get a pick — get one. Or I might go to one of our guys and tell them to get the sack and do it now. It’s tough talk, but it’s about making plays. There is no perfect team in the NFL. You can get into a habit of losing games when you don’t keep that type of chip on your shoulders.”

At first I thought he was wearing a red shirt – but then I realized it was blood.I met with Sullivan and Houk and I told them I was thinking about coming back the next year.All all, I think he’s winning the battle for DH as of now, but wouldn’t be surprised to him and Park switch off as the primary DH periodically throughout the ., born 19 Greencastle, was a 1965 graduate of Greencastle High School.The high upside remains.

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Was he surprised to go blank after being so locked in late in games during the streak?

Field Yates, NFL Insider: Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota has shown a resilience — despite the Week 14 result — throughout the season that is difficult to ignore. The Vikings’ offensive line has been dramatically improved this year and if it gets back to full health down the stretch should further fortify the running game. I also still believe Philadelphia has a strong enough roster to make a deep postseason run.

Reid didn’t make the full-time move until two seasons later, when he traded McNabb to Washington and went with Kolb (who got injured almost immediately and ushered in Michael Vick’s return). It took that much for Reid to make the switch. But he did it.

He doesn’t have nearly that long a history with Smith in Kansas City, and he has shown no signs of having soured on Mahomes as the quarterback of the future.

“I don’t know if ‘surprised’ is the right word,” Korver said. “Disappointed, for sure, you know. But tomorrow is another game.”

Cleveland scored just 39 points total in the second half, accounting for its lowest-scoring half of the season.

First, the Cardinals would want to have him back after what will likely be a second straight year without a postseason appearance. While that seems likely considering his track record of success and the mitigating impact injuries had on this year’s squad, Arians said he will initially confer with his wife, Christine, before making his own plans for 2018.nike_redskins_3052

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Bills backup QB Nathan Peterman in concussion protocol after hit

Buffalo Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman is in the concussion protocol after taking a hit to his head in the third quarter of Sunday’s 13-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

The Bills host the Miami Dolphins next Sunday, with their quarterback situation in flux.

“We’ll see,” Webb said after the game. “We’ll see what’s going on with Tyrod and Nate. I will always be ready if my number’s called.”

In addition to Peterman, Bills wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin limped off the field in the fourth quarter after diving for an incomplete pass. Benjamin later returned to the game before again limping off after attempting to make another catch.

“I kind of just bent [my knee] back, aggravated it a little bit,” he said. “We’ll go check with the docs and see what’s going on with it. I’m still walking, so that’s a good sign.”

Benjamin missed two games after tearing the meniscus in his right knee during a Nov. 19 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Lions claimed defensive end Dwight Freeney off waivers on Wednesday, the day after he was released by the Seahawks, ESPN reports.

Freeney is a seven-time Pro Bowler and three-time First Team All-Pro. He’s also 37, but his three sacks in four games this season with Seattle indicates he can still play. Freeney played an average of 28 snaps over his first three games with the Seahawks but just 17 in Seattle’s loss to the Falcons on Monday night.

The Lions have 21 sacks so far this season, tied for 20th in the NFL. Freeney has 125 1/2 sacks in his 16 years in the league, 17th on the all-time list and second to the Panthers’ Julius Peppers among active players.chargers_016

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Cutler left Sunday’s 30-20 loss to the Buccaneers to be evaluated for a concussion.

Per the Wall Street Journal, Jones had requested an emergency session of NFL owners Nov. 28 in New York City. While that request was denied, there will be one held Dec. 13 at a previously scheduled NFL meeting in Dallas.

Former Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on last week’s trade to the 49ers: “It was a bit of a whirlwind, but it’s starting to slow down.”

“NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders,” Schnatter said.

Redskins running back Chris Thompson left Sunday’s 34-31 loss to the Saints with an ugly lower leg injury. His right leg was placed in an aircast and he was carted from the Superdome field.

Ultimately, Goodell should weather this latest storm, and Jones will keep his Cowboys, albeit with the personal stigma of being the modern-day Al Davis as the NFL’s outlaw owner. The majority of NFL owners would rather deal with the devil they know (Goodell) than a new commissioner with whom Jones would have a strong hand in approving.

However, it would be a mistake to underestimate Jones given his track record of improving the ways the NFL does business, as well as Goodell’s handling (or mishandling) of situations that have tarnished the league’s trademark shield and threatened revenue streams.

Goodell has handled this responsibility since he was elected to the position in September 2006. His tenure would continue through 2024 if the contract extension unanimously approved last May by team owners including Jones himself comes to pass.

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