1. Steelers release TE LaDarius Green-I was pretty shocked to hear this news. I just knew that he would be in their TE plans for 2017. Plus, I liked Green’s game. But the problem with the player was his injuries which plagued him in 2016: Knee injury to begin the season and concussion to finish it. He missed the final 9 games for the Steelers including the playoffs.
  2. Steelers Renaming Tight Ends? To be honest, they don’t need their TE’s to do much other than block and provide extra options at receiver. 2nd-year man Jesse James did well in Green’s absence. The 6′ 7” TE had 338 yards and 3 TDS plus he was very impressive in the playoffs as well so he’s earned his spot. TE Xavier Grimble was pretty good too, but he didn’t play as much. This is why I feel that former Pitt TE Scott Orndoff has a shot to make the team as an undrafted free agent. He reminds me of Heath Miller, he’ll have his shot to make more impressions.
  3. Steelers also release LS Greg Warren-It really says a lot when the Long Snapper makes the news. In the Steelers case, it makes sense after they drafted one (Colin Holba) in the 6th But the recent news is about current Long Snapper Greg Warren as he was released by the team on Thursday after he failed a physical. Warren appeared in 181 regular seasons and 15 postseason games and earned 2 Super Bowl rings. He served 12 years with the team.
  4. Steelers Sign 2nd-Round pick Smith-Schuster-It’s nice that the Steelers are getting these deals done. The sign a WR who I think will pay dividends in 2017. I mentioned this before, but He reminds me of veteran Anquan Boldin and Terrell Owens (as far as size). He is easily their #4 WR on the depth chart in my opinion.
  5. Big Ben’s future? Yes, we’re back at this again, especially after former Steelers OT Willie Colon said that the Steelers veteran QB seriously considered it after the 2016 season. Ben Roethlisberger’s 36 and is probably no different than any other QB at his age. I don’t care what Patriots QB Tom Brady says at age 39, he’s probably considered retirement several times. Anyway, I still say that Big Ben will play at least 3 more years.
  6. NFL OTA’s-Ah yes, my favorite NFL acronym. The Organized Team Activities.(OTAs) which are described as voluntary (remember that) offseason training sessions for NFL players. They don’t have to attend these sessions and they don’t wear pads..or in Steelers HC Mike Tomlin’s words “Football in Shorts”. For the Steelers, their OTAs begin May 25th and end June 8th as the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
  7. Former Patriots RB Blount signs a 1-year deal with Eagles-I was surprised that the Patriots didn’t re-sign this veteran RB who helped them win 2 Super Bowls, but he is now back in Pennsylvania with the Philadelphia Eagles. Blount is and all-power RB who can score (18 TDS in 2016) and will help the Eagles rushing attack.
  8. LA Chargers/Rams Stadium delayed until 2020-Why? Because of rain and construction delays. So that just means that the Rams will stay at the Coliseum and the Chargers will play an extra year at a Soccer Stadium (StubHubCenter) and let me make this clear: If the Chargers can’t sell out a 30,000 seat stadium, then they have issues.
  9. Michael Vick to play in Flag Football League-There’s a Flag Football League? Ok, now I’ve heard everything. It’s called the American Football League which will begin in 2018. It will include former NFL players Michael Vick and Justin Forsett who recently retired from the Baltimore Ravens. I just hope they don’t try to compete with the NFL like the defunct XFL and USFL tried to.
  10. Where will Colin Kaepernick Play in 2017? First, the kid will play in 2017. He’s too talented not to play. But where? I predict Seattle ( like the news reports) so he can back up Russell Wilson. And if not them, there will be other teams before NFL Training Camps open.
  11. Cavs beat up on Boston 117-104-I honestly think that this game should’ve been played at Harvard because Cleveland took Boston to school in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. I watched this game and I am convinced that the Cavs are truly locked in. Cavs F LeBron James led the way with 38 points. Game 2 is Friday.
  12. Thomas said that the Celtics aren’t scared of the Cavs-Not sure what this means, especially after losing the Cavs in Game 1. Listen to young Isaiah Thomas, it’s not about fear when it comes to the playoffs and it’s about wins, something that the Cavs have without a single loss. Kill the drama, or you will lose Game 2 as well.
  13. All-NBA Team-To no surprise, LeBron was named to this team for an 11th time, tying an NBA record. Other 1st teamers are OKC’s Russell Westbrook, Houston’s James Harden (unanimous decision ) and New Orleans’s Anthony Davis. Golden States Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Washington’s John Wall and Boston’s Thomas headline the 2nd Congrats to them all.
  14. Paul George left off the All-NBA Team-That’s a bit of a shock as the Indiana Pacers guard is still one of the best, but I’m sure his attention is where he will sign next season because he will be a free agent once the season ends. Apparently, he’s not expected to re-sign with the Pacers, which means the LA Lakers could come calling.

 

  1. Speaking of the Lakers-They end up with the #2 pick in the NBA Draft after the Lottery was revealed this week. (Boston gets #1) I think that they should choose wisely and not according to the hype, which means that UCLA’s Lonzo Ball isn’t guaranteed.
  2. Speaking of Lonzo Ball-Yeah, his father is still talking and doing too much of it. In an interesting interview with Fox sports, Lavar Ball states that he now wants $3 billion for shoe deal and that there’s no need to market to women. And of course, he says his son will work out for the Lakers It would be hilarious if the Lakers didn’t draft him.
  3. Pirates beat Nationals 10-4 and take 2 of 3-I admit that I’m basically done with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but I’m impressed with how they played against one of MLB’s top teams, especially on Thursday when they beat the Nats 10-4. Of course, they’re still in last place in the NL Central, but they’re playing pretty well of late. 1B Josh Bell slugged his team-leading 9th HR and is truly living up to his hype.
  4. Jung Ho Kang-Apparently the news isn’t so positive for this young man as his native home Korea chose to uphold their suspended sentence on the Pirates infielder. Meaning: He could miss the rest of the 2017 season and stay in Korea. The Pirates better get used to David Freese at 3B.
  5. Pens fall to Senators 5-1, are now down 2-1-Another horrible game by the Penguins as they gave up 4 (yes 4!) First Period goals to the Senators, which means that G Marc-Andre Fluery wasn’t sharp and was replaced by Matt Murray. HC Mike Sullivan will wait until Friday to announce his goalie. Stay tuned.
  6. Pitt Basketball signs a player-In all of their losses, the Pitt Panthers made an addition, signing former St. John’s G Mark Ellison (son of NBA’s Pervis Ellison). But they have to wait a year to see what Ellison can do as he has to sit out a year due to transfer rules. He’s the 7th Panther addition in the offseason to go with 5 departures.

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

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