Ray Jr on Sports

 

  1. Le’Veon Bell Says he’ll return to the Steelers September 1st-By way of Twitter, the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro RB stated when he would finally return to the Steelers and sign the $12 million Franchise Tag. He stated it’ll be after their final Preseason game and ‘9/1’ as he tweeted. He also Tweeted ‘You’re Welcome.’ Very classy.
  2. Could Bell’s absence affect his play? I admit that he’s a phenomenal athlete, but there’s a reason why there are training camps and preseason games. It’s to get the players ready for the regular season and Bell wasn’t there for either. As I stated before, it was a selfish move that had zero consideration for team chemistry. He’ll be ready to play the Cleveland Browns 9/10, but I can’t imagine HC Mike Tomlin naming him a starter.
  3. Bell’s Future? Well, I feel that the Steelers can still sign him, or just franchise tag him again ($14 million in 2018) but it still baffles me that he turned down a 5 year deal worth $12 million and I’m sure it baffled the Steelers, who usually lock up their stars..well at least in the Salary Cap era.
  4. Steelers trade for Cornerback-Well, it’s not Darelle Revis, but the Steelers acquired CB Dashaun Phillips for C Lucas Crowley. Phillips is a small CB (5-11, 185) and has only played in 5 games in 2016, starting 2. Not sure how he will help the team, because they’ve added corners before (Brandon Boykin in 2015, Justin Gilbert last season) and hardly did anything with them. I’m convinced that they still do not take the CB position seriously enough.
  5. Steelers CB situation they’d certainly not good enough to lead them to a championship, but the Steelers have no choice but to use what they have which starts with their best CB: Artie Burns who was drafted #1 last season. Ross Cockrell was the other starter, but he’s been replaced by FA signee Coty Sensabaugh after a subpar game vs. Atlanta. The others? Veteran William Gay and rookie standout Mike Hilton. 5th round draft pick Brian Allen is still a project and 3rd round pick Cam Sutton has been hurt all preseason. This unit isn’t going to win friends and influence people. But that’s just me.
  6. James Conner-He finally gets to play in his first game and made quite the impression. The Pitt star rushed for 98 yards on 20 carries in the Steelers victory vs. Atlanta. I’m convinced that if he didn’t struggle in the first half, then he would’ve had over 100 yards and a TD. He showed aggressiveness and speed between the tackles and I feel he has locked up the #2 RB spot behind Bell.
  7. RB Trey Williams-This journeyman also made an impression in the Atlanta victory as well as he returned a punt return for a 64 yard TD and what I like about that score was his fight for the end zone after you just knew he was going to be down at the 5-yard line. He could challenge FA signee Knile Davis for the special team’s spot, but then again, it’s just the preseason.
  8. Steelers vs. Colts-In their 3rd Preseason game, the Steelers will take on the Indianapolis Colts and it’s expected that QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Antonio Brown and LB James Harrison will play. Most teams believe in playing their starters in the 3rd Preseason game, and the Steelers are one of those teams.
  9. Landry Jones expected to play as well-For the first 2 games, it’s been rookies Josh Dobbs and Bart Houston at QB, mainly because backup Landry Jones has been hurt during training camp, but Jones has been practicing and is expected to play Saturday.
  10. Any Chance Colin Kaepernick signs with the Steelers, or with anybody? That would be a good question if Jones were done for the year, but Kaepernick’s not coming to Pittsburgh, but I can’t imagine him not being signed at all this season. He’s not a washed-up QB, it’s pretty clear that his protest of the National Anthem is truly playing a part of why he’s not signed. If that wasn’t the case then why were 33 other QB’s signed this past offseason, most whom aren’t as talented as Kaepernick.
  11. More NFL Players Kneel in protest during Anthem-This time, it was 9 Cleveland Browns players who did so and I respect their decision. As I stated before, they’re making a statement, and I believe that there will be more.
  12. Pitt Football Names Starting QB To be honest, was there really any doubt that it was going to be USC graduate -transfer Max Browne? There shouldn’t have been and HC Pat Narduzzi made it official this week that Browne is the man. He has the most experience of the Qbs but he’s only here for a season, so Sophomore Ben DiNucci will only need to wait one more season.
  13. Henderson named AP Preseason All-American-The Preseason awards continue for Pitt’s electric WR and return man as it was announced that he earned the All-American honor this week. He had 2,083 all-purpose yards in 2016. He’s definitely looking for an encore in 2017.
  14. Penn State’s Barkley also earns All-American Honors-I really believe that this young man will get Heisman attention as well after his 1,496/18 TD 2016. He could go for 2,000 yards this season.
  15. Alabama is ranked #1 in Preseason AP Poll-No surprise there. Despite their loss to Clemson in the National Championship, the Crimson Tide are still the top team in College Football and will probably contend for the championship again. Ohio State is #2, followed by Florida State, and USC. Speaking of Clemson, they’re ranked 5th. Penn State is 6th and West Virginia is 22nd. Pitt isn’t ranked, but actually received votes.
  16. Kyrie Irving Gets His Wish-Yes, the disgruntled Cleveland Cavalier was finally traded out of Cleveland, but surprisingly it was to the Boston Celtics for G Isaiah Thomas and F Jae Crowder and the Brooklyn Nets 2018 first round pick.
  17. Which Team Wins this Trade? In my opinion, both teams do. Irving for Thomas was truly a swap of all-star guards. The only concern is Thomas’ hip that he hurt last season with the Celtics. He may not start the season with the Cavs. But Crowder is a presence who averaged 13.5 points and 5.8 rebounds last season. The Celtics simply get an All-Star in Irving who will team up with former Utah Jazz Gordon Heyward.
  18. Pirates Make History-Wednesday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates were no-hit by LA Dodgers Rich Hill for almost 10 innings, but both teams failed to score until Josh Harrison hit a Walk-Off HR giving the Pirates a 1-0 win. It’s the first time in MLB history that a pitcher lost a no-hitter on a Walk-Off HR. Amazing.
  19. Kang To Play Winter Ball in DR-Well, the Pirates are trying to get their infamous third baseman to that league after not being able to play in the MLB due to not being able to get a Visa to the US after a DUI in Korea. So far, the DR has rejected a Visa for Kang also, but the Pirates aren’t giving up.
  20. Giancarlo Stanton-The MLB HR Leader (46) made news when he said that the ‘true’ HR record is 61 (Roger Maris) and not 73, which was set by Barry Bonds. It’s interesting that he didn’t say Mark McGwire at 70 also. Clearly, this was a knock on Bonds and McGwire for their suspected Performance Enhancing Drugs use. 

Please email Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

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