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Daily Links: Pro Bowl to Florida; Ex-Steelers OL Signs with Saints



Trai Turner
Pittsburgh Steelers right guard Trai Turner, Aug. 22, 2021. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Former Pittsburgh Steelers guard Trai Turner signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints. Turner is from New Orleans and played at LSU. Turner, 30, played for the Steelers in 2021 before joining the Washington Commanders for one season. New Orleans will be Turner’s fourth different team in four years.

🏈 The NFL announced that Orlando, Fla, will host the 2024 Pro Bowl Games at Camping World Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024. It will be returning skills challenges featuring 88 players from the AFC and NFC, culminating in a flag football game.

🏈 According to Warren Sharp of Sharp Football, Kenny Pickett completed only 15 percent of his throws into the end zone last season. Only Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson had a worse percentage (8%).

🏈 Steelers cornerback Patrick Peterson is loading up for Year 13. Peterson, 33, is the second-oldest player on the roster, behind just defensive tackle Cam Heyward, who’s 34. Peterson and Heyward are both members of the 2011 NFL Draft class and looking to add a Super Bowl ring to their decorated careers.

🏈 Former Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden thinks if Antonio Brown stayed the course, he would have been a top-3, top-2 wide receiver ever in NFL history.

“We all witnessed the greatness from Antonio Brown,” McFadden said on the Maggie and Perloff Show on CBS Sports Radio. “It didn’t matter who he was going against. It didn’t matter what time of the year it was. He showed up and he showed out. Name me a player that had a more dominating six-year run than Antonio? Against the who’s of who and still putting up numbers.”

🏈 According to Scott Barrett of Fantasy Points, George Pickens was entirely a one-tricky pony last year. He ranked fifth-best in yards per route run on the go route (7.0), while he ranked 184th in YPRR on all other routes (0.99).

🏈 Former Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert revealed to Steelers Takeaways that he’s not sure if analytics is the best thing for the game. Colbert said he’s not anti-analytics and understands their role in evaluating players, but he doesn’t think numbers-driven analytics can supercede the understanding of the intangibles.

🏈 Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick worked out with Najee Harris and several other NFL players in a Nike promo. 

🎂 Happy Birthday to Steelers safety Keanu Neal, born on July 26, 1995 in Webster, Florida. Neal signed with the Steelers in free agency this past April and will compete with Damontae Kazee for the starting strong safety position. Neal is also capable of playing linebacker, so it’s expected that he’ll have a role whether he’s a starter or not and play in the box. Over the last two seasons, Neal had one-year stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2022) and Dallas Cowboys (2021). He primarily played linebacker in Dallas. Prior to Tampa Bay and Dallas, Neal played five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, earning a Pro Bowl trip in 2017.  Neal was hampered by injuries toward the end of his tenure with Atlanta, as he suffered an ACL injury in 2018 and an Achilles tear in 2019. He played a combined four games in those two seasons.

Also, Happy Birthday to Steelers’ second-round pick Joey Porter Jr., born on July 26, 2000 in Bakersfield, California. Porter signed his four-year, $9.618 million deal on Wednesday. The first three years on his contract is guaranteed and it also includes a $3.995 million signing bonus.

🎥 Steel City Star posted a throwback clip of former Steelers cornerback Mel Blount’s extracurricular activity in Super Bowl X.

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Pittsburgh Baseball Now: Ke’Bryan Hayes will begin a rehab assignment on Thursday.

Pittsburgh Sports Now: The Zoo Crew, the team of Pitt alumni playing in The Basketball Tournament, lost to Herd That.

West Virginia Sports Now: Best Virginia opened up the TBT regional with a win over DuBois Dream.

Nittany Sports Now: Penn State AD Patrick Kraft met with reporters at Big Ten Media Day.

Pittsburgh Soccer Now: Pittsburgh soccer icon and former Riverhounds broadcaster Gene Klein has died after battling cancer.

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