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Daily Links: Kelce Likes Steelers Toughness; Ben Ignored Play Calls



Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger talks to offensive coordinator Matt Canada at practice on Aug. 24, 2021. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

🏈 On the latest “The Warner House” podcast episode, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner ripped the NFL for the controversial roughing the passer penalty on Minkah Fitzpatrick in the Steelers-Raiders game on Sunday night.

“There’s so many different rules now with unnecessary roughness and targeting and all this other stuff, they basically are trying to slowly turn the game into flag football a little bit,” Warner said. “They want to get all the physicality out of the game, even though that’s what literally attracts people to watching the game is guys wearing pads and helmets and hitting each other.”

Fitzpatrick appeared to not lead with his helmet when hitting Jimmy Garoppolo, but he was still penalized. It negated what would have been Fitzpatrick’s first career sack. The Raiders scored three plays later and converted a two-point conversion to make it a one-possession game at 23-15.

“He came in on a blitz and sacked Jimmy, but then they threw a flag on the play and said it was targeting because his facemask just happened to glaze Jimmy’s helmet even though he initiated contact at his shoulder first,” Warner said. “So, if you slo-mo it, yeah, it looks like his helmet hit his helmet, but it really wasn’t helmet-to-helmet. The rules are finicky a little bit.

🏈 Former Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell said on Cam Heyward’s Not Just Football podcast that they used to ignore offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s calls.

“We’d have plays coming in and Ben (Roethlisberger) would change it,” Bell said. “He be like, ‘Let’s run Georgia and see if they stop it.’ That’s how you know Ben is smart, because he was the one who kept that s*** going and then we all just were just like, ‘Yeah, let’s ignore the call.’ Then we get over to the sideline and (Todd) Haley ain’t saying nothing.”

🏈 Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was impressed with the Steelers’ win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday night. He was also happy that Pittsburgh helped Kansas City out as the Raiders are a division opponent.

“Steelers, man. I tell you what. That’s a tough f****** team,” Kelce said on The New Heights podcast.

🏈 Ty Law is the latest former New England Patriots player to respond to Ben Roethlisberger and Jerome Bettis’ claim that the Patriots cheated against the Steelers in the 2004 AFC Championship Game. Asante Samuel and Vince Wilfork previously responded. According to Bettis, the Patriots stole the Steelers’ hand signals, called timeout, adjusted their defense accordingly, and stuffed Bettis on a counter run on the ensuing play.

“I’m gonna call my boy Jerome out on this one,” Law said on Boston sports radio station WEEI. “Jerome Bettis, you are full of s***. Absolutely full of s***. First of all, it’s fourth-and-one. What is your nickname? The Bus. We know you’re getting the ball! Fourth-and-one, big ass running back in the back. You’re getting the ball. Don’t be mad at us because your O-line can’t block.”

🏈 According to Daniel Valente of The Score, the Steelers’ offensive line has allowed 41 pressures (tied most in NFL), a 36.0% pressure rate (NFL high). 15 hits (3rd most) and 18 hurries (3rd) through three games. And yet Pickett has only been blitzed 22 times, which ranks 29th in the NFL.

🏈 Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward commented on the Tush Push play on Good Morning Football.

 “I hate the damn name. The only thing that’s wrong with this play is that the offensive line isn’t set. It’s a hard play to stop. It’s 11 on 11 football and you need to find a way to stop it,” Heyward said. 

🎂 Happy Birthday to former Steelers free safety Chris Hope, born on September 29, 1980 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Hope played four seasons with the Steelers from 2002-2005 and is a member of the Super Bowl XL championship team. Hope signed with the Tennessee Titans following the 2005 season and played six seasons in Tennessee, earning a Pro Bowl nomination in 2008. Hope’s last season in the NFL was with the Atlanta Flacons in 2012. He signed with the Detroit Lions in the summer of 2013, but he was released on Aug. 25.

🎥 NFL writer/analyst for ESPN Matt Bowen posted the All-22 angle of Keeanu Benton’s sack on Jimmy Garoppolo on Sunday night. Benton used a nasty club/swim move on Raiders center Andre James to get home to Garoppolo.



Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Penguins have sent first-round pick Brayden Yeager back to Moose Jaw.

Pittsburgh Baseball Now: The Pirates have signed the 16-year-old nephew of Sammy Sosa.

Pittsburgh Sports Now: A Pitt TE commit has flipped to Nebraska

West Virginia Sports Now: Geno Smith sets the record straight on his viral moments.

Nittany Sports Now: Penn State-Ohio State will be a noon kickoff.

Pittsburgh Soccer Now: The Riverhounds are hoping to lock up two rounds of home-field advantage on Saturday.