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NFL Notebook

Steelers Now NFL Notebook, Jan. 22



The Steelers Now Notebook is your go-to source for all the latest news and notes surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL.

🏈 2 p.m: Former Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been ruled out of the NFC Championship Game, Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians announced on Friday. Brown suffered a knee injury in the Divisional Round win over New Orleans. In two playoff games, he has three catches for 59 yards and a touchdown.

TAMPA, FL – DECEMBER 13: Antonio Brown (81) of the Bucs runs with the ball after making a catch during the regular season game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 13, 2020 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

🏈 8:30 a.m: The NFL will give free tickets to Super Bowl LV to 7,500 health care workers that have been vaccinated for COVID-19, the league announced on Friday.

Most of the 7,500 free tickets will be distributed to health care workers in the Tampa and central Florida areas, but all 32 NFL teams will be permitted to select vaccinated health care workers from their communities.

“These dedicated health care workers continue to put their own lives at risk to serve others, and we owe them our ongoing gratitude,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a press release. “We hope in a small way that this initiative will inspire our country and recognize these true American heroes. This is also an opportunity to promote the importance of vaccination and appropriate health practices, including wearing masks in public settings.”

In addition to the vaccinated health care workers, the league plans to host 14,500 paid fans for the game at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium on Feb. 7.

Click for more of Steelers Now’s coverage of Super Bowl LV.

🏈 7:30 a.m: Former Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson died on Wednesday at the age of 68, and those around the NFL remembered the longtime Packers personnel man, including the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ted Thompson,” Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement. “Whether you were with him on the road scouting or competing against him in a Super Bowl setting, he was always the same gentleman who was genuine, friendly and supportive. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, his many friends and the entire Packers organization.”

Thompson’s Packers defeated Colbert’s Steelers in Super Bowl XLV in Dallas at the end of the 2010 season. Perhaps Thompson’s greatest accomplishment as Green Bay’s general manager was the drafting of quarterback Aaron Rodgers in 2005.

Steelers linebacker Jayrone Elliott, who started his career in Green Bay as an undrafted free agent in 2014, also remembered Thompson.

“Thanks for taking a chance on me!” Elliott wrote on Twitter. “Prayers to your family and PackerNation!”


NFL Notebook

Steelers Now NFL Notebook, Jan. 21



The Steelers Now Notebook is your go-to source for all the latest news and notes surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL.

🏈 4:45 p.m: The Baltimore Ravens are losing another defensive assistant, as defensive line coach Joe Cullen has been hired by Urban Meyer to be the defensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the third Baltimore defensive assistant to depart this offseason, all to promotions. Linebackers coach Mike MacDonald left to be the new defensive coordinator at Michigan and defensive backs coach Jesse Minter will be the next defensive coordinator at Vanderbilt.

Defensive coordinator Don Martindale, passing defense coordinator Chris Hewitt and outside linebackers coach Drew Wilkins are all that remain of the staff that led the Ravens to the No. 2 scoring defense in the NFL in 2020. Martindale interviewed for several head coaching opportunities, and remains in the mix for the last vacancy in Houston.

🏈 Noon: The Cincinnati Bengals announced on Twitter on Thursday the franchise will be debuting new uniforms this spring.

Besides the league-wide switch from Reebok to Nike, the Bengals’ uniforms have basically gone unchanged for the last 17 seasons. As the franchise begins a new era led by quarterback Joe Burrow, it seems only fitting that Cincinnati would also overhaul their uniforms with a brand new design.

Cincinnati last debuted a new uniform set in 2016, when they debuted their current Color Rush alternates, which have become widely popular and a fan favorite.


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NFL Notebook

Steelers Now NFL Notebook, Jan 19



The Steelers Notebook is your go-to source for all the latest news and notes surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL.

🏈  6:15 p.m: The latest mock draft from CBS Sports has the Steelers trading up in the first round to take a quarterback.

The mock 2021 NFL Draft posted on Tuesday by Ryan Wilson has the Steelers trading up with the Dallas Cowboys to get from the No. 24 pick in the first round to the No. 10 pick in order to select North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance.

Lance (6-foot-4, 226 pounds) came out for the draft after his sophomore season, and most of that was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the Bison playing just one game. In his NDSU career, Lance played in 19 games, throwing for 2,947 yards, 30 touchdowns and just one interception.

Wilson has the Cowboys taking South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn at No. 24.

FRISCO, TX: North Dakota State Bison quarterback Trey Lance (5) celebrates winning the NCAA Division I Football Championship Game between the North Dakota State Bison and the James Madison Dukes on January 11, 2020 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. (Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire)

🏈  3:45 p.m:

Hall of Fame Selector Bill Polian Makes Case for Former Steelers Scout Bill Nunn

🏈  2:15 p.m: Quarterback Devlin “Duck” Hodges said farewell to Pittsburgh via social media on Tuesday, indicating that the former Steelers starter will not return to the team for 2021. The Steelers allowed Hodges’ contract to expire on Monday.

“Thankful for the opportunity and the ability to live out my dream,” Hodges wrote. “Nothing but love! QUACK!”

Filling after injuries to Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph in 2019, Hodges made an astonishing climb from rookie camp invitee to NFL starting quarterback. Hodges threw for 1,063 yards while completing 62.5% of his passes. He threw for five touchdowns and eight interceptions for a 71.4 quarterback rating. The Steelers went 3-3 in games Hodges started.

🏈  1:40 p.m: Country musician Eric Chuch and singer-songwriter Jazmine Sullivan will sing the national anthem before Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay, the NFL announced on Tuesday.

Church is a 10-time Grammy nominee, who had a No. 1 song in 2019 with “Some of it.” Sullivan has been nominated for a Grammy eight times and her most recent album, “Heaux Tales” debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 on Jan. 8.

Additionally, R&B singer H.E.R. will sing America the Beautiful.

The pregame show will be broadcast live before Super Bowl LV on CBS.

Click for more of Steelers Now’s coverage of Super Bowl LV.

🏈  1:10 p.m:

Steelers WR Chase Claypool Named to PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team

🏈  12:30 p.m:

Report: NFL Salary Cap Expected around $180 Million; Would Put Steelers $35 Million in Red

🏈  Noon:

PFF Tabs Steelers OLB Alex Highsmith as 2021 Breakout Candidate

🏈  11:25 a.m:

Offseason Primer: Cincinnati Bengals Continuing Youth Movement with No. 5 Pick, A.J. Green Set for Free Agency

🏈  10:00 a.m:

NFL Cancels In-Person 2021 Scouting Combine in Indianapolis; Pro Days On

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NFL Notebook

Steelers Now NFL Notebook, Jan 18



The Steelers Notebook is your go-to source for all the latest news and notes surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL.

🏈 9:35p.m: More releases in Baltimore, as the Ravens have reportedly let go running back Mark Ingram with one season remaining on his contract, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Ingram, who was held out of the Ravens’ playoff-exiting loss to Buffalo so that the Ravens could be assured of cutting him without injury, had been passed on the Ravens depth chart by rookie J.K. Dobbins this season and also ceded carries to third-string back Gus Edwards.

Dobbins finished the season with 72 carries for 299 yards, the least productive in his 10-year NFL career. Dobbins joined then Ravens on a three-year free agent contract in 2019 after spending his first eight seasons with the New Orleans Saints. His release will save the Ravens $5 million under their 2021 salary cap.

Ingram has run for a total of 7,324 yards since being the Saints’ first-round pick out of Alabama in 2011. He’s fourth among active players in rushing yards, behind Frank Gore, Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy.

🏈 6:05 p.m: The Baltimore Ravens have released backup quarterback Robert Griffin III, the team announced on Monday. Griffin had spent three seasons as the primary backup behind Lamar Jackson. This season, Griffin was injured while starting the Ravens’ Week 12 loss at Pittsburgh and was replaced by Penn State alum Trace McSorley. He was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 4, while McSorley played in two more games before he was injured, as well. Tyler Huntley finished the season as Jackson’s backup and saw action in the Ravens’ Divisional Round playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills. An undrafted rookie out of Utah, Huntley was one of 11 players Baltimore signed to future contracts for the 2021 season on Monday. — from the Washington Football Team vs. Baltimore Ravens at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. October 4, 2020 (All-Pro Reels Photography)

🏈 Noon: Pro Football Focus has predicted that the Steelers will take Florida quarterback Kyle Trask with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft in the outlet’s latest mock draft by Seth Galina.

Trask threw for 4,283 yards as a senior with the Gators in 2020, threw for 43 touchdowns compared to eight interceptions, averaged 9.8 yards per attempt and owned a 180 passer rating. All of that came despite an unflattering performance against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl that had some questioning Trask’s decision to play in the game.

Betting markets say the Steelers are unlikely to take a quarterback with their first-round pick, despite PFF’s projections.

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