Wednesday’s “First Call” finds out which Seattle Seahawks quarterback will start against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday. The Jordan Addison transfer is getting more attention. The Browns lost a player thanks to a long-term injury.
And we have some hockey news that could drive Penguins fans bonkers.
Smith versus the Steelers
When the Steelers open their preseason Saturday night, they won’t be the only club at Acrisure Stadium with a quarterback question heading into 2022.
Their opponent, the Seattle Seahawks, are in a quandary, too. The Steelers are trying to replace Ben Roethlisberger with Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph or Kenny Pickett. Meanwhile, in Seattle, head Coach Pete Carroll needs to replace Russell Wilson with either newly acquired Drew Lock or incumbent backup Geno Smith.
For at least the trip to Pittsburgh, it appears Smith will start.
“He’s still going with the ones (and) he’s gonna start the game this weekend,” Carroll said of Smith. “They had a very solid day today, made some big throws today.”
Smith lost a 23-20 overtime game in Pittsburgh last year. He had a 99.5 passer rating but was sacked five times, lost a fumble and only had 209 yards passing.
Mike Tomlin has yet to officially name a starter for the Steelers. But Trubisky is No. 1 on the depth chart and has taken all the first team reps.
Bad news for the Browns
The Cleveland Browns have enough problems, given the Deshaun Watson situation.
Now they’ve got some injury issues, too.
Via Pro Football Talk, Jakeem Grant has suffered an Achilles injury that will end his season. The former Chicago Bear and Miami Dolphin was injured during Tuesday’s practice. Grant signed a three-year contract with the Browns as a free agent this offseason.
“I really feel awful for Jakeem,” Browns Coach Kevin Stefanski said via PFT. “We’ve witnessed how hard the young man has worked since he got to our team. We all realize injuries are part of our game, but that doesn’t make it any easier to accept, especially for someone who works as hard and carries himself like Jakeem.”
Grant made the Pro Bowl as a returner last season. He has been a second-team All-Pro each of the past two years.
This will go over great
Here’s something that will send Penguins fans into a tizzy. Jacob Trouba has been named Captain of the New York Rangers.
That’s right. “King Chicken Wing” is now getting the honor of being named Captain of his team.
Not only that, but the Rangers haven’t even had a Captain since 2018. Now they are bestowing the Honor on the notorious head-hunting defenseman. The last Ranger to wear the “C” on his jersey was Ryan McDonough in 2018.
“We just felt like it was time and the Evolution of this team and this organization, it’s been a while. I know Jacob will do a great job as Captain and push us towards our Ultimate goal of winning a Cup,” said Rangers president and general manager Chris Drury according to the New York Post. Drury served as the Rangers Captain from 2008-11.
That’s quite an honor for a guy who made headlines throughout the postseason for blasting the likes of Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, Max Domi and Seth Jarvis in the head.
So I guess that’s all it takes, huh? Take out somebody else’s captain, and you can become a Captain yourself.
Adding to Addison’s hype
Jordan Addison’s transfer from Pitt to USC certainly got plenty of attention.
Now throw this acknowledgment from ESPN.com into the mix.
The website ranked the top 50 newcomers to college football this year, and Addison’s move ranks second in the country.
“Addison won the Biletnikoff Award as the country’s best receiver last season,” said ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren. “It’s rare to see such a high-caliber player transfer, but he transferred to USC and is now part of what could be a high-powered offense for the Trojans. He had 1,593 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns last season, and he’ll factor into a receiving corps that lost leading receiver Drake London to the NFL.”
The only player to rank ahead of Addison is another new USC Trojan. It’s Caleb Williams, the quarterback who left Oklahoma also to land in Los Angeles.
Oklahoma transfer wide receiver Mario Williams (11th), Oregon transfer running back Travis Dye (14th), running back Recruit Raleek Brown (23rd), Alabama linebacker transfer Shane Lee (31st) and defensive back Recruit Domani Jackson (43rd) are other Trojans who made the top 50.
Helping the cause
Hockey’s World Junior Championships are underway in Edmonton.
West Mifflin’s Logan Cooley is helping Team USA. They scored a goal against Germany Tuesday.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) August 10, 2022
The American Team went on to win 5-1.
Cooley was the third player picked in the NHL draft last month. They went to the Arizona Coyotes.
Team USA’s next game is against Switzerland on Thursday.