First call: Hall of Fame WR critic of Ben Roethlisberger; no more injuries to Ravens; regular season “Hard Knocks” series


Friday’s “first call” features a stern rebuke from Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Injuries continue to pile up in Baltimore. A rework for HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series. And the cornhole is trying to become an Olympic sport.

Seriously. I think.

Tell us what you really feel

NFL Hall of Fame member Cris Carter didn’t hesitate to discuss Ben Roethlisberger on the “NFL Network”hello football. “

“Ben finds excuses. Ben complains. And then Ben brings this attention to himself. He’s going to complain about the offensive coordinator, ”Carter said. “Ben isn’t the sharpest quarterback we’ve ever played in the NFL.”

Carter went on to say that Roethlisberger “treats his injuries,” and he roasted Big Ben for his quote suggesting his offseason salary adjustment was aimed at trying to help TJ Watt secure a new contract.

The former wide receiver even went back to 2006 and criticized Ben for not wearing a helmet after his motorcycle accident.

I would say some of this passive aggression in the media about Roethlisberger has waned since Todd Haley stepped down as offensive coordinator. But I would be hypocritical if I tried to suggest that I also didn’t criticize Roethlisberger for some of these traits.

The injury thing. Watt’s contract. Those subtle – and sometimes not so subtle – punches against offensive coordinators and even the occasional front office leadership (remember when Mason Rudolph was drafted?).

But I never called him… stupid. Which it looked like Carter was trying to do with that “not the sharpest QB” grenade he threw over there.

Occasional lack of self-awareness off the pitch? For sure. Force the occasional throw that was chosen for a pick-6 the other way around? Absoutely.

But an unintelligent quarterback? No. It was too far from Carter.

Leaving Le’V behind

The Ravens promoted another running back, and it still wasn’t Le’Veon Bell.

The franchise was due to complete its offensive backfield ahead of Game 1 against the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night after late-preseason injuries to JK Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill.

So they signed three aging former Pro Bowl ball carriers who had rebounded in the league.

The first to sign was former Steelers All-Pro Le’Veon Bell. He was followed by Devonta Freeman and Latavius ​​Murray.

Despite being the last to sign, Murray adjusted for Monday night’s loss to the Raiders. Then Freeman has promoted from practice squad Thursday, which leaves Bell waiting to know if and when he might play.

The Ravens are set to face another of former Bell teams on Monday night when they host defending AFC champions the Kansas City Chiefs.

The hits keep coming

The Ravens are stretched to other positions besides just running backwards.

Star left tackle Ronnie Stanley suffered a season-ending ankle injury against the Steelers in November. When he tried to come back against the Raiders on Monday, he was clearly not in his All-Pro form.

The former Notre-Dame star gave nine pushes. Going through, “In six games in 2020, Stanley has only returned six. And in 15 games in 2019, he’s only allowed 10 presses in total.

Now, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports that Stanley will be out this week “and possibly a lot longer as he undergoes more medical tests.”

Former Steeler Alejandro Villanueva will return to the left tackle position he held in Pittsburgh. As a right tackle last week against Vegas, Villanueva struggled mightily to contain the Raiders pass, ground star Maxx Crosby.

On the wide receiver side, Marquise Brown missed her second consecutive day of training and Devin Duvernay (groin) was listed on the injury report as a limited participant.

And, in addition to losing cornerback Marcus Peters to a torn ACL before the start of the regular season, Baltimore has now lost another corner. According to Jeremy Fowler of, Chris Westry tore his meniscus.

The Ravens are already 3.5-point home underdogs against Kansas City. Don’t be surprised if the line widens before the Sunday night kickoff.

New ‘Hard Knocks’

The behind-the-scenes NFL training camp show “Hard Knocks” now arrives in the regular season.

The featured team will be the Indianapolis Colts. The series will begin on November 17.

The goal will be to spice up the HBO show after it becomes outdated and repetitive. Maybe the stakes of the season will shake up the content.

As ProFootballTalk pointed out, in recent years, “NFL Films and Amazon have produced All or Nothing, a series based on a specific team’s season. The episodes came out long after the season ended. The new ‘Hard Knocks’ will have new episodes throughout the season.

Even with a nationally popular team such as the Cowboys featured this summer, the program generated very little buzz.

The New York Post reports that the show will air on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. Liev Schreiber will continue as narrator. It will last at least nine consecutive weeks.

Playing for national pride… uh…?

Mentally prepare for a competitive cornhole at the Olympics.

According to Sportico, the ACL – American Cornhole League – aims to turn the old hatchback hobby into a competitive art form in Olympic-level competition.

“We look forward to adding partners that they can bring to the table and then expanding business in general,” said ACL Commissioner and Founder Stacey Moore. “We like to say that we are the only sport that can be played at another professional or university sporting event. The portability of our game is unique. And, of course, we want to make cornhole an Olympic sport. “

The American Cornhole League made its first foreign investments. College basketball coach John Thompson III and real estate investor James Simmons III have invested in the league.

“As the public realizes – and some of the distribution relationships are relatively new – once they get deeper, I think you’ll see some organic growth and some brand and brand recognition. name, ”Simmons said.

Made ESPN 8 L’Ocho do you still have the broadcasting rights?

Tim Benz is an editor for Tribune-Review. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication, unless otherwise specified.


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