Steelers tease everyone with announcement of new throwback uniform for 2018

Team president Art Rooney II has basically been spending the entire offseason letting everyone know that the Steelers would be getting new throwbacks this year, and now, we finally know when the team will unveil them.  The Steelers announced on Thursday that the new uniform will be dropping on May 30. If you want to set your Google calendar, the official announcement will be coming at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Penny is a dark-horse Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate and a potential silver-lining provider for a team that could have its hands full in 2018.

This is a copycat league. So when the Eagles rode a deep defensive line rotation to Super Bowl LII, teams took notice. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were clearly one of those teams, because they went out and loaded up on talented D-linemen.

They went straight to the example-setter on two occasions, signing former Eagles Beau Allen and Vinny Curry just days apart in March. They also traded for veteran Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and used a first-round pick on mountainous former Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea (6’4″, 347 lbs).

But for only the second time in franchise history, the Jets just used a top-three draft pick on a signal-caller. The first occurrence was in 1965, when they took Joe Namath first overall. This time, it was polished USC product Sam Darnold in the No. 3 spot.

He might have to fight to replace Josh McCown and even Teddy Bridgewater on the depth chart, but ESPN’s Dianna Russini noted earlier this month that head coach Todd Bowles would be willing to hand the 20-year-old the starting job if he outperforms those guys in training camp.

Even if the Jets stink, it’ll be worth participating in Darnold Watch 2018.

Jon Gruden is new (hasn’t coached in a decade) and old (coached the Oakland Raiders for four years at the turn of the century). So while Gruden has attracted a lot of criticism in his first offseason back in Oakland, his return will undoubtedly be one of the most buzz-worthy stories. 

Cleveland Browns to be featured on ‘Hard Knocks’

Cleveland Browns fans know the hard knock life. So it’s only fitting that, on the heels of a historic 1-31 stretch, their team will be featured on Hard Knocks.

HBO and NFL Films announced Thursday that the Browns will be the 10th franchise to be depicted on the training-camp series. The series will premiere Aug. 7 on HBO.

In the modern, app-driven age, you won’t have to worry about sounding like a fuddy-duddy who wandered into a naughty novelty shop when placing your first bets. But you will want to be a little savvy with the lingo when talking about your bets if you hope to hang with or even impress other gamblers. Master these phrases and you will sound like you grew up hanging around weird old men at dog tracks:

“I put a quarter on the Bills and two bucks on the Dolphins.” Referring to large sums of money as small change makes you sound cool. So in this example, you bet $25 on the Bills and $200 on the Dolphins—and are probably about to lose $225. Also important to note: Dimes are a drug reference; try to keep your legalization movements straight.

“I teased the lines on the Bills and Dolphins.” The sports book allows you to fiddle with point spreads in exchange for lumping two bets together. So here, you exchanged lower odds of winning any one bet for the feeling that you were doing something clever. Yep, the term teased is being used exactly backwards.

Mechanical problems with the plane and storms in the Washington, D.C., area were to blame, general manager Brian Cashman told Newsday’s Erik Boland.

After a 12-hour delay that players spent either on the plane or in the terminal, the team was able to leave at about 9:30 a.m. Thursday, the report said.

The Yankees and Nationals game at Nationals Park on Tuesday was postponed after 5 1/2 innings with the score tied, 3-3, due to rain. It was supposed to start at that juncture Wednesday, to be followed by Wednesday’s originally scheduled game, but rain ruined those plans, too.

The Yankees are scheduled to travel back to Washington, D.C., to complete the games June 18. They also have to head to Detroit for a makeup doubleheader that was the result of rainouts.

Cowboys’ Randy Gregory to apply for reinstatement Thursday, report says

Randy Gregory is preparing to make his return to the football field.

The suspended Cowboys defensive end is expected to submit his application for reinstatement to the NFL on Thursday, NFL Media reported, citing unidentified sources.

Gregory has been suspended since January 2017 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, which is his third ban since being selected by Dallas in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

“Just everyone that’s here, we know. We know everyone. They’ve played games with us in the past and have been in the organization for a bit. So anyone who needs to step in we feel comfortable with, and skating with them today, they’re ready to go. They’re going hard out there and it’s fun. They’re young and it keeps it a lot of fun when you go out there and you get to skate with just the young guys.”

Young guys that, for the record, have gone further than their Capitals elders have in the postseason.

As Brady noted, with 968 career rushing yards, he is just 32 shy of 1,000 for his career. Brady has averaged 1.7 yards per carry and has scored 17 rushing touchdowns on 557 carries.

There’s no guarantee Brady will hit that 1,000-yard milestone this season, as he’s failed to compile 32 rushing yards in two of the last five seasons, including last year.

“I would not say I’m anti-suit. It’s just, for me, that was probably the furthest outside my comfort zone,” Nance said. “To be honest with you, now I’m starting to like it, though. … We walk in kind of badass. Like a business meeting.”

The first “meeting” went terribly, however. Cleveland went to Indiana for Game 3, debuted the suits and proceeded to blow a 17-point lead as it fell behind in the series 2-1 to the lower-seeded Pacers.

“When we lost our first game,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said, “I knew it would be a story.”

“I had groin surgery the week after the Super Bowl,” Jones said. “I’m finally 100 percent from that, just got cleared by the doctors. Running full speed. Have been in contact with several teams, I expect it to pick up in the coming weeks.”

When the Bengals announced that they were passing on Jones’ option, they suggested he could be back with a reduced salary. It’s not clear if that remains an option, but Cincinnati and the rest of the teams in the league should have a better idea of remaining needs and wants after going through OTAs over the next month.

Saints owner has horse in Kentucky Derby

There may not be a Gronkowski on the track, but there’s still an NFL tie to the Kentucky Derby.

Lone Sailor, a 50-1 long shot in Saturday’s race, is owned by GMB Racing Stable and Saints owner Gayle Benson.

Via Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the horse drew the No. 8 post in yesterday’s draw, next to favorite Justify (3-1).

Between his age, recent injuries and his decline in play, Peterson will have to prove to teams that he still has something left in the tank. He has been posting workout videos on Instagram to prove he is in football shape, but he is still waiting for a team to call.

The Washington team president said during an interview with Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller on on SiriusXM NFL Radio, that there was nothing to the recent talk in league circles that he might reunite with Jon Gruden.

“Well, first of all, I do like the Silver and Black, and I think Mark Davis, Reggie [McKenzie] and Jon are going to do great. And I’m so excited for them to go to Vegas,” Allen said. “But I’m not going there. And I’m not going to play shortstop for the Nationals either tonight.”

So I actually talked to a coach about possibly doing it if they needed someone, but then they went out and signed somebody. I don’t think they thought I was serious. So I think we’re completely done now.

Beyond shouting down the reaction to the news that Warner was actually planning to come out of retirement on the wrong side of 45 as the product of aREALLY slow news day, Warner added more details on Twitter in the aftermath of the splash the story created.

Justin Tuck: Saquon Barkley should’ve been No. 1 pick

The NFL is less running back-reliant now, but, like the old-school Gettleman, Accorsi would have had a hard time passing on Barkley’s all-around impact potential. Accorsi listed on the podcast Hall of Famers Jim Brown and Gale Sayers as the best halfbacks he has seen.

I can’t compare ( Barkley ) to anybody, Accorsi said. Because I’ve never quite seen someone with that size with, basically, sprinter’s speed.

I’ve seen him get into space on the flank, either through a broken tackle or taking a swing pass, where the defensive back had an angle on him — at least to push him out (of bounds) — and he kicks into another gear and runs by him. If it was a touch-football league, he wouldn’t even have gotten him. For a guy who’s that thick, and that big and powerful, to have that kind of speed, it’s rare.

Eric introducing me for this prestigious award brings me great joy, Kaepernick said. But I am also pained by the fact that his taking a knee, and demonstrating courage to protect the rights of black and brown people in America, has also led to his ostracization from the NFL when he is widely recognized as one of the best competitors in the game and in the prime of his career.

The 5-foot-8, 224-pound Anderson entered the league in 2013 out of California as an undrafted free agent with the Broncos, where he spent five seasons before being released on April 16.

If the opportunity comes up, why not? Austin said.

Austin was given a five-game suspension that was reduced to four after a hearing for his role in the brawl, while Kelly got six for his part.

Austin has said all along that he has no regrets. He felt that he had to stick up for himself at that moment, and that’s why he chased down Kelly after being hit.

Yeah, Austin said. I feel like that’s the way it is. It’s part of the game. It’s not fun, not embarrassing… it’s just part of it.

Kelly wasn’t available for an interview before Tuesday’s game, but he interestedly commented on Sunday that he was concerned that Yankees fans might do more than fire insults at him while he’s in the visiting bullpen this week.

Nick Foles says ‘special’ locker room makes ‘crazy situation’ workable

Nick Foles said Tuesday his restructured contract works for both he and the Philadelphia Eagles, and although he wants to start again at some point, he said he loves being in Philadelphia and is happy to back up Carson Wentz when he is healthy enough to take back the starting role.

Foles on Tuesday called it a “crazy situation” to go from Super Bowl MVP to backup the next season but repeatedly called the Eagles’ locker room a “special place” in explaining why the “unique” situation works.

Wentz has set the 2018 season opener against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday, Sept. 6, as his target return date from a torn left ACL and LCL suffered in December. Speaking to the media last week, Wentz said he is in the “running progression” stage of his rehab and is “feeling good with where I’m at” on the comeback trail.

“You hate it, you hate it for him,” Brooks said. “He wants to be on the court and fight with his team. … It’s hard on him, hard on all of us. I knew he was banged up, but [I] didn’t know he was banged up in Game 4. Game 5 I knew something was different. He didn’t have the pop he normally has.”

Porter averaged 14.7 points per game on 50.3 percent shooting during the regular season, but he has not played his customary game during the series, which the Raptors lead 3-2. He has averaged 10 points and five rebounds during the series but has not attempted more than 10 shots in a game.

“He has a great impact for us,” All-Star point guard John Wall said of Porter. “He does everything, the little things that you probably wouldn’t see if you are watching the game. Cutting to the basket, making extra-effort plays, making shots for us, a guy who can defend and spread the floor. You could tell when OP’s been healthy and when he’s not. When he’s not slashing and cutting to the basket, you can tell he’s dealing with something.

Cody Eakin, Erik Haula and Jonathan Marchessault scored 1:31 apart early in the first period to get Vegas going. Alex Tuch, Shea Theodore, Colin Miller and James Neal also scored, Reilly Smith and William Karlsson each had three assists, and Marchessault and David Perron added two each.

“It was a great game for us, obviously we played a full 60 minutes and that’s what you want from your team in the playoffs,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. “It wasn’t even about the seven goals, it was about how we played the game.”

Steelers trade WR Martavis Bryant to Raiders for third-round pick

The Pittsburgh Steelers traded wide receiver Martavis Bryant to the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night for a third-round draft pick.

The talented but enigmatic Bryant had asked to be traded out of Pittsburgh in September, and Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said Thursday that Oakland had been “on this for a while” when asked about the deal.

“He’s ideal in what you’re looking for in a receiver,” McKenzie said. “He can play big, he plays fast, and he makes plays. And we think he can be a dynamic receiver for Derek [Carr].”

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said teams called Pittsburgh during the offseason but weren’t offering enough to warrant a trade for a player of Bryant’s caliber.

“When it got to the third round, we felt it was something very interesting to us,” Colbert said. “We wish Martavis nothing but the best.”

Bryant wanted out of Pittsburgh and believed there was a chance he would get dealt sometime this offseason. He has been training in Las Vegas and hadn’t reported to the team’s voluntary workout program.

He was the perfect deep threat for the Steelers’ offense but fell out of favor last season when he requested a trade and publicly questioned the ability of teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster, who now becomes the team’s clear-cut No. 2 receiver behind Antonio Brown.

“It’s the first adversity we’ve faced in the playoffs, real adversity,” DeBoer said. “It’s on us to respond now. … We’ve got a lot of character, a lot of pride in there. This series is a long way from over.”

Pretty optimistic words for a coach facing a Vegas team that is 5-0 in the playoffs, 32-10-2 at home this season, and has the hottest goalie on the planet. Marc-Andre Fleury goes into Saturday night’s game with back-to-back shutouts and an eye-popping .982 save percentage in the playoffs.

The Golden Knights scored four goals in the first 12 minutes Thursday night, matching the total number of goals that San Jose and goalie Martin Jones allowed in the entire series against Anaheim.

Vegas had seven different goal scorers and 11 players who ended up on the scoresheet, led by center Jonathan Marchessault (one goal, two assists). William Karlsson and Reilly Smith each chipped in with three assists.

Tillman, Orioles both end skids with win over Tigers

Chris Tillman savored the applause he got walking off the mound at the end of the seventh inning. It had been a long time since he received that sort of reception.

Tillman pitched seven innings of one-hit ball for his first victory since last May, Pedro Alvarez went deep twice and the Orioles snapped a five-game skid with a 6-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.

Should the NFL reject Blackwell’s proposal, Davis’ and Ware’s complaints would continue through due process.

“We’re not asking them to admit fault, or to admit guilt, or even admit that there is anything wrong,” Blackwell said in a phone interview with The New York Times. “But if they do want and expect that cheerleaders should have a fair working environment, as they have stated, then it doesn’t make any common sense why the answer would be no.”

In response to current and former cheerleaders who recently have discussed the indignities of their job — including sexual harassment, low pay, long hours and strict rules governing appearance and social media that don’t apply to players or other representatives of the team — the NFL issued a written statement that said it would work with clubs “in sharing best practices” to support cheerleading squads.

Speaking publicly for the first time since Meredith left the Bears, Pace hinted that the wide receiver’s serious knee injury, suffered last preseason, was the overriding factor in Chicago’s letting him go.

But the great unknown on the Bears’ wide receiver depth chart is Kevin White, the seventh overall pick of the 2015 NFL draft.

The woman, who was not identified, claimed Richardson broke the nondisclosure agreement signed by both parties after McNair, at the owners meetings in Orlando, said Richardson told other owners that he regretted paying off the victims and not fighting the allegations when they first surfaced.

“I’m just listening to him, listening to what his needs are right now. And making sure the medical procedures are being followed so we do everything right,” Maddon said. “It’s never going to be a unilateral decision on my part to insist that he plays, ever. … I really feel strongly that he’s going to be fine, but I don’t want to push it.”

Bruins score 4 in 3rd to beat Maple Leafs 7-4 in Game 7

Jake DeBrusk watched the tiebreaking goal go into the net from ice level, sliding into the boards on his backside after he was flattened by Toronto defenseman Jake Gardiner.

The Bruins rookie didn’t even have time to climb up off his knees before he was mobbed by teammates.

“Jake had a real coming-out party in the series,” coach Bruce Cassidy said after DeBrusk scored twice to help Boston beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-4 on Wednesday night and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

“Uh, it went pretty well,” he said with a laugh. “Obviously, with the win it was special — something I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget this series just in general, first playoffs. I was really happy to contribute.”

Frederik Andersen had 29 saves for the Maple Leafs, who have not won a playoff series since 2004. They came close in the first round in 2013, when they rallied from a three-games-to-one deficit against Boston and took a 4-1 lead in Game 7.

“It’s always disappointing,” said Patrick Marleau, who scored twice for Toronto. “Obviously, you’re trying to win the Cup. To fall short once again, it’s heartbreaking every time.”

Travis Dermott also scored for the Maple Leafs, who again won back-to-back games after falling behind 3-1 in the series. Game 6 came in Toronto on the night that a man drove a van onto a crowded sidewalk in the city, killing 10 people and injuring more than a dozen others.

“I’ve always had a passion for teaching, a passion for coaching,” Vick said at a news conference on Wednesday morning in Atlanta. “When Brad called me about this opportunity, I felt like it was obviously something I couldn’t pass up.”

Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress will assume that role with the Atlanta team.

Childress, 61, got to know Vick last summer when Vick was a coaching intern for the Kansas City Chiefs before leaving to join Fox Sports as an analyst. Childress, who was the assistant head coach to Andy Reid, left the Chiefs when the team’s season ended in January. He then joined former Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy in Chicago, helping with his transition to head coach of the Bears.

Vick was asked by reporters Wednesday what he learned from working with the Chiefs.

“To get the best our your players, the coaches have to be at their best as well,” he said, according to WSB-TV. “It was a grind, and I respected it. If I had that opportunity to stay, I probably would have. But it came around full circle, and I’m just thankful for this opportunity. Looking forward to get going.”

Vick won’t have full control of the offense from the beginning.

Josh Allen takes responsibility for tweets sent as high schooler

Allen told ESPN’s Suzy Kolber that he has been contacted by some teams about the tweet but that he doesn’t expect it to impact his draft status.

“Hopefully they understand the type of person I am. …. I don’t think this is going to hurt me,” he said about an hour before the Browns made the first pick.

“I love the intensity, I love the game in front of me,” Hellebuyck said about the playoffs. “It’s awesome and a little different. Intense is the right way to put it.”

Not only did the teams top the standings, this series is the first between clubs with the most combined points ever before a conference finals after Nashville (117) edged Winnipeg (114) for the Presidents’ Trophy.

Both the Jets and Predators brought a Vezina finalist into this series. Hellebuyck outdueled veteran Pekka Rinne, who was pulled after the second period after giving up three goals on 16 shots. Hellebuyck, who finished off Minnesota with back-to-back shutouts, picked up where he left off a week ago.

Hellebuyck stretched his shutout streak to 163 minutes before Nashville finally scored. Coach Paul Maurice said the Jets weren’t at their best and can play better.

“But we pay our goaltender, too,” Maurice said.

Mark Scheifele scored two goals, including an empty-netter as the Jets were outshot 48-19. Brandon Tanev and Paul Stastny also scored to help the Jets — the NHL’s best home team in the regular season — steal home-ice advantage.

Kevin Fiala scored for the Predators, which had won 11 of their last 14 playoff games in Nashville. Several Predators said they thought this was perhaps their best game of the season, talk coach Peter Laviolette didn’t share.

Doughty’s one-game suspension was the first of several in the first round for a hit to the head of an opponent. Toronto’s Nazem Kadri got three games, and Winnipeg’s Josh Morrissey and Nashville’s Ryan Hartman got one game each. Washington’s Tom Wilson and Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov were among those who got off without significant punishment.

The criticism, from Columbus to Colorado and from New Jersey to Los Angeles, was loud enough that the NHL’s department of player safety put out a video last week explaining its reasoning for suspending Doughty and Hartman but not Kucherov or Predators center Ryan Johansen.