Home Sports First Call: Encouraging State of the Steelers’ Melvin Ingram; Steven Nelson...

First Call: Encouraging State of the Steelers’ Melvin Ingram; Steven Nelson News; interesting predictions about the expansion of penguins


If you’ve in doubt that the Pittsburgh Steelers are signing Melvin Ingram, Wednesday’s “First Call” may give you peace of mind.

We are also looking at Steven Nelson’s future. Strange odds about which Penguin might be chosen by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft. And TJ Watt’s wedding engagement gets some buzz on TMZ.

In addition to the numbers

I’m sure some Steelers fans stood over the idea of ​​spending $ 4 million on Melvin Ingram. The franchise bleached the former Los Angeles Chargers pass for a one-year contract Monday.

Ingram has three Pro Bowls on his resume from 2017-19. He made up a total of 49 sacks in nine years with the Chargers. But he comes out of a year where he only played seven games thanks to a knee injury and did not register a sack.

That said, USA Today’s Doug Farrar found an interesting state in Touchdown Wire that could allay some of these concerns in Pittsburgh.

In 2019, (Ingram) picked up seven sacks, four quarterback hits, 35 quarterback rushes and 32 stops.

In last year’s injury-reducing campaign, at just 236 passing snaps, Ingram recorded no sacks, but he put up six hits and 22 rushes – based on the tape, it could be argued that Ingram was a more effective down-down winger in 2020 than he was in 2019.

The last statement can be a bit of a leap. But the overall point about Ingram’s efficiency without collecting sacks is interesting. After all, with TJ Watt on the other hand, some of these rushes might turn into sacks where Watt pushes his pocket from the left side of the defense.

Similarly, perhaps some of the pressure Ingram creates will create sacks for Watt if he flushes the quarterback against Watt from the right side of the defense.

This yin-and-yang worked nicely for Watt and Bud Dupree as a combination the last two years. Perhaps Watt will find similar success with Ingram and Alex Highsmith this year.

Another kind of ring

One day, TJ Watt would like to have a massive Super Bowl ring on his finger. He has already taken care of that jewelry for his fiance.

According to TMZ, Watt spent $ 100,000 on his girlfriend’s engagement ring.

On July 8, Watt and Dani Rhodes announced their plans to get married. Rhodes is a football player who recently played for the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women’s Soccer League.

One of the last items in the offseason business for the Steelers is presumably hammering out a long-term contract extension for Watt. Once that is done, it will hardly be considered a big deal to pay that ring out.

Last month, the Bleacher Report expected Watts’ new deal to be within five years, $ 145 million with a guaranteed $ 105 million.

Waiting game

It sounds like Steven Nelson is close to a new job.

The former Steelers cornerback was released from the list in March. On Tuesday, Nelson left people, assuming he is on the verge of a new deal somewhere via a post on Twitter indicating “Today or tomorrow keep an eye out.”

But for some reason, he deactivated his Twitter account Tuesday night.

It would not be ridiculous to wonder Nelson returns to Pittsburgh. However, the Philadelphia Eagles have been a rumored destination for a few weeks.

No need to rub our noses in it

Since its inception in 2017, the Vegas Golden Knights have rapidly developed a reputation as a multi-year competitor.

With an extremely entertaining – while also quite disgusting – Twitter account.

While the rest of the NHL is worried about which players will be selected in Wednesday night’s expansion draft of the new Seattle Kraken, the Golden Knights are not. This is because Vegas as a new franchise in itself did not have to leave anyone exposed.

The Knights took to Twitter so they can rejoice.

Completely on the mark.

Do you want to double check it?

When we talk about Vegas and the expansion draft, the odds of betting are out for who Kraken will choose. The nominees for the Penguins are a surprise.

According to BetOnline.ag, defender Marcus Pettersson is the favorite at odds of 1/3. Then there is winger Jason Zucker at 2/1 and Juuso Riikola at 6/1.

Penguin general manager Ron Hextall should be dizzy at the thought of these results. Pettersson and Zucker are not necessarily a surprise. Riikola would be. But I expect Seattle to choose either Zach Aston-Reese or Brandon Tanev. These two wingers were not even mentioned.

ESPN’s Emily Kaplan also had a prediction that was also out of the norm, suggesting that backup goalkeeper Casey DeSmith would be the one heading west to join the new team.

Kraken makes 30 total selections consisting of at least 14 strikers, nine defenders and three goalkeepers. There are 26 players. So if Kraken wants to build organizational depth into goals with extra choices at that position, DeSmith is a relatively inexpensive goalie ($ 1.25 million) who can easily jump between the NHL and the AHL.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be retransmitted. All emails can be published unless otherwise stated.


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