First Call: Ed Reed’s ‘Steelers week’ speech to Ravens; Mark Melancon meltdown
In “First Call” Friday, the Ravens get a “Steelers Week” pep talk from a franchise legend. Mark Melancon melted down. What other teams are doing to Aaron Donald.
Bring out the big guns
Some have bemoaned the fact that so many of the players who laid the foundation of the Steelers-Ravens rivalry have retired or moved on to other teams.
Well, one of those players in Baltimore came back to Ravens practice to remind their players how important the rivalry is.
Five-time All-Pro safety Ed Reed gave a mid-week speech to fire up the Birds before they fly up to Pittsburgh on Sunday.
"This is a huge week obviously, y'all know that. I know you got a bad taste in your mouth from last week…
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) October 2, 2019
“Trust me. They hate you!”
He’s right. We do! Yes. The whole city.
The two things I noticed about that video?
Ed Reed still listens to “Renegade” in his iPod to get himself fired up? That is some deep-seated motivation!
Did you see the guy wearing the Black and Gold Jaylen Samuels jersey? Looks like the Ravens must be spending some practice time getting ready for the wildcat, just like John Harbaugh promised.
That went poorly
Quite a few former Pirates have been shining heading into the playoffs.
Austin Meadows and Gerrit Cole leap to mind. Charlie Morton already won the American League Wild Card Game. And Washington’s Daniel Hudson saved the National League Wild Card Game.
Things didn’t go quite as well for former Pirates closer Mark Melancon in Atlanta on Thursday. The Cardinals beat the Braves, 7-6, in Game 1 of their NLDS matchup.
With the game tied 3-3 in the top of the ninth, Melancon allowed four runs on five hits and two walks. Fans let him have it on social media.
— Dave Loppnow (@daveloppnow) October 4, 2019
— Sebastien Tabary (@sebtabary) October 4, 2019
— John Coolidge (@JohnCoolidge8) October 4, 2019
braves fans when they catch mark melancon after the game pic.twitter.com/P5h2cLuaVM
— ً (@HarperBetter) October 4, 2019
Melancon summed up his bad outing after the defeat.
"It's something we've gotta move on from."
Mark Melancon discusses his NLDS Game 1 performance. pic.twitter.com/Uu5tE2XyoZ
— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) October 4, 2019
To make matters more painful, Atlanta stormed back in the bottom of the ninth with three runs. But Melancon put them in such a deep hole, the Braves couldn’t catch up.
Hey! You’re not off the hook!
Melancon isn’t the only Braves player taking heat.
So is Ronald Acuna Jr. The young leadoff hitter homered, singled and doubled.
It’s the single that has people mad, though. Here’s why.
— Jimmy Clarke (@JimmyClarke) October 3, 2019
Acuna watched the ball thinking it was a homer and couldn’t make it past first base. Then Acuna got doubled off second base on a line drive. Acuna did the same thing during the regular season, and he got benched for it.
Teammates such as Freddie Freeman weren’t thrilled.
Freeman on Acuña not running out of box: “It is frustrating…. That can’t happen in the postseason. It can’t happen in the regular season…. Unfortunately tonight it did.”
Said you have that conversation once, which they did, and after that it’s beating a dead horse.
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) October 4, 2019
Acuna’s explanation didn’t exactly own the action like Melancon’s did.
— Alison Mastrangelo (@AlisonWSB) October 4, 2019
Game 2 of the series is Friday at 4:37 p.m.
A highlight lock
Two weeks in a row, the Thursday night NFL game has been very entertaining. Last week, the Philadelphia Eagles outlasted the Green Bay Packers, 34-27.
This week, the Seattle Seahawks outscored the division rival Los Angeles Rams, 30-29. And Seattle’s Tyler Lockett made this tremendous touchdown catch along the way.
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) October 4, 2019
That reminds me of something. What was it?
Tyler Lockett pic.twitter.com/spQVvfAOBE
— alexSSN (@alexSSN) October 4, 2019
Yup. That was it.
Criminally Smooth TD catch by Tyler Lockett pic.twitter.com/FbON9V4wNd
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) October 4, 2019
Lockett wound up with 51 yards on four catches.
Former Pitt star Aaron Donald failed to get a sack again in that game for the Rams. He only has one on the season.
Maybe this is why.
Announcers: “Aaron Donald’s numbers are down this year”
Aaron Donald: pic.twitter.com/36KDdXz8ML
— Tony Clements (@TonyClementsTC) October 4, 2019
Yeah. Getting triple-teamed is going to hurt your cause as a pass rusher. Look at what happens when you only throw two guys at Donald. Watch him blow by Seattle’s offensive guard and running back here.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) October 4, 2019
Donald had 20 1/2 sacks a year ago.
Back home again
It’s been almost a month since the Duquesne football team had a home game.
They beat Walsh, 44-3, in the season opener Sept. 7.
— Duquesne Football (@DuqFB) September 8, 2019
Since then, the Dukes beat Dayton, while losing to New Hampshire and Youngstown State.
The Dukes host Long Island in the NEC opener at noon on Saturday. Jerry Schmitt’s club won the conference last year.
The Sharks are in their first season competing at the Division I level in football in the NEC following the consolidation of Long Island-Brooklyn and Post athletic departments prior to the 2019-20 academic year.