Latest John Thompson News
Sep 17, 2021
TribLIVE's Daily and Weekly email newsletters deliver the news you want and information you need, right to your inbox. Friday’s “First Call” features a harsh rebuke of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The injuries keep mounting in Baltimore. A shakeup for HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series. And cornhole is trying to become an Olympic sport. Seriously. I think. Tell us what you really feel NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter didn’t hold back when discussing Ben Roethlisberger on the NFL Network’s “ Good Morning Football .” “Ben makes excuses. Ben complains. And then Ben brings that attention to himself. He’s going to be complaining about the offensive coordinator,” Carter said. “Ben’s not the sharpest quarterback we’ve ever had play in the NFL.” Carter went on to say Roethlisberger “milks his injuries,” and he roasted Big Ben for his quote suggesting that his offseason salary adjustment was about trying to help T.J. Watt get a new deal . The former wide receiver even went back to 2006 and jabbed Ben for not wearing a helmet after his motorcycle accident. I’d say some of that passive aggressiveness in the media about Roethlisberger has waned since Todd Haley left as offensive coordinator. But I’d be a hypocrite if I tried to suggest I haven’t been critical of Roethlisberger for some of those traits, too. The injury thing. The Watt contract thing. Those subtle — and sometimes not so subtle — jabs at offensive coordinators and even occasionally front office management (remember when Mason Rudolph was drafted?). But I never called him … dumb. Which it sure sounded like Carter was trying to do with that “not the sharpest QB” grenade he tossed out there. Occasional lack of self-awareness off the field? For sure. Forcing the occasional throw that has gone for a pick-6 the other way? Absolutely. But an unintelligent quarterback? No. That was too far of a leap from Carter. Leavin’ Le’V behind The Ravens promoted another running back, and it still wasn’t Le’Veon Bell. The franchise needed to round out its offensive backfield in advance of Game 1 against the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night after late preseason injuries to the likes of J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill. So they signed three aging former Pro Bowl ball carriers who had been bouncing around the league. The first to sign was former Steelers All-Pro Le’Veon Bell. He was followed by Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray. Even though he was the last to sign, Murray suited up for the Monday night loss to the Raiders. Then Freeman got promoted from the practice squad Thursday , which leaves Bell waiting to find out if and when he might play. The Ravens are about to play another one of Bell’s former teams Monday night when they host the defending AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs. Hits just keep on comin’ The Ravens are stretched thin at some other positions besides just running back. Star left tackle Ronnie Stanley suffered a season-ending ankle injury against the Steelers in November. When he tried to return against the Raiders on Monday, he clearly wasn’t in his All-Pro form. The former Notre Dame standout yielded nine pressures. Via Ebonybird.com , “In six games in 2020, Stanley surrendered just six. And in 15 games in 2019, he allowed only 10 total pressures.” Now CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports that Stanley will be out this week “and possibly far longer as he undergoes more medical testing.” Former Steeler Alejandro Villanueva will move back to left tackle, a position he occupied in Pittsburgh. As a right tackle last week against Vegas, Villanueva struggled mightily to contain Raiders pass rushing star Maxx Crosby. On the wide receiver front, Marquise Brown missed his second straight day of practice and Devin Duvernay (groin) was placed on the injury report as a limited participant. And, on top of losing cornerback Marcus Peters to a torn ACL before the regular season began, Baltimore has now lost another corner. According to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler, Chris Westry tore his meniscus. More injury issues for #Ravens : Cornerback Chris Westry has a torn lateral meniscus, per source. Westry was growing in Ravens defense and played 33 defensive snaps vs. Raiders. Already without Marcus Peters, Baltimore looking at options and exploring adding veteran Buster Skrine The Ravens are already 3.5-point underdogs at home against Kansas City. Don’t be surprised if the line gets wider before Sunday night’s kickoff. New ‘Hard Knocks’ The featured team will be the Indianapolis Colts. The series will debut Nov. 17. The goal will be to spice up the HBO show after it has grown stale and repetitive. Perhaps the in-season stakes will jolt the content. As ProFootballTalk pointed out , in recent years, “NFL Films and Amazon produced ‘All or Nothing,’ a series based on one specific team’s season. The episodes were released well after the season ended. The new ‘Hard Knocks’ will have new episodes landing during the season.” Even with a nationally popular team such as the Cowboys being featured this summer, the program generated very little buzz. The New York Post reports that the show will air on Wednesdays instead of Tuesdays. Liev Schreiber will continue as the narrator. It will be on for at least nine consecutive weeks. Playing for national…um…pride? Get mentally prepared for competitive cornhole in the Olympics. According to Sportico, the ACL — American Cornhole League — is stating a goal of making the former tailgate pastime turned competitive artform into an Olympic-level competition The sport of cornhole doesn't get a ton of attention, but former Georgetown University and Princeton University men's basketball coach John Thompson III is now a key investor in the American Cornhole League: https://t.co/CWDpruJnQg “We’re looking forward to adding on partners that they can bring to the table and then business expansion in general,” ACL commissioner and founder Stacey Moore said. “We like to say that we’re the only sport that can be played at another professional or college sporting event. The portability of our game is unique. And, obviously, we want to make cornhole an Olympic sport.” The American Cornhole League has taken its first outside investments. College basketball coach John Thompson III and real estate investor James Simmons III have invested in the league. “As the public becomes aware — and some of the distribution relationships are relatively new — once they become more deeply entrenched, I think you’ll see an amount of organic growth and an amount of brand and name recognition,” Simmons said.