First call: NFL Scouting Combine ‘bubble boycott’ averted; former Steelers QB cut in CFL; Penguins get no help from Flyers
Tuesday’s “First Call” has an update on this planned boycott of the NFL Scouting Combine. A former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback hasn’t been up to snuff in the CFL. Troy Polamalu’s uncle gets a new NFL coaching job. The Flyers can’t give the Penguins any assists.
And one of Duquesne’s basketball players gets a tip.
The NFL Scouting Combine eases its covid-19 restrictions after boycott threats by 157 players.
On Monday, event organizers informed draft contenders attending next week’s talent showcase that it had changed its protocols and would now allow players outside of secure areas while in Indianapolis.
Via a memo obtained by the NFL Network, “We encourage all players to stay in the secure areas of the Combine at all times for your safety. However, if you wish to leave the secured areas during your free time in your schedule, you are now allowed to do so at your own risk.
The memo also said players’ “licensed medical support personnel (physiotherapist, massage therapist or licensed athletic trainer)” may enter the secure areas provided they follow proper procedures.
This was the agents’ biggest gripe, that the players may not be able to get the full attention of their entire collection of coaches and athletic trainers.
The change comes following a bristling reaction from players and agents to the idea of a bubble setup which was announced on Saturday.
Sacked in Saskatchewan
According to 3downnation.com, the Saskatchewan Roughriders have eliminated former Steelers quarterback Paxton Lynch.
Lynch was on their active list (or one-game injured list) for all of 2021, which allowed him to collect his full salary. The franchise placed him on the suspended list for unknown reasons ahead of the playoffs, and he remained there until Monday’s release.
As the fourth quarterback on the depth chart, he didn’t dress for a game.
Lynch, the Broncos’ 26th overall pick in 2016, hasn’t played in the NFL since 2017. He has earned more than $8.8 million playing five games, with four starts, over two seasons.
The Steelers kicked him out of training camp in 2020.
• Tim Benz: 3 goals the Steelers can achieve by signing Brian Flores
• Kevin Colbert: Mason Rudolph in line to be Steelers QB ‘if season started today’
Familiar name in Vegas
On Monday, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported that the Las Vegas Raiders had hired Kennedy Polamalu as their running backs coach.
Polamalu is the uncle of Steelers legend Troy Polamalu. He has been coaching since 1992, spending the last five seasons as running backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings.
Polamalu also held that title with the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars. He also coached running backs in the NCAA ranks with USC and UCLA. Polamalu was in Southern Cal when his nephew played for the Trojans before being drafted by the Steelers in 2003.
Troy Polamalu mentioned his uncle during his Hall of Fame speech this summer.
“I couldn’t stop crying,” the elder Polamalu said after the speech. “When he came on stage, I couldn’t stop crying. He had nothing to say about me. It was just the moment.”
Go figure. It’s Philly
Let’s go. You didn’t expect the Penguins to get help from the Philadelphia Flyers, did you?
The Flyers hosted the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night. Philly entered the game with just 39 points, tied for last in the division with the New Jersey Devils. Carolina started the fight with 72 points, a two-point advantage over the inactive, second-placed Penguins.
It resulted in a 4-3 road win in overtime for the Canes in Philadelphia after Brett Pesce scored a game-winning goal with 18 seconds of 3-on-3 remaining. He came off a nice feed from Vincent Trocheck of Pittsburgh.
Truly a work of art pic.twitter.com/POpjnAs6bf
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) February 21, 2022
So that means the Penguins are now four points behind Carolina. The Canes have won three in a row. The Penguins won’t play again until Thursday night when they host the Devils, who are now alone in last place after the Flyers picked up a point thanks to the overtime loss.
Carolina won’t skate again until Friday’s home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Beautiful week for Fatou
Duquesne’s Fatou Pouye is the Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Player of the Week.
Pouye averaged 23.5 points and 5.0 boards to help the Dukes earn wins over Richmond and St. Bonaventure last week.
Fatou Pouye with the ups and downs
— Duquesne Women’s Basketball (@DuqWBB) February 17, 2022
The Western Kentucky graduate transfer led all players with 27 points on 10 of 16 shooting, including 5 of 7 attempts in three-point territory, along with seven rebounds in the team’s 99-75 win over Saint -Bonaventure Sunday. Pouye’s five three-point shots were part of the team’s 19 total that tied the A-10 record in a single game.
The Senegal native recorded a game-high 20 points in the team’s 80-68 win over Richmond on Wednesday.
She is the first Duquesne player to win the award since Libby Bazelak won the honor on December 23, 2019.
The team travel to La Salle on Wednesday for a 6:00 p.m. caution, before wrapping up the regular season at home against Saint Joseph’s at 2:00 p.m. Saturday.