Friday football footnotes: Myles Jack returns to Jacksonville; Deshaun Watson’s suspension changes the odds

This week’s “Friday Football Footnotes” features a new Pittsburgh Steeler talking about his old team. We find out how betting odds were affected by Deshaun Watson leaving with an 11-game suspension in Cleveland.

We even get into Gaelic football, and a former Duquesne player has officially signed with WWE.


Fast answer

It won’t have the hype of, say, Baker Mayfield facing the Cleveland Browns in Charlotte in Week 1 or Deshaun Watson going to Houston in Week 13.

But Myles Jack’s return to Jacksonville is this Saturday night. The Steelers signed the inside linebacker away from the Jaguars in free agency this spring. Jack spent six seasons with the franchise. He said that he is looking forward to seeing his old club again.

Except for one problem.

“It’s going to be weird because I don’t even know what the visitors’ locker room looks like in Jacksonville,” Jack admitted Thursday. “But it’s going to be great to see those guys. It’s all love.”

Apparently his former teammates are sending in good reports about Jacksonville’s coaching change since the end of last season. The franchise fired Urban Meyer after just 13 games in 2021. He was replaced by former Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson in February.

“I heard there is a new regime out there. The boys like it more. It’s definitely a change from when Coach Meyer was there the year before. And they feel confident in what they’re doing,” said Jack.

As for what the Steelers should expect in terms of playing time from Jacksonville’s young offensive prospects like quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne, Jack expects them to get a significant amount.

“I imagine Trevor will play,” said Jack. “Etienne will run a bit. I hope they play the headlines for him. It would be great to get a little burnt out against the starting offense and continue to improve and get ready for the season.”

Lawrence was 6 of 12 for 95 yards against the Browns last week during a 24-13 loss. Etienne had nine carries for 23 yards. Neither player was involved in the Hall of Fame game loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, 27-11 on August 4.


moving the money

The news that Watson’s suspension was increased from six games to 11 certainly affected the game odds surrounding the Browns. Via CBS Sportshere’s how the numbers changed from just before Watson’s suspension was announced to what happened after the odds were back in the books.

• Projected wins: 9.5 (before), 8.5 (after)

• Super Bowl odds: 25-1 (before), 35-1 (after)

• AFC title odds: 13-1 (before), 18-1 (after)

• AFC North title odds: 3-1 (before), 4-1 (after)

In fact, I thought those odds would change more severely.

According to SportsLine projections, the Browns’ average winning percentage from Weeks 1-11 is 46%, compared to 59% over the last six games. They also project that the Browns will average 21 points per game without Watson and 24.5 points per game with him.


more sports

Steelers between the ropes: Connor Heyward continues to show good hands, racking up catches
Daily Camp Report: ‘I’ll be good,’ says Cam Heyward after walking out with ankle injury
Kenny Pickett to back up Mitch Trubisky at Steelers preseason game in Jacksonville


new bird’s nest

During the offseason, the Arizona Cardinals snapped wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown from the Baltimore Ravens in a draft day trade.

“I want to feel that I am part of something to win” Brown said via the Cardinals website. “On the Ravens, I felt like sometimes they really didn’t need me. Regardless of whether I was there or not, they were going to win games.

“I love the game too much. I want to participate”.

Brown got the most goals in Baltimore last year (146), good for 10th in the NFL. But with as much running as Baltimore does, Brown wanted a more aerial attack.

Similar to Jack’s situation with the Steelers, the Cardinals host Baltimore on Saturday night.


Macek makes his move

WWE has made it official. Roman Macek is now part of the wrestling organization.

The former Duquesne offensive lineman is part of the new recruiting class of 17 members for sports entertainment platform.

Macek confirmed the news on social media announcing his signing.

The Montour High graduate had one more year of eligibility left, but made the decision to join professional wrestling after he was seen on a test camp in Texas in March.

Macek said he doesn’t have a name in the ring yet. According to Macek, the turnaround time for training before a debut is typically three to four months.


poo power

And while we’re talking soccer, Pittsburgh’s Gaelic soccer clubs are in the Gaelic Athletic Association finals in Chicago this weekend.

The Pittsburgh Celtics Intermediate (upper tier) team opens against a team from Philadelphia on Friday afternoon at (1:15 p.m.), and the Celtics Junior D team (4:05 p.m., lower tier) faces a group representing the Cayman Islands.

The women’s Gaelic soccer team, the Banshees, take on a team from Charlotte at 9 a.m.

After winning a fifth consecutive Midwest regional championship this year, the Pittsburgh Hurling Club also competes in Chicago. The men’s team will take on the Portland, ME club at 10:25 am on Friday. After qualifying last year, the Pucas lost to Denver in the first round.

Pittsburgh’s camogie (women’s hurling) team, Na Loachra Camogie, will be in action Saturday at 9:50 am against a team from Charlotte.

The tournament runs through Sunday at Gaelic Park in Chicago. We profile the teams in “breakfast with benz” last summer.

Tim Benz is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Tim at tbenz@triblive.com or via Twitter. All tweets can be republished. All emails are subject to publication unless otherwise specified.

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