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Report: Steelers' opponent, location revealed for season opener

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Report: Steelers' opponent, location revealed for season opener


As he settles in as Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator, Arthur Smith will reportedly head into familiar territory right away. According to WSB-TV’s Zach Klein, the Steelers will head to Atlanta to take on the Falcons in the season opener.

Smith spent the last three years as the Falcons’ head coach, amassing a 21-30 record before his firing after the 2023 season. He then latched on with the Steelers, where he’ll now work with a quarterback room of Russell Wilson and Justin Fields after some major moves this offseason.

According to Klein, Smith won’t have to wait long to return to Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Smith spoke about his tenure in Atlanta after taking over in Pittsburgh earlier this offseason, pointing out the need to build the roster from scratch during his time at the helm.

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“It was a unique situation, essentially rebuilding a team” Smith said, via Falcon Report’s Daniel Flick. “There were some good lessons learned. It was a tough lesson, but it’ll help me here, especially with some of the young players here that we have, and how you fit the offense and try to play to those guys’ strengths.”

Pittsburgh and Atlanta both made major moves at the quarterback position this offseason. Wilson is coming in as the expected starter for the Steelers this year with Fields as his backup while the Falcons signed Kirk Cousins to a lucrative contract and selected Michael Penix Jr. with the No. 8 overall pick in the NFL Draft. Raheem Morris is now at the helm for Atlanta, as well.

Chiefs, Ravens to kick off 2024 NFL season

The full NFL schedule is set to be revealed Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET, but some games have already been announced. That includes the first game of the year, which will see the two-time defending champions in a rematch of the 2023 AFC Championship.

The Super Bowl LVIII-winning Kansas City Chiefs will take on the Baltimore Ravens in a highly anticipated matchup to start the year. The 2024 NFL season begins on Thursday, Sept. 5, at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.

Baltimore 1-3 against the Chiefs with quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes under center. Last time the Chiefs and Ravens were face-to-face, Kansas City won 17-10 and advanced to the championship game against the San Francisco 49ers.

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Nikki Chavanelle contributed to this report.



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Atlanta, GA

Man caught on camera stealing laptops from Atlanta charter school, police say

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Man caught on camera stealing laptops from Atlanta charter school, police say


Atlanta police are hoping someone can help identify a man caught on camera stealing multiple laptops from a local charter school.

Officials say the theft happened on May 19 around 6 p.m. at Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School on Essie Avenue.

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According to investigators, security footage showed the unidentified man walking inside the school after it had closed.

The school reported that the man took four laptops, an iPad and an Apple Pencil.

(Atlanta Police Department)

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Police described the alleged burglar as a Black man with shoulder-length dreadlocks. He was seen wearing a dark shirt, camouflage shorts, black slides, a gold chain, and a white smartwatch.

If you have any information that could help with the burglary investigation, call the Crime Stoppers Atlanta tip line at (404) 577-8477.



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Will The Atlanta Braves Ever Throw Another No-Hitter?

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Will The Atlanta Braves Ever Throw Another No-Hitter?


Raisel Iglesias didn’t record the first two outs in the ninth inning on May 11 in easy fashion. But after he got Pete Alonso to ground out to short on the eighth pitch of the at-bat and the 14th pitch of the inning, a feeling of inevitability enveloped Citi Field.

The Braves fans who’d already begun drowning out the Mets fans in the crowd of 38,919 began doing the Tomahawk Chop. And Braves fans, Mets fans and impartial observers alike took out their phones as J.D. Martinez stepped to the plate.

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It was finally going to happen. The Braves, the epitome of sustained pitching excellence, were going to throw a no-hitter. Who didn’t want to have video proof of the final out and the end of the drought?

Except, of course, this no-hit bid ended like every other no-hit bid by the Braves over the last 30-plus years when Martinez hit a first-pitch fastball about 10 feet beyond the right field fence to end a combined pursuit of history by Max Fried (first seven innings), Joe Jimenez (eighth inning) and Iglesias.

These are the Mets, so you expected Ronald Acuna Jr. to scale the wall and do a somersault while making the gem-saving catch, but no. The Braves’ no-hitter drought is such a strong entity that even the perpetually woeful Mets can’t snap it.

Nor could the less-woeful Cubs and Padres over the last 10 games, which increased the Braves’ no-hitter drought to a whopping 4,877 games — counting the playoffs — since Kent Mercker held the Dodgers hitless on April 8 1994.

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The only teams for whom features about their no-hitter droughts would be more evergreen are Cleveland (no no-hitters since Len Barker’s perfect game against the Blue Jays on May 15, 1981), the Blue Jays (no no-hitters since Dave Stieb, a chapter by himself in any book about near no-hitters, finally threw his lone no-hitter against Cleveland on Sept. 2, 1990) and the Royals (no no-hitters since Bret Saberhagen’s gem against the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 26, 1991)

“It’s rare — how many have there been out of ever single game that’s been played?” Braves catcher (and former Mets catcher, because of course) Travis d’Arnaud said following the Braves’ 4-1 win. “How many have there been total?”

Entering play Thursday, there were 383 no-hitters thrown in 239,022 games since 1876. That means the odds of a no-hitter being thrown are 0.002 percent per game (or 0.0016 percent, if you want to be more exact).

The odds of seeing a no-hitter since 1995 — the first full season of the Braves’ drought — are even lower at 0.001 percent per game (or 0.0006 percent, if you want to be more exact).

So on one hand, it’s understandable the Braves haven’t thrown a no-hitter. It’s hard to do, even for a team that’s pitched better than almost anyone else over the last three decades. Since 1994, the Braves rank second in baseball with 2,656 wins, a 3.80 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

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But the Yankees, who are first in wins since 1994, and the Dodgers, who are first in ERA and WHIP, have combined for nine no-hitters (and two perfect games, both by the Yankees) since Mercker’s gem.

Seventeen other teams have thrown multiple no-hitters since 1994, including the Marlins, who have the fourth-worst record in baseball in that span but also have six no-hitters. That’s tied for the most with the Phillies behind the Astros (eight). Even the Mets, who used to be the poster franchise for no no-hitters, have thrown two no-hitters.

And none of those teams with multiple no-hitters had a trio of Hall of Famers accounting for almost 20 percent of their starts since 1994. Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz combined to start 922 games for Atlanta, albeit none since 2008. They finished with no no-hitters in a combined 1,903 starts, but the likes of Chris Heston, Bud Smith, Philip Humber and Jose Jimenez combined for four no-hitters — Humber’s was a perfect game— over 146 career starts.

At least Glavine, Maddux and Smoltz are in good company. Tim Hudson, who played nine seasons of his borderline Hall of Fame career in Atlanta, never threw a no-hitter for the Braves. Nor have current ace-caliber Braves Chris Sale or Spencer Strider.

Fried is the third All-Star to start a Braves’ no-hit bid broken up in the ninth in the last 10 years Shelby Miller’s bid was broken up by the Marlins with two outs on May 17, 2015) while Mike Foltynewicz had his pursuit of history ended June 30, 2017, when current Braves first baseman Matt Olson led off the ninth with a homer for the Athletics. And Sean Newcomb, who came within an out of a no-hitter against the Dodgers on July 29, 2018 was a former first-round draft pick who was the centerpiece of the Andrelton Simmons trade with the Angels at the start of the Braves’ rebuild in 2015.

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“With all the Hall of Famers running through here and guys with electric stuff — they’re not easy, so many things have got to go right,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.

Maybe the pitcher to get everything to go right will be Fried, who carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning for the third tie this season Wednesday, when he settled for a complete game three-hitter in a 9-2 win over the Cubs. Or maybe it’ll be a pitcher in the midst of an otherwise ordinary career.

Or maybe the Braves will just keep going and going without a no-hitter, continuing their decades-long success on the mound while embodying the quirky and random nature of the no-hitter, or the lack of one.

“It’s really cool to be a part of an almost one — 26-outer,” Braves centerfielder Michael Harris II said. “So hopefully this season or in the near future, we can squeeze one out.”



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Why Did Atlanta Falcons Cut Ex Starting Pass Rusher? Raheem Morris Reveals

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Why Did Atlanta Falcons Cut Ex Starting Pass Rusher? Raheem Morris Reveals


The Atlanta Falcons have long faced pass rush questions, and first-year head coach Raheem Morris said at the owners meeting in late March how much he’s prioritized finding an answer.

Evidently, part of that process included cutting past ties, as Morris and the Falcons released outside linebacker Adetokunbo Ogundeji on May 16.

Ogundeji, a fifth-round pick in 2021, was forced into action early on Atlanta’s defensive front. He started 11 games as a rookie and ranked third on the team with five tackles for loss. In 2022, the former Notre Dame standout started all 16 games he played, though he mustered only two sacks and three tackles for loss.

But Ogundeji’s career took an unexpected twist last summer, as he suffered a lower-body injury in training camp that ultimately ended his 2023 season before it began.

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Atlanta’s pass rush surged, recording 42 sacks after combining for just 39 in the previous two years. Change ensued this spring, as Morris and defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake replaced Arthur Smith and Ryan Nielsen, respectively.

The Falcons’ co-sack leaders – Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree, who had six apiece – hit the free agent market. Campbell is still unsigned while Dupree joined the Los Angeles Chargers.

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Atlanta didn’t make any hefty additions to its defensive front in free agency and waited until the third round to select an edge rusher, adding Washington’s Bralen Trice. The Falcons signed former Dallas Cowboys draftee Bradlee Anae after trying out at rookie minicamp May 10.

Yet for Morris, Atlanta ran out of room to keep Ogundeji on its roster.

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“We were able to address it a little bit in the draft with Bralen,” Morris said. “We’re going to address that position a little bit later when we added Anae, and it’s a numbers issue for (Ogundeji).”

But the Falcons’ goodbye to Ogundeji isn’t necessarily a final farewell.

“That door is not closed,” Morris said. “You never know where we go there, but that was the decision on that.”

Morris left the door open for Ogundeji to rejoin the team on a different contract and perhaps as a member of the practice squad. It’s unlikely that he’ll be in high demand this summer.

Atlanta returns to practice with OTAs on June 3 at IBM Performance in Flowery Branch.

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