First Call: Ben Roethlisberger praises Matt Canada’s coaching style and 3rd down strategy; James Conner talks about his return

In Thursday’s “First Call,” Ben Roethlisberger provides insights on the Steelers’ offense post-Matt Canada. James Conner anticipates his return to Pittsburgh with the Arizona Cardinals. The injury report for the Steelers-Cardinals game is examined, and the Penguins face the Tampa Bay Lightning.

**Ben’s Take on New Offense**
Ben Roethlisberger, in his podcast, highlighted a play where Kenny Pickett targeted tight end Pat Freiermuth beyond the sticks, deviating from Matt Canada’s short-pass-focused approach. Roethlisberger praised the change, criticizing Canada’s tendency to throw short on third downs, often falling short. He also mentioned feeling less hands-on coaching from Canada during his final year in 2021.



**Injury Updates**
Minkah Fitzpatrick and Montravius Adams returned to full practice, positive news for the Steelers. Quarterback Kenny Pickett, despite an ankle injury listing, participated fully. However, receiver Calvin Austin didn’t practice due to an ankle issue. The Arizona Cardinals have notable injuries, including receiver Michael Wilson, tight end Trey McBride, and cornerback Antonio Hamilton, Starling Thomas V, and safety Jalen Thompson.

Ben Roethlisberger retires from NFL after 18 seasons with the Pittsburgh  Steelers

**Conner Returns to Pittsburgh**
James Conner returns to Pittsburgh with the Cardinals, expressing gratitude for the Steelers drafting him despite injuries and cancer. Conner, a former Pitt Panther, holds respect for Pittsburgh and expects 15-20 people in attendance for the game.

Mike Tomlin 'Optimistic' James Conner Returns from Shoulder Injury vs. Rams  | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

**Penguins vs. Lightning**
The Penguins face the Tampa Bay Lightning, starting a series of three meetings. Tampa Bay, currently in the eighth playoff spot, sees the return of goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. Nikita Kucherov leads the NHL in scoring, while the Lightning have a strong power play and penalty kill. The Penguins, having lost five of their last seven games, are tied for sixth in the Metropolitan Division.

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