Breaking News: Just Now, Steelers defensive lineman dead at 27 after cancer battle: ‘A great teammate’…


Breaking News: Just Now, Steelers defensive lineman dead at 27 after cancer battle: ‘A great teammate’…

Longtime broadcaster and former Pittsburgh Steelers player Tunch Ilkin passes away at age 63.
Pittsburgh Tunch Ilkin, a longtime broadcaster and former offensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, passed away on Saturday, the team announced. He was sixty-three.

Ilkin, who disclosed that he was hospitalized lately for pneumonia, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in October 2020.

In order to concentrate on his medical care, he declared in June that he was leaving from his announcing role with the Steelers.

Ilkin, a two-time Pro Bowl tackle, was included in the announcement of the Steelers’ Hall of Honor’s 2021 class, which will be enshrined later this year.

“We are devastated to learn of Tunch Ilkin’s demise. According to a statement released by Steelers president Art Rooney II, “He was a man of faith who dedicated his entire life to being a devout Christian and family man.” “In his daily existence, his love for the game of football was apparent. He battled through difficult periods of being cut and hurt while playing, but he still made an impact as our offensive line’s leader and was selected to two Pro Bowls.”

After playing for the Steelers from 1980 to 1992, Ilkin returned to the franchise to work as a color analyst in the TV booth for 23 years.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wrote, “Today we lost an incredible man with the passing of Tunch Ilkin.”

“Tunch was a unique individual who had an influence on everyone he encountered, including me. Serving people was his passion, and he lived out his faith and loved his family. I will be praying for his family.
The first NFL player born in Turkey, Ilkin was a mainstay in Pittsburgh and the Steelers’ community. He volunteered at the Light of Life Rescue Mission and was very interested in his church, The Bible Chapel, South Hills.

According to Rooney’s statement, “Tunch continued to make an impact in our community in so many ways after his playing career.” “His efforts and dedication to the Light of Life was unparalleled, and his desire to always help others made everyone appreciate him.”


Throughout the season, Ilkin was a regular at the team’s training complex, frequently stopping by the players’ locker room to strike up a conversation. His excitement and vitality for the team and the match were contagious.

“Today we lost a tremendous person, but God received an amazing angel,” wrote defensive end Cam Heyward, who is currently with the Pittsburgh Steelers, on Instagram. “We will always be inspired by your strength, love, honesty, and faith. I had the good fortune to speak with you and get to know you. Brother, may you rest in peace.”

Following Ilkin’s ALS diagnosis, Pittsburgh declared December 21, 2020, to be Tunch Ilkin Day.

Ilkin is left by his first wife, Sharon, who passed away in 2012 after a protracted battle with breast cancer, and his children, Tanner, Natalie, and Clay from his marriage to Karen.

This report was made possible by the Associated Press.

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Surprise pick of Michael Penix Jr. by the Falcons in the NFL Draft
With the selection of Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. with the eighth overall choice on Thursday night, the Atlanta Falcons pulled off the biggest surprise of the first round of the NFL draft. Additionally, Kirk Cousins, the starting quarterback, was equally astounded.

Despite signing veteran quarterback Kirks to a four-year, $180 million contract last month in free agency, the Falcons still made the selection.
Mike McCartney, the agent of Cousins, revealed to ESPN’s Pete Thamel that the quarterback was not informed by the Falcons that Penix would be selected until the team had tallied. According to McCartney, Cousins’ camp is confused and frustrated that Atlanta did not use its first-round pick to improve the club in 2024.

Rather, before Cousins had played a single down for the squad, the Falcons used their selection on the player who appears to be his replacement. Although McCartney claimed that Cousins is prepared to move on and understands the business of football, there was some surprise at the Falcons’ choice.

Penix acknowledged that he was taken aback to receive the call informing him that he had been selected.

Penix remarked, “I won’t say I knew it was coming.” “But I knew once the phone call came through.”

Penix, 23, made it clear that he is getting ready to pick up knowledge from four-time Pro Bowler Cousins.

Penix remarked, “He’s been in the league.” “He’s been inside for some time. He has a lot of football experience. I have the impression that by entering, I will gain knowledge. He’s going to teach me something.

Penix led Washington to a 14-1 record and a trip in the national championship game, where the Huskies played. Penix was the Heisman Trophy runner-up the previous season and won the Maxwell Award.

Michigan defeated us.

With 4,903 passing yards in 2023, the left-handed Penix led the FBS, and in 2022, he was second (4,641). He is the first athlete since Patrick Mahomes of Texas Tech in 2015 and 2016 to have at least 4,500 throwing yards in two consecutive seasons.
Penix possessed maybe the finest pure arm of any quarterback in the draft, and his tape was equally impressive as his numbers. However, his history of injuries raised serious concerns for NFL teams.

The player raised in Florida came back from four separate season-ending injuries in his college career. Penix tore his right ACL in 2018, dislocated his shoulder in 2019, tore his right ACL again in 2020 and separated the AC joint in his shoulder in 2021.

Those injuries and his age were red flags going into the draft, where he ended up being the fourth quarterback taken overall — after Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye — and one of a record-tying six selected in the first round.

Cousins, who is coming off an Achilles tear, will be Atlanta’s starter for the foreseeable future, another reason why the Penix pick was a surprise. But Cousins is also 35 years old, and the Falcons’ brass spent quite a bit of time with Penix recently, including a visit that was attended by general manager Terry Fontenot and new coach Raheem Morris.

Penix said the Falcons liked how he threw the ball at the visit, adding that he thought it was a “great performance.”

“It was a great session,” he said. “It was a great time. It was quick, but we made it worthwhile.”

The Falcons clearly believed they had their quarterback of the future and did not want to pass him up.

This would not be the first time in Fontenot’s tenure that the Falcons made a polarizing first-round pick. Last year, they took Bijan Robinson with the No. 8 pick, which was deemed early for a running back. Atlanta also took tight end Kyle Pitts with the No. 4 pick in 2021, another selection that drew controversy.

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