First Call: Odds to sign LeVeon Bell? Only one team in front of Steelers. Pirates painful anniversary. – TribLIVE

Thursday’s “First Call” gives us the odds of the Steelers signing Le’Veon Bell. A former Steeler gives Bell some advice. A Cleveland Browns player steps out on behalf of Myles Garrett. We mourn a painful Pirates anniversary. And “Pittsburgh South” isn’t moving on just yet.

Been there, done that

If there is anyone that Le’Veon Bell can relate to when it comes to regretting how his on-field career went after leaving Pittsburgh it’s …

… Well, it’s Antonio Brown. So let’s not go down that path.

But former Steelers receiver Mike Wallace can also relate.

Wallace ended up making $56 million after leaving Pittsburgh in 2013. But he only caught one ball in one playoff game after stops in Miami, Minnesota, Baltimore and Philadelphia.

So he knows what the money-versus-success landscape may look like from Bell’s perspective.

The former Steelers running back was just released in New York after a deteriorating relationship with Jets coach Adam Gase was deemed too fruitless to continue.

Now Wallace is giving some advice to Bell as to where he should sign next.

Upon reading that, I instantly assumed that if Bell comes back to Pittsburgh, it’ll be a disaster. If he goes to the Bears or Rams, it’ll be inconsequential.

And if he goes to the New England Patriots, he’ll rush for 1,000 yards in 12 weeks and they’ll get back to the Super Bowl.

Go ahead. Convince yourself I’m wrong. Try your best.

Roll call

Coaches are going on the record with their preference about whether or not Bell is in their plans.

Wallace’s speculation about Chicago may have some merit. Bears coach Matt Nagy didn’t rule out the idea of considering Bell.

He didn’t exactly sound desperate either, though.

In Philadelphia, Eagles coach Doug Pederson said that he is “extremely comfortable” with the backs he has. Pederson added, “I think we have found our three-down guy in Miles (Sanders)”

Based on that effort at Heinz Field? Yeah. Maybe.

San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan offered a similar response.

“I’m good with all our guys,” Shanahan said Wednesday. “Even if Raheem [Mostert] wasn’t back [from a recent knee injury], I don’t think that would change much.”

According to, the Bears are the favorite to sign Bell. Guess who is second.

Oh please!

Mike Tomlin is doing whatever he can to tamp down the storyline about the Steelers playing Myles Garrett for the first time since the Mason Rudolph helmet swinging incident.

Cleveland Browns coach Kevin Stefanski is, too.

But not Browns running back Kareem Hunt.

Sure. Because Garrett needs people to “get his back” as he was clearly the victim in all of this.


Oh, gag me with … a football helmet! “Win one for Myles”! Seriously, Kareem?!

Who am I supposed to have sympathy for next? You?

Better luck next time

The Tampa Bay Rays — also known as Buccos South — failed in their first chance at advancing to the World Series.

The Rays entered Wednesday night’s game against the Houston Astros with a 3-0 lead in the American League Championship Series. But the Astros won Game 4 by a final score of 4-3 to stave off elimination.

Former Pirates pitcher Tyler Glasnow couldn’t close out the series for Tampa. He took the loss allowing four earned runs in six innings.

Another ex-Bucco, Austin Meadows, had two hits in defeat. Game 5 is Thursday.

Does it have to work this way?

Every year on Oct. 13, it’s a joyous day in Pittsburgh.

We get to celebrate the anniversary of Bill Mazeroski’s 1960 World Series winning home run in Game 7 for the Pirates against the New York Yankees.

Pittsburgh embraced the 60th anniversary on Tuesday. Well, as much as a pandemic will allow.

Unfortunately, because of these pesky things called “calendars,” the next day annually follows up with Pittsburgh’s darkest baseball moment. That’s the anniversary of Francisco Cabrera’s NLCS Game 7 winning base hit for the Atlanta Braves.


Not only did that eliminate the Pirates in 1992, it sent the Braves to the World Series. It also catapulted the Pirates into 20 consecutive years of losing baseball.

Somewhere, someone needs to find Stan Belinda and give him a hug.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

Pirates/MLB | Sports | Steelers/NFL | Breakfast With Benz

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