First call: Vince Williams takes high school coaching job, approves Antonio Brown’s idea of ​​retiring as Steeler

First call: Vince Williams takes high school coaching job, approves Antonio Brown’s idea of ​​retiring as Steeler

A former Pittsburgh Steeler makes news when he accepts a high school coaching job. He also approves of a meeting between the Steelers and Antonio Brown.

Things aren’t perfect in Cincinnati with the Bengals and a star player. The New York Rangers are the underdogs in their next series despite sending the Penguins out of the playoffs.

And the Pirates’ incompetence at home plate continues to make history.

All this in Wednesday’s “First Call.”

On board with AB

Antonio Brown forced his way out of Pittsburgh at the end of the 2018 season via an embarrassing and prolonged tantrum. Now he wants to fix some fences.

“I just want to retire a Steeler,” Brown tweeted Monday afternoon.

To be clear, Brown doesn’t appear to be aiming for a return to the field. Just a sort of ceremonial farewell. Because about 15 minutes later, Brown clarified that he was not looking to resume his NFL career with the team.

“Not Play Juice Retire so we Clear,” he wrote.

One of his former teammates, former Steelers linebacker Vince Williams, co-signed the idea.

Some Steelers fans may agree with that sentiment. I do not know. I don’t think the Steelers owe Brown that respect for the way he followed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster and general manager Kevin Colbert as they left town. But Williams wants it to happen.

I doubt many Steelers fans would agree with his logic, though.

I’m not sure what Williams is trying to accomplish by building Brown’s case by cutting the legs under Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. No one in Pittsburgh doubts Brown’s greatness as a player or his stats as a receiver. It’s that he acted like such a clown to force his way out of the Steelers…and the Raiders…and the Patriots…and the Buccaneers.

His footballing exploits need no debate.

The next step

When Williams isn’t embracing his opinions on Twitter, he can now occupy his time as a high school football coach.

According to Pine Richland coach Jon LeDonne, Williams is joining the Rams staff as a linebackers coach.

It seems that Williams confirmed the hiring on Twitter. If tweeting emojis is considered such nowadays.

LeDonne became the Rams’ football coach in July after going 46-13 the past five seasons at Penn Hills, winning the WPIAL and PIAA titles in 2018.

Williams retired in July 2021 after eight seasons with the Steelers.

Sound familiar?

Remember when Le’Veon Bell declined to play on his franchise tag in 2018?

Something similar may be brewing in Cincinnati. Star safety Jesse Bates “has no intention of playing the 2022 season” over the team’s franchise tag offer for him. That’s according to USA Today Sports+’s Tyler Dragon.

“Despite Bates’ interest in a long-term deal, negotiations have stalled. He is not expected to attend any OTAs or training camp if the two parties cannot agree on a multi-year extension,” Dragon wrote.

Bates was the second-team All-Pro in 2020. The tag for a safety is $12.911 million in 2022.

Ranger Danger

After eliminating the Penguins in seven games in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, the New York Rangers will now face the Metropolitan Division champions, the Carolina Hurricanes, in the second round.

The Canes also needed seven games to beat the Boston Bruins of the Atlantic Division.

New York comes in with +157 underdogs to win the series. The Hurricanes are -195 favorites. These numbers are according to BetRivers.com.

The Hurricanes won three of four games in the season series, beating New York 14-10. Carolina (116) won the Metro by six points over second-placed Rangers (110).

Futility on the plate

After somehow winning a game in which they failed to get a hit on Sunday, the Pirates’ ineffectiveness at the plate continued Monday night.

A 1-0 no-hitter win over the Cincinnati Reds was followed by a 9-0 three-hit loss to the Chicago Cubs. The Pirates didn’t get a hit until there were two outs in the fifth inning. That’s when Michael Chavis came out with a single.

Chavis did so after appearing to get under pitcher Wade Miley’s skin for calling time out twice as the fast-working Miley was about to deliver.

Miley finished her outing with seven innings pitched, giving up only one hit, six strikeouts and no walks. The Pirates got two hits from relief pitcher Michael Rucker, but didn’t score a run.

According to to ESPN statistics and information, the Pirates went 13 hitless innings for the first time in the last 45 seasons. “The Pirates’ streak ended at 42 hitless streaks, tied with the Red Sox for the longest streak in MLB this season.”

The Pirates have just one run in their last 22 innings. They will face the Cubs again on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. The Cubs will start Keegan Thompson, who faced the Pirates on April 22. In a Pirates victory, Thompson allowed no runs and two hits in four innings.

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

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

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