First call: Does Antonio Brown have a ‘burner’ Twitter account?
In Friday’s “First Call,” does Antonio Brown have a burner account? A first look at the draft for the Steelers. And an honor for Jarome Iginla.
We all know Antonio Brown is a burner on the field. But does he have a “burner” account on his phone?
One website thinks he might. The Big Lead noticed that one account, in particular, is feverishly defending Brown at every turn when he gets criticized on Twitter.
Here’s the account. It just started this month. You be the judge. It strikes me as unlikely.
It’s too coherent to be Brown. I mean, it’s not coherent. At all. But too coherent for A.B.
Brown’s tweets are more scattered, less tangible and more ethereal. It’s probably one of his dozens of minions who linger around the practice field at Saint Vincent or someone on his social media staff.
Are we there already?
The worst thing about the NFL season ending way too early is that NFL Draft season starts way too early.
But Steelers fans will likely enjoy this speculation to kick off the campaign. ESPN’s Mel Kiper has the Steelers drafting an inside linebacker in the first round.
I could probably stop this entry right there and not even give you a name and you’d be happy. That’s a position of need, and the Steelers didn’t adequately address it last year when they couldn’t move up in the draft to get one. They just had to settle for signing Jon Bostic in free agency.
But in case you are curious, the ILB Kiper tabbed for the Steelers is Michigan’s Devin Bush.
“The weakness on defense was at inside linebacker, as they struggled to replace Ryan Shazier,” Kiper says. “The phrase I keep repeating about Bush is ‘perfect for today’s NFL.’ He would be a great fit as a three-down linebacker who never has to leave the field. At 5-foot-11, Bush is undersized, but he should test well at the combine.”
Devin White of LSU is largely considered the best at the position in the draft. Bush is rated third by WalterFootball.com. Of course, any of the names on this list could jump around going into the combine and individual workouts.
The fit seems to make sense, if you aren’t concerned about Bush’s size. Which the Steelers may be. Even if they are, the need to replace Ryan Shazier is massive.
Keep in mind, inside linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Rashaan Evans were drafted 19th and 22nd last year. The Steelers tried to trade up to get at least one of them during the first round.
They draft 20th this year.
Setting the bar
We told you about the prospect of a contract extension for Mike Tomlin.
There’s a lot speculation that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will get an extension, too. Big Ben’s fellow 2004 QB draft class partner, Philip Rivers, is likely going to get one in Los Angeles. On Thursday, Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said his team wants to begin talks this offseason about a new deal with the 37-year-old.
Rivers is scheduled to make $23 million this year against the cap. Roethlisberger is slated to make $23.2 million.
Whichever QB signs first will set the bar for the next one.
Flame in the rafters
Jarome Iginla is getting his No. 12 retired.
No. Not here in Pittsburgh. That would be weird. But it makes sense in Calgary. Because he’s a legend there.
So, Iginla will have his jersey hoisted to the rafters March 2 at Scotiabank Saddledome prior to the game against the Minnesota Wild. Of Iginla’s 625 goals, 525 were scored with the Flames.
On the road, as well
While Pitt vs. Syracuse is getting most of the college basketball headlines, Duquesne and Robert Morris are in action, too.
The 12-5 Dukes visit George Washington on Sunday at 4:30. The George Washington Colonials are 6-11.
Meanwhile, the Robert Morris Colonials play Saturday at Bryant. Tipoff is at 4. RMU has won three of its first four games in NEC play. That’s good for a three-way tie atop the conference.