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First call: Is an NFC Pro Bowler trying to woo Antonio Brown to 49ers? | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

First call: Is an NFC Pro Bowler trying to woo Antonio Brown to 49ers?

Tim Benz

In our first “First Call” of 2019, we have the first flirtation with Antonio Brown from a player on another NFL team. Penn State’s Trace McSorley goes down fighting. And a quarterback gets clobbered.

Also, humiliation for the Notre Dame mascot. And, no, it has nothing to do with what Clemson did to the football team on Saturday.


First flirtation

If Antonio Brown is serious about wanting out of Pittsburgh, one current NFL star may already be trying to woo him to his city.

San Francisco tight end George Kittle sent a simple “Sup?” tweet to the disgruntled Steelers star. As you can see by his star-eyes emoji reply, Brown — at the very least — took notice.

The exchange is cryptic enough that it probably couldn’t be called tampering on an organizational level. Yet, it’s also pretty clear what Kittle was doing on a personal level: One Pro Bowler letting another Pro Bowler know he’d love to have him on the roster.

Kittle had 88 receptions on the season, twice as many as anyone else on the 49ers. They were 4-12 in 2018. But the return of a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo coupled with the addition of Brown would go a long way toward changing that in 2019.


This was a bad idea

The Texas Longhorns and Georgia Bulldogs squared off in the Sugar Bowl Tuesday night.

I guess the school officials thought it might be fun to get the team mascots together for a little “made for TV” commemorative shot.

It turns out “Bevo” may be more of a cat lover than a dog lover.

Yeah. I don’t like Uga X’s chances in that matchup. As for the game itself, Texas capped off its resurgent season with a 28-21 victory.


Fond farewell

Penn State’s loss to Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl was the final game for quarterback Trace McSorley.

That drew a tip of the cap from his former teammate and one of the NFL’s biggest stars, rookie running back Saquon Barkley.

McSorley was a three-year starter in State College. He posted a 31-9 record. Along the way, the Ashburn, Va., product accounted for a school record 9,899 yards passing and 105 total touchdowns.

He played through a potentially broken foot during Tuesday’s loss in Orlando and still accounted for 321 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns.


You aren’t even allowed to touch the QB anymore!

True. Except for this time.

Central Florida’s defensive lineman Joey Connors destroyed LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with this block on a pick-six.

Watch it in slow motion first. Then check it out at full speed. And I can’t tell you which one looks worse.

Credit Burrow, though. He stayed in the game and finished with 394 yards passing and four touchdowns. LSU won 40-32.


That’s unfortunate

Notre Dame isn’t just a football school. It has a good hockey team. The Fighting Irish are 12-5-1 and ranked sixth in the country.

But this wasn’t a good look during the Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium.

At least the Leprechaun’s Twitter account had a sense of humor about it.

A sellout crowd of 76,126 watched. The mascot lost the day. But the Blackhawks lost the game. The Bruins beat them 4-2.

The Fighting Irish hockey team will face off against Michigan on Saturday in their own outdoor game at Notre Dame Stadium. Perhaps the Leprechaun will sharpen those skates before puck drop.


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