First call: JuJu connects with Hines Ward; strange Steelers mock draft idea | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

First call: JuJu connects with Hines Ward; strange Steelers mock draft idea

Tim Benz
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JuJu Smith-Schuster says he wishes he could have played with Hines Ward.

Friday’s “First Call” gives us a connection between Hines Ward and JuJu Smith-Schuster. There’s a really strange Steelers mock draft idea on ESPN. And the Pirates and Giants may play three 1-0 games this weekend. 


Better luck this time

The last time JuJu Smith-Schuster reached out to a great Steelers wide receiver online, he got burned for it.

Antonio Brown tried to embarrass Smith-Schuster for doing so, but Hines Ward seems to be embracing the idea.

Although, while A.B. got mad at how often Smith-Schuster got the ball, I bet Ward would’ve been jealous that Smith-Schuster was the one that got to knock out Vontaze Burfict.


Nutty mock draft

Of all the mock drafts, this is one to mock the most.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell posted one that includes every potential trade teams may make. He has the Steelers trading up in the first round with Miami from No. 20 to No. 13 with a third-rounder as the collateral.

OK. Makes sense.

But he has them doing so to draft … an offensive tackle?

“Could they make a similar trade if tight end T.J. Hockenson (Iowa) is still on the board?” Barnwell wonders. “I don’t know if he’ll still be around at No. 13, but Pittsburgh could move up to target an offensive tackle like Jonah Williams (Alabama) given that it traded Marcus Gilbert and currently has Matt Feiler penciled in as the starting right tackle.”

What? A right tackle?

First of all, the team traded Gilbert because they think they have enough talent at the position already. It’s not just Feiler.

It’s Jerald Hawkins and Chukwuma Okorafor, too.

If you told me they were trading up for a specific inside linebacker or cornerback or pass-rusher, I’d buy it. But not a right tackle.


Fleury falters

After shutting out the Sharks in Game 5 of a Western Conference quarterfinal series, Marc-Andre Fleury stumbled a bit last night.

His Golden Knights lost 5-2 as the Sharks stayed alive in the series.

For the first time in three games, Vegas did not score in the first 90 seconds of the game.

But the Sharks did.

That was the first shot of the game. The Knights still lead the series 3-2. Game 6 is Sunday in Las Vegas.


Pirates preview

The first-place (Check that. Really? Huh. No kidding.) Pirates host San Francisco for three games at PNC Park starting Friday.

And much like the Tigers — who the Pirates just beat twice in a row—the Giants are struggling to score runs.

In fact, only Detroit (54), Miami (48) and the Pirates (59) themselves have scored fewer runs than San Francisco (62).

Jordan Lyles (1-0, 0.82 ERA) goes against Madison Bumgarner (1-2, 3.12 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. to get the series started.

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

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