First Call: Le’Veon Bell weighs in on Antonio Brown’s helmet; Sidney Crosby is a ‘decade-long’ MVP | TribLIVE.com
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Tim Benz

In “First Call” Thursday, Le’Veon Bell shows balance where Antonio Brown has lost his mind. More career twists for Kevin White and Derick Brassard. Sidney Crosby is a “decade-long” MVP.


Le’Veon’s logic

When you are looking for logic and sanity you turn to … Le’Veon Bell?

Yes, believe it or not, the New York Jets running back is a voice of sanity when it comes to the helmet debate generated by his former Steelers teammate Antonio Brown.

“I understand where he’s coming from, but at the same time, it’s a rule, so you have to change the helmet,” Bell said to Newsday. “I changed my helmet my second year (with the Steelers), and I’ve been playing with a certain helmet my whole career. It was hard to do, but I knew this was coming eventually, so I might as well change my helmet now.”

Le’V a voice of reason? These are strange times, indeed.


I bet this will come in handy

Returners love this drill. The Steelers players do it every day at Saint Vincent College.

This guy did it better than most.

This is the football equivalent of “how many cookies can you fit in your mouth at once.”

Watch SMU captain James Proche catch — and hold — seven punts in a row.

I have no idea what practical purpose this serves. But I suppose if SMU’s defense holds the opposing offense to a seventh-straight punt, while the other six are still airborne, Proche is your guy.

I’m sure folks at the combine will turn this into a new drill that will impact draft slotting.


Mountaineer moving on

Former West Virginia receiver Kevin White is looking for a third team to give him a shot.

As the seventh pick in the 2015 draft, White washed out in Chicago. Leg and shoulder injuries ruined his career. White played in just 14 games in four seasons with the Bears. Via ESPN and Elias Sports Bureau research, “That was third-fewest by any player drafted in the top 10 from 1970 to 2015.”

White tried to latch on with the Arizona Cardinals this offseason, but he was released Wednesday.


Welcome back Brass’

Former Penguins disappointment Derick Brassard is back in the division. He has signed with the New York Islanders.

It’s a one-year deal worth $1.2 million.

Brassard says he wants to “get back to his old self” after being traded twice last season.

That would’ve been nice if he had ever found his “old self” while he was here. Since being traded to the Florida Panthers during last season, Brassard also was dealt to the Colorado Avalanche.

“In Pittsburgh, it wasn’t the right fit for me,” Brassard said on NHL.com. “And then I was kind of bouncing around. I felt like it was really hard to get going.”

Yeah. Tell me about it.


Hart of the decade

ESPN created a decade-long awards list for the 2010’s.

Guess who won the Hart Trophy for the decade on their ballot.

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was given the nod over Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Kane.

Here is the explanation from author Emily Kaplan, “No player has accumulated more points since 2009-10 than Sidney Crosby’s 922 (Alex Ovechkin is second, with 901). Perhaps more impressive is Crosby’s 1.26 points per game, which is topped by only Connor McDavid’s 1.30. McDavid’s smaller sample (just 287 games) keeps him off the list.”

No other Penguins received nominations for the other awards.

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