First Call: Le’Veon Bell’s apology; weird trick pitch; odd NFL rule enforcement |
Breakfast With Benz

First Call: Le’Veon Bell’s apology; weird trick pitch; odd NFL rule enforcement

Tim Benz
New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell speaks to reporters at the team’s NFL football training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, June 4, 2019.

You’ll like the fact that Le’Veon Bell apologized — until you find out who he is referencing. Also, a weird hidden ball trick. And an under-the-radar rules enforcement in the NFL.

All that and more in “First Call” for Tuesday.

An apology … to whom?

Le’Veon Bell has finally apologized.

To his Steelers teammates? No.

Steelers ownership? Nope.

Steelers fans? Negative.

The rap community for his awful songs? Not yet.

No, Bell has apologized to fantasy football owners who may have felt let down when the former Steelers running back didn’t show up to play in 2018.

Heartfelt, Le’V. Way to own it.

This is wrong on so many levels. But it is also just so Le’V on so many levels.

Somehow, I feel like he is more genuine and remorseful in this apology than the one he made to Steeler Nation for getting suspended.

Either time.

Want to try that again?

We’ve given you some sweet “hidden ball” tricks on the diamond before.

I’m not so sure this one qualifies. But I appreciate the effort.

Watch Mitch Lively in the Chinese Professional Baseball League’s all-star game last weekend.

What was that, exactly? It didn’t work. And even though the batter got a hit, it was ruled no pitch because, well, did you see it?

I mean, if it was ever possible to balk a guy to first base, that would’ve been it.

I never thought I’d see a hidden ball trick on an actual delivery to the batter. That’s a new one.

And hopefully a last one.

Sound like a former Steeler we know?

San Francisco rookie Jalen Hurd is making a name for himself in training camp.

The 6-foot-4, 227-pound Hurd was a running back at Tennessee prior to becoming a wide receiver. And he seems to have held onto his desire for contact.

The 49ers receiver already has instigated multiple skirmishes in training camp with some of his downfield blocking maneuvers.

Now it appears the Niners defensive backs are really enjoying taking the ball away from him when they get the chance.

“We want him to be physical, we want him to irritate the heck out of every player in that secondary and I hope he (ticks) people off,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said. “I hope a lot of guys throw punches at him, and that’s what happened. I looked hard to see if he was doing anything cheap in the play. Didn’t see it on tape, but someone took a shot at him and then that’s where I got upset with Jalen.

“I hope a lot of people take shots at him and I hope he sits there with his helmet on and smiles at them and waves to them as they get ejected and gets us a free 15-yards. But, he failed in that yesterday. He got the guy irritated enough to lose his composure, the guy hit him and then he fought back, so we lost both of them for the game.”

Somewhere, Hines Ward is smiling at that quote.

Rock lobster

The NFL is putting an emphasis on the “lobster block.”

The league is saying that it will emphasize holding calls this year. And one of those calls is the so-called “lobster block.”

According to’s Kevin Seifert, that’s when “offensive linemen grab defenders around the torso or shoulders to prevent them from flowing to the play from the backside.”

Oh, you mean like every running play from the line of scrimmage ever recorded?

That should be fun to watch. When it comes to enforcing that, I’ll believe it when I see it.

That sounds like it’d be restricting offense. And we all know the NFL hates doing that.

Keep an eye on these guys issued a list of the top seven rookies who are making waves in NFL camps.

The first two names should catch the eye of Steelers fans.

Ravens wide receiver Miles Boykin was in first place. Author Gregg Rosenthal wrote, “The third-round pick out of Notre Dame is making waves early in Ravens camp. With Marquise Brown still injured and a motley crew of cast-offs and youngsters competing for snaps, Boykin has every chance to be a Week 1 starter. Boykin physically profiles as a No. 1 type of receiver, and he appears to be adapting to the pro game quickly.”

We posted about Boykin here at “Breakfast With Benz.”

The second player mentioned was Rock Ya-Sin. He’s the cornerback from Temple that Mike Tomlin reportedly loved during the draft.

Indianapolis drafted him instead. And he’s apparently making a good impression.

“Ya-Sin’s already receiving first-team reps on the outside in the team’s nickel package,” Rosenthal said. “The second-round cornerback has consistently made plays in Colts practice since they drafted him. Suddenly, that Colts secondary looks rather deep.”

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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