First Call: Rod Woodson is critical of Roethlisberger and Tomlin; Bill Madlock back in MLB? |
Breakfast With Benz

First Call: Rod Woodson is critical of Roethlisberger and Tomlin; Bill Madlock back in MLB?

Tim Benz
Former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Rod Woodson stands on the field before an NFL football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013.

In “First Call” Tuesday, Rod Woodson is critical of one of his former teams. But is it the right one? Some in the national media are ramping up the criticism of Antonio Brown. And Bill Madlock jokes about getting back into baseball.

Maybe the Pirates should re-sign him and bat him cleanup?

Late to the party?

Apparently, criticism of the Pittsburgh Steelers organization hasn’t ceased. And it’s coming from one of the team’s best players ever.

Hall of Famer Rod Woodson was on CBS Radio this weekend. And he said of Ben Roethlisberger: “Great leaders normally take the responsibility when things go wrong, even if it’s not their fault. Once you do that, everybody else falls in line. I’d like to see him do that more often.”

Then, Woodson was critical of coach Mike Tomlin.

“The only thing I would like to see him do more is have a little more thumbs-down on his players. It’s like having 53 teenagers. If you’ve got 53 teenagers, you’re not going to let your teenagers just run the roost in your house. If they do something wrong, you have to discipline them in some type of manner to catch their attention. I think the same thing has to happen in the locker room. If he does that, he’s going to be fine.”

Woodson isn’t entirely wrong on either account. Roethlisberger can choose his words more carefully. It’s not just the one moment in time when he was critical of Antonio Brown after the Denver game in 2018. He gave some guff to James Washington last year, too. And we all remember his ever so subtle jabs at Todd Haley over the years.

But, more often than not, Roethlisberger does point the finger of blame at himself following defeats.

And, yes, Tomlin has been known to let his star players get away with too much. Again, besides Brown, he gave tons of rope to James Harrison, Martavis Bryant, Le’Veon Bell, and even assistant coach Joey Porter before matters came to a head with each of them.

So I get Woodson’s point. In March, this would’ve seemed mild compared to all the piling on that existed when it came to Big Ben and Tomlin. But the timing of these remarks is curious given that the whole world is currently watching what is happening to one of Woodson’s other former teams.


Based on how Brown is already embroiled in controversy with the Raiders — with both the foot issue and the helmet debate — shouldn’t Tomlin and Roethlisberger be getting more praise than scorn for how they handled that situation? It’s becoming clear they were more patient with Brown than maybe we ever knew.

The one comment from Woodson that I completely disagre with, though, is when he said that he would’ve suspended Brown after his Facebook Live streaming stunt in Kansas City.

The next game was the AFC Championship game in New England. If Woodson had been in Tomlin’s shoes, he never would’ve suspended Brown for that game. Ever.


Rich reading the riot act

It appears those in the national media are starting to grow tired of making excuses for Brown.

NFL Network host Rich Eisen laid a combo rant/guilt trip on Brown to give up his battle over his helmet with the National Football League and get back to playing the game with the dedication and enthusiasm he showed during his early career.

Gee. I thought the national media only lectured Roethlisberger.

The only thing I’d disagree with when it comes to that take is that maybe Brown was a jerk during all those early years of his career, too. He just didn’t have the cache to let us all know yet.

More Mad Dog

At 68 years old, Pirates World Series champ Bill Madlock wants to make a comeback as a hitting coach.

He sent out a tweet Monday saying if Charlie Manuel can do it, so can he.

Last week, Manuel, at 75, was hired as the hitting coach of the Philadelphia Phillies, replacing John Mallee. So “Mad Dog” wants back in MLB, as well!

The four-time batting champion is currently doing private hitting instruction in Las Vegas.

That one went a DeLong way

St. Louis Cardinals’ Paul DeJong is never allowed to order a Quarter Pounder again.

He will forever be known for putting the “M” in Big Mac.

Or, taking the “M” out of it.

I bet the other Big Mac, as in Mark McGwire, would’ve been happy with that shot.

Here are the particulars on that blast from DeJong:

Opposing pitcher from Milwaukee: Devin Williams

Exit velocity: 105 mph

Distance: 398 feet

Launch angle: 26.53

Cards win 3-0.

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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