First call: Shazier’s remarkable progress; Brown’s remarkable stupidity toward JuJu | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

First call: Shazier’s remarkable progress; Brown’s remarkable stupidity toward JuJu

Tim Benz
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Ryan Shazier via Instagram
Ryan Shazier posted a video on Instagram of him doing box jumps Sunday, April 7, 2019.

In Monday’s “First Call,” the remarkable progress of Ryan Shazier. The remarkable stupidity of Antonio Brown. The remarkable early-season struggles of the Cubs.


On the bright side

Buried under the avalanche of negative headlines surrounding the Steelers this offseason, we can be inspired by the steady progress of Ryan Shazier.

The Pro Bowl inside linebacker, who lost the ability to walk for a while after a collision against Cincinnati back in 2017, is making strides in his rehabilitation. Based on this video he posted on Instagram, Shazier has now graduated to doing box jumps.

View this post on Instagram

DEDICATION = HARDWORK + PATIENCE

A post shared by Ryan Shazier (@shazier) on

That’s a tremendous visual considering there had been concern that Shazier may never be able to walk on his own again after suffering the injury.


Others getting involved

As I was saying about the Steelers and their constant social media morass …

Forget diamond-encrusted G.O.A.T rings, Antonio Brown needs a diamond-encrusted pacifier. Because he is acting like the biggest baby of all time.

In case you missed it on Sunday, Brown got bent out of shape when a fan tweeted an image of JuJu Smith-Schuster being the team MVP.

He fired back with a jab at Smith-Schuster’s costly fumble against the Saints last December.

When Smith-Schuster got wind of A.B.’s taunt, he took to Twitter himself.

Also on Instagram, he mocked a previous comment from Brown, suggesting to people to “Keep your emotions off the internet.”

That’s when Steelers running back James Conner jumped in to support his teammate by simply commenting: “Preach.”

Later, Texans safety Justin Reid piled on Brown with this message on Twitter.

Reid won’t have to wait long. The Texans get to host Oakland in 2019.


The rivalry lives

Some thought the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati rivalry would die with Vontaze Burfict and Antonio Brown both going to Oakland.

I guess not.

OK. Different sport. But you get the drift.

The connection wasn’t lost on Steelers linebacker Vince Williams who retweeted a video of the brawl along with the comment, “Pit vs Cin is always lit,” with the mandatory fire emoji.

I think this is what he was talking about.


Happy to be home?

The Pirates open a series against the Cubs at 2:20 p.m. Monday in Chicago’s home opener.

The Cubs played their first nine games on the road against the Rangers, Braves and Brewers. And it hasn’t been pretty. They are 2-7.

Only the Reds have a worse record. No team in the National League has allowed more runs than Chicago (71).

To be fair, though, only the Dodgers (72) have scored more than the Cubs (62) in the NL.

Jon Lester will pitch for the Cubs. He’s been decent, going 1-0 in two starts with a 3.00 ERA. He’ll be opposed by Jameson Taillon for the Pirates (0-1, 3.46).

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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