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First Call: Cameron Heyward already jabbing Steelers QB Kenny Pickett; Lamar Jackson unhappy with Ravens trade

Friday’s “First Call” features Cameron Heyward starting early with some online rookie mockery of new Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett.

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is unhappy with the trade of an offensive weapon. The Capitals keep losing which (theoretically) helps the Penguins. A Pittsburgh area hockey prospect is part of a frightening on-ice mishap.

And the Pirates are about to face a red-hot ex-teammate, after another familiar face just scorched them at PNC Park.


Getting started early

Steelers defensive captain Cameron Heyward is already starting with the process of ribbing the Steelers’ new rookie quarterback.

Pitt product Kenny Pickett was knocked by many draft scouts for having undersized hands. But the Steelers chose him anyway. That led to this tweet from Heyward.

If you can’t remember the old-school Burger King commercials Heyward is referencing, here’s a reminder.

Let’s see what Heyward has ready for his brother, Connor, if he gets drafted. The younger Heyward is a fullback/tight end hybrid player out of Michigan State. The Steelers showed an interest in him at the Senior Bowl.


Unhappy camper

Lamar Jackson didn’t hide his frustration with the news that the Baltimore Ravens were trading away wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown.

Brown had 91 catches for 1,008 yards and six touchdowns last year.

Jackson sent out a few more tweets that weren’t exactly in the “safe for work” category that you are free to read on his feed.

But that trade of Brown to the Arizona Cardinals did help position the Ravens to select Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton and Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum. Both men were perceived to be the clear-cut best players at their respective positions in the draft.


Washington worries

The Penguins are still in third place (101 points) in the Metropolitan Division. That’s because the Washington Capitals lost for a third straight time Thursday night.

This time they fell 5-1 to the New York Islanders. Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin couldn’t play for a second straight game after being injured Sunday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ex-Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov stoned his former team, stopping 26 of 27 shots. Brock Nelson was the first of five Islanders to score.

That means Washington still has 100 points and is in fourth place in the Metro with a season finale at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers. If the Penguins avoid a regulation loss against the Blue Jackets Friday, that will assure that they finish in third place and will face the second-place Rangers in Round 1 of the playoffs.

The Caps would then face the Panthers. If Washington wins and the Pens lose in regulation, the teams will flip-flop.

If the teams each finish with the same number of points, the Penguins have the first two tiebreakers via regulation wins (36-35) as well as regulation and overtime wins (42-39).


Scary situation

West Mifflin hockey prodigy Logan Cooley was involved in a frightening on-ice accident Thursday.

The Pens Elite product was part of Team USA’s 13-3 win over Latvia at the IIHF’s U18 World Hockey Championships.

During the game, though, Cooley — ranked as one of North America’s best skaters — collided with official Lukas Kohlmueller. As Kohlmueller fell, Cooley’s skate came up and slashed his wrist.

In the video, you can see blood pouring out of the cut and leaving a trail on the ice. According to markerzone.com, players were sent back to their dressing rooms as Kohlmueller received medical attention.

The website says the rest of the game was played with a backup referee who was on standby, while Kohlmueller was having surgery to close the wound.


Musgrove versus Mitch

Former Pirate Andrew McCutchen certainly did some damage against his former team Thursday. He homered and singled for the Brewers, driving in all three Milwaukee runs en route to a 3-2 victory at PNC Park.

That meant a three-game sweep for Cutch and company.

Up next for the Pirates, it’s the San Diego Padres. The highlight of that series will be Sunday afternoon when another ex-Bucco, Joe Musgrove, faces Mitch Keller. Musgrove is 3-0 on the year with a 2.16 ERA. His strikeout-to-walks ratio is 25:2. Keller is 0-3 with an ERA of 6.62.

See where I’m going with this?

Maybe Keller’s hands are too small.

Sorry. I couldn’t resist. Be prepared for me to post one of these every time Pickett fumbles over the next five years.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at tbenz@triblive.com or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

Categories:
Penguins/NHL | Pirates/MLB | Sports | Steelers/NFL | Breakfast With Benz | Tim Benz Columns


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