First call: The Steelers floated as trading partners for the Bears’ tackle; Steel Curtain Snubbed on ESPN List; Josh Bell’s debut with the Padres

On the “first call” on Thursday, the members of Steel Curtain were snubbed by ESPN. The Steelers are being hooked up to an offensive tackle who will potentially be traded. Former pirate Josh Bell played his first game with his new team.

And Gerrit Cole suffers during an incredible first inning at Yankee Stadium.


Recovery project?

The Steelers are being pitched as a possible trade partner with the Chicago Bears by second-year offensive lineman Teven Jenkins.

The offensive tackle was viewed by many as a possible first-round pick out of Oklahoma State for the Steelers last year. But they went with running back Najee Harris. Jenkins stayed on the board until the second round when the Bears picked him up. But reports indicate the Bears would like to trade him after he played in just six games a season ago, starting two.

Jenkins missed most of last year after needing back surgery and is said to be “out of touch” with the coaching staff. That is a report that Jenkins has downplayed.

However, he has only practiced one day of training camp. According to Bears Wire, Jenkins “started the spring at right tackle with the first team. But something happened when he found himself working with the second team as Larry Borom took his starting right tackle spot with rookie Braxton Jones looking at left tackle. He lasted the rest of the OTAs and the mandatory minicamp.”

Apparently, Jenkins’s maturity has been called into question. But The Draft Network cited the Steelers, Falcons and Commanders as teams that could be a good fit for a deal.

“There have been questions about Jenkins’ overall maturity and approach, but Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has successfully handled difficult personalities before,” Justin Melo of The Draft Network said. “Tomlin’s ability to keep Antonio Brown in check for multiple seasons is now considered a résumé-building achievement. The Steelers also drafted wide receiver George Pickens this year, who had similar maturity questions coming out of college. Working under Tomlin’s tutelage may be the best case scenario for Jenkins.”

Melo also questioned the ceilings of the current Steelers offensive tackle pair of Dan Moore and Chuks Okorafor and sees Jenkins as a potential upgrade if he can bounce back and stay focused.

Or, at least, you can add some depth as a “developer option”.


Steel curtain snub?

It was nice to see Steelers legend Mike Webster honored by ESPN.com in their “GOAT Poll.” On Tuesday, the outlet surveyed 50 NFL pundits and asked them to identify who they thought was the best offensive player of all time at each position.

Webster won the vote in the center. On defense Wednesday, Mel Blount, “Mean Joe” Greene, Rod Woodson, Troy Polamalu and Jack Lambert all got votes. But none of them were the best in any position.

Pitt product Aaron Donald was named the best defensive tackle. Greene was second.

Other specific results likely to anger Steelers fans include Deion Sanders winning at cornerback over Woodson and Blount. Ronnie Lott won on safety. But Ed Reed got 12 more votes than Polamalu. And Ray Lewis won at linebacker, while Lambert only got three votes.


More Tim Benz:

• Are you mad, bro?: Readers have helmet-cap hysteria, Steelers ‘hold-in’ sanctimoniousness, Pirates trade-deadline slump
• Plenty of reasons for the Steelers to embrace multiple tight end ‘mode’ even more in 2022


Another Bucco hit in the Bronx

For the second day in a row, an ex-Pirate was kicked on the mound by the New York Yankees.

On Wednesday, former Pirates ace Gerrit Cole gave up six earned runs and suffered his fourth loss of the season as the Seattle Mariners won at Yankee Stadium with a final score of 7-3. Cole was a victim of the long ball. He allowed three home runs before the first inning was over. Eugenio Suárez, Carlos Santana and Jarred Kelenic took the ball out of Yankee Stadium during a six-run first run.

From there, Cole gave up no more runs and allowed only two hits. He completed six innings and finished with eight strikeouts against one walk. But the damage was done. Luis Castillo got the victory in his debut with the Mariners. One of the most coveted targets at the trade deadline, the former Cincinnati Reds ace allowed three earned runs in 6 ⅔ innings, striking out eight and walking three.

On Tuesday, another former Pirate, Jameson Taillon, also sailed in rough seas against the Mariners. He allowed five earned runs in 4⅔ innings en route to an 8-6 Seattle win. The Mariners won the last two games in New York to claim the series against the Bronx Bombers.

The Yankees then visit St. Louis to play the Cardinals before traveling to Seattle for a three-game series rematch over the weekend. The Mariners will fill that block of interim time by hosting the Anaheim Angels.


great debut

Former pirate Josh Bell made his San Diego debut on Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies. He was part of a mammoth trade Tuesday that also sent star outfielder Juan Soto to the Padres from the Washington Nationals.

Bell was hitless in his first game with the Padres, but he walked twice and scored twice. Soto singled to right field in the ninth.

Another recently acquired player, Brandon Drury, hit a grand slam in a 9-1 win over the Rockies.

As you can see, former pirate Chad Kuhl was the victim on that release. He took the loss to drop to 6-7, allowing all nine earned runs. His ERA has ballooned to 5.16 as a result.

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

Leave a Comment