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First Call: Ex-Steeler wanted LeVeon Bell back in Pittsburgh. Ravens mad at Bengals. Aaron Donalds surprising revelation. – TribLIVE

First Call: Ex-Steeler wanted LeVeon Bell back in Pittsburgh. Ravens mad at Bengals. Aaron Donalds surprising revelation. – TribLIVE

Friday’s “First Call” gives us an ex-Steeler who wishes Le’Veon Bell would’ve come back to Pittsburgh instead of going to Kansas City. Another AFC coach admits his team wanted Bell. Aaron Donald’s surprising quote about his huge game last week. And the Ravens are mad at the Bengals.


Better luck next time

Former Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro Le’Veon Bell is signing with the Kansas City Chiefs.

This after being a free agent for all of two days. The Jets released Bell on Tuesday because of a deteriorating relationship between him and head coach Adam Gase.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins were the other two teams seriously in the hunt to acquire Bell. The Dolphins, Bills, and Chiefs are the Jets’ next three opponents.

Coincidence? I think not!

OK, maybe it’s a coincidence. But Bills coach Sean McDermott wasn’t playing games. He made his desire known about wanting to land Bell.

The Bills and Chiefs play each other Monday night. However, Bell can’t even practice in K.C. until he has at least six straight days of negative covid-19 testing.


Woulda been worth it?

One of Bell’s former Pittsburgh teammates, Bruce Gradkowski, thinks it would’ve been a good idea for the Steelers to reacquire the former Pro Bowler.

Gradkowski was on 93.7 The Fan on Thursday. And the former quarterback was asked if he would want Bell back on the Steelers.

“Absolutely,” Gradkowski said. “I don’t even hesitate. This misperception that he brings drama to the locker room, he was always a great team guy. I thought Le’Veon was always a great dude. He never brought drama to the locker room. He always worked hard.”

That’s true. Bell did work hard. And he didn’t bring drama to the locker room.

It was his decision not to work, and his year-long absence from the locker room — after he said that he’d show up in it — that brought the drama.


Fighting like cats and … birds???

The Baltimore Ravens are mad at the Cincinnati Bengals.

Well, at least the defensive coordinator is.

Don “Wink” Martindale is ticked that the Bengals kicked a late field goal to avoid a shutout in Baltimore’s 27-3 victory Sunday. They did so with only 37 seconds left in the game.

Baltimore improved to 4-1. The Bengals sank to 1-3-1.

Via ESPN.com, Martindale was asked for his reaction to the decision of Bengals coach Zac Taylor.

“He knew what it was because it was awful quiet when I yelled it across the field,” Martindale said. “There are some people that take that as a victory. We’ll see. We’ll have plenty to talk about the next time we play them.”

Eh, it’s the Bengals. You’re the Ravens. Very little needs to be said. At all.


Bad idea

Former Pitt star Aaron Donald had four sacks last week for the Los Angeles Rams.

He revealed Thursday that Washington failed to double team him on any of the sacks.

“When I get opportunities to get those one-on-one blocks, I have to take advantage of it and I have to continue to do that, continue to get myself better and continue to try to be productive,” Donald said via ProfootballTalk.com.

Yup. Take a look.

That’s some pretty poor planning by Washington. Donald now has 7.5 sacks to lead the NFL.

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.

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Pitt | Sports | Steelers/NFL | Breakfast With Benz

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