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First call: Bettis still wants to be Steelers RB coach; Malkin’s minuses piling up | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

First call: Bettis still wants to be Steelers RB coach; Malkin’s minuses piling up

Tim Benz
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Christopher Horner | Trib Total Media
Former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis shows off his Hall of Fame ring during a halftime ceremony Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, at Heinz Field.

Wednesday’s “First Call” features Evgeni Malkin’s issues. Jerome Bettis thinks he’s getting a new job with the Steelers. A few WPIAL stars are on display at the Super Bowl. And the cost of washing off “Steeler stank.”


Who wants to tell him?

Over the weekend Jerome Bettis posted a poll on his Twitter feed, asking if the Steelers should make him their next running backs coach.

The idea was met with 84 percent approval numbers by his followers.

Bettis appears to have gotten the idea from an article posted on 247 Sports, as he linked that story on his post.

One problem, Bus. That story moved Jan. 8, shortly after James Saxton wasn’t retained. Eddie Faulkner was hired to be the new Steelers running backs coach Jan. 16.

So, Jerome may be a little late to the party on this one.

Although, Notre Dame — Bettis’ alma mater — also has a running back coach vacan …

Nope. No, it doesn’t. Never mind.


Malkin’s minus

Evgeni Malkin was a minus-1 Monday in the Penguins 6-3 loss to New Jersey.

He’s now minus-20 on the year. That’s right. Evgeni Malkin’s plus/minus can almost buy its first beer.

The only players with a plus/minus worse than that are Florida Panthers Jonathan Huberdeau and Michael Matheson.

“Obviously, we’d like to have him have more of a positive impact on the game,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan.

“We’re trying to help Geno through this process and capture his very best game.”

Something of particular interest about Huberdeau and Malkin: They average more than a point per game. So that’s a ton of even-strength or short-handed goals against.

Plus-minus often is a misleading stat. But in Malkin’s case, it seems representative of his lack of responsibility on the ice this season.


A little local love

George Marshalek is a North Allegheny grad and television producer at WSBT-TV in Atlanta.

He was covering Super Bowl media night Monday and got Rams star Aaron Donald to reflect on his journey from Penn Hills to the Super Bowl.

After leaving Penn Hills, Donald starred at Pitt. Now he’s looking to sack Tom Brady and maybe add a Super Bowl MVP to what will likely be an NFL defensive MVP season.


Gronk gone?

Donald isn’t the only WPIAL product in the Super Bowl. Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski played his senior year at Woodland Hills.

And some have suggested that the future Hall of Famer may be considering retirement after the end of this season.

When ESPN asked that question of him at media night, here is how he responded.

“I don’t know. I haven’t done that sit-down yet,” Gronkowski said. :I’ve got to do that sit-down. About two weeks after (the season). Then I’ll know.”

Is it me? Or do you think — as I do — that Gronkowski will somehow still manage to score another seven or eight touchdowns against the Steelers even in retirement?


Stinky Steelers fan

I know, it’s going to take A LOT to wash off the stink of the 2018 Steelers season.

But this is a bit much.

I don’t know who that guy is. But I do think I found JuJu Smith-Schuster’s next product endorsement.