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U mad, bro? Some leery of Pirates trade, Le’Veon Bell missing Steelers camp | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

U mad, bro? Some leery of Pirates trade, Le’Veon Bell missing Steelers camp

Tim Benz
| Thursday, August 2, 2018 7:15 a.m
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Chris Archer throws in the outfield during batting practice Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018, at PNC Park.

In our weekly “U mad, bro?” mail bag, readers pop off about the Chris Archer trade, Neal Huntington, Le’Veon Bell, the Pittsburgh Steelers roster, and the fact that I’m not a Trump supporter.

Which apparently I’m required to be. Who knew?

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Tom has some doubts about the Chris Archer trade to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“He has three DL stints since 2016. Gotta hold your breath when he pitches. Meanwhile, Austin Meadows will be an everyday player.”

Tom, there are reasons to be leery of Chris Archer. It’s not just his injuries. His numbers aren’t great this year either. But I’d rather have him than not.

I also didn’t want to give up Austin Meadows. But if you are going to take injuries into account, Meadows had frequent injuries in the minor leagues.


Ken didn’t appreciate my take on the NFL national anthem debate.

“Any reason why you have so much animosity towards the President of the United States? Can’t you keep your sports writing just about sports? Remember half the county, voted for President Trump.”

Ken, in the future I will stop writing about the president. I’ll likely have to be writing in Russian by then anyway, so you won’t be able understand it regardless.

Between now and then, a couple of things:

1. Yes, half the country voted for the President. That also means half didn’t. Sorry you are in the first half and were offended by my opinion.

2, Whenever a person sends me an email basically saying “stick to sports,” I know what that really means.

It means, “stick to sports and not politics when your politics don’t agree with my politics.”

In over 20 years of doing this job, no one has ever sent me an email saying “stick to sports” when the political views expressed happen to link with what they happen to also believe. I’m not here to be part of your echo chamber.

3. I’ll stick to sports when President Trump keeps his nose out of it.


Denny chimes in on my column about the differences between Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown.

“One item that you forgot about Bell that I don’t care for-By not being in training camp he misses a lot of reps and getting into football shape (speed of the game, taking hits, etc.).

“As a result he isn’t ready to play when the regular season starts while his teammates are ready to go. I wouldn’t be surprised if you looked at last years stats in his first few games it’ll show he wasn’t ready. And I wouldn’t be surprised that he may have cost the Steelers a win. I don’t think he’s ready until the 3rd or 4th game of the season.”

Denny, I’ll agree he was less than sharp to start last year. But the only losses that they endured early in the season were against the Bears and Jaguars. Given the anthem fiasco in Chicago, the run defense in both games and Ben Roethlisberger turnovers versus the Jaguars, I’m not going to pin either of those defeats on one running back being less than spectacular.


Mike has depth concerns about the Steelers.

“I struggle to see quality with the next-guy-up for ILB, OLB, O-Line, and WR. All of this leads me to believe that special teams could go backwards. Add that QB depth is marginal and Ben usually misses time.”

Mike, Landry Jones has evolved to the point that he is at least an average-to-above-average backup quarterback. And Mason Rudolph will be good. Just maybe not as a rookie.

You are right about both linebacker positions. Wide receiver is thin, especially if James Washington doesn’t pan out.

But their offensive line depth is actually better than most in the NFL. And Roethlisberger has only missed a total of five starts to injury over the last four years.

Regarding special teams, I expect the additions of players such as Nat Berhe, Jon Bostic and Jaylen Samuels to help.


Dave gave his thoughts on the Pirates before the trade deadline after I posted my first Chris Archer column.

“Wait until they are only a few games out of a wild card and not only refuse to add but dump. I would bet if they are even 2 games out of a wild card by the deadline they will dump, Nova, Cervelli, Dickerson, Harrison, and Freeze. This winning streak is their worst nightmare. Neil was trying to brace everyone for this when he said a 4-4 road trip before the break won’t get it done. Looks like it backfired.”

Dave, I’m not gonna lie. I was kinda thinking the same thing. Looks like we were both wrong.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review sports columnist. You can contact Tim via Twitter .

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