First Call: Bill Cowher, JuJu to the Jets? Washington, Miami, Cleveland celebrate Steelers loss – TribLIVE

The Steelers lost their first game of the year Monday night. They got awfully mouthy about the result in the Washington locker room.

And in Miami.

And in Cleveland.

Oh, and Bill Cowher and JuJu Smith-Schuster may both wind up in New York with the Jets.

So there’s that, too.

Yeah. “First Call” for Tuesday is a real joy ride.

Big Apple Bill?

Yet again, rumors have cropped up about former Steelers coach Bill Cowher returning to the sideline.

This time, New York is the rumored destination.

No, not the Giants. We’ve heard that one before. This time, it’s the Jets.

Cowher’s co-host on CBS’ The NFL Today, Boomer Esiason, sparked the conversation. On WFAN Monday, Esiason said, “He’s the one that told me the Jets job is going to be really attractive, and they could hire whomever they want, and he told me he loves [General Manager] Joe Douglas.”

Esiason added, “All I know is that (Sunday), [Cowher] was showing me and Nate [Burleson] film of him coaching on the sideline where he was mic’ed up. We looked at each other like, ‘Hmm, what does that mean?’” Esiason said. “Is he sending a message? I’ve worked with him for 14 years and I’ve never seen that.”

Maybe having Cowher in charge would entice Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence to be comfortable with being drafted there. And maybe Cowher would see Lawrence as a quarterback savior similar to his experience with Ben Roethlisberger.

As WFAN’s website added, “Cowher’s wife is apparently a huge Jets fan who talks about the Jets using ‘we,’ according to (Esiason).”

Well, now I’m convinced.

Although, to be serious about that, a big reason why Cowher has allegedly stayed away from a return to coaching is that he and his wife have always been content with the lifestyle of him simply working the network Sunday television schedule and staying in New York.

But if she’s on board and wants this to happen, maybe Cowher would be more inclined to consider the Jets gig further.

JuJu, too?

If Cowher goes to the Jets, maybe he’ll wind up coaching JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Over the weekend, became the latest New York-area outlet to push the idea of the Jets making a strong offseason push to sign Smith-Schuster.

The New York Post advanced that idea last week. SNY was driving that train back in November.

Here’s what said: “Smith-Schuster has long been speculated as a possible target for the Jets in free agency after 2020. With the Steelers up against the salary cap and younger players such as Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool establishing themselves, they might just need to let Smith-Schuster walk. When Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was hurt in 2019, Smith-Schuster’s output suffered, finishing the season with just 552 yards. But over the first two years of his career in 2017 and 2018, he compiled 2,343 yards and 14 touchdowns.”

The connection between the Jets and Smith-Schuster is often made because JuJu has expressed his affinity for New York quarterback Sam Darnold. The two were teammates at USC.

That might be a moot point if Darnold is pushed out should the Jets draft Lawrence, though.

Does it matter? I don’t think so. My guess is Smith-Schuster chases the dollar signs. Not Darnold.

Maybe Smith-Schuster, Lawrence and Cowher can all make a TikTok video together.

Myles’ mouth

Cleveland Brown Myles Garrett is feeling his oats.

The helmet-swinging, race-baiting defensive end sent out this tweet after the Steelers lost their first game to Washington 23-17 Monday night.

Isn’t “the door” usually what the Steelers slam in the face of the Browns most times when they play one another? That sure was the case when the Browns lost 38-7 at Heinz Field earlier this season.

But, to Garrett’s point, the Browns are 9-3 and the Steelers are 11-1. So they aren’t out of the AFC North race yet. The two teams play each other in Week 17 as well. The game is in Cleveland.

As of now, the Browns hold the AFC’s top wild-card slot and have won five of six since that beatdown in Pittsburgh.

Um, they aren’t wrong

After beating the Steelers Monday, the Washington players weren’t exactly bashful about their accomplishment.

OK. Fair enough, guys. But what did Baltimore expose exactly? The Steelers are scared to run and all you have to do is throw your hands up to swat Roethlisberger’s passes? You needed Baltimore to “expose” that before you knew it?

He’s right about the run game. And I’ll give them all those batted passes, too. But 53 pass attempts and no sacks and just one interception? That’s hardly domination.

Maybe he was mad at his wide receivers for all those drops, too … for the second week in a row.

A bit of bubbly?

We all knew this was coming. The annual celebration from the remaining members of 1972 Dolphins as their status of being the only Super Bowl-era undefeated team in NFL history is preserved.

They do it every year when the final undefeated team loses. This time, it was the Steelers. And former Miami running back Larry Csonka captured the moment for us.

Shut up, Csonka. Just a typical, lippy, arrogant jerk who went to Syracu…

… wait a minute.

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

Sports | Steelers/NFL | Breakfast With Benz

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