Ireland Contracting Nightly Sports Call: February 22, 2021 (Pt. 2)

KDKA's Bob Pompeani and 93.7 The Fan's Chris Mueller discuss the sports topics of the day.

Video Transcript

BOB POMPEANI: All right, welcome back. We continue right here on Pittsburgh CW seven nights a week. Call us. Air your opinions at 412-575-2600.

Bob Pompeani, Chris Mueller. We have jbstockspicks on Twitter, Chris, and he says "Steelers should take Mac Jones. Bad body, out of shape, clumsy, blah blah blah. All he does is win." Reminds him of Tom Brady coming out of Michigan.

Tom Brady was the other way about that.

CHRIS MUELLER: And there's only--

BOB POMPEANI: He was-- He had to put on weight and stature, and he did. Mac looks like he's already had some celebratory, you know-- or at least he's put on the COVID 19 during the COVID-19.

CHRIS MUELLER: I was going to say. I mean, yeah. There's one Tom Brady. He sort of bucked a trend. And Mac Jones--

Here's the thing. I saw June Jones obviously, who's a well known offensive guru and former coach in many places--

BOB POMPEANI: Is he in Hawaii now, by the way?

CHRIS MUELLER: --saying that he thinks Mac Jones--

BOB POMPEANI: He was in Hawaii for a while.

CHRIS MUELLER: He was in Hawaii for a long time. Now he's saying that Mac Jones throws the best deep ball of any quarterback he's ever scouted.

I don't think that this is people doing hot takes because it's mock drafts. I think people really overanalyze these players to almost start seeing things. The guy is a first round pick only because teams are desperate for quarterbacks every year. I think there's a clear and obvious drop-off between the four big names that get mentioned and Mac Jones. I just-- I want no part of it.

And he's not that big either. He's 6' 2". It's not like he's like 6' 6" or something like that, or you could say he's going to fill out or he's going to get in better shape and be faster. He pretty much is what he i.

BOB POMPEANI: Plus, if you're the Steelers and you should go in that direction, what does it say about your first round grade on Mason Rudolph? I mean, to me, if they're not going to move on with Ben Roethlisberger, yes, you could look around for quarterbacks. But to make a drastic move like that by trading two picks, first rounders, move up to 13, and then ignore Mason Rudolph-- I thought the whole idea was to give him a shot, at least to evaluate him for one year.

CHRIS MUELLER: If you're going to trade some first round picks or if you're going to trade draft capital-- and I think to get to 13th they wouldn't necessarily have to give up a first. But if you're going to trade a whole bunch of draft capital for a quarterback, you know what you should do? Roll the dice, hope that Deshaun Watson doesn't get traded till draft day, and then offer the Texans four first rounders for him when you can actually do that. Honestly.

I mean, if you're going to do that, if you're going to mortgage a bunch of drafts for a quarterback, you might as well do it for a guy that immediately slots in as one of the three best in the entire NFL right this second.

BOB POMPEANI: Yeah. Or they can go a different direction altogether and just try to improve the running game by taking two offensive linemen in the first two out of three picks, or a running back. And they can do a lot of different things. Although that running back pick would more appease people as opposed to maybe satisfying what they really need.

Let's see what the people have to say, Chris. We got Tony in the Hill District. He's first up. What's up, Tony? How are you?

- (ON PHONE) I'm fine, Bob. How are you?

BOB POMPEANI: Good.

- (ON PHONE) I just want to say I thought I heard you say something about the Steelers might be trying to pick up Ryan Fitzpatrick. And I just want to say--

BOB POMPEANI: I didn't say that. The NFL Network had a little segment on it.

- (ON PHONE) No, I-- I'm just saying. Even if they-- even if they thought about it, why would they want to pick up a washed-up quarterback that you don't ever hear about anymore. 'Cause he played for the Bengals. They cut him. He played for Tampa Bay. They cut him.

So I'm just saying, like, even if they-- They don't have to go for Jones, but why can't they just, you know, get another quarterback and try him with Mason Rudolph [INAUDIBLE].

CHRIS MUELLER: The only-- the only reason they would do it is because he's so much cheaper. He would serve as a mentor, and he's known--

BOB POMPEANI: Right.

CHRIS MUELLER: --as a great teammate everywhere he goes. But like, Ryan Fitzpatrick is like a carton of milk. Every season it starts with a clear sell-by date, and if you hold on to him too long and he's starting games for you, generally speaking he's going to spoil.

This is the other thing I'll say quickly. Andrew and I were in remarkable lockstep again today on the show on this. If they're going to not have Ben Roethlisberger come back next year, just be bad organizationally. Just accept that sometimes in this day and age you've got to be really bad for a year to try to truly rebuild and retool things. I just don't understand their aversion as a franchise to sinking to the bottom one time to try to get better in a hurry.

BOB POMPEANI: Yeah. I mean, there-- there's a lot of takes out there about that. I understand it. But that's just not the way-- You know it, Chris. That's not the way they do business. They try to compete.

CHRIS MUELLER: But is that a good enough excuse?

BOB POMPEANI: I'm just saying that's the way they do business.

CHRIS MUELLER: I know. But is that a good enough excuse?

BOB POMPEANI: Well, it depends on how far you fall--

CHRIS MUELLER: Well, I mean, it can be--

BOB POMPEANI: --and how far up you can go in the draft, I guess.

CHRIS MUELLER: I mean, the Colts had it happen twice with Manning and Luck. But we had Michael Lombardi, who was Bill Belichick's right hand man for a long time, today, and I said usually that's a virtue, but It could become a vice. And he said their desire to try to win every year he thinks has become a vice for them.

BOB POMPEANI: Well, it could be. I mean, we'll see. But-- but this decision has got to be made sooner rather than later, I would think. And the longer it goes, the worse it looks that way. And you'd wonder if-- I wonder, did you get a chance to ask him, since you mentioned his name, on the show about would Roethlisberger move to another team?

I just-- To me, I don't see that happening on one side, but on the other side I think to myself, you know, his competitive juices. He says he wants to play. He may have something to prove. And for one year, he might. What do you think, or what do they say?

CHRIS MUELLER: Well, we had another GM on, Doug Whaley, who obviously is very familiar with the Steelers.

BOB POMPEANI: The pride of Upper St. Clair.

CHRIS MUELLER: You know, has worked-- Right. He's still living right now in Pittsburgh, although he was talking about getting away for a vacation soon. But he obviously is very familiar with the franchise.

He doesn't think Roethlisberger would retire. He thinks he's-- He said, and I'm-- I'm close to direct quoting here, he said he'd look at Tom Brady and say I can do that too and try to go somewhere else.

But I think Carson Wentz going to the Colts in that trade takes away the only true obvious landing spot for Roethlisberger. How many other teams would really want him at this point?

BOB POMPEANI: Let's go to Mike in Carnegie right here on "The Sports Call." What's up, Mike?

- Hey Bob. How you doing?

BOB POMPEANI: Good. How are you?

- Hey, I've got a question for you and one for Chris. Number one for you, Bob. I think they should give Roethlisberger another year and don't cut his contract any money. Pay him what they were paying him, 'cause I think he's in good shape and he's going to do better.

And Chris, I have a thing for you. What do you think about the goaltending by the Penguins? Do you think they should charge Casey DeSmith the start or keep going with Tristan Jarry?

BOB POMPEANI: Oh, that's an easy one. But go ahead, Chris. Thanks for the call, Mike.

CHRIS MUELLER: I think they should pay Ben Roethlisberger to play goal tomorrow for the Penguins. No. Tristan Jarry has been playing a lot better. He's the reason that they won the game-- most recent game against the Islanders. He held them in-- in that game in the first period when they were under siege. So I would start him until he shows that he either needs a break 'cause he's tired or he plays a bad game or two bad games in a row.

As for Roethlisberger, I'll be very brief. You cannot-- Art Rooney has already said this. You cannot under any circumstances, and everybody knows this, keep him at the current number of $41.25 million next year. In no way, shape, or form is that workable.

BOB POMPEANI: And he knows that too. So it's just a matter of where they can meet, if they can meet, and that's going to be determined.

To me-- back to goaltending, Chris-- I would start Tristan Jarry for the next four games. And I don't care that there are back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday. He's a young goaltender.

They need points. They can't afford to lose to some of these teams. Points are precious. He's hot. I go until he shows me he can't be at that level. And if he's fine, I play him. Forget about backups at this point.

CHRIS MUELLER: Well, I mean, look what the-- look what their little three regulation wins in four games did. It vaulted them from fifth to second. So you can see how quickly the standings can change--

BOB POMPEANI: Right.

CHRIS MUELLER: --with the way things are set up playing only divisional opponents. Every single game is precious for the Penguins. Every one of them.

BOB POMPEANI: All right. We have tonight's Tri-State Office Furniture Tweet of the Night. And this comes to us from-- We have sources everywhere, including Albert Pujols's wife Deidre, who says-- She broke the news. 10-time All-Star is going to retire following the 2021 season. Pujols will be ending his 21st season in the big leagues.

It's an amazing career. He's made an awful lot of money, but this is going to be the end of the road for him. And I'm sure he'll get a lot of ceremonial, you know, gifts from all these teams that he visits this year. And what a great career it was for him. When he was with the Cardinals, something else.

We'll talk about that and more when we come back. You're watching right here. It's the "Ireland Contracting Nightly Sports Call," Pittsburgh CW. Don't be a stranger. Call us every night of the week.

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