First Call: Ohio State quarterback honors Dwayne Haskins; NFL team shows late interest in Kenny Pickett

Monday’s “First Call” takes a look at how former Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins was honored by his college football alma mater over the weekend. Another NFL team is being tied to Kenny Pickett in advance of the draft. There was action in the NHL’s Eastern Conference. And we examine the Pirates’ next opponent.


Honoring Haskins

Over the weekend, the Ohio State Buckeyes held their spring football game. Quarterback CJ Stroud honored former Steelers and Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins by beginning the game in a Haskins No. 7 jersey.

Haskins also wore No. 7 while playing in Columbus before being drafted into the NFL by Washington in 2019.

That first drive for Stroud and the offense ended in a touchdown.

“I thought it would be important for him to go out the right way,” Stroud said via the Columbus Dispatch. “So I’m glad his last play at the ‘Shoe was a touchdown. I’m excited for that.”

Prior to kickoff, a moment of silence was held for Haskins. Then the team played a video tribute at the end of the second quarter.

On April 9, Haskins was killed when he was struck by a truck in the westbound lanes of Interstate 595 in Florida. Florida Highway Patrol officials said Haskins, who had been walking on the highway, was pronounced dead at the scene.

In Pittsburgh, a service will be held on April 22 at Allegheny Center Alliance Church on East Ohio Street on the North Side. Visitation will be from 10 to 11 am and the service will occur from 11 am to 1 pm


Down with Detroit?

The Detroit Lions may be late to the Kenny Pickett party, but according to the NFL Network’s Tom Pelisserothey’ll be hosting him for a visit this week.

As Pelissero points out, it’s interesting to note that Pickett is the only known quarterback to visit Detroit. The Lions hold three of the top 34 picks, including No. 2 overalls.

ProFootballTalk suggests that if the Lions are considering themselves in the quarterback market — despite having Jared Goff — they may want to get in on the bidding for Baker Mayfield.

The Seattle Seahawks and the Carolina Panthers have also been linked to Mayfield. Many have pointed to the Panthers as a team that may also be interested in drafting Pickett.


on pause

Like the Penguins, the three other teams in the Metropolitan Division who are probably playoff-bound all had off-days Sunday. The Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers and Washington Capitals were all idle for Easter.

However, on the other side of the Eastern Conference in the Atlantic Division, Florida beat Detroit 6-1, and the Toronto Maple Leafs doubled up the New York Islanders 4-2.

For Florida, that’s 10 wins in a row, and they hold first place over the Maple Leafs (114 points to 106). Anton Lundell scored twice for the Panthers.

Toronto played without star goal scorer Austin Matthews. He is being called day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.


Battling the Brew Crew

After starting their season 5-4, the Pirates are heading out to Milwaukee to play the Brewers. They begin a three-game series Monday.

The Brewers are off to a similar start, at 5-5, despite having a minus-13 run differential. Milwaukee has only scored 31 runs so far. That’s the second fewest in the National League. Only the Arizona Diamondbacks have fewer (21).

Pirate former Andrew McCutchen had two hits, one RBI and a run Sunday in the Brewers’ 6-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. He’s hitting .282 so far for Milwaukee.

The Pirates are pitching Zach Thompson Monday, followed by JT Brubaker Tuesday and Mitch Keller on Wednesday afternoon. They’ll be opposed by Eric Lauer, Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff, respectively.

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 | Tim Benz Columns

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