First Call: Cam Heyward disagrees with Ben Roethlisberger’s ‘Steelers Way’ take; Tyler Glasnow reportedly heading west in trade

Friday’s “First Call” features Cameron Heyward rebuffing Ben Roethlisberger’s assessment of Pittsburgh Steelers culture. An ex-Steeler is upset with the state of the team. A former Pirate is about to be part of a big trade.

And a local hoops star just set a record at Duquesne.

Dissenting opinion

Ben Roethlisberger made waves this week on his podcast when he said that maybe the “Steelers Way” tradition is “done” for good.

“I understand the further you get away from that, the harder it is unless it’s being passed down and carried the right way,” Roethlisberger said. “It just feels like that’s something that’s been lost on this team. I’ve felt that certain guys on the team aren’t in it for the team. They’re in it for themselves.”

Appearing on the NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” on Thursday, defensive captain Cameron Heyward disagreed.

“Ben has an opinion. He’s entitled to that, but I don’t agree. We lost these last two games. It’s been rough, but the Steelers Way is about grinding it out, and it doesn’t matter what’s going on,” Heyward said. “So there is plenty to be done about it, and tradition starts by winning games, having good defense, scoring points. So hopefully we can adjust that this week.”

Well, if anyone can prove that the Steelers Way still exists, it’s Heyward. He’s a defensive captain and a former All-Pro. He’s got the resume and the cachet on and off the field. He can do something about it.

Let’s see what he — or the team — comes up with in Indianapolis … if anything.

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Fire away

Retired Steelers nose tackle Chris Hoke teed off on multiple players during his weekly appearance on 93.7 The Fan on Thursday.

A former defensive lineman, Hoke wasn’t very complimentary of current defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi.

“When you get paid that kind of money ($28.7 million/3 years), they’re paying you to produce,” Hoke said. “He’s a big, strong, powerful guy. He’s explosive. Technique is below the line. And it’s one of those things where he doesn’t play with his hands all the time. … He’ll make a play, and then he’ll disappear for a long period of time because of his technique.”

I agree with Hoke there. Ogunjobi has a penchant for making a splash play or two in the first quarter of games, then failing to do so the rest of the game.

Hoke also expressed some doubts about wide receivers Diontae Johnson and George Pickens.

“I hope it’s not the culture,” Hoke said. “But it just seems like those two guys (have) got to turn this around. They’ve got to change that. It puts a bad light on the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

Again, agreed. I think both of those Steelers receivers have largely built their reputations more on perception than production.

Finally, Hoke called out safety Minkah Fitzpatrick for not making enough impactful plays on defense.

“Throughout the season, Minkah has 64 tackles, zero interceptions, zero forced fumbles, zero fumble recoveries, two passes defensed,” Hoke said. “He was the one that tipped the ball against the Browns early in the season when Alex Highsmith took it back for a touchdown. But that was an eternity ago… ‘A’ players have got to play ‘A’ ball in games like last Thursday, in games like this Saturday against the Colts. They haven’t gotten that from Minkah this season.”

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True. Splash plays have been absent from Fitzpatrick in 2023. Although I will blame some of that on injuries, and how he has been deployed closer to the line of scrimmage more frequently this year.

More sports

• Dan Moore Jr. beat odds, has held Steelers’ starting left tackle gig all season • Steelers’ T.J. Watt: ‘We did everything the right way’ in assessing his head injury • Pirates add to outfield depth by acquiring Billy McKinney from Yankees

Glasnow going west

What are the Los Angeles Dodgers doing with the leftover cash they have after deferring so much of Shohei Ohtani’s contract?

They are signing and acquiring former Pirate Tyler Glasnow.

According to ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan, a deal between the Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays will become official Friday when Glasnow can sign an extension. Once he does that, he’ll be shipped from Tampa to L.A. with outfielder Manuel Margot in exchange for right-handed starter Ryan Pepiot and outfield prospect Jonny Deluca.

Glasnow pitched a career-high 120 innings last year, going 10-7 with a 3.53 ERA. He struck out 162 batters while walking just 37.

Via Passan, Glasnow “is set to make $25 million this season and could wind up with an extension that takes him into his mid-30s and exceeds nine figures.”

So I guess he never would’ve stayed a Pirate for life even if the Buccos had held onto him instead of including him in the Chris Archer trade anyway, eh?

Tess is the best

Duquesne’s Tess Myers had a sensational game on Thursday against Longwood.

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The North Catholic product hit 11 three pointers en route to a 35-point afternoon as the Dukes won 89-69. The 11 field goals beyond the three-point arc are a program record.

Just Tess doing Tess things @tessmyers24 had herself a record-breaking and career day 35 PTS 11 3PTS (???????????????????????????? ????????????????????????)#GoDukes | @A10WBB pic.twitter.com/1zu40YM0pA

— Duquesne Women’s Basketball (@DuqWBB) December 14, 2023

In all, the Dukes hit 20 from long range to improve to 6-3. Nae Bernard had 14 points in support of Myers. Kaitlyn Ammons added 10.

Coach Dan Burt’s club next plays Saturday on the road at Vermont.

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