O.J. Simpson Steelers Need To Bench Trubisky ... Start Kenny Pickett!!!

TIME FOR A BACKUP PLAN

O.J. Simpson has a solution to the Steelers' offensive struggles, and it starts with making a change at the QB position by benching Mitchell Trubisky and starting Kenny Pickett.

Simpson broke down why the Steelers' offense seemingly stalled all night against the Browns during their Thursday Night Football game (CLE won 29-17), saying Trubisky isn't the answer under center.

"I don't see these guys being inspired by their quarterback play," Simpson said. "I don't know what Kenny Pickett is able to do, but I'm willing to bet anybody that he'll score more than four touchdowns in the next three games."

"[The] problem is Pittsburgh isn't going to win any 14-10 games. They're gonna have to score points to win, and I just don't see that happening with Trubisky."

Steelers fans have been clamoring for Pickett -- who was selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft -- after watching Trubisky struggle to move the ball against Cincy and New England.

Juice said Trubisky -- who finished the game with 207 yards and zero touchdowns -- "wasn't that bad," but the body language of his receivers concerned the disgraced HOF running back.

"It just wasn't good, especially Diontae Johnson," O.J. said.

O.J. said he didn't realize how devastating the loss of T.J. Watt -- who tore his pectoral muscle in Week 1 against the Bengals -- was to the fabric and identity of the Steelers team.

Simpson thinks Watt's absence on defense -- he could return in six weeks possibly -- coupled with their lackluster offense is going to make head coach Mike Tomlin's job harder this season.

Dwayne Haskins Steelers Honoring Late QB #3 Helmet Stickers For 2022-23 Season

The Pittsburgh Steelers are continuing to honor Dwayne Haskins following his sudden death ... by wearing #3 stickers on their helmets for this entire season.

The org. announced the planned tribute on Friday ... showing the nod to the late quarterback will be placed on the bottom left of their iconic helmets starting this week.

Haskins joined the Steelers back in January 2021 following a two-year stint with the Washington Commanders ... but did not see any game action.

Tragically, following the season, he died when he was hit by a dump truck in a horrible accident on a Florida highway.

He was just 24 years old.

The Steelers have paid tribute to him repeatedly since his passing ... with head coach Mike Tomlin saying at the time of his death that he was devastated over the loss.

"He quickly became part of our Steelers family upon his arrival in Pittsburgh and was one of our hardest workers," Tomlin said, "both on the field and in our community."

Haskins' alma mater, Ohio State, and his former Commanders team have also paid homage to the QB in the wake of his death.

RIP

Mike Tomlin Breaks Up Kids' Fight ... Come To Steelers Practice Instead!!!

Mike Tomlin offered a group of kids a way better option than fighting in the streets this week -- inviting the quarreling youngsters to a Steelers practice -- and the gesture was AWESOME.

According to FOX Sports' Jay Glazer, Tomlin was driving his car when he saw a group of young kids fighting in his path.

The 50-year-old immediately pulled over and got out of his car to try to break it up ... and when the kids realized who was telling them to stop throwing hands, they immediately ended their beef.

Glazer says Tomlin took several hours out of his day to hang out with the kids -- who attend a local community center -- and invited them to the Steelers practice at Saint Vincent College (an hour east of Acrisure Stadium) on Wednesday.

And, as you can see in Glazer's video from camp -- they had a blast!!!

The kids got firsthand football knowledge not only from Tomlin, but Steelers star running back Najee Harris as well!

The guys ran through ladder drills -- and the best part of it all was there was no fighting whatsoever.

The scene was awesome ... and, thankfully, it's becoming commonplace in Pittsburgh, with Harris also making a huge donation to Pittsburgh's public schools earlier this year.

Way to go, guys!

Najee Harris Fought With Nick Saban At Alabama 'Bumped Heads' All 4 Years

Everything wasn't always peaches and cream between Najee Harris and Nick Saban at Alabama ... the former Tide star just revealed he and his former coach used to fight each other all the time during his four years at the school.

The Pittsburgh Steelers star broke it all down on "The Pivot" podcast Tuesday ... saying Saban belittled him often -- and he would push back every time he felt the head coach went too far.

"I'm not the type of dude to sit back and just let somebody talk to me in a way and expect me not to say something," Harris said during the interview with Ryan Clark, Channing Crowder, and Fred Taylor.

"I can take coaching, but, like, it's just a certain type of line when you cross, like all right, bro, I'm a man, you ain't gon' f***ing talk to me like that."

"Don't think you're more than just a coach to me. Don't try to belittle. I felt like I was belittled."

Najee -- who played for Saban from 2017 through 2020 -- said things between the two got so bad, he ended up leaving the school for a few weeks during his last year on campus.

"Last incident happened and I left school," Najee said. "I left school for like two weeks -- people didn't know that. I left school for like two weeks and then Saban sat me in his office."

Harris says they were able to clear the air for good during that 1-on-1 sesh, and "ever since that day, we was rock solid."

Seems the relationship -- however rocky it was -- worked out well for both parties ... they won two national titles together, and Harris went on to be taken in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Adrian Peterson Flattens Opponent In Sparring Sesh ... Watch Out, Le'Veon!!!

BOXING BEATDOWN
Instagram / @adrianpeterson

Adrian Peterson's transition from the football field to the boxing ring is clearly going just fine -- the former Vikings star showed this week he has a NASTY right hand, flattening a guy with it during a recent sparring sesh.

The 37-year-old posted a video of the impressive KO on Monday ... showing him crushing his opponent with a right that caught the man square in the jaw.

In the clip, you can see the dude hit the canvas almost as soon as the punch landed -- and he was so dazed from the blow, he couldn't immediately take Peterson's offer for help up.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Peterson seemingly threw up the vid as a message to Le'Veon Bell -- 'cause he captioned it, "September 10," AKA the date he and the former Steelers star will square off in the Social Gloves boxing event at Banc of California Stadium.

COUNT ME OUT

Bell got wind of the footage late Monday night -- and posted a tongue-in-cheek response, appearing to joke about how he was scared to fight Peterson now.

Of course, Bell has looked more than ready for the challenge in the last few weeks -- posting impressive sparring footage of his own.

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Just a few more weeks 'til the tailbacks go at it on fight night -- can't wait!

Steelers' QB Kenny Pickett Young Fan Breaks Down In Tears ... While Getting Autograph

KENNY'S FOR THE KIDDOS
Twitter / Pittsburgh Steelers

Grab a tissue ... you may need it!

Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett literally brought a young boy to tears (happy ones!) when he signed a football for the kid, and the sweet moment was caught on video!

It all went down at Saint Vincent College in Pennsylvania on Wednesday ... where the Steelers are holding training camp.

The clip starts with 24-year-old Pickett -- a first-round draft pick out of the University of Pittsburgh -- meeting a bunch of Steelers fans and signing autographs. One of the fans was a young boy named Phillip ... who couldn't contain his emotions.

"I appreciate you," Pickett said while tapping the kid's head ... and that's when the young boy broke down in tears.

"He's crying 'cause he was scared to even meet you," the woman said.

Phillip tried to keep it together, but couldn't ... so Pickett consoled him while signing his football.

"You alright, man?" the 24-year-old signal-caller asked, "Happy times! Happy times!"

Then, Pickett and Phillip dapped each other up ... as nearby fans cheered for the boy.

It's dope to see Pickett get this level of love before playing a single snap for the black and gold ... but he's a familiar face in Pennsylvania.

Pickett played college ball for the Pittsburgh Panthers from 2017 to 2021 ... where he was a first-team All-American.

Heinz Field Iconic Ketchup Bottles Come Down ... After Name Change

It's a sad day for Steelers fans -- the transition from Heinz Field is officially underway ... with the stadium's iconic ketchup bottle signs coming down on Monday.

Last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced they're partnering with tech insurance company Acrisure for a 15-year naming rights deal ... which will end the Heinz Field era after 20 years.

A news photographer from KDKA captured the first steps of the makeover on Monday -- showing the massive Heinz ketchup bottle sign being removed by a crane and placed on the ground.

Some of the construction workers on site even used it as a photo opp -- posing in front of the bottle after it came down.

While some fans are hurt over the change, Steelers President Art Rooney II is excited about the new name ... saying in a statement the org. is "excited to partner with Acrisure for the naming rights to our stadium."

"We are very appreciative to partner with Greg Williams and his company, and we look forward to a long, beneficial relationship for years to come."

Steelers Hall of Fame coach Bill Cowher likes the name change as well ... adding,  "Pittsburgh will always be a very tough place to play."

Well, 7,000+ Black and Gold fans disagree ... and started a petition in hopes of halting the change.

Based on the quick action to remove all things ketchup from the building, it's not looking good for their cause.

Sorry, Steelers fans.

Dwayne Haskins Medical Examiner Report ... QB Had Ketamine In System, .24 BAC

Investigators are revealing more details surrounding Dwayne Haskins' death ... saying in reports released on Monday the QB "drank heavily" and ingested ketamine in the hours leading up to his passing, and also had a blood alcohol level of .24 at the time of the April 9 accident.

According to a Broward County Medical Examiner's Office investigation report ... a rep for the Steelers told investigators Haskins had trained with teammates in the Miami area all day on April 8, before eventually heading to a club in the evening with a "friend/cousin."

In the documents, investigators say the rep told them Haskins "drank heavily" ... and then got into a fight.

Hours later, Haskins was found dead on a Florida highway after being struck by a dump truck.

Investigators say at the scene, they found Haskins' vehicle and a "female companion" inside of it. The investigators said the woman told them Haskins had left the car on foot to try to find a gas station. The woman's relationship with Haskins was not disclosed in the documents.

According to an autopsy report that was also released on Monday, two of Haskins' blood samples tested positive for alcohol -- with one revealing a .20 BAC, and the other a .24.

The report also showed Haskins' urine samples tested positive for ketamine and norketamine.

Investigators ruled Haskins died due to multiple blunt force injuries. They said the manner of death was an accident.

Since the tragedy, several memorials have been held in his honor. And, his wife, Kalabrya, also got a sleeve of tattoos to remember her late husband.

Haskins was just 24 years old.

Mitch Trubisky, Wife Baby's Here!!! ... Hudson David

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and his wife, Hillary, just welcomed their baby boy ... and the family couldn't look happier and healthier!!

The couple just announced Hudson David Trubisky was born on May 9 ... weighing 7 pounds, 10 ounces ... and 20 1/2 inches long.

The Trubiskys returned home on Thursday ... celebrating with a big sign and a ton of balloons.

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A bunch of their friends congratulated the couple on their new addition ... including Khalil Mack; Josh Allen's girlfriend, Brittany Williams; Rachel Bush; Golden Tate's wife, Elise; and more.

As we previously reported, Mitch and Hillary announced they were expecting back in November ... a few months after getting married.

Mitch and Hillary have been together for a long time ... and now, they officially have their first child.

Congrats to the Trubiskys -- but now the real question is, considering Mitch is an Ohio native, will Huddy be a Browns fan or a Steelers fan?!

Dwayne Haskins' Wife Emotional At QB's Memorial ... Releases Dove At Ceremony

UPDATE

1:06 PM PT -- Dwayne Haskins' wife, Kalabrya, was visibly emotional at the former NFL player's memorial Friday ... in tears over her husband's casket as pallbearers removed it from the church.

UPDATE

The scene was extremely somber ... Kalabrya was seen wiping away tears throughout the ceremony after reportedly saying some words during it.

UPDATE
UPDATE

Kalabrya did release a dove in honor of Dwayne outside ... before his body was taken away to be transferred to New Jersey for another memorial service on Saturday.

Urban Meyer and Ryan Shazier are among the many coaches, players and friends paying their respects to Dwayne Haskins on Friday ... with those close to the late quarterback attending his memorial service in Pittsburgh.

Haskins' wife, Kalabrya, previously announced the Allegheny Center Alliance Church will be holding a "celebration of Dwayne's life" on Friday for family, friends, coaches and teammates.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, Meyer -- who coached Haskins on the Buckeyes from 2016 to 2018 -- and current head football coach, Ryan Day, all made their way to Pennsylvania for the service.

Shazier -- a former Steeler and Buckeye -- was also spotted at Haskins' memorial walking into the church ... as well as defensive tackle Cam Heyward.

Steelers owner, Art Rooney II, and offensive coordinator, Matt Canada, also arrived to pay respects.

Friday's ceremony is one of several that will be held for the Steelers QB -- on Saturday, Haskins' family will have a memorial at the Christ Church in his native New Jersey ... and on Sunday, there will be a service at his former high school in Potomac, Maryland.

As we previously reported, the Steelers QB was tragically killed after being struck by a dump truck on a highway in Fort Lauderdale Florida on April 9.

The crash report indicates the 24-year-old was hit by two cars and succumbed to his injuries on the scene.

RIP

Originally Published -- 8:36 AM PT

Dwayne Haskins' Wife Thanks Fans For Support In Wake Of QB's Death ... 'Love Of My Life, Forever'

Dwayne Haskins' wife is thanking all of the NFL player's fans and friends for their support in the wake of his tragic death ... saying Wednesday the outpouring of well wishes has helped during her time of mourning.

Kalabrya Haskins shared the letter of gratitude through the Pittsburgh Steelers on social media ... explaining, "All of your blessings have been greatly valued and appreciated."

She added that she's going to miss Dwayne dearly.

"My husband was more than a great football player," Kalabrya said of the 24-year-old former Steeler. "He had the smile of a rainbow that touched the diversity of so many. He will forever rest and remain in our hearts til the end of time."

"LOVE OF MY LIFE, FOREVER," she continued, "REST IN THE BEAUTIFUL PLACE OF HEAVEN!"

Dwayne -- who married Kalabrya in 2021 -- tragically died after being struck by a dump truck Saturday morning in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Kalabrya did not release any further insight into the crash -- asking for privacy at this time -- but she did reveal a celebration of life will be held for Dwayne on April 22 at the Allegheny Center Alliance Church in Pittsburgh.

RIP.

Cardale Jones Emotional Speech At Haskins Vigil ... 'It Just Sucks'

Ohio State legend Cardale Jones gave an emotional speech at a Dwayne Haskins memorial Tuesday night ... praising the former Buckeye and lamenting his tragic death.

Jones said the sweet words to a crowd that had gathered outside of Ohio Stadium ... remembering the 24-year-old as someone who was selfless and always willing to give the shirt off his back.

"I feel like we're all here to grieve together and to pay our respects and somewhat celebrate Dwayne's life," Jones said, just four days after Haskins sadly passed away in a vehicle accident in Florida.

"It just sucks that his life was cut so short but I guess he was just too good for all of us that the Lord had to call him home early."

Jones -- who played at OSU from 2013 to 2015 -- was friends with Haskins ... and during his speech, he said Dwayne always "kept faith and lived out his dreams" when he was alive.

"He's up there looking down on us and telling us to wipe our tears," Jones said. "He will be missed."

Buckeyes running back Master Teague III was also in attendance at the vigil ... where he led a prayer to Haskins' family.

Other current and former Buckeyes that had gathered at the memorial site included Kyle McCord, Kamryn Babb, Xavier Johnson and Sevyn Banks. OSU athletic director, Gene Smith, was also present.

As we previously reported, Haskins was tragically killed on Saturday after being hit by a dump truck on a highway in Fort Lauderdale.

Details surrounding the circumstances that led up to the accident are still unknown ... the Florida Highway Patrol said it's still investigating it all.

Adam Schefter Apologizes For Insensitive Dwayne Haskins Tweet ... 'It Was A Mistake'

NFL insider Adam Schefter is begging for forgiveness over his insensitive tweet regarding Dwayne Haskins' death ... saying it was not his intent to disrespect the late Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback.

A number of superstars took issue with Schefter saying Haskins was "struggling to catch on" in the NFL while announcing the tragic news ... including Ravens star Lamar Jackson, who tweeted his frustrations with the ESPN analyst.

"@AdamSchefter you lame asf all around grown ass man and can look in the mirror and smile at yourself," Lamar tweeted on Saturday.

While Schefter deleted the initial tweet shortly after posting, he shared a three-plus minute-long apology on his podcast on Monday ... saying he wishes he could take it back.

"It was insensitive," Schefter said. "It was a mistake, and I can assure you it was not my intention. I wish I could have that tweet back. The focus should have been on Dwayne -- who he was as a person, a husband, a friend, and so much more."

"I wanted to apologize to Dwayne's family, his friends, the players in the NFL, and offer my condolences to everybody close to Dwayne. And in the way I failed Saturday, I wanted to turn the people's attention to make sure that Dwayne is remembered properly."

Schefter then lists several of Haskins' accomplishments on and off the field, shares anecdotes about his character and highlights his charitable contributions.

Schefter continued ... "He will always be missed and will always be remembered. Sincerest condolences to his family, friends and everyone he touched."

As we previously reported, Haskins died after being hit by a dump truck around 6:30 AM on Saturday. He was just 24 years old.

NFL's Dwayne Haskins Dead At 24 After Being Struck By Dump Truck

UPDATE

10:35 AM PT -- Florida Highway Patrol are shedding more light on the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Dwayne Haskins.

UPDATE

"Mr. Haskins was walking on a limited access facility (Highway/expressway) for unknown reasons. He was attempting to cross the westbound lanes of Interstate 595 when there was oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, he collided with an oncoming dump truck. Mr. Haskins was pronounced dead on scene," the agency announced Saturday morning.

UPDATE

Police say they are in the process of conducting a "Traffic Homicide Investigation."

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins tragically passed away early Saturday morning ... after being hit by a car. He was just 24 years old.

Law enforcement in Florida released a statement this morning announcing they were investigating a deadly crash in the area where Haskins was tragically hit and killed.

"Florida Highway Patrol is working a fatal vehicle vs pedestrian crash on westbound I-595 at I-95. Westbound lanes of I-595 will remain closed during this investigation."

Haskins was a star at Ohio State ... leading the Buckeyes to a Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl victory in the 2018 season.

Dwayne went on to be the 15th overall pick in the 2019 draft to Washington, where he spent two seasons. He joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021.

STEELERS TRAINING IN FLORIDA

Haskins was in Boca Raton, Florida training with his Pittsburgh teammates -- including Najee Harris, Chase Claypool and Mitchell Trubisky -- this week ... and several players posted video of the workout session.

Haskins proposed to Kalabrya Gondrezick, a former Michigan State basketball player, in 2021 ... and the couple got married several months later.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin released a statement ... saying, "I am devastated and at a loss for words with the unfortunate passing of Dwayne Haskins. He quickly became part of our Steelers family upon his arrival in Pittsburgh and was one of our hardest workers, both on the field and in our community."

"Dwayne was a great teammate, but even more so a tremendous friend to so many. I am truly heartbroken."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Kalabrya, and his entire family during this difficult time."

The NFL also released a statement ... saying, "The NFL family mourns the tragic loss of Dwayne Haskins and we extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones."

Haskins' Buckeye teammate, Joe Burrow, shared his condolences on Twitter ... saying, "Tough to find the words ... you will be missed."

Steelers star pass rusher T.J. Watt also shared memories of his former teammate ... saying, "The world lost a great person today. When Dwayne first walked into the locker room I could tell he was an upbeat guy. He was always making people smile, never taking life for granted. His impact on me will last a forever."

Ron Rivera, who coached Haskins in Washington, added ... "I am absolutely heartbroken to hear the news of the passing of Dwayne Haskins Jr. Dwayne was a talented young man who had a long life ahead of him."

"This is a very sad time and I am honestly at a loss for words. I know I speak for the rest of our team in saying he will be sorely missed. Our entire team is sending our heartfelt condolences and thoughts and prayers to the Haskins family at this time."

Originally Published -- 8:31 AM PT

Joe Exotic Pens Letter To Big Ben From Prison ... Can I Get Your Autograph?!?

Ben Roethlisberger spent most of his career beating the Cincinnati Bengals -- but it turns out, The Tiger King is still a huge fan!!!

TMZ Sports has confirmed ... Joe Exotic has written a letter to Big Ben from prison, asking the Pittsburgh Steelers star for his autograph.

Exotic's lawyer, John M. Phillips, tells us the 59-year-old penned the note just recently.

In his letter, Exotic told the future Hall of Famer that he needed a signature from Ben so he could gift it to his stepson for a birthday present.

"I promised him an autographed jersey by you because he thinks you are the s*** and he holds you on a pretty big pedestal," said Joe, who's been in prison since 2019 after he allegedly tried to hire men to kill his rival, Carole Baskin.

"There is one on eBay, but I don't have the $600 to buy it for his birthday. My fans helped get everything else he wanted. I'm just missing your jersey."

Joe ended his note by pleading for Ben to honor his request -- saying, "Can you help a man out that is fighting for his own freedom? Every kid needs a hero and you are his!"

No word if Ben has any idea who Joe is or if he's received the note yet -- but the guy does have a lot of free time on his hands now that he's retired. So, binge-watch 'Tiger King' and send that auto out soon?

Brian Flores Hired As Steelers Assistant Coach ... Amid NFL Lawsuit

UPDATE

12:26 PM PT -- Douglas H. Wigdor and John Elefterakis tell TMZ ... "We congratulate Coach Flores on his new position with the Steelers and thank Coach Tomlin and the organization for giving him this great opportunity. While Coach Flores is now focused on his new position, he will continue with his race discrimination class action so that real change can be made in the NFL."

Brian Flores is suing the NFL, but he'll still be getting paychecks from the org. in 2022 ... 'cause the ex-Miami Dolphins head coach has been hired to join the Pittsburgh Steelers coaching staff.

As we previously reported, Flores is in the middle of a messy legal battle with the NFL ... claiming its hiring process is rooted in racism -- even using texts from Bill Belichick to make his point.

While the 40-year-old's priority is facing off against the league in court in hopes of bringing change, he'll also be setting his focus on the AFC North ... as Flores will be the senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach for the Stellers next season.

Mike Tomlin spoke about the hire ... saying, "I am excited about Brian Flores joining our coaching staff given his history of developing and teaching defensive players during his time in the NFL."

"Brian's resume speaks for itself, and I look forward to him adding his expertise to help our team."

Flores was 24-25 in his 3 seasons with the Dolphins ... but many were puzzled with his firing in 2021, as it appeared he was finally hitting his stride in Miami.

Originally Published -- 11:30 AM PT

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