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Depot After Dark: Brad Wing’s Redemption, James Harrison’s April Fools, DJ Burns’ NFL Chances?



A Steelers Depot daily segment. A quick hit of some Pittsburgh Steelers-related stories that may not require a complete article but nuggets worth mentioning and passing on to you guys.

Your Depot After Dark for April 1.

Brad Wing’s Redemption

As we wrote about yesterday, it was one heck of a UFL debut for former Pittsburgh Steelers punter Brad Wing. He threw a touchdown pass on a fake field goal to the center, not the intended target, in a 27-12 win over the D.C. Defenders to kick off the league’s new year.

Wing joined Pat McAfee on Monday’s show to discuss the play, noting he didn’t want to make the same mistake as his last fake attempt.

“I was supposed to throw it to the tight end, but he was double-covered,” Wing told the show. “I did one fake with the Steelers, and I threw a pick. So I went through my progressions, as they say.”

And Wing found center Alex Mollette wide open over the middle for a 40-yard touchdown. Wing’s fake with Pittsburgh came in a 2014 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Late in the fourth quarter facing 4th and 9, Wing floated a pass over the middle that was intercepted, nearly allowing the Bengals back into the game.

But CB Antwon (now known as Valentino) Blake forced a fumble on the ensuing drive, and QB Ben Roethlisberger hit WR Antonio Brown for a 63-yard touchdown to preserve the win. Wing also had a fake in college, a touchdown run, called back for taunting, so it’s nice to see him finally convert a fake without any issues.

James Harrison’s April Fools

James Harrison got in on the April Fools fun, working with his former team to pull a social media prank. And it wasn’t Pittsburgh. The Rhein Fire of the old NFL Europe, and still active today, posted this photo and caption, shared by Harrison, announcing his “return” to the Fire at the ripe old age of 45.

‘Thrilled to announce the return of former NFL Linebacker James Harrison for the 2024 season! After 20 years, he’s back in Europe, rejoining the Rhein Fire where he played in 2003,’ the caption read.

The post shared a clip of Harrison playing for the Fire, which was featured in his A Football Life episode, which is part of NFL Network’s long-running series.

Of course, this is not happening, fun as it’d be to imagine. Still, Harrison could probably dominate if he wanted to suit up, still training and working out daily long after his NFL career ended.

DJ Burns – College Basketball To NFL?

One story that sounds like a solid April Fool’s joke but evidently isn’t? The idea of NC State basketball player DJ Burns, dominating the tournament en route to the Final Four, could try his hand at the NFL.

Senior Bowl Director Jim Nagy said he received texts from general managers and other front office executives who said interest in Burns to the NFL is a “real thing.” He later clarified it was not a joke. 

NFL Network’s Peter Schrager felt a similar sentiment from the league, believing there would be a “big turnout” if he held a Pro Day workout after the Wolfpack’s run is over, either by elimination or national title.

Listed at 6-9, 275 pounds, I wasn’t able to find any record of him playing football before, even in high school, making him a complete project. But with good feet and power, teams might be interested in seeing how he’d look in pads, though there’s no reporting Burns is actually considering a sport switch. For now, his focus is leading NC State on a historic run.


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