Mike Tomlin has moved from refusing to comment on the brawl that ended last week’s game against the Cleveland Browns to sharing a loaded comment that will further ignite the teams heading into a Dec. 1 rematch in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers head coach told media after Thursday night’s game he would “keep my thoughts to myself” since everyone saw what happened between Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett and Steelers quarterback Mason Rudoph. Tomlin let it fly a little bit on Tuesday, and indicated the brawl was squarely the fault of the Browns.
Mike Tomlin on if his team can learn anything from what happened at end of #Browns game:— Will Graves (@WillGravesAP) November 19, 2019
"Because I don’t know if we did anything to make it happen in the first place."
The remarks came 24 minutes into his media availability during which he had short answers for most questions, per Trib Live’s Chris Adamski. He did say the team takes responsibility for its role, but seems to indicate it wasn’t the Steelers who initiated it.
#Steelers Mike Tomlin was asked how to prevent another incident, said 'you'd have to ask those guys. I don't know that we did anything to make it happen in the first place. That's why I said we didn't have anything to learn from it'— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) November 19, 2019
Tomlin calls fight ‘ugly’ for football
Tomlin opened his press conference, aired live on the team’s website, by acknowledging the fight and calling it an “ugly” moment. Via Mary Kay Cabot at Cleveland.com:
“It was ugly. It was ugly for the game of football. All of us want to safeguard and protect the game, it’s integrity, and in that instance it was compromised, obviously with the unfortunate incident. None of want those things to transpire. It did. We were a part of it. We accept responsibility for our actions within it.’’
The AFC North game was heated from the start and two Steelers receivers left after helmet-to-helmet hits. Tomlin declined to “get into all of that” when asked if the Browns were head hunting. Browns first-year coach Freddie Kitchens has taken heat for not coaching a disciplined team.
Suspensions, fines in Steelers-Browns brawl
The NFL made quick work of disciplining the franchises Friday morning. Both sides were hit with a $250,000 fine for the brawl that erupted with eight seconds to play in the game.
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey went after Garrett and kicked him while he was held down. For that he’s suspended three games, though he’s being celebrated for protecting his teammate.
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