The Cleveland Browns are decompressing after both a thrilling and taxing 2020 NFL season.
In the case of Myles Garrett, part of that decompressing involves “poking the bear” with the Steelers wide receivers.
Myles recently had this to say about the Steelers:
“It was fun. It’s always good to hurt some feelings of some of those Steelers receivers. So we had to get after it. We got a little battle with the Chiefs. All in all, it was a good season. It was fun. But we’re trying to come back and make something special happen next year.”
Myles Garrett still not letting it go 😅 pic.twitter.com/KJeBnuR7h0
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) January 30, 2021
The Browns Were The Colossal Underdogs
That wildcard game against the Steelers will go down in history for so many reasons.
By all accounts, the Browns were huge underdogs.
Their head coach and members of the coaching staff couldn’t even coach the game.
We’ll never know if the Steelers players, especially Smith-Schuster and Claypool, perhaps took the game a little too lightly because of all the adversity the Browns were dealing with.
JuJu Smith-Schuster on the @browns: "I think they're nameless gray faces. They have a couple of good players on their team. But at the end of the day … the Browns are the Browns”.
Why even poke a team that’s down?
— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) January 8, 2021
The Steelers were booted from the playoffs and they're STILL talking smack on the Browns … with rookie receiver Chase Claypool saying Cleveland will get "clapped" in the next round.
— OigetitSports (@Oigetit_sports2) January 11, 2021
Even if they did, a loss is a loss, and professional athletes have to be gracious in defeat.
Is it the intense rivalry, or is it bad sportsmanship?
It’s hard to say.
A Different Dynamic With the Browns And Chiefs
From the moment the Browns won that wildcard game, the respect poured out between the Browns and Chiefs in advance of the divisional playoff.
Kareem Hunt‘s ties with the Chiefs are still amicable despite how his Chiefs career ended.
Mack Wilson handled the Mahomes concussion with grace even though Mahomes’ mother was a little out of line.
Back To The Steelers
Myles Garrett jabbed the Steelers this week which will heighten the rivalry even more.
You can bet when the 2021 NFL Schedule is released in April, both the Browns and Steelers will be circling those two games on the calendar.
It’s likely the Steelers will portray a different attitude and approach to those games.
Who knows what the Steelers roster will even look like?
JuJu Smith-Schuster is a free agent.
Maurkice Pouncey was rumored to be considering retirement, but it appears Big Ben is trying to convince him to come back for 2021.
Roethlisberger’s agent, Ryan Tollner, talked about the situation with Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Ryan Tollner: “Ben knows he has more left, but having key players back, like (Maurkice) Pouncey, will be important. Ben’s contract won’t hold things up. We told them immediately after the season we will make any necessary adjustment to help their cap situation in 2021.”
— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) January 28, 2021
The Browns Have Their Own Questions To Answer
With a slew of free agents and deficiencies in the defense, GM Andrew Berry and Coach Kevin Stefanski have their own work to do.
Both the Browns and the Steelers will have different personnel next season when they meet, but it seems more likely that the Steelers with their aging roster will have more changes.
Regardless, these games will be must-see-TV for Browns fans.