Mike Tomlin said the fight last season between his quarterback and a Browns lineman is “so far in our rearview.” The Steelers coach plans to start quarterback Mason Rudolph Sunday against the Browns where he will face off against Myles Garrett. The last time these two met ended with Garrett beating Rudolph with his own helmet.
“I will not. I won’t address it. There will be no need for that,” Tomlin said, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. “That’s so far in our rearview mirror we can’t see it.”
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said his team was well beyond the infamous incident as well.
The Steelers have already made the playoffs so Tomlin will rest some of his starters, including Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh and Cleveland played earlier this season but this will be the first time Garrett and Rudolph will be on the same field again since the fight.
Roesthlisberg said Rudolph must decide how he’ll react. He can forget it or use it as motivation, the quarterback told reporters.
“There are a couple ways you go about it. You can put it behind you and treat it like a typical quarterback that has to have short-term memory and just go out there and be like whatever happened last year— there’s going to be a lot of hoopla about it—just put it out of your mind and go focus on this year and this game and this team. Or, you can go take it as motivation that you want to go out and put it on them. Whatever you want to say to help win the football game. It’s really each man individually has to decide how he wants to approach it,” Roethlisberger said, according to Fox News.
The Steelers won the first meeting this season 38-7. But the Browns can clinch a playoff spot with a win on Sunday.
Revisiting the Mason Rudolph, Myles Garrett Fight
The fight between Mason Rudolph and Myles Garrett is one of the worst in NFL history.
It started when Garrett pulled down Rudolph after missing a sack. The two begin to wrestle. Garrett stands up, rips off Rudolph’s helmet and then smashes him over the head with it. Both sides cleared after that. In the end, 33 players were disciplined. Garrett was suspended for the final six games of the 2019 season.
“That’s one of the worst things I’ve ever seen on a professional sports field,” announcer Joe Buck said as the fight unfolded.
Garrett later said he was being “childish” and “idiotic,” but claims he reacted to Rudolph called him the N-word. Rudolph has vehemently denied the claim and the NFL said it didn’t find any evidence of that.
Garrett told Cleveland.com earlier this year that he almost quit football after the fight. But he added the fallout helped him re-evaluate his life.
“I’ve gotten people into my life and out of my life that I didn’t need there, whether it was because of that or just a domino effect starting with that incident,” he said. “Was it the best cause? Could things have still worked out differently if that didn’t happen? Probably or maybe? We’ll never know. But when I look at it, I see things that have fallen for me after that that have helped me see things that I didn’t see clearly then.”