2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Browns set for another brawl with hated Steelers

By TOM WITHERS - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-22 15:17

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - The forecast is for cold, bitter and vicious conditions. The weather's supposed to be bad, too.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns renew their heated rivalry and hatred for each other on Sunday, there is bound to be a few extra shoves, a handful of late hits and maybe even some illegal cheap shots.

It's always that way.

''I expect it to be nasty,'' said Browns running back Willis McGahee. ''It's a rivalry game, a division game.''

And for the first time in a while, a meaningful one.

With both teams at 4-6 and still in the hunt for a playoff spot, there's more on the line than in previous years. But even when there's nothing to play for, and although the rivalry has been one-sided toward Pittsburgh for years, there's enough animosity between the Steelers and Browns - and their fans - to make it a chippy game.

''You could use the word `hate,''' Browns defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin said when asked for his feelings about the Steelers. ''A lot of people around here would use that word. At the same time, we just want to go out there and have a good game and make sure that we take care of what we've got to do and focus on our individual battles.

''This game's going to be a crucial one and one that we need to win.''

The dislike between the Steelers and Browns goes back decades.

Earlier this week, Cleveland coach Rob Chudzinski, a life-long Browns fan, referenced the infamous play in 1976 when Browns defensive lineman Joe ''Turkey'' Jones picked up Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw and slammed the Hall of Famer on his head. The fact that Jones' notorious sack was the first thing Chudzinski mentioned when talking about one of the league's saltiest rivalries, underscores the angst between the Rust Belt cities.

Last year's season finale between the teams disintegrated into a barroom brawl.

Although nothing as sinister as planting a quarterback head first into the turf, there was extra-curricular activities that drew personal fouls and thickened the bad blood between the AFC North neighbors.

In the third quarter, Browns nose tackle Phil Taylor blindsided Steelers tackle Kelvin Beachum with a forearm smash. The flagrant foul, which didn't draw a penalty flag and took place away from the running play, resulted in Taylor getting fined $7,875.

On Friday, Taylor said he was ''just playing to the whistle'' and insisted he won't be looking for any more payback.

''There's a couple of players tried to go after me or whatever, but it is what it is,'' Taylor said. ''I'm not going to let that sidetrack me. I'm still going to do what I have to do.''

Taylor didn't go so far as saying he hated the Steelers, but he came close.

''I think hate is a strong word, but I really do dislike them,'' he said. ''This game means a lot. It's another division game, so we have to do what we have to do.''

The Taylor-Beachum exchange wasn't the only roughhousing last year.

On the undercard of that Dec. 30 matchup, Steelers guard Doug Legursky dived into the legs of Browns linebacker Craig Robertson, who got up swinging. Former Steelers linebacker James Harrison drilled Browns quarterback Thaddeus Lewis after a touchdown pass and Rubin and teammate Billy Winn were slapped with personal fouls following a scuffle with several Steelers following an extra- point attempt.

Rubin, aware that Sunday's game is expected to be played in snow and temperature in the mid-20s, is ready to rumble.

''It's the Steelers,'' he said. ''Everybody's amped up. The fans are amped up. They're playing dirty. We're playing dirty. It's just that type of game, and it's going to be that type of weather, too. We've just got to bring our hard hat and come to work.''

It's going to be gritty and grimy, but that's how a Pittsburgh-Cleveland should be.

''That's why it's fun and that's why the fans love it,'' Browns tackle Joe Thomas said. ''There's always a little extra on the field, guys are always hitting a little bit after the whistle, it's a physical hard-nosed game - and it sounds like it's that way in the stands.''

The Steelers have dominated the rivalry since 1999, going 24-5 against the Browns. This is Cleveland's chance to enhance its playoff chances and damage Pittsburgh's.

''This game is like our season,'' Rubin said. ''If we don't pull out a win right here, I don't know. This is very, very, very important to us, and we're going to do everything we've got to do and try to do to get a win here.''

NOTES: Browns inside starting LB Craig Robertson will miss Sunday's game with a knee injury. Tank Carder will likely start in Robertson's spot. ... Chudzinski said the team worked out punters earlier this week when P Spencer Lanning's left (plant) knee got swollen. But Lanning practiced the past few days and is expected to play.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Peyton ManningDec 18 07:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh, illness) said his illness is behind him, and he was receiving treatment for his thigh Thursday, Dec. 18. Head coach John Fox called Manning day-to-day.

Roy MillerDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Tommy StreeterDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Kendall WrightDec 18 07:12p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.

Frank GoreDec 18 07:02p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) continues through the concussion protocol this week, but head coach Jim Harbaugh anticipates Gore suiting up in Week 16 against the San [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 18 06:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) played just 29 snaps in Week 15; only ten of them were pass routes, according to Pro Football Focus.

Rashad JenningsDec 18 06:12p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Carlos HydeDec 18 05:52p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 18 05:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Dec. 18.

Blake BortlesDec 18 04:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has earned positive reviews from the team in his rookie season after being thrust into the spotlight early this year. 'That is not the [ More ]

Jay CutlerDec 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler was benched just for this week against the Detroit Lions, according to head coach Marc Trestman. Cutler will be active and serve as the [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsDec 18 04:02p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (hand) will be fitted cast that he can play with on his injured hand. Williams still has not caught a pass with the injured [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 04:02p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) has not been able to do any running this week, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

Ryan MathewsDec 18 03:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and appears to be on track to start in Week 16, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

DeMarco MurrayDec 18 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand), who was expected to take some team snaps in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, is in no more risk if he plays in Week [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:12p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) said he is not dealing with any pain in his back but is taking things one day at a time. Newton said he [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 02:02p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) left practice early Thursday, Dec. 18, because he is receiving a scheduled day of rest. Manning was not limping when he was walking to the locker room.

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Chris PolkDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 01:22p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) had an increased set of repetitions in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and it looks like he's on track to play in Week 16 [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 12:52p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Andre JohnsonDec 18 12:52p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (concussion) has cleared the leagues concussion protocol and will play in the team's Week 16 game.

Julio JonesDec 18 12:12p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Case KeenumDec 18 10:03a

Houston Texans QB Case Keenum is expected to start in Week 16.

Philip RiversDec 18 09:22a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is battling a back injury that is more severe than the team has acknowledged, according to a league source. Rivers' back injury [ More ]

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:03a

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy opened practice on the sidelines Wednesday, Dec. 17, while RB Chris Polk opened with first-team reps. After practice McCoy did not seem too concerned. [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanDec 18 01:03a

The Denver Broncos are hopeful RB Ronnie Hillman (foot) will be able to return for the Week 16 game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Dec. 22, or for the [ More ]

Drew StantonDec 17 07:33p

Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton (knee) said this injury is different from any other he's ever had, and he said it's too soon to know if he could return [ More ]

Carlos HydeDec 17 07:03p

San Francisco 49ers RBs Frank Gore (concussion) and Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not take part in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Jay CutlerDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

Jimmy ClausenDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group