October 13, 2020 | 3:49pm
Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is looking at this week’s home game against the Cleveland Browns as a battle for positioning in the AFC North, not as any sort of revenge against Myles Garrett.
The Browns’ defensive end earned an indefinite suspension last November for swinging a helmet at Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph, resulting in a wild brawl between the longtime divisional rivals.
Garrett later claimed that Rudolph called him a racial slur to spark the incident, but that allegation was strongly denied by the Pittsburgh signal-caller.
“We’re not looking for that low-hanging fruit or that reality TV storyline,” Tomlin said. “This is a big game here in 2020.”
Indeed, the Steelers are 4-0 for the first time in more than 40 years (1979) and the Browns surprisingly are 4-1 for the first time since 1994, with the Baltimore Ravens (also 4-1) vying for positioning in the AFC North race.
“We love being in the kitchen, and AFC North ball is in the kitchen,” Tomlin said. “It’s hot in the North.”
As for Garrett, who sat out the final six games of the 2019 season, Tomlin called the AFC sack leader (six through five games) “a freakish talent” but declined to discuss last season’s incident.
The second meeting between the sides will be in the regular-season finale Jan. 3 in Cleveland.