RUSH: I got a note here from Pennsylvania: “Please sometime today address the Steelers and Browns from last night.” Oh, yeah, yeah. Okay. I’ll make sure I do that. Remind me about that. I turned that game off in the second half. Folks, I can’t believe it. I had other things I wanted to watch on TV. I turned off the Pittsburgh Steelers at halftime for a host of reasons. I thought the referees lost control of the game. I thought the Browns were head-hunting and getting away with it.
The cheap shot hits on JuJu Smith-Schuster. One Steeler player got hit and was bleeding from his ear after a hit to the head. The referee, that guy got ejected. But I didn’t see until today, you know, I didn’t get one e-mail last night, “Rush, did you see what happened?” I didn’t know about it until I got up today. I didn’t know that that had happened. See, everybody assumes I know everything, so nobody sends me anything anymore. I’m sure you thought I was watching it. No, I gave up in the first half.
I’m watching a great BBC show right now. It’s eight episodes. I said, “You know what? I’m going to go to episode three here at halftime, and, if it bores me, I’ll go back to the game,” and it didn’t bore me. (interruption) The name of it? I’ll tell you the name of it in just a minute.
RUSH: On the Steelers/Browns, Myles Garrett has been suspended for the remainder of the season at a minimum, the NFL says. Todd Gurley, the former offensive coordinator for the Browns for the first eight games last year has come back and said of the new coach (paraphrasing), “It’s his fault, Freddie’s fault.” Everybody’s talking about Freddie Kitchens, the head coach, for creating this culture.
The game was over. The Steelers had lost. The timing of this, the reasons for this remain really, really curious to me, but, look, I don’t have enough time to get fully into this, because I’ve been requested to comment on it. I know what that means, so I need to wait and give this a little bit more time than I have left.
RUSH: Now, the Steelers and Browns. I’ve not seen anything like it. I can’t recall. When I finally saw tape of it today, I can’t recall ever seeing anything like it. I’m sure by now everybody knows: Myles Garrett number 95, defensive end — who is having a great year for the Browns. He is a pass rush specialist and he does pretty well against the run. There’s eight seconds left in the game. The Steelers are down two touchdowns. There’s no way the Steelers are going to win. Mason Rudolph has looked horrible all night.
The Steelers never got in sync. The Steelers lost a couple of wide receivers to vicious hits. JuJu Smith-Schuster was one, out with a concussion. Another Steelers player was hit — and this one was flagged. He was hit so hard; he was bleeding from his ear. So it looked to me like that this was a headhunter game from the outset. Now, the Steelers and Browns have had a rivalry going back decades, but it hasn’t really been much of a rivalry because the Browns haven’t beaten the Steelers maybe once or twice in 20 years.
So there hasn’t been much of a rivalry to it, and the current crop of players haven’t been playing each other long. Both teams are relatively young. It was curious. “What in the world is this?” Now, there’s a theory in pro football — well, football in general — about coaching. You either coach it or you let it happen. Meaning, your players. You either coach their behavior or (when it happens) you allow it to happen. In other words, players only do what coaches either teach or tolerate. The Browns are among the most penalized teams in the NFL and particularly for personal fouls, 15-yarders, vicious hits, this kind of stuff.
So the theory is, they are being coached — and the head coach is Freddie Kitchens. He’s never done it before. He was the offensive coordinator for basically the last half of last year. Because of their performance last year, he got the head coach job this year having never done it before. The Browns… Odell Beckham showing up one game wearing $150,000 watch and the league has to tell him, “Take it off.” He shows up next week in clown shoes and forced to change shoes. The theory is the coach is either coaching this or letting it happen.
Meaning: On this team, there doesn’t appear to be any discipline whatsoever. So with eight seconds left in the game, Mason Rudolph is sacked for like the nineteenth time of the game by Myles Garrett. Some scuffle ensues that we don’t really see much of; then the next thing we see is this gigantic brawl and Myles Garrett rips Mason Rudolph’s helmet off his head and beats him upside the head with it! Maurkice Pouncey, number 53, the center for the Steelers storms in at Garrett.
I’ll tell you this: In NFL locker rooms all day today and last night, Maurkice Pouncey — number 53, center for the Pittsburgh Steelers — is the toast of every locker room in this league. He went in there and he laid it on Myles Garrett. He has been suspended three games himself for his actions in coming to the aid and defense of his quarterback. Folks, this was so bad. If this had happened on the street — if somebody had been beaten with a weapon of the size and weight of an NFL helmet — that person would be in jail.
There are others who are urging the Steelers to file criminal charges against the Browns. It is said that Mason Rudolph’s agent is considering criminal charges against Myles Garrett, number 95 of the Cleveland Browns. It was so bad, I was fully expecting… When I watched the video, I was fully expecting to see police officers on the field to break this up. Every NFL team has security. If you pay any attention, they wear either yellow windbreakers or… They’re usually yellow and they surround the field, and they are there.
They never watch the game. Their eyes are constantly on the crowd. They are there to make sure that the crowd doesn’t storm the field, or the crowd doesn’t start throwing things, weapons or whatever they might have. I fully expected the security staff at that end zone to come out and get in the melee but they didn’t. I think the referees lost control of the game because it was filled with questionable hits that were unnecessary throughout the game — and, as I say, yeah, you have the rivalry Steelers/Browns, but these players… Nothing was on the line in this game.
Neither of these teams is going anywhere this season. So it’s inexplicable, and I would love to know what set Myles Garrett off. This is not common. I would love to know what happened. Garrett has not said what it was. All he said is the usual, “That’s not who I am. That’s not who I was. Uh, I lost my cool. It will never happen again.” Blah, blah, blah. Something set him off. Something had to happen. I don’t know if Rudolph said something.
I don’t know if the scrum that happened before this that Rudolph had tried to get Garrett’s helmet in his hands. Something happened, and I would really love to know what it is because I think knowing that will explain what happened. Because it’s not rivalry. It isn’t. The game was over, and the Browns had no chance. There was no chance they were going to lose the game. There was no way, and literally no reason for this. There had not been any action by the Steelers during the game to cause pent-up frustration and reciprocity.
If anything, it had been the Browns who had been behaving during the game in a way that would warrant the Steelers doing something in a retaliatory mission like this. So it’s really curious to me what happened — and something happened. Something set Garrett off. Something. I’m a Steelers’ fan. But ever since I saw… You know, the Browns are on Hard Knocks on HBO. I think it was last season. The Browns have become my second favorite team.
I’ve really been hoping that they would do well — and I really did, folks. I had the highest hopes for Freddie Kitchens. I hoped the guy who had never done it before could come in and do the job. I really hoped that a guy who had never been a head coach before could come in and build on the successes of last year. But it hasn’t happened. The Browns have underperformed. They have come nowhere near meeting expectations. I’m not even talking about the preseason. The preseason hype was…
When they traded for Odell Beckham, that’s when everybody lost it. “Oh, my God, this team is in it for the Super Bowl,” and they haven’t performed anywhere near a Super Bowl. They haven’t performed anywhere near their potential this year. They’ve had some of the craziest, stupidest play calling in the red zone. They’ve had lousy red zone performance. They had the potential for an unstoppable offense and it never has materialized. Maybe that’s some of the frustration, but they were winning this game last night.
The game was in the bag. It was over. So the NFL has suspended Myles Garrett, minimum the rest of the season. I think the Browns need to cut him. They cut a player yesterday, Antonio Callaway, who was a rookie last year. He was arrested for marijuana possession last year during the preseason. They stuck with him. They gave him a chance. He served a little bit of a suspension, came back, and he had a halfway decent year last year.
Then he started showing up late for games this year and missing the meetings. He’s got a ten-game suspension. League announced a ten-game suspension for substance abuse, so he obviously found his way back to the weed — and the Browns cut him before the game yesterday. They’ve got enough wide receivers; they could cut Antonio Callaway. If they are going to cut Callaway for being late and for having problems with substance abuse, then I don’t know how they don’t cut Myles Garrett.
Something has got to happen here, because you should have seen the tweets of NFL players watching the game. To a man, none of them have ever seen anything like it. So is it a trend? Is it an indication of where the league is going? I don’t know. That’s why I would really like to know what sparked this. “Well, Rush, it was a series of things that happened during the course of the game and it all just kind of blew up with one final stroke of the pen or whatever.”
No, no. There’s got to be something more than just the simple progression of perceived injustices during the game. There’s much more to this than that. You go back to the old adage of coaching: You either coach it or you let it happen. And the Browns, one of their big problems has been a total lack of discipline on the field, and they have been allowed to get away with it. There has to be something here that caused this — and they’d better find out.
If we’re never told what it is, they better find out what it was, because I don’t think it’s… My guess is it’s not something just specific to this game. I hope that’s all it is. I hope I’m wrong about that. But I wouldn’t have a problem with a lifetime ban. They have got to make sure this is not the beginning of any kind of trend. This has to be shut down, and there can be no doubt about the intolerance. They’ve already got a problem in this game with perceptions on the part of fans about what’s going on out there on the field.
So they’ve got to get a handle on this and quickly.
RUSH: By the way, Mason Rudolph is going to be fine as well. Number 2, the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers because, and I kept asking, what is it that precipitated this? Apparently, I saw just a brief flash of a couple of seconds of this. Myles Garrett sacks Mason Rudolph and it was like the twenty-first sack of the game.
Rudolph spent the game being sacked. He was trying to rip Myles Garrett’s helmet off when they were scuffling there on the ground. I think that’s what started it. I think that’s what set Garrett off. So Mason Rudolph is at least going to get a fine. I don’t know about a suspension, but those are the rumblings coming out of the league.