Even though Pittsburgh Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert is good friends with Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap after having played with him in college at Florida, it doesn’t mean that the two are immuned to getting caught up in the growing rivalry between their respective teams.
Following the Steelers win over the Bengals on the road in Week 14 — in a game that included several skirmishes and personal foul penalties — Gilbert made his Christmas wish known on Twitter in a tweet that he has since deleted.
“All I want for Christmas is the Bengals,” Gilbert tweeted. “Would love to see them in the playoffs where they choke. The talking is done between the lines.”
Now that Gilbert’s wish has been granted, Dunlap has been reminded of what his former college teammate posted on his social media account several weeks ago.
“To each his own,” Dunlap said, according to Coley Harvey of ESPN.com. The Bengals defensive end later added this little addendum as well.
“He’s been vocal,” Dunlap said. “But it is what it is if that’s what he wants to do. He wanted us for Christmas, he got it. Now we’ve got to see what he’s going to do.”
Gilbert had a fantastic 2015 regular season and that included him facing Dunlap on two separate occasions. In the second meeting between the two teams, Dunlap beat Gilbert for a sack in the third quarter and that was the only full one the Steelers tackle has allowed this season. Dunlap finished the 2015 regular season with a team-high 13.5 sacks, which is a new career high for him.
The Saturday matchup between these two players will certainly be one of the best ones to watch and especially since the two have now engaged in a little banter prior to kickoff. Gilbert indeed got his wish and hopefully he’ll back it up Saturday in Cincinnati.