When the Cleveland Browns signed Sheldon Richardson in the offseason, they didn’t just bring in a quality defensive tackle, they also added a big mouth. Even though he’s brand spanking new to the Pittsburgh Steelers rivalry, he’s sure had a lot to say about it over the course of the past few weeks.
“We beat the stuffing out of them last game”, he told reporters this past week building up to the Steelers’ rematch against the Browns tomorrow afternoon. But “it’s a new week up”, he added, “and I’m pretty sure they’re going to come in revved up and ready to play and beat us the way we beat them. So we’ve got to make sure we don’t allow that”.
The Browns did beat the Steelers, for the first time in years, by a score of 21-7 on Thursday night a couple of weeks back. It ended a four-game winning streak for Pittsburgh, and was smack dab in the middle of a current three-game winning streak Cleveland is currently on.
That has them set up at 5-6, while the Steelers are 6-5, and the former has the game in hand. The Browns can leapfrog Pittsburgh with a big win in the Steel City. Or they could have their hosts slam the door in their faces.
“It’s playoff time for us”, Richardson said of his team, which was just 2-6 not so long ago. “It’s just that simple. There ain’t no more cushion. It’s just one week at a time, but it’s definitely an urgency, a gut check for us to go out there and get these [wins]. Anything else is, we’re done. That’s how we look at it”.
There was a lot of ‘anything else’ the last time, around, of course, which is the reason that two of the players involved in the anything aren’t even allowed in the building tomorrow, those being Myles Garrett and Maurkice Pouncey. Larry Ogunjobi was also suspended, but he is already back. Mason Rudolph also will not be playing, but that is due to performance.
Richardson is in his first season in Cleveland, but he’s ready to help the franchise rewrite some history. It was pointed out to him that the Browns have not beaten the Steelers in Pittsburgh since 2003. “Kudos to them for what they’ve been doing”, he said, but “it’s time for a new captain”.
The Browns should start by finishing a season with a winning record, or even a non-losing record. The last time that they have had a non-losing record three quarters of the way through the season was in 2014, when they were 7-5, but they went on to lose their last four games and finished 7-9.