The great thing about winning is that you get to talk trash after you do it—at least for some people. It gives you bragging rights. How much can you say about a team that just beat you, for example? The Cleveland Browns have been the little brother to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a long time, but they punched up this year, at least after the first loss, and scored the most important victory, in the postseason, their first as an organization since 1994.
While there is no actual Pro Bowl this year, there are media obligations to take care of, as always, and edge rusher Myles Garrett was on-hand to participate in those events. Needless to say, he was asked about Cleveland’s first postseason victory in decades, and how it came at the hands of the Steelers.
“It was fun. It’s always good to hurt some feelings of some of those Steelers receivers”, he said. “So we had to get after it. We got a little battle with the Chiefs. All in all, it was a good season. It was fun. But we’re trying to come back and make something special happen next year”.
Of course, he was referencing a comment made by Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who prior to the team’s postseason game was asked if he felt that the Browns team of the 2020 season, which went 11-5, was a different, more successful team than those he had faced in previous years.
In attempting to invoke head coach Mike Tomlin’s ‘nameless, gray faces’ line by declining to treat opponents with special attention beyond the fact that they are their opponents, he concluded his answer by saying that “the Browns is the Browns”, a line that Browns players adapted into a sort of rallying cry.
After Cleveland defeated Pittsburgh in the postseason, you heard that line invoked numerous times, including by Garrett and others, in their post-game celebrations. A number of players also mocked Smith-Schuster with dances that he was known to perform on social media. Some, like Jarvis Landry, had some choice derogatory words for him.
Smith-Schuster isn’t the only Steelers receiver he’s referencing. There was also rookie Chase Claypool, who accused the Browns of being classless following the defeat—though he technically wasn’t wrong about that—and said that they were going to get “clapped” by the Kansas City Chiefs in the following round (which they were).
Smith-Schuster might not be back in the AFC North next year (though perhaps he’ll even be in Cleveland, or Baltimore, for all we know), but Claypool certainly will. Garrett has a history of antagonizing the Steelers, and I’m not even referring to swinging helmets. One of the first remarks he made after being drafted was talking about sacking Ben Roethlisberger.