The fallout from the Steelers v. Bengals game last weekend has been vast.
Suspensions, fines, and further discipline notwithstanding, the game itself was a low-scoring, ugly, inefficient affair reminiscent of the sort of games the NFL is trying to incrementally eliminate. It consisted mostly of tight defense, stalled drives, turnovers, jarring collisions, and many, many flags. It was unruly, with multiple infractions and posturing on both sides. There were injuries, some of which were suffered under questionable circumstances. The limitations of coaching for both teams was clearly illustrated. And obviously, it wasn’t decided until the final seconds.
I thoroughly enjoyed it. If this sort of game becomes part of the NFL’s past, I just might as well.
Around the AFC North…
Backup quarterback Matt Schaub isn’t planning to retire.
My Take: The Ravens’ front office would be remiss to not look for ways to move Schaub quietly away from the team at this point. Backups Ryan Mallett and Jimmy Clausen both outplayed Schaub when given the opportunity, so the odds of him returning, at least to Baltimore, are probably slim.
Bengals offensive coordinator and Browns head coaching candidate Hue Jackson departed Cleveland without receiving an offer.
My Take: Jackson is smart, familiar with the AFC North, affable, and has a long track record of success with different quarterbacks. The Browns must have other candidates in mind, because Jackson, after a successful year in Cincinnati won’t be on the market for too much longer. If they’re serious about securing his services, they need to act quickly.
Update: Recent tweets indicate Jackson is primed to become the next Browns coach.
Further fallout from Saturday: Cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones has stated that he will apologize to Steelers’ wideout Antonio Brown for insinuating that he faked his injury if he doesn’t play this weekend in Denver. Browns is currently in the NFL’s concussion protocol.
My Take: Pacman? Just shut up. We understand that you were among several participants in the Bengals’ meltdown Saturday, but to continually make these assertions makes me question your intelligence…more so. Let this go; you’re simply embarrassing yourself (more) and your team, which has much more to worry about than your petty assertions.
And still more fallout…or not: Head coach Mike Tomlin is “respectfully declining” to address any questions or issues stemming from last Saturday.
My Take: Good for Tomlin, who understands that dwelling on previous games accomplishes nothing while in the midst of a playoff run. The Steelers have enough challenges facing them in Denver, including the status of their starting quarterback and star wideout.