In the aftermath of the Jaguars’ upset win at Heinz Field on Sunday, at least one Pittsburgh Steeler is not happy with his teammates’ talk about the Patriots.
Offensive lineman David DeCastro told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he was unhappy with the comments made by teammates prior to the divisional round game against Jacksonville about their intent on getting revenge in New England in a hypothetical AFC Championship Game.
As DeCastro sees it, the Steelers decision to look past their current opponent (and towards the Patriots) contributed to the disappointing loss:
They were ready to go; they were mad; they were angry; they had something to prove, and they did it. Yeah, it’s embarrassing. It really is, man. It just blows my mind. They beat us 30-9 [on Oct. 9]. We played like crap, and we want to talk about New England?
I don’t know what to say about that. It’s just stupid. It’s just not what you do. You don’t need to give a team like that more bulletin board material.
DeCastro added that he supports his team, but felt compelled to make an “obvious” assertion.
“It should be obvious to me,” DeCastro said. “I love my teammates and care a lot about them, but that’s not something I like to see.”
Various Steelers (such as Mike Mitchell and Le’Veon Bell) referenced a rematch with the Patriots even before playing the Jaguars. Pittsburgh was favored going into the game, despite having lost to Jacksonville at home during the regular season.
Word of Pittsburgh’s boasting reached the Patriots, despite the two teams not playing this week. On WBZ’s Sports Final, Patriots safety Duron Harmon told host Steve Burton, “I don’t think anybody in their right mind would do that on our team, just because throughout our team we talk about how important each game is, not looking ahead, putting everything you have into one week, having a one-week season.
“I think it was a show of when you don’t respect the opponent all the time and give them the utmost respect and all the attention they need that week, you can let one slip.”