The last time the Steelers and Bengals saw each other, it stopped pretending to be a playoff game and turned into a street fight.
But with the teams prepared to face off this week with much lower stakes, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he expects his team to keep its emotions in check.
“I thought largely our guys handled themselves appropriately and didn’t get consumed by the emotions that comprised the recent elements of the matchup, and I don’t anticipate anything changing this time around,” Tomlin said, via Andrew Erickson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We realize to win the game, you can’t beat yourself, so that’s something that’s a part of our everyday culture in terms of how we approach our business.”
While the Bengals lost their cool and the game, the Steelers certainly weren’t angels, with assistant coach Joey Porter’s foray onto the field to check on Antonio Brown/jaw with opposing players triggered not just penalties but a new rule.
Now, assistant coaches are barred from the field, which means Porter will have to “handle himself appropriately” from the sidelines.
Whether things calm down Sunday at Heinz Field remains to be seen, but the two teams have a lot to play for this season, and it would help if it actually remained football.