The Steelers were angry on Sunday about a hit that Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict put on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. According to Ben Roethlisberger, Burfict also threatened another hit.
On the very next play after the hit on Brown that the Steelers decried as dirty, Roethlisberger says Burfict said he was going to do the same thing to Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
“He hits A.B., then, literally, as I am under center for the next play, he points at JuJu and says, ‘You’re next,’ ” Roethlisberger said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “How do you allow that stuff?”
Although no audio of Burfict’s words has emerged, video of the moment in question supports Roethlisberger’s account: Burfict twice gestured in Smith-Schuster’s direction as the Steelers were lining up for the next play.
Smith-Schuster and Burfict have a history together, as Smith-Schuster was suspended for a game last year for an illegal hit on Burfict.
For his part, Roethlisberger said he tried to exchange pleasantries with Burfict on the field, but Burfict wasn’t having it.
“After I did the quarterback sneak that they called back, he got in my face. I said, ‘Hey, listen, it’s good to have you back out here [after Burfict’s four-game suspension to start the season].’ He got all feisty and wanted to fight,” Roethlisberger said. “I told him that my wife was praying for him. He didn’t like that, either. He doesn’t like anything.”
He certainly doesn’t like the Steelers. And the Steelers certainly don’t like him.