There might not be a lot on the line as far as the postseason goes when the Steelers and Browns meet Sunday at Heinz Field, but there still is plenty of respect both teams have for each other.
And that begins with the head coaches. Browns Coach Hue Jackson sang the praises of Coach Mike Tomlin, who was recently criticized by Terry Bradshaw.
“He is a great coach,” said Jackson. “I have nothing but the utmost respect for Mike. He is one of the best, if not the best coach, in the National Football League. He is one of the best at what he does. Everybody has their opinion of how they see people. But I know what we in football really think of Mike Tomlin.”
Jackson also is a fan of William Gay, who he worked with while both were with the Bengals, and like many others agrees that he is defying Father Time.
“He is not 38. There is no way,” said Jackson. “He is playing his tail off. I have a lot of respect for James. Love the guy. He is a tremendous competitor, a tremendous worker. He epitomizes what they do there in Pittsburgh. He is bluecollar. He is self-made. Every good thing you can say about a football player, James Harrison has.”
More from the Browns
Jackson on Antonio Brown:
“You can’t stop Antonio Brown. You try to, a lot of people have attempted to. He is one of the best players in the league. What he does is second to none. Antonio is not the biggest guy in the world, but he plays with the biggest heart in the world.”
Joe Thomas on Harrison:
“He is easily one of the best. He has had a tremendous, phenomenal career. It’s amazing at 38-years old he is playing as well as he ever has. I’ve got to tip my hat to him and give him a lot of respect because he has played at such an unbelievably high level for a long time.
“He has a unique skill set. He is extraordinarily strong, he is quick. He uses his height to his advantage getting leverage under tackles. He plays tough. He is a tough guy, he is smart and he plays really hard.”
Jackson on Mike Mitchell:
“He is a pro. He is one of the better safeties in the league. He is having a tremendous season. He has had an unbelievable career. He is a really good person. I have always enjoyed being around Mike and enjoyed coaching him. He is a fierce competitor and that’s what you love about him.”
Jackson on Le’Veon Bell:
“He is one of the best in the league. Bar none. He can run it. He can catch. He is a good pass protector. He has done everything as well as anybody in the National Football League today.”