By Teresa Varley
There won't be a division title or playoff implications on the line for either team when the Steelers and Browns meet on Sunday at Heinz Field. But that doesn't matter. There will be something just as valuable at stake – pride.
"You play to win every time you suit up," said cornerback Deshea Townsend. "That is why we are here. That is why you train in the offseason. That is what we are prepared to do."
Head coach Mike Tomlin was asked after the loss to the Titans if he would rest many of the starters, giving them an extra break heading into the post-season.
Tomlin was emphatic with his answer.
"We've got the Cleveland Browns," said Tomlin. "Divisional opponent."
Many of the players agreed. With a bye the following week, they don't want to sit idle too long and after all, it is Cleveland.
"Personally, I want to play," said wide receiver Hines Ward. "I don't want to get two or three weeks off before you actually hit again. I think we need to go in and end on a good note as far as executing our game plan."
Linebacker James Harrison recorded his 16th sack of the season against the Titans when he got to quarterback Kerry Collins in the second half.
The sack set a new Steelers season record, bypassing the one set by Mike Merriweather in 1984 with 15 sacks.
But Harrison wasn't celebrating the accomplishment after the game.
"A win would have been better," said Harrison.
Harrison was also disappointed with the overall performance of the defense as they allowed over 300 yards for the first time this season.
"It is real disappointing," said Harrison. "That is not the way we play defense. That is not the way we are used to playing defense. They did a good job. They came out and imposed their will. I guess their will is stronger than ours."