Quarterback Mason Rudolph addressed the media prior to the Steelers walkthrough on Wednesday morning, first providing an opening statement about what occurred on Thursday night in the final seconds against the Browns, and then taking several questions.
The following is what Rudolph had to say in his open:
“Before we get started, I had a couple of thoughts I wanted to share. Thursday night, to say the least, it was an unfortunate situation for everyone involved. I consider it a privilege, not a right, to be part of the NFL, to be part of a first-class organization representing the Rooney family and the Pittsburgh Steelers. I fell short of that expectation last Thursday night in how I played. I did not do a good enough job to help our team win the game.
“Looking back on the final play of the game, the second to the last play of the game, I fell short of the mark there too. I should have done a better job keeping my cool in that situation. In retrospect, I put Maurkice Pouncey, probably one of the best teammates I have ever had, in a tough spot, as well as my [other] teammates.
“The way I saw it, on the final play of the game, with the game in hand the way it was. We had already lost two of our players to targeting penalties from the game. As I released the ball, I took a late shot, did not agree with the way he then took me to the ground. My natural reaction was to just get him off from on top of me.
“Again, I should have done a better job handling that situation. I have no ill-will towards Myles Garrett, great respect for his ability as a player. I know if Myles could go back, he would handle the situation differently.
“As for my involvement last week, there is no acceptable excuse. The bottom line is I should have done a better job keeping my composure in that situation. I fell short of what I believe it means to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and a member of the NFL. I understand there are going to be a few questions, but I think it’s in the best interest of our team, my teammates, our coaches to kind of move forward from this and move things on to the Cincinnati Bengals and keep looking to try to stack some wins here. We’ll open it up for a few and then I have to head to walkthrough.”
Rudolph, who said he has not spoken to Garrett, did take questions as well:
On if some of the shots to the head earlier in the game contributed to how he was feeling;
“It was isolated. Those things happen. I am looking forward to getting those guys back as soon as possible whenever we can. They are a big part of our offense. But no, totally isolated.”
On if he felt he said or did anything to escalate it:
“I definitely didn’t say anything that escalated it. But like I said, I have to do a better job of keeping my composure in those situations and I think it was an unfortunate situation for both teams involved.”
On it looking like he was tugging on Garrett’s helmet:
“I thought the way he took me down late—it was basically the last play of the game. I was just trying to get him off from on top of me and I think I addressed that already in my statement.
On if he expects to be fined by the NFL:
“Whatever the league hands out, I am going to comply with that. I have not received anything yet.”
On what his conversation with Pouncey has been since then:
“One of the best teammates I have ever had. A guy you want on your team. He has your back. He’s got everybody’s back on this team. I put him in a bad spot and we are looking to get him back as soon as possible, whenever that is.”
On if he has seen the video and realizes how close it was to going really bad:
“I was probably fortunate the way it went down. I think [it was] an unfortunate situation and we are moving on to the Cincinnati Bengals at this point.”
On if he thinks the Cleveland Browns were trying to bully you guys with some of their plays:
“No, I don’t think that. That was just football and that is the way it played out.”
On if he has a contusion on his head:
“No, I am good to go.”