Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett at Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the final seconds of the Browns' 21-7 win over the Steelers on "Thursday Night Football" in Week 11. Garrett's actions led to a suspension that will keep him out for the remainer of the 2019 season.
Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens made it clear he does not condone what the Cleveland defensive end did. Garrett will be hearing from the NFL shortly.
"So there's 52 other guys on the team that hurt, and it's going to hurt moving forward. So, we don't condone that," Kitchens said after the game. "Myles understands what he did wrong, all right? He's got to maintain his composure. Just like he had to do at the start of the year. He had to maintain his composure.
"I think people get helmet-to-helmet contacts every week. I think Myles wishes he had used better composure with 5 seconds left to go in the game."
The Pick Six Podcast fired up an emergency episode after news of the suspensions resulting from the Steelers-Browns fight came down. Check it out below and be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform:
Kitchens' comments echoed Baker Mayfield and other Browns teammates.to
Many of the NFL's top players (current and former) took to social media after Garrett's actions and expressed their opinion on the fight that sent the league into embarrassment. One recent NFL player that responded was Antonio Brown, who came to the aid of his former quarterback while reminding fans of his legal kick of Spencer Lanning during Pittsburgh's 2014 victory over the Browns.
Here are other reactions from NFL players.
Bro i can’t even believe that just happen.— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) November 15, 2019
That’s assault at the least... 6 months in jail on the street.. now add the weapon and that’s at least a year right?!— James Harrison (@jharrison9292) November 15, 2019
He’s done for the rest of the year— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) November 15, 2019
That. Is. Insanity. Wow.— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) November 15, 2019
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey defended his actions as he was ejected from the game for fighting with Garrett after his helmet swing. Pouncey will likely be facing a suspension for kicking Garrett in the head, but the punishment was not his main concern as the incident devolved and the offensive lineman has no regrets about defending his quarterback.
"At that point, it's bigger than football. It's protection," Pouncey said, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN. "He could have killed him. What if he'd hit in him the temple?"
You can find the full video of Pouncey's interview here.
Rudolph wasn't expecting any sympathy from Garrett after the game, nor was he going to give him a pass for his actions.
"Where did it cross the line? Maybe where he took my helmet off and used it as a weapon," Rudolph said. "I know it was bush league. It was a total coward move on his part. It's OK; I'll take it. I'm not gonna take it from any bully."
In the moments since the fight erupted, social media was set ablaze. Several other current and former NFL players have since weighed in.
Myles Garrett should not be allowed to play another snap this season— Kyle Juszczyk (@JuiceCheck44) November 15, 2019
I have no idea what I just saw on TNF w/ @MylesLGarrett ? How in the world can u be so unaware? How can u allow ur emotions to go unchecked & swing a helmet at another player’s head (who’s helmet u tore off to hit him with)? Im physically upset right now & I was watching on TV!— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) November 15, 2019
Kitchens was also clearly frustrated over what transpired in the final seconds.
"I never OK'd fights. Did I want them to get after their ass? Yes, I did. But that's not fighting, that's not after the whistle," Kitchens said. "That's between the whistles, yes. I never condone fighting on a football field because that's penalties. I don't coach penalties. I don't coach false starts. I don't coach, after the whistle, grabbing somebody's face mask. I don't coach that. ... I never in my life condoned a fight. That's a penalty."
The Browns and Steelers will meet again in 17 days, but the fight will be stuck and entrenched around the NFL for a long time.