Bill Belichick: ‘Nobody wants to see’ ugliness from Steelers-Bengals game
Bill Belichick became the latest person to weigh in on the controversy stemming from Monday night’s Pittsburgh Steelers-Cincinnati Bengals showdown, saying “nobody wants to see” that kind of ugliness in an NFL game.
It warrants mentioning that Belichick has made it clear he was not impressed with Rob Gronkowski’s antics during Sunday’s win over the Buffalo Bills, conduct that resulted in a one-game suspension.
The New England Patriots head coach was asked whether the players ought to better reflect upon their own safety and that of their opponents by avoiding the dirty kind of play that marred Monday night’s game.
“I think that’s being done,” Belichick said Wednesday, via the Chicago Tribune. “I think the league’s been very pro-active on that. I think the players have respect for each other and have a lot of respect for the game. It’s not perfect but I think players do and coaches do as well. We all do.
“Nobody wants to…some of the things that happened in the game nobody wants to see and hopefully it won’t happen again.”
According to NFL.com, NFL Research has determined the seven “extracurricular penalties” — unsportsmanlike conduct, taunting, unnecessary roughness and the like — were the most called in an NFL game this season.
The Steelers-Bengals game, obviously plagued with such calls, saw a combined 20 penalties totaling 239 yards. Two players, Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier and Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, were carted off the field; the former due to a frightening back injury and the latter after a crack-back block by Steelers wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster, who was suspended one game for his antics.
Bengals safety George Iloka also was suspended by the league for a helmet-to-helmet shot on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, although his suspension was reduced to a fine upon appeal.
Several players involved with the game, including Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, chalked up all the ugliness as a consequence of the bitter rivalry between the teams.
And yet, Belichick is probably correct for the most part when saying nobody wants to see rivalries spiral out of control into violent, gladiator-like mayhem like it did on Monday night.