The Steelers will face the Browns on Sunday for the first time since losing to them in the first round of last season’s playoffs and it would seem natural to use that loss as a motivational tool in the coming days.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that the team won’t be going that route, however. Tomlin said he’s sure that the game will come up this week, but that it will not be a “rallying cry” for a team that has “a lot riding on this game” beyond trying for payback.
Tomlin also noted that the team has many players with no connection to the loss because they weren’t on the team at the time.
“You have to acknowledge in the game of football that things change year in and year out,” Tomlin said, via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “What seemingly is low-hanging fruit is oftentimes irrelevant to some of the people in the room, so we don’t spend a lot of time talking about old stories or old news.”
Tomlin called a divisional game a great way to come off of a bye week and the value of winning such a game is clear regardless of what happened the last time the two teams squared off.