This article was in our local paper today here in NE Ohio and I thought it was pretty good....
The Steelers are rough, and when they play, the Browns tumble
Jeff Schudel, JSchudel@News-Herald.com
As the Browns know well, the Steelers' physical intimidating style lives on with Coach Mike Tomlin
Ever see those bumper stickers on the back of rusted pick-up trucks boasting the message "My son can beat up your honor student?" Those bumper stickers could refer to the Pittsburgh Steelers when they were little boys.
Back when Chuck Noll coached the Steelers and on through the days of Bill Cowher, the Steelers have always been a physical team. They have five Super Bowl rings to prove it.
First-year coach Mike Tomlin is carrying the tradition to another level, and his players are responding. He impressed the Steelers brass in his job interview when he told it schemes are important, but the most important part of winning football is being more "violent" and physical than the other team.
Tomlin reaffirmed that philosophy Wednesday in a conference call with reporters covering the Browns. The Browns play the Steelers at 1 p.m. Sunday in Heinz Field. The Browns have won three straight games, their longest winning streak since 2001. But they haven't beaten the Steelers since 2003, and they have beaten them only once in the last 15 games.
"It has to be (our philosophy)," Tomlin said. "The most violent and physical teams usually win football games. We don't anticipate intimidating anyone. We expect these guys to understand that's part of the game. It doesn't lessen the fact we need to play that way."
Some players in the Browns locker room were insulted when asked about the perception they are intimidated by the Steelers. Center Hank Fraley cut an interview off, muttering, "We're done here" as he walked away.
The Browns and Steelers are playing for first place in the AFC North. If ever the Browns are going to show they don't get scared, now is the time.
The rivals met at Cleveland Browns Stadium in the season opener. The Steelers not only won, 34-7. They won by sacking Charlie Frye five times in a quarter and a half and forcing five turnovers. Frye and Derek Anderson each threw an interception. Anderson, Braylon Edwards and Jamal Lewis each lost a fumble.
Not that it should make them feel any better, but the Browns are not the only team the Steelers knock around routinely. They have allowed just one 100-yard rusher in the last 58 games. Over the past 13 years, they are plus-44 in the important category of takeaway-giveaway. Only the Carolina Panthers with 411 have more takeaways than the Steelers' 396 since 1995.
"The battle in the trenches is always violent," Browns defensive end Shaun Smith said. "They're going to try to knock us off the ball. We're going to try to knock them back off the ball. Whoever wins up front will win the game.
"They try to bully people. We just have to out-tough them. We can't be intimidated. That's what they try to do. They try to intimidate teams and teams tend to fold. We have to fight for 60 minutes."
Smith said the same thing can be said about the Ravens. No one, though, would say the Browns have a bully mentality, especially on defense. Statistics reflect the difference. The Steelers rank first in total defense. The Browns are last. The Steelers have allowed 98 points - the fewest in the league. The Browns have allowed 233. Only the Bengals (244) have allowed more.
"We can be violent when we set out minds to it," Browns linebacker Kamerion Wimbley said. "The Steelers are physical on both sides of the ball. You practice being physical and violent. It's the makeup of their team and the type of players they bring in.
"We're focusing on doing the basic things right now. You want to be physical. That's something we work on, of course."
Ryan Tucker, the right tackle, has been with the Browns since 2002. He knows better than anyone in the locker room how the Steelers like to pound opponents.
"They have physical guys over there," Tucker said. "A lot of teams don't have the type of guys they have. If you ask me, we're physical on offense.
"The bottom line, all we want to do is score more points than the other team. I don't care how we do it. We just want to win."