Mike Tomlin amused many at his news conference while talking about Cleveland's Joshua Cribbs Monday.
"We cannot let Josh Cribbs do what he's done to us time and time again in the past. We've been dead Indians in his cowboy movie enough," Tomlin said in a not-quite-PC comment because the coach apparently wasn't talking about the Cleveland Indians.
No, Tomlin meant the Steelers because they have been victims of Cribbs through the years, mostly as a return man. The problem for the Cleveland Browns is that has not been enough. The Steelers have beaten the Browns 14 of the past 15 times they've played, 20 of the past 22.
Thursday, they play again and there is no evidence the Browns can become the cowboys at Heinz Field, no matter how hard Mike Tomlin tried to come to their defense. The Browns are 4-8 (1-4 on the road) after their 24-10 whipping Sunday in Baltimore in which the Ravens ran over them the way the Indians ran over Custer, rushing for 290 yards, 204 by Ray Rice.
To suggest this is a team that might come to Heinz Field on a short week and pull the kind of upset they did in 2009 in Cleveland is to say the Steelers coach will do anything to keep his team's eye on the prize.
Thus, the question: Might the Steelers take the Browns lightly or even look past them to their weekend off considering they've triumphed 14 times in the past 15 against them?
"If we would have played them 14 or 15 times this year, then yes," Tomlin said. "But the team we are assembling and the team they are assembling are different than some of the teams that have taken part in that history.
"We tend to live in the now. We are looking at what they are capable of this year compared to what we've done and what we're capable of this year. We are probably not going to have a level of comfort when looking at it from that perspective."