Jason Miller/Getty Images Mason Rudolph #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Before the start of the 2020 season, Cleveland Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett indicated he wanted to have a face-to-face with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph. Yet Garrett never reached out to—or sought out—Pittsburgh’s backup QB, not even in October, when the two teams met at Heinz Field.
Nevertheless, on Friday, Rudolph said he would be “happy to hear Myles out if he wants to approach me,” referring, of course, to what happened in Cleveland last year, when Garrett clubbed Rudolph over the head with his own helmet—and went on to accuse the Steelers QB of calling him the n-word during the altercation. (It’s an accusation which Rudolph has always vehemently denied, and for which the NFL has found no evidence.)
As it happens, after the Browns defeated the Steelers 24-22 on Sunday, the two encountered each other on the field at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Mason Rudolph: ‘Onward and Upward’?
At his postgame press conference, Rudolph revealed what was said during their chat.
“Myles came over and said ‘good game’ in the postgame. That’s all it was. I told him ‘good luck’ and [that] I have a lot of respect for him.”
Rudolph also posted a photo of himself with Garrett on Twitter with the message “onward and upward,” perhaps hoping that he can put what happened last year behind him.
Onward And Upward. pic.twitter.com/a4RE6qVbqT
— Mason Rudolph (@Rudolph2Mason) January 3, 2021
Myles Garrett’s Message to Mason Rudolph
That pretty much fits with what Myles Garrett told Cleveland media after the contest.
“I just told him ‘good game.’ I told him he played a hell of a game and we’ll see y’ll next week,” said Garrett.
“He played great himself. He had 300 yards and a couple of touchdowns. He played very well and he kept them in it till the very end, so I just wanted to show some praise that he did so well in this game and was able to make some big plays for them.”
Myles Garrett, on his exchange with Mason Rudolph near the Steelers tunnel: “I just told him good game. Hell of a game. And we’ll see ya’ll next week.” #Browns #Steelers pic.twitter.com/qcRz3ZZsyR
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) January 3, 2021
Indeed, Rudolph did play well for most the game against the Browns, passing for 315 yards and completing several long passes along the way, including a 28-yard TD throw to rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool. But he also threw a costly interception that allowed Cleveland to extend its lead to 24-9 at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
For his part, Garrett had a relatively quiet game, held to four tackles and no sacks, which won’t do him any favors in terms of winning NFL Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY), an award that Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt appears likely to take home. Certainly, Watt has a few highly visible promotional wingmen in his corner, as compared to Garrett, who has detractors who believe he shouldn’t even be eligible for awards like DPOY and NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
Yet Garrett and his Browns teammates did enough to win the game and earn the franchise a trip to the postseason for the first time since 2002. As such, the Browns will travel to Pittsburgh next weekend to take on the Steelers at 8:15 p.m. ET.
• Steelers 2021 Opponents Home and Away
• Steelers’ Kevin Colbert Announces Decision on His Future: Report