Two days later, the Steelers are still talking. Sort of.
Remember that play from Sunday when Ben Roethlisberger got in the face of Brandon Graham and then ripped his clothes off and had forced illicit sex with him? Well, it turns out that was just one of many instances in which the Steelers took exception to the Eagles’ “cheap shots.”
Here’s what offensive lineman Willie Colon told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that bastion of Yinzer journalistic excellence that has always so dutifully chronicled its peoples and their steel-making efforts:
It's hard to say what was more encouraging — the line's ability to open holes for Mendenhall or its ability to keep Roethlisberger clean. Mendenhall, playing for the first time this season, ran for 81 of the Steelers' 136 rushing yards and averaged 5.8 yards per carry. Roethlisberger wasn't sacked and was hurried just three times by a defense that's known for its ferocious pursuit of quarterbacks. Star defensive ends Trent Cole and Jason Babin were shut out. Defensive end Brandon Graham was credited with one of the hurries and ended up with an angry Roethlisberger in his face.
"Yeah, Ben was mad. He thought they were going after his head," Colon said. "They were cheap-shot artists all day. They were hitting us in the back. I know I lost my cool once or twice. It is what it is. You have to play through it."
As Bleeding Green Nation’s Eliott Shorr-Parks points out, Graham boasted about said play on his Instagram* yesterday:
Shorr-Parks also noted that perhaps the Eagles' aggressiveness – real or perceived – is a good thing: [Bleeding Green Nation]
Last year the Eagles defense was considered soft by most fans. Games like the one against the Seattle Seahawks showed that at times they looked to avoid contact instead of initiate it. This year that certainly has been different- they are doing a better job tackling and seem to be more aggressive towards the ball carrier.
Many consider the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers two of the toughest teams in the league- so to have them call you dirty might just be a feather on the cap for an Eagles team that could be trying to change the perception from last year.
Maybe Nnamdi can start changing that perception, too, by, you know, not allowing six catches when he's targeted only seven times.
*I’m a tech nerd, but I still don’t totally get the success of Instagram. Yeah, it makes pictures look cool. But why has it turned into its own mini social network, even though its website is impossible to figure out? Like, can I look at others' pictures, link to my own set, or do I simply get a unique URL for a lightly-hazed image of my friends barbecuing on a warm summer’s day? Why would I need followers on Instagram if I already have 15k on Twitter? All of the images are linked from there anyway. Open to explanations here.