Steelers Veterans Step Up To Keep The Peace Vs Bengals

This is a minor point in the overall discussion of the game but is the key difference in the rivalry between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers have veterans who can diffuse situations, keep a cool head, and make sure they don’t beat themselves. The Bengals do not.

Two actions sum that up, both involve protecting JuJu Smith-Schuster. Right after his hit on Vontaze Burfict, it was David DeCastro who rushed over to push him off Burfict and get inbetween JuJu and the rest of the Bengals to prevent anyone from going after the rookie.

Despite the big hit and the then-apparent injury to Burfict, there was no major scrum in the aftermath. Cooler heads prevailed and DeCastro helped in doing so (and probably tried to avoid Smith-Schuster getting flagged for taunting, to no avail).

The second was less noticed and came after the game. Pittsburgh completed their comeback and players began to pour onto the field, where emotions were still running hot and with no consequences, the potential for another scrum to occur. It’s only a brief look but camera caught Darrius Heyward-Bey seeing Smith-Schuster start to run onto the field and then pushing him back, not letting him get near any Bengals’ player.


Again, really small looking things. But in those moments, veterans have to step up and protect their teammates, especially rookies who probably don’t fully understand a rivalry like Steelers/Bengals. It’s another example of the character, culture, and leadership that exists in the Steelers’ locker room.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Crazy how mild the first game was compared to Monday night.

  • popsiclesticks

    Seems like the true fireworks are in the games in Cincy.

  • KiJana Haney

    The only games I get scared for are games in Cincy in primetime on national TV.

  • Lil Smitty

    Cincy is a classy place. I still remember Ben getting beer thrown on him as he was riding of on the cart during the playoff game two years ago. Stay classy Bengal fans.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    That’s Cincituckey for you.

  • DirtDawg1964

    And one of the captains, and “leaders”, of the Bengals (Burfict), isn’t even brought out for the pre-game handshake because he can’t contain himself enough to be civil for a simple shaking of the hands.

    Brutal.

  • PA2AK_

    I really have grown to respect the heck out of DHB. Shown nothing but professionalism since he’s been here.

  • Gloria Burke

    One of my favorite players…doesn’t need accolades to go out and be the best at the job he is given on special teams each week. Over the summer when Dave and Dave were considering the cuts, I was pretty positive that DHB would make it because he mentors the younger players really well. Every team needs someone like that.

  • Maureen A Gomes

    I have great respect for DHB. This is one of the “glue” guys that keep the team together and focused on a cause that is greater than themselves. Just my perspective: On special teams, it always appears to me that DHB is constantly aware, involved and respected by the refs. He’s the guy who goes over to the refs and discusses a situation, whether it’s their spotting of the ball, penalties, etc. He seems to have a good rapport built up with them which only helps our team. I’ll never forget his swatting the ball out of the Browns’ DB’s hand before he crossed the goal line last year in the last regular season game. He was so far back and ran the length of the field, crossing it to get the guy at the last second. Heads up play!