Steelers News: Bryant, Burfict, Déjà vu

Nov 8, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant (10) runs to score a fourteen yard touchdown pass against the Oakland Raiders during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 38-35. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 8, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant (10) runs to score a fourteen yard touchdown pass against the Oakland Raiders during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 38-35. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Steelers face off against the Bengals in some AFC North road action for the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

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While the Steelers wrap up practice for the week and head to Cincy we’ll be busy looking for mentions of your Black & Gold so we’ve got you covered. Here’s your Steelers Morning Huddle for Friday, Jan. 8th.

He needed it

More from Steelers News

A lot was made out of Steelers quarterback

Ben Roethlisberger

saying that receiver

Martavis Bryant

had to “toughen up” for the playoffs.

Mike Prisuta spoke to Bryant

and he’s glad that his quarterback took the time to challenge him both privately and publicly.

"“I’m not disappointed. I just have to focus back to what I used to do. I’m going to regenerate, I’m going to get back and I’m going to be ready on Saturday. I’ve been a little sick and stuff but I don’t make excuses, I’m a grown man. What he said was good for me. I needed that, I’m glad he did it.” – Martavis Bryant"

We don’t like you either, Burflect

The vast majority of Steelers and Bengals players and coaches have taken the high road as far as rehashing a war of words between the two teams prior to Saturday’s Wild Card game. After the Steelers 33-20 win over the Bengals on Dec. 13th, the league dished out almost $150K in fines for hits and fights.

This week so far each team says that the issues are behind them and they’re both focused on the task at hand. Ralph N. Paulk of the Trib explains it’s not that simple for everybody when after Wednesday’s practice Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who was fined almost $70,000 for his low hit on Roethlisberger in that game, broke his silence about the matchup.

"“I hate Pittsburgh. It’s not personal. That’s just the way it is.” – Vontaze Burfict"

Right back at you buddy. Right back at you.

Doesn’t this all feel familiar?

Haven’t we been down this road before? Yes, yes indeed we have. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler points out the similarities between the 2015 Steelers and the 2005 Steelers than went on to win Super Bowl XL. The 2005 Steelers played the Wild Card game in Cincy just like the 2015 Steelers will, and against a backup Bengals quarterback.

Next: Everyone hates Vontaze Burfict

Who could forget that then-Cincy quarterback Carson Palmer was knocked out of the game on a legal hit by Kimo von Oelhoffen? This time Bengals starter Andy Dalton knocked himself out a few weeks ago and A.J. McCarron is ready to start in his place.

Other than also being the 6th seed in the playoffs the 2005 Steelers saw Ben Roethlisberger miss 4 games with a knee injury and went 2-2 in that span. Guess how many games Ben missed this year and what the Steelers’ record was for that time? You’re right, 4 games and 2-2. Eerie.