BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Both head coach Hue Jackson and running back Isaiah Crowell channeled their inner Frank Drebin on Thursday.
After Jackson dropped a “you, me and 5 other people” could’ve hit the hole and ripped off a 59-yard run last Friday regarding Crowell providing the longest offensive play of the season against the Ravens that eventually led to a touchdown, cooler heads have prevailed and we can all move one and forget that Crowell was mad enough to go on a Twitter tear liking tweets from fans critical of Jackson.
“At first, I was kind of upset about it,” Crowell said Thursday. “But we talked about it and he told me what he meant by it, and I understood what he meant.”
Jackson claims he wasn’t taking a cheap shot at the running back he promised to have carry the offense this season while giving him 7 fewer carries than he had all of last year with a game to go.
“I was giving credit to the line. That was a well-blocked play,” Jackson said Thursday while clarifying what he meant.
“It wasn’t meant as a slight to him. I will say it again, a lot of people can run through those holes. That is just what it is, but that is not putting Crowell down. I think we took it and made it more than what it was. Those things happen sometimes.”
So, nothing to see here, please disperse.
“We’re on good terms,” Crowell said. “I’m not in a beef or anything. Hue is a good dude.”
Crowell was asked if Jackson still had his support following a ProFootballTalk.com report that last Friday’s remarks may have cost Jackson portions of the locker room.
“What do you mean by support? No, I mean, I support my coach. He’s the head coach,” Crowell said. “I got a lot of support and respect for him. The job that he does, it’s not easy. So I’ve got a lot of respect and support for him.”
Jackson’s decision not to bother using him enough this season may have cost Crowell, who was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2014 but he can be an unrestricted free agent in March, a massive payday. Crowell has run the ball 15 or more times in a game just 6 times this season. He carried it a season-high 19 times against Green Bay and delivered 121 yards and has averaged 4.4 per carry in 2017.
“Of course, I wanted the monster year,” Crowell said. “I wanted to just have a big year and just prove to everybody my value and what I can do to help my team. It hasn’t really been exactly how I wanted it to be the whole season. I feel like everything will work out best.”
Unlike fellow running back Duke Johnson did earlier this week, Crowell isn’t ready to say he wants to stay and finish his career with the Browns.
“I feel like me and Duke’s situations are like totally different,” Crowell said. “But I started here and Cleveland was the first place to give me an opportunity, so I would love for it to be that way. But me and Duke’s situation’s totally different.”
And the way Jackson uses him is a big reason why.
Sitting Steelers – Mike Tomlin will sit a few key players for Sunday’s finale against the Browns according to Tim Benz of TribLive.com.
Steelers tackle Marcus Gilbert told Benz that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown (injury) and LeVeon Bell are out.
“Ben’s not there so they’ll get a little taste of Landry Jones. So we don’t know what to expect from them,” Gilbert told Benz. “We’ll have Landry Jones in there. We wont have Ben or 8-4. Or LeVeon Bell.”
Thomas’ Future – Left tackle Joe Thomas continues to be asked about whether or not he will return in 2018 and he still isn’t ready to answer the question.
“I’m going to sit down with my family and kind of discuss where I am about continuing to play,” Thomas said Thursday. “I think it will come down to really, first and foremost, my health. Do I feel like I’m still playing at an elite level and do I still love it? For me, I feel like when I make that decision, which will be after the season, that is really what it is going to come down to. I’m not going to make it based on who the coach is or anything like that.”
Thomas, who is scheduled to make $11.5 million in salary and bonuses in the final year of his contract in 2018, also explained why he’s yet to make a decision.
“It is not fair to the team to sort of ponder that in season to become a distraction – ‘Are you going to retire? Are you going to come back?’ Thomas said. “I don’t think it is fair to myself because in the middle of the season you go through a range of emotions, especially when you are on IR, you are injured and then you are watching games. Sometimes you are really happy. Sometimes you are really sad. It is a roller coaster of emotions to be in season on IR watching guys play.
“I think a decision to continuing to play or not is best left in the offseason when you have time to sit down and get away from it a little bit and meet with your family and come up with the best decision for yourself.”
Injury Report – DNP: FB Danny Vitale (groin); LIMITED: RB Matthew Dayes (knee), CB Jamar Taylor (foot), CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun (knee), WR Sammie Coates (shoulder), RB Isaiah Crowell (shoulder/ribs), RB Duke Johnson (shoulder), CB Derron Smith (hip); FULL: C JC Tretter (knee), LB Josh Keyes (wrist), DT Caleb Brantley (neck).