Browns DT on Mason Rudolph’s role in brawl: You ‘can’t antagonize a fight and then claim bullying’

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor

While many involved simply want to move past Thursday’s brawl in the Cleveland Browns-Pittsburgh-Steelers game, one Browns player didn’t hold back on Monday when discussing quarterback Mason Rudolph’s role in the incident.

Browns defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson thinks that Rudolph — who was hit in the head by his own helmet after Myles Garrett ripped it off his head and swung it at him — deserves to be punished too.

“[Rudolph] can’t antagonize a fight and then claim bullying,” Richardson said, via the Associated Press. “You get what’s coming to you. [Garrett] was protecting himself. I don’t blame him. Guy keeps rushing me, even with the helmet off, he’s asking for it. Just leave it at that.”

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Garrett was suspended indefinitely through the league, though there is a hearing for his appeal scheduled for Wednesday. Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey and Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi also received minor suspensions for their roles in the incident. Rudolph has not been punished.

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In the wake of the brawl, many have felt that Rudolph deserves much more blame than he’s getting. Rudolph could be seen grabbing and pulling at the back of Garrett’s helmet at the beginning of the fight, after Garrett initially took him down in the backfield. He went after Garrett once his helmet was ripped off, too.

Rudolph slammed Garrett after the game, calling him “cowardly” and the helmet swing “bush league.”

Many analysts on the NFL Network were critical of Rudolph after the game, including former Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest.

“Don’t make it seem like another guy was a coward and it was bush league, you were in the fight. Whether it was wrong or right, you were in the fight,” McGinest said, in part. “You started the fight by trying to pull off this man’s helmet. Now, he finished it, and it wasn’t the right way, but you still charged into the pile.”

Browns coach Freddie Kitchens, who solidified his support for Garrett on Monday, was asked if Rudolph provoked him in the attack.

Kitchens wanted nothing to do with it, only saying “there is no excuse” for Garrett’s attack.

“Everybody here saw the tape,” Kitchens said. “I am just here to support. I will support Myles. Our team will support Myles. I am not going to get into that. You saw the tape.”

Sheldon Richardson thinks Mason Rudolph deserves blame for his role in the Browns-Steelers brawl on Thursday night. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Sheldon Richardson thinks Mason Rudolph deserves blame for his role in the Browns-Steelers brawl on Thursday night. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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