David DiCastro

Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports

Steelers player rips teammates for pregame obsession with Patriots: 'It's just stupid'

John Tomase
January 14, 2018 - 10:48 pm

The Pittsburgh Steelers were so obsessed with meeting the Patriots in the AFC title game, they overlooked the Jacksonville Jaguars. And Steelers guard David DeCastro couldn't be more upset about it.

Speaking to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette after Jacksonville's shocking 45-42 victory on Sunday, DeCastro blasted his teammates for believing a rematch with the Patriots was preordained -- especially since it clearly fired up the Jaguars, who had already smoked the Steelers in October.

"They were ready to go, they were mad, they were angry, they had something to prove and they did it,'' DeCastro told the paper. "Yeah, it's embarrassing. It really is, man. It just blows my mind. They beat us 30-9, we played like crap and we want to talk about New England! I don't know what to say about that. It's just stupid. It's just not what you do. You don't need to give a team like that more bulletin board material."

Jaguars players were particularly incensed with Steelers safety Mike Mitchell, who spent the week talking openly about beating the Patriots next weekend. The Jags screamed for him as they left a stunned Heinz Field on Sunday. Mitchell wasn't alone. Running back Le'Veon Bell tweeted about taking care of two rematches, and head coach Mike Tomlin has been talking about playing the Pats since November.

"I'm never a guy to say anything about the other team but respect them and congratulate them, which is what you should do,'' DeCastro told the Post-Gazette. "They're a talented team and they proved that today. It should be obvious to me. I love my teammates and care a lot about them, but that's not something I like to see."