Browns use the 'h' word about Steelers

The Cleveland Browns were doing some chattering today in the locker room.

The subject: The Pittsburgh Steelers.

The feelings: Not exactly great.

Ahtyba Rubin said a lot of people in the locker room hate Pittsburgh, and Willis McGahee said he expects the game will be nasty.

“Hate is a strong word,” defensive tackle Phil Taylor said. “But I really do dislike them.”

Rubin went further.

“They’re playing dirty," Rubin said. “We’re playing dirty. It’s just that type of game.”

The Steelers and Browns have a long history of nastiness. Several years ago, punter Chris Gardocki took on the Steelers bench after what he thought was a cheap shot after a punt from Joey Porter. James Harrison changed the NFL’s rules for concussion protocols for his late and cheap hit on Colt McCoy.

Even in a meaningless 24-10 Pittsburgh win to end the 2012 season, there were hijinks.

First Pittsburgh’s Steve Legursky gave Browns linebacker Craig Robertson a late hit to the knees.

Later in the game, Browns defensive tackle

Phil Taylor

shoved Steelers tackle Kelvin Beachum from behind well behind the play; Beachum’s head hit the frozen ground and he left with a concussion.

“I was just playing through the whistle,” Taylor said.

Pittsburgh disagreed in the strongest terms, and the league fined Taylor for the hit.

In some ways the Browns words sound a little hollow. The Steelers have dominated the Browns since 1999, and the Browns have yet to prove consistently they are at Pittsburgh’s level.

Talk means little when a team is flailing.

But the Browns and Steelers usually produce some gnarly football.

With something at stake, Sunday should be no different.