Malik Jackson says Jaguars smacked 'disrespectful' Steelers in the mouth

Were Steelers focused on Pats instead of Jags? (0:52)

The NFL Primetime crew debates if some Steelers players were focusing too much on a potential rematch with the Patriots instead of the game at hand, the Jaguars. (0:52)

PITTSBURGH -- The Jacksonville Jaguars are headed to the AFC Championship game, but nobody wanted to talk about that after they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 45-42 on Sunday at Heinz Field.

Jaguars players instead wanted everyone to know that they were upset about the way the Steelers supposedly looked past them in anticipation of a rematch with the New England Patriots. Pittsburgh running back Le'Veon Bell's tweet on Saturday night, in which he said the Steelers would beat the Jaguars, was seemingly the final insult that angered Jaguars players.

And boy, were some of them really angry.

"Coach [Doug Marrone] told us about that this morning," defensive tackle Malik Jackson said. "It's disrespectful. It's stupid as f---, to be honest with you. You don't give a team that came in here and smacked you in the mouth ammo to come out here and just be on you all day. We're bullies. We don't need to say we're bullies. We don't need to talk like we're bullies. We're not going to tell you what we're going to do. We're just going to smack you in the mouth, just like we did today.

"They talked. They said they were going to do this. They didn't do anything. They're waiting for the teacher to come break everything up. We stood there, and we smacked them in the mouth. We gave them what they wanted. They wanted us. We gave them what they wanted. Now look at them. They're pissed that they called us out."

Jackson was just getting warmed up, too. He wasn't happy with Steelers safety Mike Mitchell's talking several weeks ago about beating the Patriots. Or head coach Mike Tomlin's comment in December that the Steelers' Dec. 17 game against the Patriots would determine where the next meeting would be played.

"It's not [Steelers-Patriots in the AFC title game], but can you please ask them to give us the game tape they were watching to prepare for them so that we can use it and get better?" Jackson said. "Just give us their notes. We can really use them.

"For us, it wasn't about getting into talking matches, trying to fight them, trying to do anything. We're just trying to let the clock run out and go home while they go home and prepare for New England that they'll get to play next week in imaginary land."

Linebacker Myles Jack, who had an interception to set up one of Leonard Fournette's three touchdown runs, said defensive end Yannick Ngakoue sent him a screen shot of Bell's tweet, which was posted after the Patriots beat Tennessee on Saturday night.

He wasn't happy.

"You can't overlook us, and that's what we took as disrespect: that they were already looking ahead to next week while we were focusing on them," Jack said. "It was weird because we had won the last game, and I guess they forgot about that."

The Jaguars beat the Steelers 30-9 on Oct. 8 at Heinz Field, picking off quarterback Ben Roethlisberger five times. He threw for 469 yards and five touchdowns in the rematch, but the Jaguars picked him off once, and Ngakoue had a strip sack that linebacker Telvin Smith returned 50 yards for a touchdown. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey tried to downplay the anger in the locker room by saying that anything the Steelers players said had no impact on him or anyone else, even though that clearly wasn't the case.

"Excuse my language, but we don't give a f---," Ramsey said. "We really don't care. We knew what we were going to do. We don't really be worried about all that. Y'all bring that to us. That's honestly the first time that we hear about it. During the week, when y'all brought the Mike Mitchell thing to me, that was the first time I heard about it. We don't care about none of that.

"Talking is cool. You can do all the talking you want on Twitter, to the media, all of that, but when you get on the field, you're going to have produce. You're going to have to show us what you're really about. We're confident because we know the work we put in. We know the blessings the Lord has given us. We're going to go out here confident. We're going to go out there swagged up."

Steelers players strongly denied that they were looking past the Jaguars to the Patriots.

"You guys throw all that s--- out there, as far as us overlooking them," guard Ramon Foster said. "We practiced two weeks for Jacksonville. No f---ing way we overlooked them. C'mon. You know that answer."

Said linebacker Bud Dupree: "Hell naw, we didn't overlook them. They beat us the first time. We just couldn't get it done. We tried. I thought we were going to win. We just had to make a stop for the offense. We couldn't make a stop. We have Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. We're supposed to make a stop, give them a chance. We didn't give them a chance."

Jackson didn't buy it, though, and he also had some strong words for Tennessee defensive lineman Jurrell Casey, who said after the regular-season finale between the teams that quarterback Blake Bortles would choke when the game was on the line.

Bortles led two fourth-quarter touchdown drives and made critical throws on each.

"He's a dog!" Jackson said while breaking into a video interview between Calais Campbell and a reporter. "I want to know what Jurrell Casey has to say about him choking in big moments while you sit at home and watch us next week!"

Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny is probably the most polite player in the locker room, but even he had a slight dig at the Steelers about their Patriots comments over the past week.

"To me, that's just noise," he said. "When guys do that, I almost look at it in the opposite way. When guys feel a need to do stuff like that, you almost question how secure they really are. To me, none of that matters. It's all us and our approach and how we handle things."

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler contributed to this report.