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The Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots won’t play until Sunday, but the battle of words has continued to fly back and forth throughout the week.
After Patriots receiver Julian Edelman on Monday questioned the way the Steelers are “run,” Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger came to his organization’s defense Wednesday, per Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk:
We’ve got our trophies out there. I’ve got owners that I think are the best in the business. They’re family to us, and I’m sure if he talked to his owner, he would say the same thing about the Rooneys. Anybody in here in the football world or the regular world that [know] the Rooneys knows what they stand for. It’s a blessing to call them a family.
The mess began when Pittsburgh receiver Antonio Brown live-streamed head coach Mike Tomlin’s speech after Sunday’s AFC Divisional Round win over the Kansas City Chiefs, a move the Patriots didn’t see as professional.
“That’s how that team is run,” Edelman said on WEEI’s Ordway, Merloni & Fauria. “I personally don’t think that would be something that would happen in our locker room.”
Of course, the Steelers lead all NFL teams with six Super Bowl trophies. While the Patriots have been the model of consistency since head coach Bill Belichick took over, Pittsburgh isn’t lacking success.
ESPN Stats & Info noted what’s on the line in the AFC Championship Game:
The winner of the AFC Championship Game will play in its 9th Super Bowl, giving it sole possession of most all-time appearances. pic.twitter.com/rGc6npKhbj
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 18, 2017
The different styles of play and varied personalities will be on display when the two teams battle Sunday. Although the game might not settle debates about how to run a locker room, it will likely quiet the discussion between the two teams for some time.