Tomlin didn’t initially comment Thursday night after the melee, which saw Garrett rip off Rudolph’s helmet and hit him with it toward the end of the fourth quarter of the Steelers’ loss to the Browns.
“It was ugly. It was ugly for the game of football,” Tomlin said, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. “All of us want to safeguard and protect the game, its integrity, and in that instance, it was compromised, obviously with the unfortunate incident. None of us want those things to transpire. It did. We were a part of it. We accept responsibility for our actions within it.”
Tomlin was asked whether there was a way to stop another incident like that from happening.
“I don’t know,” he said. “You’ve got to ask those guys. You know, I don’t know that we did anything to make it happen anyway in the first place. That’s why I said we didn’t have anything to learn from it.”
This was Tomlin’s first extensive comments about the brawl. It resulted in an indefinite suspension for Garrett, a three-game ban for Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey and a one-game suspension for Browns defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi. Rudolph was expected to receive a fine.
The three suspended players are expected to appeal their suspension Wednesday.