Cleveland Browns

Ex-49er Ian Williams calls out Mason Rudolph for role in Myles Garrett brawl

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Ex-49er Ian Williams calls out Mason Rudolph for role in Myles Garrett brawl

The end of Thursday night's Browns-Steelers game set social media on fire as Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph and Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett got into an altercation that saw Garrett rip Rudolph's helmet off and club him over the head with it when the quarterback charged him.

Garrett was suspended indefinitely by the NFL, severely impacting the AFC playoff race and the Browns' chances of making the postseason. 

While everyone was quick to vilify Garrett for the inexcusable action, Rudolph hardly is without fault. After getting tackled to the ground with five seconds left in the Browns' 21-7 win, Rudolph tried to rip Garrett's helmet off and kicked him before charging him and setting off the melee. 

Former 49ers defensive tackle and current NBC Sports analyst Ian Williams isn't excusing Garrett's behavior, it was dangerous and reckless. But Williams believes Rudolph also should be held accountable for instigating the entire fracas with his childish actions. 

"I am not condoning what Myles Garrett did last night," Williams said Friday. "I am not OK with what he did last night and he knows it. People know it. He knows he was in the wrong. He did something wrong, you get punished for it. Everybody's pointing the finger at him like, 'Oh, he's the bad guy. Oh, Myles Garrett, he's dirty, he's bad.' There was no reason, absolutely no reason for Mason Rudolph to try to take his helmet off like that. No reason. You playing football, bro. What do you expect? Yeah, you're going to get hit. You're going to get tackled.

"We tired of quarterbacks being able to get rid of the ball like that or them not calling you down and then you get away from a sack, Then you make a big play and I get my a-- chewed. 'Myles, why didn't you take him to the ground?' So Mason's all mad: 'Yo, I got taken to the ground, I'm mad. I got my a-- knocked out a couple weeks ago from Earl Thomas. So, I'm a little angry now, so if anyone touches me or takes me down I'm going to show out. I ain't going to let them punk me again.' Bro, we understand. We don't want that to happen to anybody, we clean players."

It's easy to judge Garrett's actions based on the severity of them, but Rudolph's anger at a clean NFL hit is what sparked the fracas and he, in Williams' view, should be held to account.

"As soon as [Rudolph] hit the ground, he's over here trying to take off the helmet of Myles," Williams said. "Literally, trying to twist it and rip it off ... To twist it and try to pull it off? That hurts. So, you know, Myles is pissed and obviously he's going to win that battle. Everyone is like, 'Well, he's bigger.' Duh! He's going to win that battle. 'Punk little quarterback going to try me like that. I'll take your helmet off. You ain't going to try me like that.' So, he took the helmet. Meanwhile, Mason is kicking him. Kicking him in the groin. Probably kicked him in the area.

"He gets the helmet off and he's walking away. The offensive lineman [David] DeCastro is holding him and Myles is kind of like done with it. He was about to drop the helmet and then here comes old little Mason Rudolph. All angry, Want to come out of nowhere ... try to run up on him and like, 'Bro, what you expect?'"

Williams understands emotions will get the best of everyone while on the football field, but you can't ban one member of the melee and give the other a slap on the wrist.

"Mason should get suspended, too. Or fined. Actually, both," Williams said. "He instigated the whole thing, and then the fact he would try to take a player's helmet off after he did nothing wrong ... Like bro, it was a simple tackle. Did you get mad that you got tackled with 20 seconds left in the game? Is that what it was, Mason? And the fact that he gets disciplined after ... No, he should have been disciplined just as the list came out. But he wasn't, it was after the fact.

"If you get in trouble at school and y'all get taken to the principal's office and the main dude or girl that started it is sitting in class and they are like, 'We'll deal with him later,' while you are sitting in the principal's office. Like, no, he started the whole thing, he should be in here with us."

While Garrett, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey and Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi suspensions of varying lengths for the altercation, Rudolph reportedly only will receive a fine.

[RELATED: Shanahan discusses 'unacceptable' Garrett incident]

The Browns now must try to fight for the playoffs without their best player, while the Steelers quarterback gets off relatively scott free.

Although, with the way Rudolph played Thursday, him being on the field might not be the best thing for the Steelers' playoff hopes.

49ers' Kyle Shanahan discusses 'unacceptable' Myles Garrett incident

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49ers' Kyle Shanahan discusses 'unacceptable' Myles Garrett incident

If you’ve been avoiding the internet for the past 12 hours, you might have missed one of the most controversial incidents of the NFL season.

In Thursday night’s game between the Browns and Steelers, a physical game ended in an ugly fashion when, after a hit on Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett responded to Rudolph charging the 6-foot-4, 271-pound lineman by swinging and hitting Rudolph in the head with his own helmet.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan hopes his team can learn from this situation, which has resulted in Garrett being suspended indefinitely through at least the rest of the season and playoffs if Cleveland qualifies.

"The main thing is you cannot lose your cool,” Shanahan said on KNBR’s “Murph and Mac” show Friday morning. “It's a very physical game and stuff. To play in the physicality like that, guys go to some dark places, but you have to control that, and obviously, he didn't there, and it looked like he had no idea where he was.

"That's going to cost their team. They've got a really easy schedule going forward. He's one of the best players in this league. That was one of the complete, most unacceptable things that I've ever seen on tape."

Several 49ers players reacted on social media to the fracas at the end of Thursday night’s game, including a strong take from fullback Kyle Juszcyzk.

"Yeah, I think that bothered a lot of players," Shanahan said. "I mean, this is a very dangerous game, and it's dangerous enough just playing in the rules. For someone to do that, that's completely unacceptable, and I think anybody who was watching that, player, fan, anybody, I'd be very surprised if they don't feel that exact same way."

[RELATED: Why Myles Garrett's suspension is good news for Raiders]

It's highly unlikely we'll be seeing helmet swinging from any NFL players going forward, and especially not anyone wearing a 49ers uniform.

How Myles Garrett suspension affects Raiders, AFC playoff race

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How Myles Garrett suspension affects Raiders, AFC playoff race

The Browns might be back in the AFC playoff race, but they'll have to march on without their best player.

On Friday, the NFL suspended Browns defensive end Myles Garrett indefinitely for his actions during the brawl at the end of Cleveland's 21-7 win over the Steelers on Thursday night.

You've probably seen the video by now. After sacking Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph, Garrett and the young quarterback got into an altercation on the ground. Eventually, Garrett ripped Rudolph's helmet off, causing the quarterback to charge at him while two Steelers linemen worked to separate the two. As Rudolph charged, Garrett swung the helmet at Rudolph, connecting with the quarterback's head, leading to the full-on brawl.

After opening the season with a tough schedule that saw them go 2-6, the Browns have rebounded with wins over the Bills and Steelers to climb back to 4-6. They currently sit 1.5 games behind the Raiders for the No. 6 seed in the AFC but have the second easiest schedule remaining. 

The Steelers' loss allowed the Raiders to jump them, and Pittsburgh will be without center Maurkice Pouncey for the next three games, making their path to the playoffs even tougher. 

The Raiders sit at 5-4 with games against the Bengals and Jets over the next two weeks. The Silver and Black will be favored in both those games, and will be 7-4 heading into a Week 13 game against the Chiefs should they take care of business.

Cleveland has shown life over the past two weeks, and the Browns have the talent to make a run at the playoffs in the mediocre AFC. The Browns play the 2-7 Dolphins in Week 12 before facing the Steelers again in Week 13. After that rivalry game, the Browns close with two games against the winless Bengals, a battle with the Cardinals and a tough game against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.

All of those games are winnable. The Browns already beat the Ravens earlier this season. The addition of Kareem Hunt has given the Browns an added offensive dimension and they could get on a roll if the confidence starts flowing.

It will be tough without Garrett anchoring the defense, though. The Browns' defense has played well over the last two weeks and Garrett surely would feast on the Dolphins and Bengals in the coming weeks.

To pass the Raiders, Colts, Steelers and/or Bills, the Browns likely will need to 5-1 the rest of the way and hope for a few of those teams to continue to falter. That's more than possible. The Raiders have won a ton of close games, the Bills reek of being fraudulent, Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett is banged up and the Steelers crawled back to .500 with smoke and mirrors.

Grit, toughness and resiliency have been the Raiders' calling card this season, one they are hoping can get them through what has been a trying season and back to the playoffs for the second time since 2002.

After surviving their long road trip, the Raiders won back-to-back games over the Lions and Chargers and are primed to be riding a four-game winning streak heading into Kansas City with the AFC West lead potentially on the line. Everything is in front of them.

[RELATED: What clicked for Raiders' Ferrell in signature game]

The Browns were a trendy Super Bowl pick before the season started, and some thought a late-season run to the playoffs was in the cards for Freddie Kitchens' crew.

The soft late-season schedule helps, but losing Garrett will be tough to overcome. If the Browns are to crash the playoff party Baker Mayfield will have to take his play up a notch and find the chemistry with Odell Beckham Jr. so many thought they'd exhibit from Day 1.

The Raiders have bigger goals in front of them than a wild-card spot, but they might have one less team to contend with for one of the final two spots should the Chiefs pull away in the AFC West.