For a second year player, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt doesn't bite his tongue when speaking to the media. You don't get bland hyperbole from the Notre Dame product, but rather a true honest glimpse of what is running through his head at that particular moment.
When meeting with media Tuesday at the team's South Side facility, Tuitt talked about a lot of stuff, from the knee brace he has been wearing since spraining his MCL, to the Baltimore Ravens.
People often wonder if players hold certain rivalries to the same esteem as fans, and in most cases the answer to such a question is 'no'. This is work for them, not necessarily personal, but the closest example of hatred between teams which mirrors that of the fans would be the Steelers and the Ravens.
As the Steelers sit 6-4, heading into the Week 11 bye week, Tuitt is still angry about the Ravens' Justin Forsett running all over them in their Week 4 game at Heinz Field. In that outing, Forsett tallied 150 yards on 27 carries, but the Ravens as a team rushed for nearly 200 yards, 191 to be exact, in the game, in their 23-20 win over Pittsburgh. Something which hasn't escaped Tuitt.
"I can't wait to play those boys again, to be honest." Tuitt told Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
There is no love lost between the two franchises, even with the Ravens clearly out of contention in both the AFC North division, and the AFC Playoff Picture. When the Steelers do play the Ravens again, at M&T Bank Stadium in Week 16, Tuitt will be lighter. How much lighter? It depends on how heavy the knee brace he has had to wear since spraining his MCL earlier this season weighs.
During the bye week Tuitt will have reached the point his his recovery where he won't need to wear the brace anymore, something which will likely add to his mobility and speed when the team plays the Seattle Seahawks in Week 12. After chasing Johnny Manziel around for 4 quarters in Week 10, the next job will be getting after Russell Wilson. Depsite Tuitt's comments about the Ravens, I think it is safe to say the Steelers aren't overlooking a team who has appeared in back-to-back Super Bowls and targeting a team like Baltimore, who is vying for the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.