Unlike most weeks, there hasn't been much jibber-jabbering between the Steelers and Redskins in anticipation of Monday Night's get-together (complete with halftime horse-and-pony show featuring Chris Berman, with guest appearances by Barack Obama and John McCain).
In fact, Washington players have been downright complimentary, even when talking about the scourge of the NFL, that cheap-shot artist, Hines Ward.
You may have heard mention of Ward's latest victim, Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers, vowing revenge as soon as his broken jaw heals and it's no longer wired shut. His teammates voiced similar concerns, and Ravens Terrell Suggs and Bart Scott have some thingsin the works.
The 6-2 Redskins, on the other hand, have been nothing but laudatory. Even offering advice some Bengals' players might be wise to heed:
Linebacker Marcus Washington on Ward: "Normally, defenses do the hitting, and he's a guy that if he gets a chance to hit you, he will. But I don't worry about it. It's part of the game. I'm not a guy who cries or complains if someone does a cheap shot on me because, to me, that's part of football. If you don't want to be hit, play golf, play tennis. But in football, you're going to get hit."
"... We were playing Cincinnati and one of their safeties kept taking shots at him. So Hines, the next five plays, he went after him, no matter what the play was. That was just showing him that he could get back at him and do the same thing."
Ed Reeddisagrees. And Bart Scott, too. At least I think he does; I can't make out what he's saying over all the whinging.