Steelers stir it

BY GEOFF HOBSON

A recent quote by Steelers cornerback DeWayne Washington has grabbed the attention of the Bengals locker room.

"The last two years, we've kind of played down to our competition," Washington told a Pittsburgh radio station earlier this week. "I just see us going out and destroying Cincinnati, honestly."

Washington was apparently alluding to the Steelers' 1-3 record against the Bengals and 1-2 record against the Browns since 1998.

Bengals nose tackle Oliver Gibson, a former Steeler, raised his eyebrows at Washington's remarks. He was playing for Pittsburgh in 1998 in Cincinnati when Bengals receiver Carl Pickens torched Washington twice in the last minute on long passes that allowed Cincinnati to erase a 20-18 lead and win, 25-20.

"My reaction?" Gibson asked. "It's buckle your chinstrap, Mr. Washington. I hope it was taken out of context because I know DeWayne and Coach (Bill) Cowher, and he doesn't believe in bulletin-board sayings. If that's his quote, buckle his chinstrap. And if it isn't his quote, buckle his chinstrap.

"Carl Pickens humiliated (Washington) when I was there and last year," Gibson said. "It's no big secret. (Current Bengals receivers) Peter Warrick and Ron Dugans are capable of doing the same things."

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