Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jake Browning was feeling himself after last Saturday’s overtime win over the Minnesota Vikings, telling a camera after the victory, “They never should have cut me,” a reference to his time on Minnesota’s practice squad.
A few days later, Browning walked back his comments, saying he wished he’d have focused on the team aspect of the win.
“You keep it all pent up and then it comes out. But I guess my biggest regret was that game turned into like my revenge game, when in reality there were so many things that went into getting that win,” Browning told reporters on Tuesday, via the team’s official website. “Making sure it’s acknowledged it wasn’t just my revenge game, it was a great team win.”
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Browning has little to regret. His comments weren’t hostile or over the top. It’s how most players feel when one team moves on from them, and they find success elsewhere.
The QB’s teammates certainly didn’t have an issue with his comments.
“From a guy with experience like that, I know where he’s coming from and how much that win meant to him,” cornerback Mike Hilton, who faces his former Steelers club this Saturday, said, via ESPN. “We wanted to get him that one.”
Browning’s desire to highlight his teammate’s play — and point out his own errors — also speaks to a growing leader.
“It’s never as good, never as bad as you thought. And we played unbelievable at a lot of positions that weren’t quarterback, and so, just to rattle off a few,” Browning said on Tuesday. “I threw a pick in minus territory in the fourth quarter, that turns into three points. That’s losing the game type of play if our defense doesn’t swell up. Lose D.J. Reader, who is an All-Pro level nose guard, in the first quarter, and then we stuff them on third-and-short, fourth-and-inches. That’s another one we lose the game if they don’t do that.
“And then I throw the ball up to Tee (Higgins) and he makes one of the craziest plays I’ve ever seen.”
Sitting in the No. 6 slot in the AFC with three games remaining, Browning has more opportunities to impress his teammates, starting with Saturday’s AFC North showdown with rival Pittsburgh at 4:30 p.m. ET.
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