PITTSBURGH -- At the same time Myles Garrett's appeal was being heard by the NFL in New York, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph walked into a cramped back room of the team facility with a paper of prepared remarks in hand.
Facing dozens of cameras and media members with his back against a nondescript white wall, Rudolph read aloud from the paper, saying he should've done a better job maintaining his composure during the late-game fight with the Cleveland Browns that, so far, has resulted in three suspensions.
"I should've done a better job handling that situation," Rudolph said. "I have no ill will towards Myles Garrett. Great respect for his ability as a player. And I know that if Myles could go back, he would handle the situation differently.
"As for my involvement last week, there's no acceptable excuse. The bottom line is I should've done a better job keeping my composure in that situation and [not] fall short of what I believe it means to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and a member of the NFL."
The NFL suspended Garrett for the rest of this season for ripping the helmet off Rudolph and clubbing him in the head with it. Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, who kicked and punched Garrett after Rudolph had been struck, was suspended for three games. The league banned Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi one game for shoving Rudolph in the back and to the ground.
Rudolph's conciliatory tone Wednesday was a departure from last week's defiant postgame news conference, where he called Garrett's actions "bush league" and "cowardly."
This time, he explained he lost his cool on the second-to-last play of the game, when he took issue with Garrett's hit on him.
"We had already lost two of our players to targeting penalties from the game," Rudolph said. "As I released the ball, I took a late shot. Did not agree with the way he then took me to the ground and my natural reaction was just to get him off from on top of me."
Video from the incident shows Rudolph attempting to dislodge Garrett's helmet by tugging on hit. When asked if that action was contrary to getting the defensive end off him, Rudolph deferred to his statement.
"Like I said, the way he took me down late, it was basically the last play of the game, I was just trying to get him off from on top of me," he said.
After Garrett ripped Rudolph's helmet off, Rudolph ran after Garrett, who was being held back by offensive lineman David DeCastro.
"I've got to do a better job at keeping my composure in those situations," Rudolph said, "and I think it was an unfortunate situation for both teams involved."
Though he cited the earlier hits on wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson in his opening statement, Rudolph said those plays were "totally isolated" and didn't contribute to what he was feeling during the fight.
Rudolph added that he didn't say anything to provoke Garrett or escalate the situation.
A day earlier, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said there was nothing for his team to learn from the incident.
"I don't know that we did anything to make it happen anyway in the first place," Tomlin said. "That's why I said we didn't have anything to learn from it."
Rudolph hasn't been fined in the incident, but a source told ESPN that a fine is expected. Rudolph said he would comply with whatever the league hands out.