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During an interview tweeted Monday night by the 33rd Team, Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman BJ Hill explained why he continues to support teammate Joseph Ossai after Ossai's ill-timed penalty near the end of the Bengals' AFC championship loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.
"I just knew he needed somebody beside him right there (answering postgame questions from reporters)," Hill told the 33rd Team's Jade McCarthy. "He played his butt off the whole entire game. He just felt like the whole game was on him, but it really wasn't. I feel like I should've made a play. … It wasn't all on him. I just know he needed somebody to step up, be a leader, and somebody to be there for him. I was that guy, and I knew - right when the media came in - who they were gonna target. And I was like, 'That ain't gonna happen on my watch today.' I've been in situations where you feel like you should've made a play - you didn't make it. I've been there, done it. I just wanted to … let him know I care about him. He's gonna make big plays for us next year. I just wanted to let him know that I love him at the end of the day. Because we're gonna need him next year. He made big plays this year. … We're gonna need him in these coming years. He's a young player. He has so much potential. He grew so much during the year and got so much better as the year went on. I just told him … keep on working."
The Enquirer's Charlie Goldsmith wrote earlier about Hill describing why he put his arm around Ossai as reporters asked questions.
Hill also told Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson he stood beside Ossai as reporters asked questions about the penalty for hitting Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes out of bounds during the final seconds of the AFC championship "because he's my brother."
Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt explained Monday that he "wasn't a great teammate" in the moment when he called out Ossai's mistake.
On Monday, Congressman Mark Alford, Representative of the 4th district of Missouri, thanked Ossai after crediting several Chiefs' players "for all of their wonderful efforts last night," arousing the ire of Bengals' fans.
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This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: BJ Hill just wanted to let Joseph Ossai know that he loves him