(USA TODAY) -- Takeo Spikes and Larry Foote played a football game Sunday with playoff implications for Foote's Pittsburgh Steelers and potential coaching implications for Spikes' San Diego Chargers.
But after the Chargers upset the Steelers 34-24 at Heinz Field, they were talking about something much bigger than the game they had just played.
The tragic auto accident one day earlier involving Dallas Cowboys teammates Josh Brent and Jerry Brown -- which resulted in Brown's untimely death and Brent being charged with intoxication manslaughter -- was on the minds of players around the league. And the take from a couple of NFL veterans who've been around the block was straight to the point about players who drive drunk.
"The families are suffering, and this could have been controlled," Spikes, a 15-year veteran, told USA TODAY Sports' Jim Corbett. "This NFL brotherhood, people are not only going to hold us accountable, we are going to be the ones more in the spotlight.
"We've all done it (drive intoxicated). But it's to a point now where maybe you were ignorant and didn't know any better or felt you were invincible. We've had enough of death to show us this is what you do not do. It's bigger than you. Somebody else is always affected.''
Foote kept things just as real, even connecting the dots between alcohol use and the role it played in last week's murder-suicide committed by Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher.
"I've been in those circumstances where I drove where I was under the influence," Foote, an 11-year veteran, told Corbett. "I'm never going to point the finger. I thank God I'm out of that stage from a spiritual standpoint.
"Alcohol is nobody's friend. The last two weeks there's been two deaths in this league because of alcohol. Guys have to grow up, mature and understand that these are examples. Learn from this. ...
"There isn't anything good that comes from alcohol -- period. Getting drunk, nothing good. I don't care if you're in a cab, you can go home and do something stupid. We have to get a hold of the alcohol (problem). Guys won't want to hear that, but that's the problem."