Ryan Clark may have been overzealous when he disowned the Steelers last week. Now the former Pittsburgh safety appears to be back on the bandwagon.
On ESPN’s “Get Up” Monday, Clark, who actually picked the Steelers to beat the Ravens, applauded his former team for regaining its identity.
“The Steelers came out and played the type of football we knew would help them win all season,” he said. “That was great defense, try to find a way to manufacture the run and stick with calling those things consistently, and allow Big Ben to make two or three big plays to allow you to win the game. That’s what they did.”
The Steelers were in Lamar Jackson’s face all night, sacking him seven times. As Clark mentioned, their dominance set up Roethlisberger to come through in the end. He completed 9-of-10 passes in the fourth quarter for 129 yards, two touchdowns and a successful two-point attempt. Pittsburgh scored on all three of its drives.
“This was about Big Ben finding ways to make plays late in this game,” Clark said. “We’ve been on Matt Canada, the offensive coordinator, all year. What he dialed up in the red zone late in this game was perfect, It got them easy throws. That’s why they win this football game.”
Clark didn’t offer a mea culpa for his searing rant last week, in which he specifically called out the Steelers’ defense for their lack of energy and aggression. Later in the week, Clark turned his attention to Roethlisberger, saying it was “time for Big Ben to take a seat.”
On Sunday, Clark tried to distance himself from his criticism of Roethlisberger. When a Twitter user called him out, the ESPN pundit said he “never blamed Ben.”
The tape would disagree.
Ultimately, analysts are paid to give their opinions, so Clark is just doing his job. It’s apparent he still carries a lot of passion for his former team, and sometimes passion can cause people to get ahead of themselves.
With Clark, it’s clear that was the case. Maybe his words even served as a little motivation.