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Former Steelers DB Ryan Clark Says Window of Contention is Closed: ‘It’s the End of an Era’

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After watching the Pittsburgh Steelers lose to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, former Pittsburgh safety and current ESPN personality Ryan Clark thinks the team’s window of contention with Ben Roethlisberger as quarterback is over.

“It’s an end of an era of dominance,” Clark said. “It’s an end of an era of actually having a Super Bowl window and it’s the end of an era of two decades of having the same quarterback. This is a total organizational failure.”

Clark cited the decline in Roethlisberger’s play, as well as the team’s inability to protect him, as the reasons for being down on the prospects of his former club.

“They needed to have a succession plan from Ben Roethlisberger and they didn’t and they still don’t,” Clark said. “The best teams are able to move right into the next quarterback. The teams that can keep competing can do that. The Pittsburgh Steelers cannot. … Not only don’t they have a quarterback, they also can’t protect the quarterback. They also can’t scheme for a quarterback.”

Clark played eight seasons in Pittsburgh from 2006-13, winning Super Bowl XLIII before moving on to his media career, and played with Roethlisberger that entire time.

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