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Ryan Clark Details Steelers Organization’s Crucial Mistake



Pittsburgh Steelers Art RooneY II
Pittsburgh Steelers team president Art Rooney II before the team's game against the New England Patriots, Dec. 7, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers have treaded water over the last five seasons. Since 2019, they have made three playoff appearances but have not won a playoff game. That playoff futility leads all the back to 2016, which haunts the franchise to this day. Their ultimate goal is to break it. But what really led them here?

Former Steelers safety Ryan Clark goes back to the team’s issues at the end of Ben Roethlisberger’s tenure, and how they moved on from him. For one, the team did not have a natural successor to him at the time of his retirement, and the drafts leading up to his departure were horrific.

“There were two things that happened toward the end of Ben Roethlisberger’s career,” Clark said on NFL Live. “They didn’t plan to move on from him correctly, and they were drafting, trying to win in his last few years. They were drafting for need rather than best player. It set this organization back.”

In the last years, some of the picks they missed badly on were Kendrick Green and nearly the entire 2020 NFL Draft class, and in general, those drafts left the team out to dry into the new era under Kenny Pickett. Now, they are trying to find what they can to build out the roster. To Omar Khan’s credit, they drafted for best player available in the 2023 NFL Draft and that looks like a massive success. Most of those players are already contributing for the Steelers.

But as other teams like the Ravens, Texans, and Packers soar, the Steelers remain stagnant. This offseason is a huge spot for them to try and crack out of NFL purgatory. It will take changes to get there, but it can be done. The first of those steps is getting a quality NFL offensive coordinator into the building.