Former Steelers safety Ryan Clark has significant hopes of becoming an NFL general manager one day, he told GQ in an exclusive interview. Clark, 42, is one of the leading analysts for ESPN, but has never worked in the NFL in a coaching or scouting role. Still, that has not stopped NFL teams in the past, as Mike Mayock, the NFL Network’s lead draft analyst for years, became the Raiders general manager.
Clark, though, has the experience of an NFL player. He said that his main goal and dream is to land that general manager position at some point in his life, no matter where it might be.
“It’s a subjective, opinion-based business, both in the way you do it and the way you’re critiqued,” Clark said. “One person might think I’m excellent, but another might think I’m terrible, and those are the people making the decisions.
“But I’m going to be a GM one day; that’s my next job. I prepare every day by talking to former GMs, putting together my list of priorities, and writing down what sort of coach I want to work with. What alignments are necessary in order to go out and pick players. What’s the physicality level of my offense? How do I want to play defense?”
Clark notes that he has grown into a love of scouting, and instead of watching to critique football, he ends up wanting to watch it and evaluate it in that capacity more. The former Steelers defensive back would hardly be the last person with ties to Pittsburgh to go into coaching or the scouting world. If that is his goal, it is going to be a tough leap, but Clark has said he does not know sometimes if the media role is even for him. So, he is working his way towards becoming that NFL general manager at some point in his career.