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Ryan Clark Makes Bold Prediction on Steelers 2024 Season

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Steelers FS Ryan Clark

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ schedule is one of the NFL’s hardest, with some pundits already proclaiming it the league’s toughest stretch this upcoming year. Former Steelers free safety Ryan Clark was not happy with how the schedule was constructed with a brutal back half to the schedule, including six divisional opponents in the final eight games.

“Who made this schedule?” Clark said on Get Up. “What dude from Cleveland all of a sudden got a job in the league office? To think you have to play the Ravens twice, the Bengals, the Cleveland Browns, and then the Eagles and the Chiefs? A team that won the Super Bowl two years in a row. A team that was in the Super Bowl the year before. You have to play those teams to finish the season when the end of the season is where we’ve seen the Steelers find ways to compete. It’s the beginning of the season when they suck. Coach Tomlin has a saying- ‘I try to make things as uncomfortable as possible.’ Guess what my dog? You ain’t gotta try hard this year. Because the NFL did it for you.”

During a recent NFL Live segment, Dan Graziano asked Clark if the Steelers will win over/under 10 wins this season, and he took the under.

“This is difficult because I believe the team is better. One, you get better when you hire Arthur Smith as the offensive coordinator. Some of the things that Omar Khan did during the offseason gives me optimism. But I’m saying less because of how daunting this schedule is toward the end of the season. That’s normally when we’ve seen the Pittsburgh Steelers, who find a way to playoff contention every year, get wins and find themselves in the playoffs as a wild card. But this year, I believe they’ll be figuring out who they are early with Russell Wilson, then transitioning to Justin Fields around the bye week and trying to face those six division opponents along with the Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs to finish, which will be difficult for any football team,” Clark told Graziano, via Joe Clark of Steelers Depot.

The Steelers will play three games in 11 days, all against teams that won 11 or more games in 2023.

Week 15: Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2024, 4:25 p.m.
Week 16: Steelers at Baltimore Ravens, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2024, 4:30 p.m.
Week 17: Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2024, 1 p.m.

President Art Rooney II said earlier this offseason that teams needed to commit to playing on holidays, because that’s where the fan interest has shown to be. He cited the team’s solid attendance for a Christmas Eve game in 2022 against the Las Vegas Raiders, even with frigid temperatures, as evidence.

“We played at home on Christmas [Eve] two years ago and had a great crowd,” Rooney said to Steelers.com. “Hopefully, that’ll be the case. Obviously, we’re hosting a big-time team. That’ll be a game with a national audience. That’ll be an exciting time.”

Rooney said that he has faith in veteran head coach Mike Tomlin to have the team ready to deal with the mixed-bag schedule that has the team playing games on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday this year.

“Mike does a good job of getting guys ready,” he said. “There are no excuses in terms of what day of the week you’re playing. He doesn’t allow for that, or the time of the day. You just have to be ready to go when the time comes. … It’s probably not exactly how I would have drawn it up, but we’ve got to do the best we can.”