The Steelers defense allowed 41 points for the second consecutive week in their loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, and former Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark has seen enough.
On ESPN’s Get Up Monday, Clark tore into the unit questioning their focus and toughness.
“They’re not my beloved Steelers anymore,” Clark said. “Nobody’s scared to play this team. There’s absolutely no physicality. There’s no energy defensively. There’s no tone setters.”
Clark is not a fan of Pittsburgh’s run defense either, and believes the struggles of the front seven are preventing safety Minkah Fitzpatrick from playing his game.
“You have one of the best playmaking free safeties in football in Minkah Fitzpatrick, and you know what he is? He’s a fifth linebacker,” Clark said. “Because you won’t tackle anybody in the run.”
Ultimately, Clark feels the Steelers have lost their identify, and in turn disrespected the standard established by the franchise’s legends of the past.
“It’s not about upholding what Joe Greene did, what (Jack) Lambert did,” Clark added. “It’s not about doing what James Harrison did. Casey Hampton, James Farrior, Troy Polamalu. Those days are gone.”
“We want to be cute, right? We want to make videos. We want do TikToks… we want to have fun. Pittsburgh football ain’t about having fun. Pittsburgh football is about dominating people on the field because of your physicality.”
Pittsburgh is the 28th-ranked run defense in the NFL allowing 133.1 yards per game. They have also produced just ten turnovers, the third-fewest in the league.