Connect with us

Steelers News

Ryan Clark Says ‘Zero People Care About The Steelers Way Anymore’



Pittsburgh Steelers Ryan Clark

Former Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Ryan Clark knows all about the Steelers Way. He learned under legends such as Troy Polamalu and James Harrison. He also played for legendary defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. Those days are long gone, however. It’s a completely different culture now. The Steelers have just three playoff wins in the last decade, the same amount as the Pittsburgh Pirates. … Just to put things into perspective.

Clark thinks the Steelers Way simply just doesn’t exist anymore.

“Zero people care about the Steelers Way. Zero people,” Clark said firmly on the Pat McAfee Show on Monday.

Clark retracted his statement a few seconds later, however, as McAfee was flabbergasted. Clark thinks Minkah Fitzpatrick, T.J. Watt and Cam Heyward know about the Steelers Way, but that’s it.

“So when I say zero, I don’t necessarily mean it literally,” Clark said. “You heard Minkah Fitzpatrick say that there are people in that locker room that think just wearing those colors entitles you to wins. And it doesn’t, you can’t will wins in the league. And when a guy comes out after only two losses that says like people need to approach it different, they need to work different. That’s because he’s seen things around that locker room, around that practice field, in those meeting rooms that doesn’t lead him to believe everybody’s putting their hand in the pile the same way.”

Clark believes Diontae Johnson displayed what Fitzpatrick was talking about when he didn’t block and chase down D.J. Turner after a fumble recovery in the Week 12 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Johnson’s mental focus was off because he was upset that he wasn’t credited a touchdown on the play prior by the officials. Johnson apologized for the mishap, but Clark sees it as a culture problem with the Steelers. And it falls on Mike Tomlin to correct it.

“And so when you look at the messaging, Coach T doesn’t need to change who he is, but the messaging has to change,” Clark said. “And I said this last week and I meant it wholeheartedly … If Diontae Johnson does what he’s been doing, because this isn’t the first time he’s had these issues, I’m not throwing the football to him on fourth-and-2. You aren’t getting that opportunity to save the team. You aren’t getting the opportunity to be the hero because you haven’t earned it.

“And when you have the T.J. Watts who show up every day, the Cam Heywards that show up every day, the Minkah Fitzpatricks that show up every day, like they are the tone setters and in setting the tone, those are the people that should be put front and center. Those are the guys that should be rewarded. And I’ll be honest, I would’ve liked to see Diontae Johnson benched the week after the Cincinnati game. I think that would’ve been something to show this team that they will not tolerate people playing and working below the standard.”

Tomlin addressed George Pickens’ sideline outbursts during his press conference on Monday. Tomlin said, “It’s a problem because it’s not solution-oriented. We’re all frustrated, but we have to manage our frustration in a professional and mature way and when it’s not done that way, it’s not necessarily pushing us towards solutions.”

Despite back-to-back losses to 2-10 teams at home, the Steelers still hold the No. 6 seed in the AFC Playoff picture. The season can still be salvaged, they just need to take it one game at a time and win on Saturday in Indianapolis. Leaders such as Fitzpatrick, Watt and Heyward can only do so much. They need the rest of the players to buy-in. If not and things continue to unravel, expect sweeping changes with the coaching staff and roster in the 2024 offseason.