It’s no secret that I have major issues with the way Pittsburgh Steelers’ safety Ryan Clark does things to promote his post-football career. From calling out opposing players to saying things about his own teammates, Clark is clearly focused on the next phase of his life rather than his current one.
Perhaps Clark should take a look at another guy in the very same defensive backfield for a clue as to how to handle one’s self during the off-season.
Veteran Steelers’ cornerback Ike Taylor is a busy guy who has the new experience this off-season of returning from a season-ending ankle injury. He has his share of media responsibilities such as his show on Trib-Live Radio every Tuesday and the occasional appearance on national shows like the one he had yesterday on “The Jim Rome Show.”
He also has started doing radio for the Arena Football League’s Pittsburgh Power team which he clearly loves doing, but the difference between Clark and Taylor is that one is a self-promotional tour while the other is a guy who just enjoys what he is doing.
In yesterday’s interview on Jim Rome, I didn’t hear Taylor utter one word about Tom Brady or the decline of the Patriots or throw any one of his teammates under the bus. I heard a guy who is passionate about the game of football and who rewards himself for his intense, long workouts by….. Working out again.
If you listen to him discuss the team during his weekly shows on Trib-Live Radio, you won’t hear him talk negatively about anyone. Sure, he makes comments about himself or others needing to get better or needing to improve, but he doesn’t have an agenda as Clark often does. Most importantly, if Taylor is on a national TV or radio show, there isn’t an instant media reaction to something that he said, at least not in recent memory.
In essence, Taylor is preparing for his post-football career without telling everyone about it. He is enjoying that side of his life but has clearly not forgotten he is a football player and still dreams of playing four or five more years.
When Rome asked him about not making a Pro Bowl in 11 years, Taylor said it was all about interception numbers. Amazingly for a pro athlete today, he took complete blame for not having more picks too by saying “That’s on me. I’ve had my chances.”
How nice to hear a Steeler taking accountability rather than attacking someone else.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.