I’m not the only one who has grown tired of Ryan Clark’s talking in recent months. Myself, along with many who blog and write about the Pittsburgh Steelers had grown tired of his continuous posturing for a gig at ESPN.
In doing so, Clark routinely talked about his teammates and nine times out of ten, his comments were less than appropriate and usually detrimental to the team.
I’ve speculated that Clark’s comments weren’t exactly welcomed with open arms in the Steelers’ locker room and it appears wide receiver Antonio Brown is validating this.
In a terrific piece by Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Clark makes no bones about his belief that Clark’s comments were negative and that they had an impact on the team.
“He’s getting into his career as a reporter and trying to get those things in the works,” Brown said. “I don’t think he meant any harm taking those shots to players as individuals, I just think he was trying to make pointers and make himself sound smart on ESPN.”
While Brown wouldn’t blame locker room discord for back to back 8-8 seasons, it was pretty obvious through his comments that Clark’s words didn’t help. If Brown as able to pick up on this then we can only wonder how many other players in the locker room were picking up on the same thing.
I’ve said in past articles that I appreciate the way Ryan Clark played in Pittsburgh. He played extremely hard and threw his body around like a rag doll at times. Unfortunately what happened with Clark is probably not the first nor the last time it will happen with a professional athlete.
Clark started prepping for his life beyond football by popping up on ESPN more and more and I don’t blame him at all for looking at life after football but it affected his play in my opinion. The bigger problem is that Clark chose to throw teammates under the bus in an effort to make a name for himself. By doing this, he sent the message that in fact he was more important than the team.
Antonio Brown could have taken the high road and said nothing about this at all and some will surely chastise him for saying something but perhaps Brown has an agenda to.
Maybe Antonio Brown is picking up the torch left by so many in this organization and is ready to be a leader. The team is getting younger and needs guys who are willing to say what is needed. While I would rather this had just stayed behind closed doors I appreciate Brown’s candor and honesty.
He gave us both of those things without being on ESPN too.
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 weekly on Trib-Live Radio talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.