Ryan Clark Press Conference Transcript Wednesday Super Bowl XLV


Ryan Clark Press Conference Transcript Wednesday February 2nd Super Bowl XLV

QUOTES FROM STEELERS PRESS CONFERENCE

SAFETY RYAN CLARK

(on how the Steelers defense has adjusted to five-receiver sets) “I don’t really remember the first team to do it. I think it’s something kind of taken from what New England has been able to do against us for years which is getting the ball out quickly. Tom (Brady) gets rid of it, whether he is throwing it away, looking for his ‘hot’ receiver, which I think people have tried to take from what they’ve done and add their own personality to it. It doesn’t work for everybody, which is clear by the amount of games we’re able to win when people do try to spread us out. The adjustments have to be made by the coaching staff, though. Coach (Dick) LeBeau has done a better job of knowing when to pressure because we put it on him all game. Every time he calls a zone, we want to blitz. He’s a player’s coach and he wants to make us comfortable and give us what we want. But, I think he’s done a great job putting us in the right calls when people are trying to spread us out. Baltimore went out and got those receivers and came out in a lot of three-receiver and one-tight end sets. When (Todd) Heap wasn’t able to play that one game, they came out with four receivers against us. The biggest thing is the pressure on the quarterback. When you spread us out and put five wideouts, that means you have tackles, tight ends and running backs trying to block Lamarr Woodley, James Harrison and Lawrence Timmons. I think that’s the biggest thing to affect that.”

(on how dangerous that could be for a quarterback who has had two concussions) “I think it would be dangerous if they would let us play a certain way. It’s not very often that he’s going to be hit in the head. I think the thing about him, though, is that he’s so mobile. That’s the hard part. He’s not one of those guys who is going to sit back there and let you tee off on him. If you look at the concussion he got against Detroit, it wasn’t sitting in the pocket getting hit, it’s because he scrambled. I think that’s the thing he’s not worried about. He continues to play at a high level. He took a hit last game from Julius Peppers and continued to play so he’s not worried about that and we aren’t worried about trying to get him out either.”

(on how adept Green Bay’s offense is at doing some of the things the Patriots have done to the Steelers) “I’m not sure. I think they are two different teams. I think Green Bay is more vertical than New England is. New England is a short pass, check down, run-after-the-catch-type team. I think the way Green Bay uses Aaron (Rodgers). It’s about getting the ball down the field, hitting seams, taking your shots when you have them and him scrambling, making plays. So, even though they have the personnel to spread you out in the same way, they go about it in different ways. They’re a good team and they have the weapons to definitely go four and five wide and throw the ball around the field. Conversely, we have to get pressure on the quarterback, make him throw the ball quick and be physical with the receivers.”

(on the Packers receivers) “They’re good players. They’re basically all the same guy except for Jordy Nelson is Caucasian. Other than that, they’re all around the same body type, strong guys, great hands, make a lot of plays after the catch. I think the amazing thing about them is that everybody can play every position. You may see (Donald) Driver backside with (Greg) Jennings in the slot. The next time you see Jennings in the slot on the same side with Driver. Then you have (James) Jones and Jordy Nelson out there. So, it makes it a matchup problem because you can’t just say this guy is going to match 85 or this guy is going to match 87 because they line up in so many different positions that you can’t predict how they’re going to come out. It’s a very good crew, but it all starts with the quarterback. If I had that crew, and was throwing to them, they’d all be sorry. The thing is we have to get to Aaron Rodgers. You have to cut the head off.”

(on Ike Taylor) “Ike Taylor has become a new leader this year, which has been fun for us to watch him step up. He says it all the time, ‘Nobody can beat a Steeler but a Steeler.’ We feel like when we play our type of ball, we can match up with anybody. Are they the best team in the NFC? Without question. They proved that. We knew it before the season. They can play some great ball. We feel confident that if we do what we have to, we can definitely play a great game.”

(on if the Packers can run the ball)(James) Starks has really been impressive. Watching him on TV, he looked like he played well, but watching him on film is different. He runs the ball extremely hard. He seems a lot bigger than the press guide says he is. So I think if they get some creases and he gets back there in the secondary, he could be very dangerous for us. That’s going to be on Casey (Hampton) and Ziggy (Hood) and those guys to really play their blocks well, to stay in their gaps, because if they can get the running game going, it’s going to be really tough to stop that play-action pass.”

(on what he thinks about when he lies down to sleep on Saturday night) “How fast I can get to sleep. That part of it is still a game. When you get to the game and Christina Aguilera starts to sing, the jets fly over, then you really realize where you are. The rest of it is just preparing to play a football game. I think if you can keep that in perspective, it’s good. When you sit in bed and make it something different than the 18 weeks we had it play to get here, you make it tough on yourself kind of raising the expectations on yourself of what you have to do. I’ll probably be laying in bed, texting the family, telling them I’m going to go to sleep. I usually text them a little early, when I’m about to go to sleep, so they’ll leave me alone. I’ll just do that and shut it down. Say my payers and go to bed.”

(on how hard it is to stay focused) “Not really because it’s what we’ve been doing. This is the reason you play. You play to get to this point, not to get to this point and panic. You play because you want to be in this game. All of us strive to be the best. Right now, only two teams have that opportunity. So staying focused is easy. You just take it day by day and you do the same things. We talked about it earlier, staying in your routine. If you worked out on Wednesday, work out this Wednesday. If you watched film together Thursday as a group and you all eat together, do the same thing. You try to keep it the same as being home.”

(on if this game will be similar to the Steelers game against the Ravens) “With these two teams and the way the defenses play, it’s definitely going to be a 60 minute game. You don’t get to the super Bowl and expect to blow the team out. We definitely hope that they don’t blow us out. I think it’s going to be a game that goes to the wire. I think two extremely talented teams who play very similar football and philosophy are just going to go out and battle and see who wins.”

(on if that is what he tells the younger players) “We don’t really talk to them about it. You just follow suit. Coach always says that if you get confused about what to do, you do what James Farrior does. That’s how we rock as a team. The older guys lead and we just follow their move.”

(on if he ever thought he wasn’t going to play) “I thought I was going to die at one point. If I could play dead then I’d be a bad dude.”

(on when that day was) “We had one day, just watching the Cincinnati game at the house with my Mom, my wife, just trying to watch the game and couldn’t get warm. They put all of the blankets on top of me. My wife had a blow dryer underneath the covers and I just couldn’t stop shaking. Not shaking like shivering, like shaking the bed. I was ready, though. I was just like, if it’s time, let me go now. I’m tired of this.”

(on how the weather has impacted his Super Bowl experience) “I’m not worried about the weather. I live in Pittsburgh. People who are visiting here from nice places can’t drive in this. I can drive in this in reverse. I haven’t been doing much anyway, though, just hanging around the hotel, eating, making sure you have the right suit for the game. It’s been like a week in Pittsburgh. No fun in the sun, gloomy, getting ready to play a fun football game.”

(on what suit he has ready for Sunday) “It’s a secret. You can’t tell people. You have let them just see it and be like, ‘That’s nice.’”

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