Ryan Clark Super Bowl XLV Media Day Interview Transcript

QUOTES FROM PITTSBURGH STEELERS MEDIA DAY

SAFETY RYAN CLARK

(on why the Steelers will win the Super Bowl) “We are just going to come out and play. Does that guarantee a win? No, it doesn’t. We have been focused and we understand that despite our record and some of the things we have done this year, they (Green Bay) are a team that is heavily favored to beat us. The majority of the experts felt that they are a better team than us. So, we are just going to go out and play hard and we are going to be as physical as possible. I think that is the only way to combat an offense like this. We have got to hit them. That includes stopping the run, getting to their quarterback, hitting their receivers when they catch the ball and not allowing run of after the catch. It is going to be a physical game from a very physical defense. I think that is the only way to combat their explosiveness.”

(on if it will be a low-scoring or high-scoring game) “I feel like we can win either way. I think if it’s a track meet, I will be upset because we don’t want to give up that many points. We have explosive guys on offense too. We can go five-wides on offense, the same way they can. The game can go either way. The biggest thing about it is I think they want it to be about offensive. They kind of want it to be basketball, seven-on-seven for Aaron Rodgers. We need to make it a more physical game. We need to make the game about which team is going to out-hit the other. And I think we have the opportunity to win it if it becomes that.”

(on what it means to be playing in his second Super Bowl with the Steelers) “For our organization, it is the reason we play. We don’t go through workouts in the offseason and OTAs and mini-camps saying, ‘We can’t wait to get to the playoffs.’ or we don’t say, ‘We can’t wait to win the AFC North.’ It’s about winning a world championship. I got a text after the game last week and it just said, ‘You have a second chance to do something that is a once in a lifetime opportunity.’ It is big for our organization and I think it just shows that the Rooneys run this organization like it is supposed to be run.”

(on what role his faith has in this) “I think the biggest thing is I know it’s not me. I don’t deserve any of this, because of the way I live. I know that only the things that are coming to me are through blessings from Christ. Having a situation of having to face maybe dying and being in the hospital and being brought through that only through Christ, has made me understand that football is football. You know that you love to play the game and we put a lot into it, but in the end this won’t be my legacy. This won’t be what will be remembered in eternity. It is good to play and one day it will be over.”

(on if it is a little less exciting the second time in the Super Bowl) “I am just as nervous. They are both very exciting. I was probably happier after this AFC Championship because I could actually remember it. I didn’t remember the last one that much. I was emotional, hugging people and telling them that I loved them. This time I was able to jump in the stands and be excited about it. Any time you get this opportunity, it is exciting. And because we’ve been two times in three years, it doesn’t mean we are going to come back again before my career is over. It is just such a blessing to be here. We are excited because this is a big game. You know for us this is a season that wasn’t supposed to be like this. You don’t have your quarterback early in the season. You go through a lot of injuries on the offensive line, lose a guy like Aaron Smith and there is a lot of doubt and a lot of negativity surrounding this team and a lot of adversity that we have come through. So it is an awesome feeling to come back. But, you know it is not the last step. We have to win this game. The post party in our hotel will be empty if we lose.”

(on Troy Polamalu) “That’s my guy. Playing with Troy, it is like having a front row seat to the circus, every week. It is amazing, each and every week, to watch him go out there and do his job in a way that I don’t think anybody else could do it. I think what is even more amazing about him is his humility. I was sitting downstairs in the restaurant yesterday when I saw it go across the screen that he won the MVP (Defensive Player of the Year). I called him, and like most superstars he doesn’t really answer his phone very much, so then I texted him. I just said, ‘Congrats man you deserve it. I love you.’ And he was like ‘Well, that’s our award so let’s go try to win this trophy.’ I think that is the most amazing thing about him, he can do all these great things on the field and you’ll never hear him talk about it. That is not what he’s concerned with, individually winning awards. He is about team. It’s great to be around a player like that with such humility, with no ego.”

(on the Steelers organization) “I think it is about the city, it is about the organization and about the way it is run, like a family. To see a man like Mr. Rooney, who I think is probably the most respected owner in football right now, to see him in the lunch room or go to the game and he knows kids names and hugs your wife. I think just the family aspect of the whole thing, it makes you not want to leave and they treat people fairly. It is not a situation where they go out and make the big offseason move and you see the big No. 1 free agent coming to Pittsburgh. What you do see is guys staying. You do see them taking care of home first and I think that is a big reason that guys want to be around this organization.”

(on the team chemistry and how the team responds to adversity) “I think our team has responded well. The biggest thing is we talk about being brothers, we talk about being family and I think we play that way. If you look at the DBs, in between every series we pray together. That’s not about showing people that we have faith. That is something we do as teammates and as brothers because we know where that strength comes from. I think that is what has allowed us to persevere. Early in the season, people were saying that at best we would go 2-2 without our quarterback. Nobody questioned it and nobody thought that that was the case. We thought we could win all four games because of the chemistry and because of the camaraderie that we have as a team and I think that is what has pushed us through each and every obstacle, trial and tribulation that we faced this year.”

(on if he has any family in Wisconsin) “Yes, I have family in Wisconsin. The cornerbacks coach for the Green Bay Packers, he is my brother, he is my adopted brother. We are extremely good friends. We talk probably every other day. We even talked this week. We are still friends. I actually came out and saw him during his media day. That would be about the only family I have in Wisconsin.”

(on his most exciting moment in his career) “Winning the Super Bowl was without a doubt the most exciting moment in my career. When you play this game you play to be the best. All of us, we try to work to be the best at what we do. That is truly a day where we can say we are the best football team in the NFL. So, to have that experience and know that I probably don’t deserve to be starting on the best team in the world was amazing.”

(on his time with the Giants) “I am forever grateful to that organization for giving me that opportunity. I was an undrafted free agent and I didn’t have a lot of teams give me a chance to come in and compete and they did that. So without them, I don’t get that start. I make the team and then later put on practice squad and the next year play a lot of football before being cut. But I understand that, those steps and the things that they allow me to do and allow me to learn there have helped me a great deal to get to this point.”

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.