Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark made the news Monday morning when he said on NFL AM that the team might be fractured and not a close-nit group of players when commenting on the Sunday report by Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that quoted an anonymous player as saying linebacker LaMarr Woodley was out of shape last season and awful.
Monday evening Clark was guest on NFL Total Access and was asked about the situation once again.
“I think the toughest thing, dealing with our situation, is losing,” said Clark. “When you start to lose then these things become problems. Obviously if we go 12-4, and we are in the playoffs, Woodley\’s play is not pointed out as a reason to why we weren\’t winning games, and then we don\’t have an “anonymous” player come out and say something, which to me is cowardly.
“It makes me sad to be a leader of that team, that we don\’t have enough control of our locker-room, where guys feel like they have a brotherhood and a family, where they can communicate things between each other and keep them out of the media.”
So who is the anonymous player? Clark doesn\’t know for sure but told Dave Dameshek Monday on the Dave Dameshek Football Program that he thinks that is a fellow member of the defense.
“I would say it had to be defense, that\’s what I would think,” Clark told Dameshek. “I think it\’s someone that plays defense. I would say they felt personally let down by it, \’I wish he was out there with us\’ type of situation.”
We all are very aware right now that Clark is not afraid to talk when a microphone is put in his face, but you have to wonder if he is helping or hurting the problem at this point. Maybe calling the actions of the anonymous player cowardly on national television is not such a great idea. Maybe it is.
Clark is right, however, when he says that these kind of things usually only happen after a losing season, something that the Steelers organization is not used to going through.
Clark referred to himself as a leader on the team and he should know better than anyone that leaders lead by example both on and off the field more than they do with their words. When a situation arises such as this with a teammate it should be handled behind closed doors, and this is where the anonymous player really went wrong when he criticized Woodley to a member of the media.
Will this all go away soon? It won\’t as long as Clark keeps making television appearances and keeps commenting on it. I understand that he is positioning himself to be an analyst after his football days are over, but sometimes enough is enough.
You can expect to hear about the Steelers not being close-nit group for the rest of offseason. Hopefully they can use it as a motivating tool to prove everyone wrong heading into 2013. This is indeed a fractured team right now.