Ryan Clark apparently is mellowing in his advancing age.
The Steelers safety, who’ll turn 33 in October, recently said that he won’t gripe about the league office as much as he used to. Wednesday morning, Clark told NFL Network that, in reality, he doesn’t hate the Ravens.
“I don’t really hate them,” Clark said, via Kevin Patra of NFL Network. “I was working out with Terrell Suggs this summer, before his injury. He’s a really cool dude and he said it himself, he’s like, ‘People don’t understand that we only hate y’all two weeks or three out of the year.’”
Still, Clark didn’t appreciate the way the Ravens behaved in their 35-7 Week One win over the Steelers last season. “I will say this about the Ravens: That first game last year watching them dance on the field, seeing them fake an extra point while up 27 already, it allowed me to understand how much they actually dislike us as an organization as a coaching staff,” Clark said. “So it brooded and stirred up a little hate in me.”
But Clark realizes that the broader purpose of the game isn’t to beat the Ravens. “This organization, we worry about winning championships, we don’t focus on beating one team,” Clark said. “There won’t be Gatorade baths because we beat the Ravens, won’t be parties, won’t be bottle-popping and confetti, it will be one game on our journey to win the Super Bowl and I always look at it like that.”
This year, the two teams don’t get together until November 18, and they play twice in 15 days. There’s a chance they neither squad will be able to field 11 healthy players the following week.