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Current, former Steelers join ESPN


ESPN has added a pair of Steelers, one current and one former, to its ever-growing roster of NFL analysts.

From the ranks for the former players, running back Jerome Bettis has joined ESPN as an analyst.  He previously worked on a national level with NBC.  His return to a coast-to-coast platform won’t hurt come February, when Bettis once again makes a run at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Bettis will appear on NFL Live, SportsCenter, and other ESPN platforms beginning September 1.

More surprising is the Steelers’ decision to bring in safety Ryan Clark, who still plays for the team.   He’ll be, via Chris Mortensen of ESPN, an in-season and offseason contributor.

It’s an intriguing move by ESPN, but the fact that Clark would see fit to spend time in Bristol while working for the Steelers raises fresh questions about the quality of the locker-room leadership in Pittsburgh.  During a stint earlier this year with ESPN, Clark stirred up the Patriots by calling Danny Amendola fragile and claiming Tom Brady ducks when blitzed.  As a result, the Steelers gain nothing from having Clark potentially say things that could undermine the broader effort of winning football games.

UPDATE 5:51 p.m. ET: ESPN has clarified that the network did not hire Ryan Clark, but he has agreed to make unpaid appearances on ESPN shows this season.

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27 Responses to “Current, former Steelers join ESPN”
  1. favresweiner says: Aug 21, 2013 3:39 PM

    Jerome Bettis was a great football player, but he is a horrible analyst.

  2. fancyleague says: Aug 21, 2013 3:43 PM

    Ryan Clark basically works for the media right now anyway. He might as well get paid for it.

  3. si1m says: Aug 21, 2013 3:43 PM

    I like Ryan Clark’s commentary despite the fact he plays for the Steelers. He’s pretty intelligent and informative.

    Bettis I’ve never heard on TV so eh I hope he’s not just another mindless jock because the networks are already bursting at the seams with those.

  4. crownofthehelmet says: Aug 21, 2013 3:43 PM

    Instictively, Bart Scott will let Bettis pass right by him in the hallway.

  5. 6ball says: Aug 21, 2013 3:45 PM


    Will Clark be picking winners and losers versus the line?


  6. hakunamangata says: Aug 21, 2013 3:45 PM

    He may be busy for most of the year but my guess is he’ll have a lot of free time in January.

  7. shackdelrio says: Aug 21, 2013 3:45 PM

    The dozens of former players turned studio analysts are useless. Honestly, who cares what Jerome Bettis, Brian Dawkins, Ted Bruschi or Shaun O’Hara thinks?

  8. vincentbojackson says: Aug 21, 2013 3:47 PM

    Clark’s decision summed up:

    Two paychecks > One paycheck

  9. nfloracle says: Aug 21, 2013 3:54 PM

    Personally, I’d turn in to Jerome Bettis over Warren Sapp and/or Ray Lewis and/or Keyshawn Johnson every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  10. mikep363839 says: Aug 21, 2013 3:58 PM

    Ryan Clark has a big mouth and the Steelers know it. He’ll be out of Pittsburgh sooner than later now cause of this selfish move.

  11. getyourownname says: Aug 21, 2013 4:01 PM

    “Which makes it a potentially tricky approach for ESPN”

    You’re assuming this is a network guided by ethics and journalism principles, despite the evidence of having hiring Skip Bayless.

  12. scoobies05 says: Aug 21, 2013 4:17 PM

    good one crown. i actually laughed

  13. runtheball says: Aug 21, 2013 4:21 PM

    hopefully they cut him. He can’t cover anyone. Only good for big hits, which now usually draw a flag.

  14. pooflingingmonkey says: Aug 21, 2013 4:24 PM

    Two more candidates for the ESPN School of Overdone Hand Gestures and Hyperbole.

  15. getyourownname says: Aug 21, 2013 4:28 PM

    Will Clark be able to comment on Bronco games?

  16. t8ertot says: Aug 21, 2013 4:38 PM

    Too bad he can’t suit up any more. They need all the help they can get

  17. briang123 says: Aug 21, 2013 4:42 PM

    If Rothlisberger doesn’t make that great open field tackle against the Colts, Bettis’ legacy is a lot different.

  18. wearethechampsandyourenot says: Aug 21, 2013 4:45 PM

    this is the same guy who played for an 8-8 team last year


  19. alskdh says: Aug 21, 2013 4:58 PM

    How many of these guys can they get on there

  20. nirvana504 says: Aug 21, 2013 5:31 PM

    2 more reasons not to watch

  21. dagrizzman says: Aug 21, 2013 6:45 PM

    The “Bus ” is a class act and will add a lot to an already boring team of analysts like the ego maniac ,know it all Chris Carter and that wanna be QB that never was .Good pick up.Fox Sports 1 is already better out of the gate.!

  22. fdugrad says: Aug 21, 2013 7:11 PM

    I imagine Clark’s head coach is THRILLED with his new in-season employment opportunity.

  23. bobzilla1001 says: Aug 21, 2013 11:29 PM

    Clark is the final year of his contract, so obviously he’s preparing for life after football, well aware that he’s about to be another casualty in the Steelers’ rebuilding process…

  24. steelersfan3539 says: Aug 22, 2013 8:24 AM

    Goooooooooooooooo Steelerssssssssssssssssss……………..

  25. walkinginthewasteland says: Aug 22, 2013 9:00 AM

    shackdelrio says: Aug 21, 2013 3:45 PM

    The dozens of former players turned studio analysts are useless. Honestly, who cares what Jerome Bettis, Brian Dawkins, Ted Bruschi or Shaun O’Hara thinks?

    True for about 90% of them.

    But we also get to hear Rodney Harrison’s blatant hypocrisy as he labels players cheap and dirty for the types of hits (head shots) he routinely executed.

  26. sbchampsagain says: Aug 22, 2013 3:37 PM


    One more venue for Ray Lewis to outperform an overrated Steeler.

    Can’t wait to hear Ray preach on Sundays!

  27. sallust99 says: Aug 23, 2013 11:50 AM

    Please remember 72, 74, 75, 76, 78, 79, 84, 94, 95, 97, 01, 04, 05, 08, and 10.

    No one can match those numbers – no one!

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