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Ryan Clark: Bengals need to 'slug it out' with Steelers

The Cincinnati Bengals haven't had much success against the Pittsburgh Steelers in recent seasons. Prior to the last meeting with their AFC North rival, the Bengals tried to send a message that intimidation hadn't crept into the equation.

Steelers safety Ryan Clark told NFL.com's Aditi Kinkhabwala this week that members of the Bengals picked a fight with Steelers long snapper Greg Warren before Pittsburgh's 24-17 win in October. The teams meet again Sunday.

"They don't care about us. They came out before the last game and tried to start a fight with our long snapper," Clark recalled. "I think it was a smart pick because you pick somebody else, it might be trouble. But I think it was for them to say, 'Hey, we're not scared of you guys. We think we can beat you.'"

Clark deadpanned the bit about the Bengals being smart. If Cincinnati meant to send message, it's unclear the right one got through.

"We understand their mentality coming in. But you have to come out and prove it," Clark said. "The Bengals have to come in here and be ready to to  and stand in the middle of the field and slug it out. We like doing that, we're used to doing that and the best team will win."

The Steelers have won five straight against the Bengals and 10-of-12 overall. This has been a one-sided rivalry, but the Bengals can strike a thunderous blow by knocking the Steelers out of the playoff picture Sunday.

Follow Aditi Kinkhabwala on Twitter @AKinkhabwala.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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