Ben Roethlisberger shrugs off Ryan Clark comments


The Pittsburgh Steelers are 0-4 for the first time since 1968. We don't expect a veteran locker room to implode from within, but a certain level of restlessness should be expected.

Take, for instance, safety Ryan Clark. The Steelers' defensive captain made some eyebrow-raising comments during the team's bye week about Ben Roethlisberger, who has taken 15 sacks and turned the ball over nine times in one month of play.

"You to have to protect Ben against Ben," Clark told ESPN last week. "Right now, we have to tone Ben down in a sense and say, 'Hey, right now, we're not a good enough football team for you to try to extend plays, for us to take sacks, for us to have turnovers.' "

Clark elaborated on those comments on Wednesday.

"We need to protect Ben. Defensively, we need to make plays so Ben doesn't feel like he has to do everything. Offensively, we need to protect him so he can get the ball out," Clark said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "The receivers need to get open. The running backs need to run the ball.

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"But in that as well, he needs to understand that, as constructed right now, we aren't playing well enough as a team to where we can take sacks and have turnovers. That's a team solution, but the quarterback has to spearhead it."

Roethlisberger didn't seem to make much of his teammate's critique.

"It is what it is," Roethlisberger said. "I'm just going to play the game the way that I play it and try not to turn it over."

Clark's comments are well-meaning, but there are other areas more worthy of examination. (Looks disappointingly at the offensive line.)

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