Nobody can say Pittsburgh Steelers Ryan Clark has given up on the season.
In fact, Clark still has postseason aspirations.
Sure, Pittsburgh is 0-4 and experienced the worst September team history. Yes, Pittsburgh is one of four NFL winless teams, joining Jacksonville, the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the futility department. Certainly, Pittsburgh is only 12 games away from the end of this dreadful season.
“I just believe we can win. That's just the bottom line,” Clark told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I think we have the people in this room, the coaches (to win). Also, looking at our schedule, we're not playing world beaters, we're not playing gods. We're playing men.”
Some would argue the Steelers are playing a group of men better than their team.
Pittsburgh’s remaining schedule includes the Baltimore Ravens (twice), Cleveland Browns (twice), New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers. Seven of those teams have winning records.
“We're playing football teams that have vulnerabilities and teams I think we can beat,” Clark told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “That's five division opponents left, so it's in our own hands. I think we can win those games, and I think we will.”
It is a good thing Clark has seemingly not spoken with teammate Ben Roethlisberger, who said Pittsburgh was one of the NFL's worst teams after a 34-27 loss against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4. That conversation could have killed Clark’s optimism.
Clark said all the right things during this interview, even if his statements are based in emotions and not facts. If Clark said the season was over, he would be ripped apart. Instead, he said Pittsburgh will make the playoffs, and most NFL observers will laugh.
Pittsburgh probably should stick to basics - you know, getting one win - but at least Clark still has hope.