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Steelers' Clark wants hard work to pay off

| Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, 11:08 p.m.
Steelers saftey Ryan Clark returns a first quardter interception against the Riaders at 0.co Coliseum Sept. 23, 2012. Chaz Palla | Tribune Review

Steelers safety Ryan Clark says any self-respecting NFL player wants to excel — not just to help his team win but to gain some tangible personal payback for the countless hours he devotes year-around to his craft.

To Clark, it's not wrong to be selfish or to derive self-motivation by taking the attitude that failing one's team also means failing one's self.

Asked if the Steelers are driven by not wanting to fall to 1-3, Clark said, “If your record is what dictates your urgency, you're in the wrong game.”

“I want to win every week. I want to play well every week,” he said. “This is about the names on the helmets, but it's also about the names on the back. You want to go out and play well for yourself every time you get an opportunity; it's the reason why you work so hard in the offseason.”

Maybe there's no “I” in team, as the saying goes, but there is a “m” and an “e,” as in me. And to Clark, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

BOO BIRDS

The Steelers and Eagles don't play that often; this is only the third time they've met since Ben Roethlisberger helped beat the then-unbeaten Patriots and then-unbeaten Eagles in a span of eight days during his 2004 rookie season.

But he has generated the typical Pittsburgher's dislike for all things Philadelphia.

“I'm always rooting for the Pittsburgh team. There's no doubt about that,” he said. “I like to watch the fans boo the Flyers, so I boo, too.”

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