Steelers notebook: Clark says 2014 not an issue
By Alan Robinson
Published: Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Now it's down to two games, and multiple Steelers players realize they're playing their final games for the franchise.
But safety Ryan Clark, who could be one of those players, said 2014 employment isn't an issue during games.
“When you're out there, you can't really think about those things,” Clark said. “You're trying to figure out your coverage, or you're trying to figure out where to go with the ball offensively. You're not thinking about how many games you've got left. During the week, you think about those things and try to take in the (last) moments with the guys. Right now, we're trying to win games and show people that the guys on this team, and the coaches, they still want to play, they have a lot of fight left in them.”
• Some tickets for the Bengals game Sunday sold on the secondary market for as little as $5, according to SeatGeek. The crowd of 45,873 was by far the smallest for a Steelers home game since Heinz Field opened in 2001. The previous low in the 65,500-seat stadium was 51,831 for the season-ending game against the Browns in 2012. The average resale price Sunday was $49, according to SeatGeek, or less than half of the $133 for the Browns game last year. Even the two preseason games in August had higher ticket demand than the Bengals game did. Seats for the Browns game Dec. 29 are selling for $55, an unusually low price for a Steelers game given that it's still 12 days away. Two weeks ago, Bengals tickets were selling for $92.
• Wide receiver Antonio Brown's five catches Sunday gave him 95 for the season, 17 short of Hines Ward's team record of 112 in 2002.
Brown is 92 yards away from breaking Yancey Thigpen's single-season club record of 1,398 yards receiving in 1997. “It would definitely be great if I could reach that achievement,” Brown said. “But my focus is on how I can be productive, how can I come to the stadium and help my team win? If I help us win, I think I'll have a good opportunity to hit those marks.” Brown has two punt return touchdowns, both against Cincinnati. Antwaan Randle El owns the club record for most in a single season with four.
• With former Steelers linebacker James Harrison out with a concussion for most of the game, the Bengals downsized on defense, according to running back Le'Veon Bell. “Once he went down, they had a defensive back in there, so that made it easier to run the ball,” Bell said. “It was a bigger guy coming out and a smaller guy coming in. But they adjusted in the second half and had a bigger guy in there.”
• Troy Polamalu has been lining up frequently as an inside linebacker assigned to run coverage, but he played more than twice as many snaps in pass coverage, according to Pro Football Focus. Polamalu was easily the highest-rated player on defense. Right guard David DeCastro and right tackle Marcus Gilbert were the highest-rated players on offense.
• With LaMarr Woodley limited to two snaps because of a calf injury, rookie outside linebacker Jarvis Jones played 69 snaps, his third most of the season. He didn't have a sack, but he had two tackles and a quarterback hurry. “I'm figuring out the things I need to work on and the things I need to hone in on,” Jones said. “It motivates me for the offseason to come back and be a better all-around player.”
• Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 15-6 against the Bengals, including the playoffs. He was sacked only once Sunday and has gone down five times in five games after being sacked at least five times in four of the first eight games. Roethlisberger needs 414 passing yards to break his own single-season record.
• After giving up 11 plays of 50 yards or longer in their first 13 games, the Steelers didn't allow a play longer than 19 yards against Cincinnati. The longest run was 9 yards.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Despite many moves, Steelers’ depth still a work in progress
- Steelers get familiar exhibition opponents
- 3 more college players visit Steelers ahead of NFL Draft
- Steelers’ Tomlin experiencing urgency entering 2014
- Steelers assistant coaches have impressive credentials
- Steelers take flier on ex-Colts WR Heyward-Bey