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Steelers Blog

How do you improve on No. 1?

Posted by Teresa Varley on September 2, 2013 – 6:50 pm

The Steelers defense finished the 2012 season ranked No. 1 in the NFL, but the players think they could be even better this year.

 So how can you improve on No. 1?

“I think that the number is not as important as the effect you have on football games,” said safety Ryan Clark. “We were extremely hard to score on last year. I think we were hard to move the ball on last year, which is good. But how many games did we truly dominate? How many times did you guys come in and start to write or speak and say, ‘The defense dominated this game. The Steelers defense won this game.’

“Whereas, you look at the years like 2008, it was almost every game where we did something in that game other than stop people that helped us to win. I think that’s how you get better. That’s the way you improve, and that’s the difference between 8-8 and 12-4.”

SI.com recently didn’t include the Steelers among the top five defenses in the NFL this year, and Clark joked it’s because “we’re old and slow and done.”

“You have to go out on Sunday and play the games,” said Clark. “The things that you know – we’re going to run to the ball, we’re going to be physical, we’re going to hit people and let the chips fall where they may. But there are not a lot of running backs or receivers that go into the week saying, ‘I can’t wait to play the Pittsburgh Steelers.’ So, that’s what we have to do. We have to continue to be physical.”

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