Ryan Clark Admits Role in Triggering Steelers’ Mike Tomlin: ‘This Is Partly My Fault’

Ryan Clark

Chris Graythen/Getty Images Ryan Clark of ESPN before the College Football Playoff National Championship game at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans on January 13, 2020.

On Tuesday Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had a meltdown at the tail end of his weekly press conference, having been asked about rumors that he’s a candidate for several different Power 5 head coaching jobs.

“I don’t have time for that speculation. That’s a joke to me. I’ve got one of the best jobs in all of professional sports. Why would I have any interest in coaching college football?” Tomlin responded, clearly getting hot under the collar.

“That will be the last time that I address (these rumors). And not only today, but moving forward. Never say never, but never, okay?” concluded Tomlin, who has been in his current job for the past 15 years.

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Ryan Clark Issues a Mea Culpa on SportsCenter

Later in the day, former Steelers safety turned ESPN commentator Ryan Clark appeared on SportsCenter and apologized for his role in getting his former head coach worked up.

“I went on a rant (on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh) last Wednesday about how we should offer (Tomlin) so much money, that if he turns it down it would be disrespectful to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself to say no.

“I wanted to offer Mike Tomlin so much money to be the coach of Louisiana State University that he had to go home and tell his wife, ‘Baby, they offered me triple what I make and it’s guaranteed and we ain’t never got to make no more.’”

Clark, who played his college football at LSU between 1999-2001, went so far as to say that if Tomlin accepted the head coaching job at the school, he would quit his job at ESPN and join Tomlin’s staff as defensive backs coach.

“I want to win, I want to win big,” Clark added, before noting that he reached out to his former boss to try to clear the air.

“I actually tweeted him. I said, ‘Coach, I ain’t said you was coming. I ain’t said you was interested.’ What I said was, if you are, we should offer you all the money that we possibly can to get you to take the job. I’m sorry.”


Ryan Clark apologizes (but not really) after Mike Tomlin's rant about leaving Steelers for collegeRyan Clark joins SportsCenter to respond to Mike Tomlin's rant about the suggestion that he would leave the Pittsburgh Steelers for a college football job like USC or LSU. #NFL #CollegeFootball #Sports ✔️ Subscribe to ESPN+ espnplus.com/youtube ✔️ Get the ESPN App: espn.com/espn/apps/espn ✔️ Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: es.pn/SUBSCRIBEtoYOUTUBE ✔️ Subscribe to NBA on…2021-10-26T23:00:24Z

Never mind the fact that Clark, 42, was a relatively minor figure in terms of the Tomlin rumor mill coming to a crescendo, as the lion’s share of the speculation surrounded him going to USC, not LSU.

Also overlooked by Clark is that Tomlin signed a three-year contract extension with the Steelers this past April, one that binds him to the team through the 2024 season.

It seems that Tomlin doesn’t want to do anything other than coach the Pittsburgh Steelers, at least for the forseeable future.

Tomlin hasn’t even been enticed by the prospect of following in the footsteps of former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher and joining the ranks of the broadcast media. This despite the fact that one television executive views him as a potentially “transformational” talent, someone who could be the “next Tony Romo,” who, it should be noted, currently earns $17.5 million per year with CBS.

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