Former Steelers safety Ryan Clark said he isn't “bitter” the Steelers didn't re-sign him and that wide receiver Antonio Brown isn't “smart enough” to realize what a good teammate Clark was.
Clark made the remarks on his Twitter account after Brown told the Tribune-Review that Clark's postseason comments some Steelers players smoked marijuana illustrated a fixable lack of team camaraderie.
With seven new players in the locker room and a new draft class yet to arrive, Brown said the Steelers need to regain some of the “togetherness” they had when he arrived to play for a Super Bowl-bound team in 2010.
“Everybody's new. That's why I've got to be a leader and the guys who have been here have got to be leaders,” Brown said. “We've got to welcome the guys, and get to know guys and get that team camaraderie together, because I think that's a big asset for us winning.
“Our business is winning. Any time you're not winning, people point fingers and try to deem what's the reason. But I think we definitely got to get better in that (team chemistry) area.”
Brown said he wasn't mad at Clark but that he didn't like “people taking shots” at someone who wears the same jersey and resides in the same locker room.
He also said Clark is trying to set the stage for his post-NFL career as a commentator by “making himself sound smart.” Clark, now with the Redskins, already does offseason work for ESPN.
Clark responded to Brown's comments by tweeting, “Antonio Brown can feel and say anything about me he'd like. We all have opinions, I'm not bitter and mad at him. Wish him the best!”
Clark added, “My family babysat for Antonio and my wife planned his son's birthday party. He's not smart enough to realize what a good teammate is. ... He said I was bitter because I was no longer there. I'm not though not at all.”
Clark also tweeted, “Can't wait to get to voluntary minicamp and start football building with my teammates on Tuesday! Moving on my friends.”
Brown, too, is saying he's eager to see what the Steelers will do in the draft — especially in filling the starting wide receiver's job vacated when Emmanuel Sanders signed with the Denver Broncos.
“I think whoever they pick, they'll make a great decision, add value to our team and help us out,” Brown said.
Brown and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger are believed to want a tall receiver who would provide a deep threat and prevent Brown — coming off a 110-catch season — from always going against an opponent's best cornerback.
“No matter the size, any guy who's willing to help us and is capable of making big plays, rolling the coverage (so it's) not only to my side, any guy who can be versatile, would help us,” Brown said.
The best tall receiver in the draft, 6-foot-5 Mike Evans of Texas A&M, likely will be gone when the Steelers choose at No. 15, but second-round options might include 6-2 Martavis Bryant from Clemson, 6-2 Donte Moncrief of Mississippi and, possibly, 6-21/2 Allen Robinson of Penn State.
Kelvin Benjamin, a 6-5 receiver from Florida State, should be available in the first round, but it seems more likely the Steelers will target a cornerback and go after a receiver in a later round.