LATROBE, Pa. – It's been an easy transition for both Ryan Clark and Jerome Bettis to go from football player to media member, both working for ESPN as NFL analysts as part of their NFL programming.
But there is one thing that isn't easy, saying anything negative about the Steelers.
Have they had to do it? Yes, it's part of the job. It just happens to be the toughest part of the job as nobody, including Clark and Bettis, like to say anything bad about their friends and former teammates.
"It takes more work being that you like the people that play on this team," said Clark. "Without Ben (Roethlisberger) I don't have a Super Bowl ring. It's hard for me to say anything bad about him.
"What I have to do is just really balance it. I do my best to be honest, but most of the guys here can ball so it's not hard."
Bettis will never deny his love for the Steelers. He wears it on his sleeve, takes great pride in being the newest Steelers Hall of Famer, and has nothing but the utmost respect for the team that has shown him nothing but love.
But there are times, as tough as it is, when he has to be honest, and a little critical.
"It's a little bit different," said Bettis. "It's harder to cover your team because of the fact that it's your team. You try to stay even keeled. You try to stay out of it because of your personal involvement.
"That is the hard part with Pittsburgh and the Steelers. I am attached. I always will be attached. It is difficult to report and have a non-biased report."