Clark was one of two deep safeties for the Steelers, and he was shading toward Anquan Boldin in the middle of the field on the third-and-10 play rather than to Smith, who was running past cornerback William Gay down the sideline.
"My focus was on Boldin but I should've been looking over William also. I can't leave him out to dry like that," said Clark.
It wasn't the only play being discussed in the Steelers' locker room Wednesday. Several players were puzzled over coach Mike Tomlin's statement Tuesday that "we were going to utilize the cadence like we had down in Arizona to pick up an extra five (yards)." The players said there was no such play being discussed.
"It was a straight field goal," said one player. "We thought they were going to re-set the play clock. The delay penalty took everyone by surprise."
"I was trying to get Mike [Wallace] a ball on a screen, knowing Heath [Miller] was out there blocking," said Roethlisberger. "We were kind of driving down the field and I think they were getting tired and I don't think Suggs was rushing as hard. Whether he read something or knew something, he made quite a play."
After a tough loss, the Steelers have one more game before a much-needed bye week. But they swear they won't treat it like the final days in school before Christmas break.
"We're here for a bigger reason," said center Maurkice Pouncey. "It ain't to look forward to the bye. We're here to get a world championship."
"Everybody knows better," said nose tackle Chris Hoke. "We've learned from past years when we kind of let things sputter a bit a couple years ago. The guys around here, the leaders in this group, they know you've got to quit the losing right away. In the NFL, especially in the AFC North where it's so competitive, you can't stack losses back to back. You do that and you get yourself in trouble. You lose these kinds of games and you look back and say, ‘Man I wish we would've won that game.'"
"We have to beat them," Clark said of the Bengals. "We have no choice."
The Steelers claimed defensive end Al Woods off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks. Woods spent half of the 2010 season on the Steelers' practice squad before being signed to the Tampa Bay active roster. Woods, out of LSU, will wear No. 65. To make room on the roster the Steelers released linebacker Mortty Ivy. If he clears waivers, Ivy will likely be re-signed to the practice squad.
Missing Wednesday's practice were WR Arnaz Battle (hamstring), WR Jerricho Cotchery (knee), SS Troy Polamalu (rib), WR Emmanuel Sanders (knee), LB Stevenson Sylvester (knee) and LB LaMarr Woodley (hamstring).