On Monday night, Clark brought his bubbly personality to women definitely in need of a little holiday cheer when he and teammate Kelvin Beachum served a holiday dinner to those at the Women’s Center and Shelter of Pittsburgh, a shelter that serves women and children affected by the horror that is domestic violence.
Clark first visited the shelter a few years ago with former teammate William Gay, whose mother lost her life to domestic violence. When Gay left via free agency, Clark promised he would continue the commitment to the shelter and he hasn’t let them down.
“I can never put myself in their shoes, but to see how much Will cared and know he had a tragedy with his mother and seeing the effort he put in, it’s a blessing to be able to come here and do that now,” said Clark, who was also joined by his wife Yonka and their three children. “It’s about lifting someone up during the holiday season when they are going through a tough time.
“Domestic violence is so real. A lot of times it escalates to more than someone putting their hand on someone. What is missed and what I see here is so many kids are affected. These women have children that they have to bring here. To come here and get the word out and do something for them, it’s a reality that is going on in the world.”
Clark and Beachum joked with the ladies, giving one who is a Ravens fan a playfully tough time, and just making them feel special and cared for.
“To be able to put a smile on their faces is priceless,” said Beachum. “To play with the kids and have a conversation with them is awesome.
“I haven’t had to personally deal with domestic violence, but have friends who had. To see there is a place women can go and seek help and we can contribute and be of help is wonderful.”
After dinner the players signed autographs for everyone and shared more hugs, smiles and laughs.
“The holidays can be a difficult time being separated from your family, out of your home and in a situation where you are living with a bunch of strangers,” said Barb Nicholas, the shelter’s Development Director. “To have the attention of celebrities like athletes to come forward and spend their time is so extra special. It means a lot that they show they are thinking about the people here and caring about them. They understand the courage it took the women to come here and seek help.
Tags: Kelvin Beachum, Ryan Clark
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Five players missed practice on Wednesday, including running back Jonathan Dwyer (quadriceps), tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle), safety Troy Polamalu (calf), and linebackers Stevenson Sylvester (hamstring) and LaMarr Woodley (hamstring).
In addition, running backs Baron Batch (shin), and Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) practiced only on a limited basis.
There was good news, though, as safety Ryan Clark was a full participant in practice after suffering a concussion against the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
“I got dinged. It was a football play,” said Clark. “I passed my test this morning that I had to take. Practice was another test. You have to make sure none of the other systems linger from having a concussion. I feel good. I am going to continue preparing to get ready for the game on Sunday.”
Also back on the practice field was running back Isaac Redman, who missed the last few weeks with an ankle injury.
“I feel pretty good,” said Redman. “I got loosened up as practice went along. I felt good. There were no problems.
“I am ready to go. I have been sitting out too long. I am ready to get back on the field.”
Tags: Isaac Redman, Ryan Clark
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The Steelers have had success in Cincinnati, winning nine of their last 10 regular season games there. But by no means is there a comfort level as they take on the Bengals this week at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday Night Football.
“I don’t think that matters,” said safety Ryan Clark. “I think Cincinnati is a totally different team now that you’re talking about an Andy Dalton led team, an A.J. Green led team. On the other side of that, we’re also a different team. I was counting the other day which guys had two Super Bowls, it’s not many. I think it’s 10 out of the 53 that are on the roster.
“It’s not the same teams that have gone through these battles, that have been through these trials, have been through these tribulations. It’s a different squad. So, we have to make our way. It has nothing to do with what’s happened in the history of this series. It’s about Sunday night.”
It will be players like Dalton, Green, tight end Jermaine Gresham and receiver Andrew Hawkins that the Steelers defense will have to deal with if they want to continue with their success in Cincinnati on Sunday.
“We’re going to play our game,” said Clark. “We just need to play it better. We have a corner who we feel matches up well with him (A.J.) athletically on both sides. Keenan (Lewis) and Ike (Taylor) are tall, long, rangy guys. The thing about A.J. Green is, you could have him covered, but he just makes the catch. He’s got extreme body control, great hands, and he’s definitely one of the top five receivers in the league already.”
Green, 6-4, 207, has 43 receptions for 628 yards so far this season, first in the NFL in yardage and tying him for third in the league in receptions.
“He is a great guy, one of the best in the business,” said Lewis. “He can do everything. He is a good route runner. When you have someone like that, a guy 6-4 running routes like he is 5-9, it makes Andy Dalton’s job a little bit easier.
“You have to cover him. He is out there. We have to do our job. I pretty much think we can handle it.”
Hawkins, a 5-7, 180 pound, second-year player out of Toledo, might not have Green’s size but makes up for it with speed. He has 25 catches for 329 yards and two touchdowns, including a 59-yarder.
“He is probably the quickest guy I have ever seen in my life,” said Lewis. “We know we have to deal with him. We have to prepare for him and contain him and not let him do whatever he wants.”
Gresham could give the Steelers fits from a matchup standpoint, at 6-5, 260, but the key with defending him is the same as with anyone else – you have to play physical defense.
“If you look at safeties covering him, we’re not as big as he is,” said Clark. “He can kind of body us and get in between the ball. You think about linebackers out in that space that he is able to play in, it’s a tough cover for them also. He’s an easy guy to create matchup problems with.
“My answer for everything, if people are running, if they are catching passes, put pads on them. That is why they give us pads; that’s why we play the game. That is what makes it different from basketball. When you have a mismatch in basketball he is going to score 30. In football the great equalizer is physicality and want to. We will try to get hands on him, make him work for his catches and once he catches it, get hats on the ball.”
Tags: Keenan Lewis, Ryan Clark
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Their return definitely will be a boost for the defense, and something the Eagles offense will have to prepare for.
“It gives you two players you have to scheme for offensively,” said safety Ryan Clark. “They are two players Coach (Dick) LeBeau can use extensively in his package and isolate and give them opportunities to make plays. Also, they are going to produce. You know what they are capable of. They seem extremely healthy right now, which is good for us and allows us to be the defense we have been for years.”
Polamalu has missed the last two games and Harrison hasn’t played yet this season. According to Clark while it does give the defense a lift, it also puts some pressure on them.
“I told them Monday first play no more excuses,” said Clark. “We can’t run in here and say we don’t have Troy or James. We have everybody we are supposed to have so we have to go out and make plays. You get a lift when they are out there running around, running to the ball and doing what they have done for years and we are definitely excited about that.”
Having Polamalu and Harrison back on the field couldn’t come at a better time as the Steelers are trying to rebound and improve on their 1-2 record against a tough 3-1Eagles team lead by Michael Vick. Vick can do damage with his arm and his ability to run with the ball, so the defense has to be on point at all times.
“Being able to run opens up a lot of avenues for the offense as a whole,” said Clark. “You see what Ben (Roethlisberger) can do, how he can extend plays, and you are talking about a guy who is different from any quarterback who has played the game in Michael Vick.”
Vick has been sacked 11 times through four games, so applying pressure on him is going to be a key for the defense.
“You have to hit him more than once,” said Clark. “He has been taking a pounding this year. You look at the first few weeks of the season, guys are getting to him, able to make him fumble and give the ball up. That is what you look to do. In trying to get to him you have to be sound in your technique and sound in your gaps. Where you see opponents try to exploit what he does, he can also exploit you if you are trying to make plays that are out of the sense of the defense.
“With Michael Vick it’s not always about making the play, but stopping him from making the play.”
Tags: James Harrison, Ryan Clark, Troy Polamalu
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Steelers’ players have the next four days off for their bye week, giving several who are ailing a chance to get healthy. Among those the team hopes to get back on the field after the bye are linebacker James Harrison, safety Troy Polamalu and running back Rashard Mendenhall.
“It would help,” said linebacker LaMarr Woodley, speaking about Harrison and Polamalu. “Those are our key guys. That makes a big difference for the defense. Having them back will be great for our defense. The bye week is always great. Having a few injuries, Troy and James, gives guys time to heal up and rest and come back and play.”
Harrison was on the field for the first time on Tuesday, but didn’t participate on Wednesday. Polamalu worked on both days.
While both players are expected to make an impact upon their return whenever that might be, their teammates also know they can’t depend solely on them to turn things around defensively.
“We have to get them back out there,” said safety Ryan Clark. “But I don’t think it’s fair to put that much pressure on those guys to say you are why we are not playing well. You can’t say the standard is the standard and say we aren’t playing well because they aren’t there. You can’t do that. The guys who are on the field need to perform.”
Mendenhall has been practicing regularly, even getting more physical contact for the first time last week. With the running game not getting in gear yet, having him back soon would be a welcome addition.
“Rashard is one of the best in the league,” said wide receiver Mike Wallace. “When you get a guy back like that who is very explosive, has really good feet, a lot of vision, it’s going to boost our team.”
The Steelers take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 7 at Heinz Field and getting any or all three of the injured players back for that game is something teammates are hoping for.
“You get a player like Rashard back, James and Troy and that will provide us a spark,” said wide receiver Antonio Brown. “They are key factors on our team and provide us an opportunity to win games. It will be great to have them back and this gives them time to recover.”
Tags: Antonio Brown, James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Mike Wallace, Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Clark, Troy Polamalu
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With a few days off this weekend some players will be heading to see their college teams play, others getting some much needed rest and some just going away to visit family for a few days.
And for a few others, it will be all about family this weekend.
“I am just going to be a dad and a husband,” said safety Ryan Clark. “That is the only plan. I am going to go to cheer competitions, soccer game, and a football game. Other than that I don’t have anything planned.
“Your priorities change as you get older. I just want to relax, do some treatments, training and hang out with the babies when they got off of school.”
Ike Taylor is looking forward to seeing his son Ivan play t-ball this weekend.
“I am going to spend time with my son and the family,” said Taylor. “He is playing t-ball so I can see him play. I am very excited. I hear how good he is, he has good hand eye coordination and confidence. I can’t wait to see him.”
For Larry Foote, it’s going to be whatever his wife tells him that he does.
“It’s all family,” said Foote. “My wife makes those decisions. She started setting it up early this week. I will watch a little bit of football, sleep and watch football, but it’s about my wife and kids.”
Tags: Ike Taylor, Larry Foote, Ryan Clark
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Free safety Ryan Clark can’t wait for his 2012 season to get started this week, after not being able to play against Denver because of complications due to the sickle cell trait and playing in the high altitude.
Clark will be back in the starting lineup against the New York Jets on Sunday at Heinz Field, and is ready to roll.
“It feels a lot better this week,” said Clark. “You feel like you are not part of the team when you are in that position, especially not being injured. You know you are healthy enough to play and aren’t able to and it’s tough.
“I am excited about this week. I wish it was coming off a win. There is nothing we can do to fix that but go out and try to win this week.”
Clark said it was difficult standing on the sidelines being a spectator, a feeling he hates having.
“It’s hard. It’s hard when the team doesn’t come out with the win,” said Clark. “You want to be out there with the guys you prepared for that moment with. We practice all offseason for the regular season and to miss the first one was tough.
“I am glad it’s behind me. I don’t have to think about it. Now it’s just football.”
And that comes with a big challenge this week against the Jets, with quarterback Mark Sanchez starting off the season strong against the Bills and the added dimension of Tim Tebow running the wildcat offense.
“We just have to come out this week and play well,” said Clark. “The Jets pose an interesting problem for us right now. All preseason all people talked about was them not scoring touchdowns and they lit up the scoreboard when it started to count. I am excited about the challenge.”
Tags: Ryan Clark
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Safety Ryan Clark will once again be a spectator on Sunday night when the Steelers travel to Denver, sidelined because the sickle cell trait he carries prevents him from playing in the high altitude in Denver.
Clark originally discovered he had the trait when the Steelers played in Denver in 2007 and he became ill, ultimately having surgery to remove his spleen and gall bladder.
Clark also missed a regular season game in Denver in 2009, a preseason game in 2010 and the playoff game last year. He wishes the schedule makers would have the Broncos come to Pittsburgh instead, but if they don’t he is going to make the most of it through his new initiative to help find a cure for sickle cell, Ryan Clark’s Cure League.
“It would be nice if I could play 16 games but it’s not the way it turned out,” said Clark. “But it has given me the opportunity to help people. If the schedule makers keep doing this, I will keep using it to help people.”
Tags: Ryan Clark
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Safety Ryan Clark has seen teammates come and go, with others stepping in to pick up the slack on the field. Clark knows the same will be the case on the field this year after the team lost James Farrior, Aaron Smith and Will Gay this offseason.
“As far as football, it’s going to roll on,” said Clark. “This organization won six Super Bowls for a reason. They know how to get the right people in the right position and allow them to play football. As far as the leadership I think everyone is doing what they have been doing all along and the leadership process happens naturally.”
But it’s off the field where he will miss guys who were more than teammates, they were friends.
“It’s the off the field stuff and the behind the scenes things that you miss the most,” said Clark. “James Farrior was the guy with the remote every morning when we had a break. He is the guy that gave the speech after we had a prayer. Aaron always said the same thing when we broke the huddle. You miss those things. Will Gay danced in the circle before we started the game. It’s the little things like that that hit you every now and then.”
Tags: Aaron Smith, James Farrior, Ryan Clark, William Gay
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S RYAN CLARK
On not being able to play in today’s game
“I really just wanted to play again, and that was the reason I tried to work hard during the week and help, but this is worse for my guys because they got to go out there and put everything on the line and gave it all to win the game. To lose and to lose in that fashion is hard, but you’ve got to tip your hat off to the Broncos and to Tim Tebow. He gets a lot of flak when things go wrong, but he played phenomenal today. He made plays for his team. It’s time to do whatever we have to do in the offseason to get ready for next year.”
On being eliminated from the playoffs so early
“It’s a different feeling. Definitely a feeling of incompletion and dissatisfaction. I just feel like we left a lot this year as a whole. To turn around on the sideline and see [DE] Brett Keisel standing there in a jacket, to see [NT] Casey Hampton standing there in a jacket, it’s a lot to overcome, but we didn’t win.”
Tags: Ryan Clark
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Sunday, January 8
There are plenty of Terrible Towels in the crowd as the Steelers get ready for kickoff.
Steelers starting center Maurkice Pouncey is among those inactive for today’s game against the Broncos. Doug Legursky will start at center.
Also inactive are cornerback Cortez Allen, safety Ryan Clark, linebacker Mortty Ivy, tackle Jamon Meredith, running back Mewelde Moore and defensive end Al Woods.
Ryan Mundy will start at free safety for Clark.
As the Steelers prepare to take on the Broncos, running backs coach Kirby Wilson is in the thoughts of all of Steelers Nation.
“Kirby is a fighter, he is fighting,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family as we prepare to play this football game.”
Tags: Al Woods, Casey Hampton, Cortez Allen, Doug Legursky, Jamon Meredith, Kirby Wilson, Maurkice Pouncey, Mewelde Moore, Mike Tomlin, Mortty Ivy, Ryan Clark, Ryan Mundy, Steelers Inactives
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Thursday, January 5
The news of the day came from the injury report following practice, with CB Cortez Allen (shoulder), LB James Harrison (toe), DE Brett Keisel (groin), RB Mewelde Moore (knee), S Troy Polamalu (calf), and C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle) not practicing.
Pouncey said his ankle started bothering him again after practicing this week.
“I practiced the other day and toward the end I got sore,” said Pouncey. “Today, I came in and my ankle was real sore, so I don’t know what the turnout is going to be. Right now, I’m not practicing.
“I’m aggravated with it. I’m kind of stressed about it. I mean an injury prolonged this long is aggravating. Hopefully, I can push through it and see how this week goes.”
There was some good news, as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (ankle) was a full participant in practice along with G Doug Legursky (shoulder) and LB LaMarr Woodley (hamstring), both practicing for the second straight day.
On the fun side, another college bowl game, another day of bragging rights for a Steelers linebacker. This time it was Mortty Ivy who was sporting a West Virginia sweatshirt and boasting about his Mountaineers victory over the Clemson Tigers at breakfast on Thursday morning.
But there was one player who wasn’t so happy with the Mountaineers 70-33 Orange Bowl win – receiver Tyler Grisham. Grisham went to Clemson and wasn’t too happy he had to wear a West Virginia t-shirt courtesy of Ivy.
“It’s pretty painful, mainly because I have to wear it for three days,” said Grisham. “It’s an hour spurt here and there. Actually the West Virginia emblem is a little small so I can hide it with my backpack or jacket or something. It’s not too bad. But I would have liked to have given him the Clemson shirt to wear.
“I would have given him an extra small to wear, which would have been worse. I am wearing a 3XL and I look like a little child.”
Jerricho Cotchery is a newcomer to the Steelers, but not to the post-season. As a matter of fact when he was with the New York Jets he lost to the Steelers twice in the post-season, including the AFC Championship game last year at Heinz Field.
During his Steelers Speak interview, where he opens up about a lot of topics and can be seen by clicking on Steelers Speak, I asked Cotchery if coming to Pittsburgh is a “if you can’t beat them, join them,” scenario.
“It may be a little of that,” laughed Cotchery. “I just know that these guys know what it takes to get to the Super Bowl and to win. There are a lot of veteran guys, veteran leadership. There are a lot of guys that got a lot of experience last year, even the young guys. There are guys that know what it takes to get there and win it. My rookie year was a bad experience coming here and the kicker missing two field goals. Last year was even tougher losing the AFC Championship game. I am happy to be here, I am happy to be with this team.”
Cotchery also talked about what makes the Steelers a special organization.
“It’s just a true family atmosphere. That is the thing I see,” said Cotchery. “Everyone looks after one another. There is no one that is bigger than the family. Every guy is approachable, you can speak to everyone. There are no egos. It’s just a true family atmosphere. It’s unique.”
To watch the complete interview and learn a lot more about Cotchery, click on Steelers Speak.
Injured running back Jonathan Dwyer was at the practice facility on Thursday and instead of wondering “what if” in regards to him getting more playing time if he were healthy, he instead was feeling bad for Rashard Mendenhall.
“I am sad about what happened to Rashard,” said Dwyer. “He was doing well. He has been healthy the majority of his career. I hope he heals as fast as he can so he can be the player he is. Hopefully the guys who are out there now take advantage of the opportunity.”
Former NFL safety John Lynch, who played for the Denver Broncos and also the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when Mike Tomlin was the secondary coach there, was at the Steelers facility today interviewing Tomlin and linebackers James Farrior and James Harrison.
Lynch chatted with me for a bit about Tomlin (you can read what he said about Tomlin by clicking here), but he also talked about the atmosphere in Denver, where he still lives.
“There hasn’t been the excitement about being in the playoffs because more people are talking about them backing in,” said Lynch. “I was a part of a Denver Broncos team that watched a sixth seed Steelers team come in and beat us in our place. I think you get in that tournament and special things can happen. I wouldn’t count them out and being around these Steelers, I know they aren’t.”
Jerricho Cotchery getting ready for Steelers Speak interview.
Antonio Brown is surrounded by the media.
And then turns the tables as he does a weekly feature for Steelers Live @ 4. Brown interviews Ramon Foster, who holds a fake dog, as Brown has a fear of dogs.
Brown interviews Emmanuel Sanders….
…and then Sanders takes the mic.
The Steelers secondary was presented a cake for being the No. 1 pass defense in the NFL.
Safety Ryan Clark took control of a camera before practice, taking pictures of Mike Wallace.
The finished product – Clark’s photo of Wallace
LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons before practice
Tags: Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, Jerricho Cotchery, John Lynch, Jonathan Dwyer, LaMarr Woodley, Maurkice Pouncey, Mike Tomlin, Ryan Clark, Steelers Injury Report, Steelers Playoff Diary
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Tuesday, January 3
The day started off the same way it ended, with snow falling in Pittsburgh. It was one of those days that keeping up with snow removal wasn’t an easy task. The Steelers field crew did an admirable job of clearing the field bright and early, even though there wasn’t practice. But as the day wore on, they were back at it again as the field was once again covered.
There was some big news coming out of the practice facility on Tuesday, particularly during the Mike Tomlin press conference. Tomlin announced that safety Ryan Clark won’t play in Denver because of the dangers involved with having the sickle cell trait and playing in the high altitude. Tomlin said Clark was okay with the decision, as both sides know it’s for his safety and that is definitely what comes first.
With Clark out, Ryan Mundy will get the start.
“In a nutshell, he is starter capable,” said Tomlin. “He has proven that. We are comfortable with what he is capable of doing. Not only him, but we also have a great deal of confidence in Will Allen as well, who is also another veteran backup safety with starter experience. They are both quality special teams players. We have no reservations of what those guys are going to be able to do for us if called upon.”
Anthony Madison was in on Tuesday signing with the team. Madison received a warm welcome from his teammates and was thrilled to be back.
“These guys are like family. I kept in touch with a lot of them,” said Madison. “They are good solid people, from the players to the coaches to the staff. They are people you want in your corner. To see Greg Warren, (Casey) Hampton, all of the guys, it’s always great to have a warm welcome.”
Tuesday was the players’ day off but you would have never known it. There was a steady stream of players in and out of the practice facility all day, some getting treatment, others working out in the weight room and some getting in a little extra film study. They all know how important this week’s game is and everyone wants to take advantage of every minute they can to prepare.
While Clark won’t be playing this week, he will be hosting the Steelers Huddle Show taping at Heinz Field on Wednesday night with special guest Antonio Brown. Stop by and check it out.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out what Hines Ward had to say about his 1,000th career reception, you can do so by watching a one-on-one interview with him. He also said that he has plenty more left in him.
“I don’t want to retire. I don’t want to play for another team,” said Ward. “I still have two years left on my contract so I want to take it year by year.”
Don’t miss what else
he said about retirement…or lack of it.
LaMarr Woodley tries to hide from the camera
Isaac Redman works out in the weight room
Today was Steelers Digest day…the latest cover. Get your subscription today
Coach Tomlin’s Press Conference
Setting up for the Mike Tomlin Show and Hines Ward interview
Snow at the start of the day … and the end of the day
Tags: Anthony Madison, Isaac Redman, LaMarr Woodley, Mike Tomlin, Ryan Clark, Ryan Mundy, Steelers Playoff Diary
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Safety Ryan Clark was fined $40,000 by the NFL for his hit on Ravens tight end Ed Dickson in Sunday night’s loss to Baltimore.
Clark was angry about the fine when speaking about it during open locker room on Wednesday.
“I guess I have somewhat of a reputation, but that has nothing to do with the play, with what happens,” said Clark. “I am all for player safety, so much so that I don’t want to hit people with my head. We have talked about this time and again and I try to get my head out of the way constantly. There are reasons I can’t lift my arms up on Mondays, because I am using my shoulders. To be fined when I did everything in my power not to hit him with my helmet, everything.
“You have to make a decision, do you put people to sleep because you are going to get fined any way, or do you blow their ACL. One of the two.”
Clark was informed of the fine by Coach Mike Tomlin, who issued the following statement regarding the fine.
“I think the fine that Ryan Clark received was excessive,” Tomlin’s statement read. “I am a proponent of player safety and the league’s pursuit of improvement in this area. I, like the vast majority of people in this industry, witness daily the steep price that these young men pay to play this game on so many levels. Ryan has my full support if he chooses to appeal this in any way.”
This is Clark’s second fine in two weeks after being hit with a $15,000 fine for a late hit against the Patriots, which he understood because it was out of bounds.
This time, though, he feels he did nothing wrong.
“If I would have jumped up and put my facemask on his helmet, or put the crown of my helmet in his neck or his facemask, I would understand that,” said Clark. “But I didn’t. I put my head all the way to the left as far as I could go. So unless I get a longer neck or a smaller head, there’s nothing else I can do. By the time the contact was fully made, my back was almost turned to him. If you look at it, I spin all the way around because of the way I was trying to turn my back to make the hit. And if I am going to put that much effort into not committing the foul, and you fine me $40,000 for that.
“I might as well put him to sleep for real. It’s going to turn into, if you are going to fine me $40,000, I might as well put him to sleep for real, or I might as well blow his knee out.”
Clark honestly thought he would hear back from the league telling him that the play was legal and should not have even resulted in a penalty.
“I did everything I was asked to do,” said Clark. “And (Roger) Goodell and those other guys, they sit in their office with their suits and make these decisions on what are split second reactions by the players. This time it’s wrong. There is nothing they could say or tell me to make me feel like it’s right. There’s no way they could write me a letter or call me to their office and say anything, whether it’s Ray Anderson. I think this is a situation where DeMaurice Smith needs to step in.
“The hit wasn’t malicious at all. I know how to knock somebody out if I want to knock them out. If I wanted to put him to sleep, I would have put him to sleep. But I didn’t want to. I was trying to just make a play on the ball, the only way I would have an opportunity to make a play on the ball. If you watch the film, I tuck my head to the left, almost turn my back completely to him by the time the hit is finished. It’s just wrong. Am I supposed to let him catch it, and wait for him, then hug him? Or should I throw a pillow at him? Should I blow a whistle and say, ‘Hey, look, I am about to tackle you.’ No, that’s not football. And there was nothing malicious about it. It wasn’t a spear. It wasn’t a forearm to the head. It wasn’t any of those things. And to be fined $40,000 just for that, to me it’s either targeting me as a single player or it’s targeting this team, as we’ve talked about before. For me, I’ve tried to take the high road on a lot of things. I’ve been asked a lot of questions about hits this year. And I always say if it’s not involving me, I am out of it. I didn’t want us to be the team constantly complaining about hits. But this is ridiculous.”
When asked if he would appeal the fine, Clark didn’t commit because of the process he would have to go through to do so.
“I would, but you appeal to the same people,” said Clark. “You appeal to the same people. Somebody else needs to step in. I am done, you know. Not that I respected Roger (Goodell) before this, for the way that he is running the game but this is just ridiculous. It’s a football play. It wasn’t with any malicious intent to hurt a player. It was to get the ball out. I even actually hit the ball. He didn’t even fall backwards.
“I can appeal but I appeal to the same person, the same man that’s going to sit across from me. No, he’s not going to sit across from me because I will not sit across from him, unless they handcuff me, which is probably the next step anyway.”
Clark’s teammates, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, agreed that the hit was legal.
“It’s unfortunate,” said Roethlisberger. “You never want to see one of your guys get hit, especially for that much money. I went back and watched it. If you slow it down and watch it, it’s about as picture-perfect of a tackle you can make. His head was down right across the chest and the back of his helmet maybe grazed the bottom of the receiver’s face mask. Someone needs to stand up and do something like De Smith. He is our player guy, stand up and do something for our players.”
Wide receiver Hines Ward was hit in the game by Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, a play that wasn’t penalized and knocked Ward out of the game with a stinger. Roethlisberger was asked if the Steelers receivers get the same treatment as their opponents, although it was later learned Lewis was fined $20,000.
“Who hit Hines?” Roethlisberger sarcastically asked. “I don’t know if there was a fine. Was there a fine anywhere else? Who knows? You have to be careful how much you comment on that stuff.”
Tags: Ryan Clark, Ryan Clark fined
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Safety Ryan Clark doesn’t know who will play and who won’t because of injuries on Sunday night, but one thing he does know is defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will make things work no matter who is on the field.
“Coach LeBeau is tricky,” said Clark. “Coach LeBeau understands football, he understands match-ups. He knows if we have to switch things around to find people who can make plays, we are going to do that. We have every confidence in him that he will. That is the comfort you have in having a legend and a Hall of Famer as your coordinator.”
To read what Clark had to say about his recent fine, read previous post below.
Tags: Dick LeBeau, Ryan Clark
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