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I-Want-Troy's-Hair
05-05-2008, 12:03 AM
This is good news it will be good to see him back on the field.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08126/879256-66.stm

Health issues resolved, Clark's back on 1st team
Monday, May 05, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana/Post-Gazette
Free safety Ryan Clark, bottom, was back working with the first-team defense in minicamp.

Some months and 30 pounds ago, Ryan Clark had to wonder if he would ever play football again. His spleen and gall bladder gone, his body shrunk, vaccinated like some lab experiment, returning to play free safety in the NFL had to seem improbable.

So victory came early this season for Clark. This past weekend, he ran with the first defense at free safety, right back where he was Oct. 21 in Denver when all the trouble began.

"It's a victory in the sense that I'm here," Clark said after leaving the practice field at the Steelers' South Side facility. "That's the victory. The rest, as they say in Louisiana, is laying you up, it's extra."

Clark did not repeat the accusations against the team's medical staff that he told Tim Benz of radio station WXDX (105.9-FM), a Clear Channel sister station of the Steelers' flagship station WDVE, three weeks ago. A partial transcript of those charges was provided to Profootballtalk.com:

"There will always be a problem with me and the trainers here. ... I got fed up with it. ... I feel mistreated. I don't feel like things were handled in the way they should've been. ... I was made to feel that the tests say, 'You are OK so why are you milking this?' ... I felt like I was talked to like I was uneducated and misguided. ... I felt like I was talked to like a dumb jock or a pampered football player."

A Steelers spokesman said no one from the medical staff would be available to talk on the subject and that they feel they handled Clark's case properly. Clark also did not want to repeat it.

"That's all behind me, man," he said yesterday.

He said he did not flinch as the Steelers paraded several veteran safeties into the building during free agency, without signing any.

"I thought it was a good business decision," Clark said. "When you have a guy coming off surgery and also made [accusations] like I was, you're likely to be skeptical and I think you should as far as protecting your organization.

"My wife got upset, but I think it would have been fun, just another challenge the way my career's gone."

Even before his spleen inflamed in Denver, there was rampant speculation that young, hard-hitting safety Anthony Smith eventually would overtake Clark as the starting free safety.

"Some people had me counted out in that battle," Clark said. Smith, though, could not handle the job and was benched after eight starts and a few deep pass completions over him. Now, Clark is back running No. 1 in minicamp and expects to remain there.

"The victory in it has been certain guys on the team telling me how much different the team is when I'm out there and how happy they are to see me back there," Clark said, adding he can play just as hard without his spleen as he did before. "That's the victory, more than anything, that the guys in the locker room recognize your importance to the team."

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said while things look good for Clark, the tale won't be finished until they start playing games, which won't come until August.

"If you know Ryan, you do not count him out of anything. He has a great spirit, he is a great competitor, he has passion and he loves to play the game of football. He is in the process of marching back. We probably will not know until we go out and play football. We like where he is now and I am sure that he is happy to be back out there with his teammates; his teammates are glad to have him. He is a great leader for this team and we are just taking it day by day."

Clark's blood -- because of the sickle cell trait, he said -- reacted to the high altitude in Denver and that affected his spleen because it had a previous infarction that developed when he played in Denver with the Washington Redskins. The Steelers thought he originally could return to play after the spleen, which became inflamed, returned to normal. It never did and further tests showed it was so damaged it had to be removed, which it was about three weeks after the Denver game. The gall bladder, also affected, was removed in a second surgery.

Doctors told Clark after the surgery that he should play football again, and he never doubted he would, even after dropping to 170 pounds. He has had five different vaccinations to ward off potential diseases because of his missing spleen and gall bladder, and must stay away from certain foods. He said if he develops a cold or fever, he must see a doctor.

"Everything's going well, man. It's good to be back out there," Clark said. "Rehab was like almost any year after the season, just coming back from farther. It's nothing special you really have to do. I just had to eat a little more, train a little harder, but it's pretty much like any offseason, I just started a little earlier."

Rhee Rhee
05-05-2008, 03:01 AM
i hope he comes in and plays lights out...

that way he wins NFL comeback player of the year... GOOD LUCK RYAN!

Galax Steeler
05-05-2008, 03:33 AM
It's good to see clark back on the field again.

stillers4me
05-05-2008, 05:41 AM
We have many good things to celebrate as we begin this new season. So many of our players ended the season injured or ill. And they are all out on the field or plan to be come training camp! It was quite a different team that started the season so strong last year.......we are there again, with upgrades! And Tomlin has his first year under his belt, and that man is a fast learner. 2008 is going to be a great year..........we'll beat the best to be the Best!

DACEB
05-05-2008, 06:00 AM
Good to hear, let's go man we need you!

Elvis
05-05-2008, 06:24 AM
Loved the article and everything sounds like it will be ok for the young man, which is good for our defense. I am just hoping that the trainers are not out there telling these players... ah. come on its ok.. your not that injured. Just glad to hear that Smith is ready to go and back in the starting position.
:applaudit:

revefsreleets
05-05-2008, 07:46 AM
The defense automatically gets better with him on the field. Clark is a film rat, and he always played disciplined football...

stlrtruck
05-05-2008, 08:38 AM
I'm thankful he's recovered but now I want him to earn his keep!

Edman
05-05-2008, 08:43 AM
Only 2-3 more months until training camp.

The Steelers will need all of the help they can get to compete in the AFC with this murderous schedule. Just hope they can avoid the injury bug.

DACEB
05-05-2008, 08:56 AM
The defense automatically gets better with him on the field. Clark is a film rat, and he always played disciplined football...

Absolutely, may not be spectacular but he is a great compliment to Troy. When you have that aggressive style of play from your SS spot it sure is nice to have a guy like Clark back there as your last line of defense.

Mistah_Q
05-05-2008, 10:23 AM
The defense automatically gets better with him on the field. Clark is a film rat, and he always played disciplined football...Precisely. . I feel a whole lot better with Clark healthy. It's a shame to see a player like Anthony Smith on the bench but at this point he's an ideal backup -- and probably more of a SS anyways. Problem with that is, we have Troy :noidea:

Now lets see if Ryan Mundy can't send Tyrone Carter and Mike Lorello packing. . .

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-05-2008, 10:57 AM
Precisely. . I feel a whole lot better with Clark healthy. It's a shame to see a player like Anthony Smith on the bench but at this point he's an ideal backup -- and probably more of a SS anyways. Problem with that is, we have Troy :noidea:

Now lets see if Ryan Mundy can't send Tyrone Carter and Mike Lorello packing. . .

I think Clark has the #1 spot, but will be pushed by Smith again for it in camp. Even if Smith is not starting, he will see some playing time in situational downs and help his progression. I think its like Chris Hope was...taking a few years before being able to take the starting job.

I hope Mundy pushes Carter off the roster too.

The_WARDen
05-05-2008, 11:05 AM
so BOTH the starting safeties are question marks this year??

SteelersTilIDie
05-05-2008, 11:12 AM
finally, they really missed him last year, especially in the patriots game

rbryan
05-05-2008, 11:33 AM
I have no problem with Smith being relegated to the nickel and special teams. I love his hard hitting but by nature of the position, you have to be disciplined. It's a fine line though, everyone wants to see you flying around making the big play, but still stay home and play safe-ty. IMO his only real mistake was running his mouth.

Hopefully this will help reinforce that lesson in Smith, because he's still the future. Both he and Tyrone Carter are going to see a lot of playing time regardless of who's starting in May. I'd still like to see him used more at the los in certain packages, run support etc.. and my all time fav play the safety blitz. As much fun as it's been to watch him lay the wood on my two fav recv from Cincy...Lets see a little of that on the QB

fansince'76
05-05-2008, 11:37 AM
IMO his only real mistake was running his mouth.

And IMO, that was blown completely out of proportion by the media - I just hope he learned his lesson and doesn't give them the ammo this coming December when we play the cheating bastards again. Instead of flapping his gums, I want to see him sticking Pats* players and knocking them into the following week.

Dino 6 Rings
05-05-2008, 11:57 AM
And IMO, that was blown completely out of proportion by the media - I just hope he learned his lesson and doesn't give them the ammo this coming December when we play the cheating bastards again. Instead of flapping his gums, I want to see him sticking Pats* players and knocking them into the following week.

I loved watching Anthony Smith on the NFL Replay yesterday laying the wood to the Bengal's receivers. The kid hits like a ton of bricks. I'm sure, he will keep his mouth shut and just lay the smack down when called upon. Good to see Clark is back, that'll push Smith to get better and keep competitiveness in our secondary.

JanBr7
05-05-2008, 05:24 PM
I was impressed by Smith during that game and others. It was a shame what happened to him against the Patriots, but Randy Moss has done that to more experienced corners than Anthony Smith!

I know Tomlin says he 'won't blame injuries' for the team's performance last year, but there was a lot of really significant ones, and we still made it to the playoffs.

Steelman16
05-05-2008, 06:12 PM
I'm so glad Clark is back to full health again, he's one tough guy with a good head on his shoulders.

I agree that I hope Ryan Mundy sends Lorello and Carter packing....especially Carter.

:tt02:

WWIIOwheelz
05-05-2008, 07:34 PM
I lost a great friend from college to sickle cell anemia, so this whole story has endeared Ryan Clark to me quite a bit. I always liked how hard he hit, but his attitude in overcoming this type of adversity has totally sealed the deal for me.

Get after it, buddy!

Preacher
05-05-2008, 07:39 PM
I lost a great friend from college to sickle cell anemia, so this whole story has endeared Ryan Clark to me quite a bit. I always liked how hard he hit, but his attitude in overcoming this type of adversity has totally sealed the deal for me.

Get after it, buddy!

With troy's knee coming around... and Rian Clark getting better... we are sitting pretty back there. I can't wait to see what happens this year.

pittsburghp8baller
05-05-2008, 08:03 PM
The defense automatically gets better with him on the field. Clark is a film rat, and he always played disciplined football...

thats exactly why he was my favorite player, not flashy but gets the job done week in and week out.

Kvnfaber
05-06-2008, 10:07 AM
Great to hear that he is coming along. i wish him the best in football and in life :)

SteelCityMan786
05-06-2008, 02:39 PM
i hope he comes in and plays lights out...

that way he wins NFL comeback player of the year... GOOD LUCK RYAN!

I can see this happening.


All this good news. Keep it coming. Let the Continuing the Comeback Tour Continue IN 2008!!!!!!!!

ChronoCross
05-06-2008, 11:24 PM
with the defense getting healthy and the offense getting even possible in to position to be a top 10 scoring offense we could even with the tuff schedule be right there in contention to be a favor to win the SB. But we do have to sit back and wait and wonder on how the O line will look and play. Ryan, Smith, Troy returning healthy, helps us keep are defense top 5.

oldschool
05-14-2008, 10:53 AM
"It's a victory in the sense that I'm here," Clark said after leaving the practice field at the Steelers' South Side facility. "That's the victory. The rest, as they say in Louisiana, is laying you up, it's extra."

Good news, hope he's back at 100%, Just a note what they say in Louisiana is "Lagniappe" ( lan-yap), meaning a little something extra, french I guess. I think Ed got it lost in translation. Good news anyway you say it.

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
05-14-2008, 10:57 AM
Lets hope that Mundy was a steal.........And he starts this year.......and goes to the probowl

klick81
05-14-2008, 09:50 PM
Glad you're healthy again, Clark. Stay that way!

Blitzburgh_Fever
05-15-2008, 04:11 AM
I don't understand this part:


"I thought it was a good business decision," Clark said. "When you have a guy coming off surgery and also made [accusations] like I was, you're likely to be skeptical and I think you should as far as protecting your organization.

"My wife got upset, but I think it would have been fun, just another challenge the way my career's gone."


It's like he's...taking responsibility? What the hell man? You're supposed to get pissed off and say the organization isn't giving you the play time for your skills. Start being a real football player! :tt:

This guy is a great class act, on and off the field. Really hope he overcomes this and plays like mad this upcoming year, give me only more reason to want his jersey. :applaudit:

Galax Steeler
05-15-2008, 04:21 AM
Lets hope that Mundy was a steal.........And he starts this year.......and goes to the probowl

That would be so nice,I hope Mundy proves to be a great player for us.

lilyoder6
05-15-2008, 09:27 AM
i would like to see mundy take over carter's role and then get rid of carter.. he's a good player and all but he's short and getting old... if mundy can take over his spot that would be nice.. but i think smith will give clark a good competition this off-season/pre-season 4 the FS spot