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lamberts-lost-tooth
12-01-2008, 05:35 AM
Steelers Notebook: Safety Ryan Clark apologizes for big hit
But says he was just doing his job
Monday, December 01, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Ryan Clark apologized to the Patriots after the game. What he did not do specifically was apologize for what he did.

The Steelers safety delivered another brutal hit to an opposing receiver in a string of hits this season, and this one took a back seat to none.

New England's Wes Welker, the Patriots' leading receiver, ran a medium route over the middle. The pass from quarterback Matt Cassel sailed beyond his reach after it was tipped, and as it did, Clark lowered his shoulder and the boom from his deep position in center field, getting a running start.

Not one but several yellow flags quickly hit the turf and Clark was penalized for unnecessary roughness.

It was the signal hit for a brutally tough football game played in a cold rain.

"They said don't leave your feet," Clark said the officials told him. "If anybody watches the other games we played, I don't turn any of them down. It's not like I'm trying to be cheap. If anybody comes across, it's my job to tackle him, it's my job to hit him.

"The ball got tipped; he said I shouldn't have left my feet. But I don't really know how to control that. I talked to Kevin Faulk and some other guys, I told them I apologize. I couldn't find Welker after the game to tell him I wasn't trying to be dirty, it was just football."

Sack happy
James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley rang up three more sacks yesterday, making them the greatest sack duo in one season in Steelers history -- with four games left.

Harrison sacked Cassel twice, forcing fumbles his teammates recovered on both. That pushed his total to 14 sacks, one behind Mike Merriweather's record of 15 set during the strike season of 1987 when he was limited to 12 games.

Woodley now has 11 1/2 sacks, giving the tandem 25 1/2, surpassing the 24 that Greg Lloyd (10) and Kevin Greene (14) rang up in 1994, and duplicated in 2000 by Jason Gildon (13 1/2) and Joey Porter (10 1/2).

"It feels real good, but that's not the end of it," Harrison said of the duo's flourish. "We're trying to raise that total to 30-plus."

Harrison also leads the defense with six forced fumbles.

"When you have plays like that, you are going to win games," Woodley said of Harrison's two forced fumbles on his sacks.

Running up yards
Willie Parker, who left in the third quarter of the Steelers' game Nov. 20 with a re-injured knee, returned to start yesterday. He and Mewelde Moore then split the duties at halfback.

It worked well because the Steelers' 161 yards were the most on the ground since they had 164 in the second game at Cleveland.

Uncharacteristically, the Steelers had slipped to 24th in the league on the rush. Parker carried 16 times and ran for 87 yards. Moore ran 12 times for 67 yards.

"As a running back, knowing that you're going into the game running the ball, that's the biggest thrill of your day," Parker said. "We just went in there and took the life out of them."

Parker missed five full games and parts of two others this season with a sprained MCL and shoulder injury. He left in the third quarter of their game Nov. 20 when his knee was hurt again.

"I came out great and I feel good," Parker said. "I am not where I need to be, but I feel a lot better. I never thought I would be happy with something like [splitting time at the position]. I think that is the perfect thing for me right now. It's a good thing for the team, helping this team out."

Third and out
Among the most startlingly inefficient aspects of New England's offense yesterday was its performance on third down.

The Patriots ran seven third-down plays in the first half without converting any, and wound up 1 for 13.

"Third down's a big thing," said Patriots running back Sammy Morris. "Big for keeping drives going or cutting them short. When you don't make them, things get cut short pretty abruptly."

Bill Belichick professed no apparent surprise at the 1 for 13.

"They are a good third-down defense," the Patriots coach said. "They lead the league in it. I think we need to do a better job than we did. Like I said, we had our chances in some other situations as well and we just weren't able to take advantage of them."

Quick hits
Linebacker Lawrence Timmons had a chance for a 90-yard touchdown return of a fumble, but tired and was tackled at the New England 1 late in the game. Gary Russell sealed the deal with a 1-yard scoring run.

Ed Hochuli served as referee yesterday in what normally is Walt Anderson's crew of officials. Anderson is recovering from surgery.

Santonio Holmes returned a punt 29 yards in the first quarter, the longest for the Steelers this season.

Ben Roethlisberger was sacked just once, and that was not the line's fault; it came on a corner blitz.

There were plenty of big dropped passes and interceptions yesterday. Randy Moss dropped one deep pass and another in the end zone for new England. Nate Washington dropped one pass inside the five and Holmes dropped one at the six, both on deep patterns, for the Steelers. Ike Taylor dropped an interception in the end zone. Parker dropped a pass.

For the 12th time in 12 games this season, the Steelers defense did not allow a 100-yard rushing performance (despite allowing 80 in the first half) or 300 yards in total offense.

Yesterday's win was the 48th of Roethlisberger's career, tying him with Otto Graham, Dan Marino and Tom Brady for the most wins by a starting quarterback in his first five seasons in the NFL (since 1950).

Hines Ward's second-half touchdown catch tied him with Moss for most red-zone touchdown catches since 2002 with 39.

New England's red zone defense, ranked 31st in the league coming into the game, allowed three more touchdowns yesterday. On 36 trips inside the New England 20, opposing teams have now scored 25 touchdowns.

Inactives
Cornerback Byrant McFadden did not suit up. He was among the eight Steelers inactive for the game. McFadden, who has practiced the past two weeks, has not played since his forearm was broken Oct. 19 in Cincinnati. William Gay started in his spot.

The rest of the Steelers inactives: No. 3 QB Dennis Dixon, CB Fernando Bryant, RB Najeh Davenport, LB Bruce Davis, OT Tony Hills, OT Marvel Smith, DE Brett Keisel.

New England inactives: No. 3 QB Matt Gutierrez, WR Kelley Washington, RB LaMont Jordan, OT Wesley Britt, G Billy Yates, TE Tyson DeVree, DL Ty Warren, LB Adalius Thomas.

El-Gonzo Jackson
12-01-2008, 10:16 AM
Watching that at full speed, you realize that there is a split second decision that Clark has to make to hold up. He doesnt and that is the kind of instincts I want from a Steelers safety.

If Brandon Merriweather does that to Hines ward, I would yell for the flag, expect it and have a hard time holding a grudge, because it was so close. Like Clark said.....its just football.

kmsteelerwr15
12-01-2008, 10:23 AM
in my mind there in no reason to apologize. this game they play is called football and it a contact sport, but some *cough* Roger Goodell *cough* have forgotten that. but i am expecting the fine and i think it was well worth it

Dizzle43
12-01-2008, 10:28 AM
It was a good hit from a veteran safety. He led with his shoulder. True, he left his feet, but it's like Clark said I don't think he can control that.

steelpride12
12-01-2008, 10:28 AM
Clark prob. will get fined for the hit, but legal in every way. He charged with his shoulders not helmet, and as well thought Welker had the ball.

steeltheone
12-01-2008, 11:21 AM
F**k apologys. This is a contact sport. Hit em' again....

steelreserve
12-01-2008, 11:22 AM
No need to apologize for playing football. F**k 'em if they can't take a hit.

fansince'76
12-01-2008, 11:23 AM
F**k apologys. This is a contact sport. Hit em' again....

:iagree: What he said....

Makaveli
12-01-2008, 11:24 AM
F**k apologys. This is a contact sport. Hit em' again....

As long as it "clean",.......EXACTLY.

El-Gonzo Jackson
12-01-2008, 12:20 PM
No need to apologize for playing football. F**k 'em if they can't take a hit.

Football (especially the NFL) is a fraternity of men. None of them likes to see a good guy like Welker get hurt and that is the reason for the apology by Clark. Classy move by Clark, IMO.

What irks me the most, is some players that are punks, bee-atches or those who have no respect for the game would have made the hit and then probably taunted Welker.

steelreserve
12-01-2008, 12:29 PM
Football (especially the NFL) is a fraternity of men. None of them likes to see a good guy like Welker get hurt and that is the reason for the apology by Clark. Classy move by Clark, IMO.

What irks me the most, is some players that are punks, bee-atches or those who have no respect for the game would have made the hit and then probably taunted Welker.

I still don't think there's any need to apologize for the hit itself. I mean, yeah, it's only natural to feel bad that the guy got hurt because of it, but I think we're talking about two different things.

Like, if it's a dirty hit, you'd say "sorry about the hit," but if it was just accidental, you'd say "sorry he got hurt, but that's what happens sometimes in this game."

Meh, I think we're all roughly on the same page here.

El-Gonzo Jackson
12-01-2008, 12:47 PM
I still don't think there's any need to apologize for the hit itself. I mean, yeah, it's only natural to feel bad that the guy got hurt because of it, but I think we're talking about two different things.

.

I dont think Clark was apologizing for the hit, like he said.....its part of the game. Clark was apologizing for hurting him and maybe not making the split second decision to be passive.

I once gave a guy a forearm shiver in the neck. Was it dirty?...yes....Was it intentional....No. I felt bad and told the guy "sorry the arm got up man", but he was cool, because $hit happens in the heat of battle.

Great hit by Clark!! It was a penalty. It was aggressive. He may get fined, but he wont change how he plays......:thumbsup:

lilyoder6
12-01-2008, 12:53 PM
i don't think that he should of apologized.. i mean welker did get up fairly quickly so he was alright.. it was like the hit on holmes during the bengals game

steelreserve
12-01-2008, 02:08 PM
Great hit by Clark!! It was a penalty. It was aggressive. He may get fined, but he wont change how he plays......:thumbsup:

I sure hope not. THAT'S what I worry about with all the crappy fines and penalties being handed out this year: that it'll make guys start to be less intense and more hesitant on the field.

At least our team looks like it's not afraid and is going to keep up the intensity no matter how strict the league gets with this type of bullshit.

austinfrench76
12-01-2008, 02:23 PM
The stat om Hines/Moss is urprising to me. Especially considering all the "tall reciever" talk around the Steelers over the past few years. Looks like just having a great reciever is the answer!

Makaveli
12-01-2008, 03:38 PM
Football (especially the NFL) is a fraternity of men. None of them likes to see a good guy like Welker get hurt and that is the reason for the apology by Clark. Classy move by Clark, IMO.

What irks me the most, is some players that are punks, bee-atches or those who have no respect for the game would have made the hit and then probably taunted Welker.

Valet park the high horse there Gonz.:chuckle: I think that where Reserve was coming from was that Clark shouldn't apologize for doing his job.

Yes, football is most certainly a fraternity of men and Clark is most certainly an honorable man whom applied a clean hit.

There's a difference between physicality which sometimes results in pain,.....and dirty play that results in injury.IMO

Fordy
12-01-2008, 03:43 PM
THIS is Steeler football:
http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Globe_Photo/2008/12/01/lee_patriotssteelers10_spts__1228139961_1863.jpg

no apologies necessary:tt03:

The_WARDen
12-01-2008, 03:53 PM
Didn't Heath Miller get a helmet to helmet shot from one of the Cheatriots earlier in the game? So, he didn't get flagged because he actually bloddied his own mouth instead of Miller's?

I expect him to be fined also...LOL.

:rofl:

NYC SteelersFan
12-01-2008, 09:54 PM
Did Welker or any other Patriot appologize for running up the score completely blatant and unnecessarily against their "fraternity of fellow men"?

"They were just following orders" you say?

The soldiers who take immoral orders from a corrupt general are just as guilty as the general himself.

Welker and Patriot fans should be happy Clark didn't rig some spikes on his shoulder pads.

The Patriot
12-01-2008, 10:01 PM
Did Welker or any other Patriot appologize for running up the score completely blatant and unnecessarily against their "fraternity of fellow men"?

"They were just following orders" you say?

The soldiers who take immoral orders from a corrupt general are just as guilty as the general himself.

Welker and Patriot fans should be happy Clark didn't rig some spikes on his shoulder pads.

If a player has a chance to score, then he's going to try to score. :noidea:

stillers4me
12-01-2008, 10:08 PM
Why are the Steelers always apologizing for playing the freakin' game?

fansince'76
12-01-2008, 10:08 PM
If a player has a chance to score, then he's going to try to score. :noidea:

And a safety worth his salt will try and knock the snot out of a WR coming into his area of responsibility when the ball is in the air. :noidea:

NYC SteelersFan
12-01-2008, 10:12 PM
And a safety worth his salt will try and knock the snot out of a WR coming into his area of responsibility when the ball is in the air. :noidea:

Took the words right out of my mouth, though a slightly censored version but still effective.

The Patriot
12-01-2008, 10:16 PM
And a safety worth his salt will try and knock the snot out of a WR coming into his area of responsibility when the ball is in the air. :noidea:

I agree. It's the only way to deal with a good slot reciever. I don't blame Clark but an apology affirms that he meant nothing by it.

NYC SteelersFan
12-01-2008, 10:22 PM
I agree. It's the only way to deal with a good slot reciever. I don't blame Clark but an apology affirms that he meant nothing by it.

And an appology from the entire Patriots team would not affirm that they meant anything by running up the score the way they did for all of last season, though it might be better than not appologizing at all.

I-Want-Troy's-Hair
12-01-2008, 10:29 PM
I don't remember seeing any of the Cheatriot's WR's venturing to the middle of the field after the Welker hit :chuckle:.

stlrtruck
12-02-2008, 08:20 AM
I don't remember seeing any of the Cheatriot's WR's venturing to the middle of the field after the Welker hit :chuckle:.

And I hope the cowgirls WRs are taking note.

Dino 6 Rings
12-02-2008, 08:25 AM
I'm just wondering if anyone on the Pats organization was quoted this season as having said "We've played against better safeties all year"

Just wondering...

Clark laid the STFU smack down on the Pats with that hit. It basically ended the game. Pats lost all fire after they saw their man get his skull exploded. And I loved every single second of sending the STFU message to those trash talkers.

Tomlin vs Pats, 1 win 1 loss. Its a new day for us as Steelers fans. The Pats owned Cowher, now its Tomlin's turn to return the favor.

markymarc
12-02-2008, 06:51 PM
I see no reason why he has to apologize for doing his job.

steel striker
12-02-2008, 07:17 PM
You know this is still football and the guys are wearing helmets and pads so bring the pain. That was a clean hit and, Clark shows some class saying i meant no harm by laying the smack down. All kidding aside that hit did take the life out of the pats. How come heath took a helmet to helmet shot and there was not any penalty? I know health got up with no problem but, I can't say as much for the other guy. lol

ben7
12-02-2008, 08:02 PM
No need to apoligize it's football

The Patriot
12-03-2008, 05:24 AM
No need to apoligize it's football

Except when Rodney does it. Then it's a cheapshot.

STEELtownHAVOX
12-03-2008, 06:22 AM
Apologizing was a classy move, I realy don't think he intended to injure the man. Welker was out after that hit, Clark felt bad. It's cool, everybody's just looking into this way too much. Great hit, classy move. Did it deserve a flag, absolutely.

stlrtruck
12-03-2008, 08:54 AM
The more I watch that hit, I have to change my original assessment and say that Clark did not deserved to be fined for the hit.
Welker reaches for the ball as if he's going to catch it and Clark did what he's paid to do - make Welker pay for attempting to catch the ball. If Welker didn't want to get lights out, then he shouldn't have made a play for it.