View Full Version : Steelers' Clark hopes to show off his hitting in Super Bowl

01-28-2009, 08:24 PM
Steelers' Clark hopes to show off his hitting in Super Bowl
Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:46pm EST
By Steve Ginsburg

TAMPA, Florida (Reuters) - Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Ryan Clark is one of the NFL's fiercest hitters and hopes to put his specialty on display in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Leveling one of the Arizona Cardinals' receivers early in the game could narrow the field for the Steelers' defense, Clark said on Wednesday.

"When you have guys as talented as they are a good hit can change the momentum of the game," he told reporters. "They get a couple of big plays over the top (and) it will have us on our heels.

"But if we come out there and get a good hit early, they might go back to their quarterback and say: 'You know, how about you don't throw the ball in there?'"

The 29-year-old Clark is only five-foot-11-inches and 205 pounds (93 kg) but is one of the most vicious hitters in the league.

"I'm not a very big guy, that's why I wear long-sleeve shirts most of the time," joked Clark, whose 113 tackles this season was second most on the Steelers. "I don't have any muscles.

"I can either be the hammer or the nail. And I try to be the hammer, the one doing the hitting. If you're the guy sitting back, waiting for him to come to you, there's going to be trouble."

Clark said that when making a good hit, "you just can't flinch."

"It's like playing chicken," he said. "When two guys are running full speed, somebody has to move. When somebody has to blink, if you don't, that's when you get those good hits."


Clark's toughness was displayed during the AFC title game two weeks ago when he crashed into Baltimore Ravens running back Willis McGahee, who had just caught a pass over the middle.

The two collided with a helmet-to-helmet hit that silenced the crowd at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field. While McGahee lay on the field for nearly 15 minutes, Clark got up after about 90 seconds.

"I had a little blackout on impact," said Clark. "Once I was on the ground, I came to. (Team mate Troy Polamalu) asked me about 25 questions that I had no answer for.

"He asked me if I had a concussion and I said: 'How would I know?' I was dizzy, a little groggy. Head injuries make you emotional. Or maybe I was just happy we won the AFC championship."

McGahee spent the night in a Pittsburgh hospital but suffered no permanent damage. Clark underwent tests for concussion and was cleared to play in the Super Bowl.

"That was the first time I ever had a concussion test," he said. "You know what's funny, you take the test when you're fine so that way they can compare the answers. I did better after the head injury than I did before."

Clark, a seven-year NFL veteran, knows the outcome of the game is likely to depend on the Steelers' ability to cover Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

Clark had a warning for Fitzgerald: "If I get the opportunity to make a big hit, I'm going to take it," he said. "I'm sure he knows that."

(Editing by Clare Fallon)

01-29-2009, 06:28 AM
Go get them Clark. And while you are at it save a big hit for Boldin and Breaston as well :chuckle: