03-14-2006, 04:47 PM
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Re: Steelers Sign FS Ryan Clark
Here is an article from November titled "Safety Clark a Big Hit"
When receiver Santana Moss, who's generously listed at 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, joined the Redskins in March, he was a little skeptical on hearing that 5-11, 200-pound safety Ryan Clark was a big hitter.
"I kind of looked at Ryan and I was like, 'Are you sure?'" Moss said. "Then in our (Aug. 6) scrimmage against the Ravens, I saw him fly around and throw his body (around) ... It was very impressive, seeing his size. Better him than me."
That's just fine with Clark. Despite missing the first two games with a sprained knee suffered during preseason and the Denver game with a bruised spleen suffered against Seattle, Clark has 25 tackles, fifth on the team.
"I've never been scared to hit," Clark said. "I go up and try to hit. Sometimes I win. Sometimes I lose. Lately, I've been winning more than losing. I had a good friend tell me, 'You're either going to be the hammer or the nail.' I might be a small hammer, not a sledgehammer."
Brian Westbrook got a quick taste of that last Sunday when Clark put the Pro Bowl running back on his butt after a 1-yard gain to end Philadelphia's first series.
"Ryan thinks he's a linebacker," linebacker Marcus Washington said.
Clark hasn't forgotten being told by New York defensive coordinator Tim Lewis "they think you can't tackle" before the Giants cut him in the winter of 2004. Clark made a career-high 14 tackles and his first career interception two weeks ago against the Giants.
"Ryan plays with a chip on his shoulder," safeties coach Steve Jackson said.
That's unfortunate for opposing ball carriers.
Said Jackson, "Ryan goes out with the intention of, 'It's either going to be you or it's going to be me. One of us is going to be the fly. One of us is going to be the windshield.' That's the way he approaches every tackle, every bit of contact."