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Old 06-06-2007, 09:52 AM   #1
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Default Steelers' Haggans faces tough situation -- off the field

By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Steelers outside linebacker Clark Haggans said Tuesday he would "love to be here" beyond the 2007 season, and the seven-year veteran is proving as much by taking part in OTA (Organized Team Activity) drills.
If anybody has a reason to skip the practices that run through next week, it is Haggans.

His mind and heart are thousands of miles away when he is not working at the Steelers' South Side practice facility. That is because his infant daughter, Alianna Marie, is battling for her life in a Las Vegas hospital.

Haggans declined to get into specifics about her condition -- he acknowledged that it stems from her premature birth -- but it caused him to miss the Steelers' first minicamp in April.

He attended the mandatory minicamp last month, but since OTA practices are voluntary, it would have been easy for Haggans to return full time to his family given the circumstances.
Instead, he has spent the past couple of weeks shuttling between Pittsburgh and Las Vegas, between what is important (career) and what is really important (family).

Not that it has been easy or something Haggans could have done without the blessing of his wife, Alicia.

"Right now, a lot of things are out of my control and all I can do is be there for prayers and support my wife and my son and the rest of my family," said Haggans, who has been flying to Las Vegas after OTA practices are completed for each week. "It's always in the back of my mind and it gets tough at times, but you've just got to push through, keep playing and be a professional. I'm working on my (frequent-flier) miles for U.S. Airways."

He's also working to re-establish himself as a force on the Steelers' defense.

Haggans' production slipped a bit last season after he appeared to have a breakthrough year in 2005 when he finished second on the team in sacks (nine) and fumbles forced (four).

And there are questions about his long-term future with the team considering Haggans is 30 and in the final year of his contract and the fact the Steelers took linebackers with their first two picks in the NFL Draft at the end of April.

One of those picks, second-rounder LaMarr Woodley, could be groomed to take over at left outside linebacker for Haggans, who had 6.5 sacks last season.

"It's up to the organization," Haggans said on whether he expects to return to the Steelers after next season. "I can't imagine myself in any other uniform. I can't imagine myself not having black and gold on. We'll just see what happens."

The 6-foot-4, 253-pounder is focused on the more immediate future -- and specifically a return to form for the Steelers' defense and for himself.

"It's just one of those things where we were out on the field too long and usually, when you're out there too long, positive things aren't really going to happen," Haggans said of last season. "I just look back and see on the film that maybe a step here or a step there where we could have made a play and had a completely different season."

The disappointment of going 8-8 last season and missing the playoffs a year after the Steelers won the Super Bowl has unfortunately been put in perspective by his daughter's condition.

"I know a lesson I've learned right now," Haggans said, "is every day is a blessing."
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Old 06-06-2007, 11:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' Haggans faces tough situation -- off the field

Good thoughts are winging their way out to Haggans and his family, its a real reality check about where pro-sports fit in the overall scheme of life.

Hopefully, he will get some good news soon regarding his daughters situation and then he'll be able to fully focus 'bringing it' for the Steelers this year.
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Old 06-06-2007, 11:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' Haggans faces tough situation -- off the field

Hope things turn out well for them.
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Old 06-06-2007, 11:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' Haggans faces tough situation -- off the field

True Heart of a Steeler, and True Heart of a Family man. Hope everything goes ok for him and his family.
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Old 06-06-2007, 12:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' Haggans faces tough situation -- off the field

I hope the Rooney's take note of his dedication to both family and football. While some players are only in it for the next big thing, Haggan's seems to be more interested in being a family man [QUOTE]Not that it has been easy or something Haggans could have done without the blessing of his wife, Alicia.[/QUOTE] then shuttling off for interviews with other teams.

Isn't this the type of character the Steelers have always sought after? And now they've got him - don't let him go. It's players like this that make the organization what it is and why they have such a world wide following.

And prayers continue to roll up for Haggan's and his family!!
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Old 06-06-2007, 01:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' Haggans faces tough situation -- off the field

While I can't make any promises that I can actually pull this off, I've got a post on my own Web site encouraging people to leave a small note of encouragement or an offer of prayers to the Haggans family. I will then do everything within my power to attempt to get those comments off to Clark and his family through whatever channel I can find within the team.

I am not doing this to promote my site, and I don't yet have enough posts to on the board to be able to post a link, but if you look at my profile you should be able to find the link to the site.
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Old 06-06-2007, 01:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' Haggans faces tough situation -- off the field

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelerWatch View Post
While I can't make any promises that I can actually pull this off, I've got a post on my own Web site encouraging people to leave a small note of encouragement or an offer of prayers to the Haggans family. I will then do everything within my power to attempt to get those comments off to Clark and his family through whatever channel I can find within the team.

I am not doing this to promote my site, and I don't yet have enough posts to on the board to be able to post a link, but if you look at my profile you should be able to find the link to the site.
http://steelerwatch.bfmn.net/
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Old 06-06-2007, 01:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' Haggans faces tough situation -- off the field

Thats sad and props to Clark for going out there and practicing through the times he is going through right now...Thats a team guy....Hey Faneca take some notes you punk....
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers' Haggans faces tough situation -- off the field

Hang in there, Clark. I pray your daughter improves and grows. No parent ever wants to lose a child, especially a baby. Premature or not. I know how he feels. My youngest Brother was premature and hanging on to life by a thread.

Ah man, makes me proud to be a Steelers fan. Such classy players all around.
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Old 06-06-2007, 03:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers' Haggans faces tough situation -- off the field

He's definetely a team guy, never noticed it much before, I too want him to stay in the black and gold. Best wishes to his family.
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