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BigBen2112
09-05-2008, 12:22 PM
Hard not to be happy for Clark
By Teresa Varley
Steelers.com

There are times when you see a player succeed and you just can’t help but feel happy for them.
Sometimes it’s a player who fought back from an injury or illness, overcoming the biggest odds out there to get back on the field. It could be a player who does incredible things in the community and you want him to do well in games. Or it could be a player who has earned your respect because he is committed to his family and faith.
Or it could be all of the above. And in that case, it would be safety Ryan Clark.
Some might have written him off mid-way through last season when he suffered an inflamed spleen following the Steelers-Broncos game in Denver, the result of a pre-existing blood condition where the high mountain altitude combined with dehydration caused the inflammation.

But you can never count this guy out. No way. He had surgery to remove the spleen and gall bladder. He lost considerable weight and looked drained and the normally upbeat Clark was withdrawn. But not once, no matter how down he got, did he ever give up.
“You stop thinking about football during those times. It’s about getting healthy,” said Clark. “Once I was healthy I thought I could be back. Once the doctor said I could play, I thought with a lot of hard work and prayer I could be back and play and I am.”
On Sunday he will play in his first regular season game since that day in Denver when the Steelers host the Houston Texans at Heinz Field. There might not be anybody wearing the black and gold that day who will appreciate being out there more than Clark.

“I am excited. I am anxious to get out there,” said Clark. “It’s more a testament to how great God has been to me and my family. I just want to go out there and have a good time and show I am appreciative through my play. It will be fun. I will be a little nervous, the first one back. But I am excited and ready to get going.”

Clark is back in shape, has the upbeat attitude he is known for back and will start at strong safety on Sunday. Not bad for a guy who didn’t know if he would ever play football again.
“Coming back it was the coach’s decision that I played well enough to start,” said Clark. “After what I went through, that wasn’t a challenge at all. Going into last year it was a concern knowing I had to battle. This year, I just didn’t care. I am just happy to be out there playing.”
Don’t get him wrong about not caring. He loves every minute on the field, knows that none of it is promised, that tomorrow isn’t promised. He understands what is important and football is, but life is more important.
“My relationship with God went through a lot during that time,” said Clark. “Knowing he was there for me strengths my faith. My outlook on seeing my babies and wife every day is different.
“As far as football, it’s different too. There is a lot less anxiety about each play. You know each play could be your last so why not enjoy it. It’s a game now.”

Ryan Clark will serve as the honorary chair for the Cancer Caring Center walk on September 20. Click for more information.
http://news.steelers.com/article/95552/

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
09-05-2008, 12:49 PM
I really like Clark and consider him to be a key to upgrading our team this year. Somewhere, probably on SteelerLive, there was a thread from Eltrain talking about the time he spent at camp with his son. One of the things he mentioned was how great a guy Ryan Clark is. He had said that he spent quite a bit of time with him, and found him to be very polite, helpful, and personable.

Put this in perspective. Here is a starting safety with an awful lot on his plate. He is coming off a career - if not life - threatening injury. Across the table sits the parents of just another training camp hopeful. There was a good chance that Clark would never see this man or his son after this summer. In other words, there was no political or ulterior reason to pay any attention to this guy.

Eltrain talked about how they were discussing football, his injury and recovery, and just other non-related topics. He came away very impressed with Ryan Clark. I really hope that he returns to his previous form this year.

Oviedo
09-05-2008, 12:56 PM
I hope this guy has a great season. He has to be a candidate for comeback player of the year. How many guys come back from being near death.

kennyes
09-07-2008, 03:37 AM
I hope this guy has a great season. He has to be a candidate for comeback player of the year. How many guys come back from being near death.


Everything I read about this kid I really like. He is a smart player and puts himself in the right position. Something Anthony Smith doesn't always do at this stage in his career.

First off, I just hope he's got 100% of his health back, period. Secondly, I hope he can adjust to the level of play required without further dicking himself over. Like I said though I believe him to be a really smart player, and that goes far. Hopefully, the Trainers and Physicians are on top of what started this whole thing to begin with and Ryan can have a productive career, and more importantly a long life for his wife and kids ...

BIG FAN
09-07-2008, 04:13 AM
I hope this guy has a great season. He has to be a candidate for comeback player of the year. How many guys come back from being near death.


Everything I read about this kid I really like. He is a smart player and puts himself in the right position. Something Anthony Smith doesn't always do at this stage in his career.

First off, I just hope he's got 100% of his health back, period. Secondly, I hope he can adjust to the level of play required without further dicking himself over. Like I said though I believe him to be a really smart player, and that goes far. Hopefully, the Trainers and Physicians are on top of what started this whole thing to begin with and Ryan can have a productive career, and more importantly a long life for his wife and kids ...

Agree with Oviedo, (usually do) and with you Kenny, I think the man will play with a passion only a man who has had to think everything he had has been lost, but now given back, he rises up and performs. In a sense urgency tempered with the maturity of knowing he has beat the odds.

Hogerules33
09-07-2008, 07:06 AM
I always felt Ryan Clark was underrated as a player. He plays such smart football, and is a stark contrast to Anthony Smith. Everyone was predicting Smith would eventually take over Clark as the starter over at PittsburghLive, but the guy plays too sound.


The dedskins let him go to to spend big bucks on Adam Archuleta. As with many of Dan Snyder's free agent signings, it did not work out lol. I think Archuleta was benched halfway through the season if I remember correctly. Sean Taylor's play declined as well without Clark opposite of him.

The organization is lucky to have such a good player and person.