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View Full Version : Ryan Clark- unsung hero?



stlrz d
10-06-2008, 08:00 AM
You rarely hear the guy's name...which I think is good actually. He's not a splash player but he hits hard and does his job well. No showboating or chest thumping when he does make a play.

I think he's back there doing exactly what he should be doing and as a result is one of the unsung heroes of this defense.

Thoughts?

frankthetank1
10-06-2008, 08:12 AM
clark is such an important player to the defense. he rarely makes mistakes and we all saw the problems with depth at fs last year. he is the perfect compliment to troy. what a difference it is having a fs that is a true fs and not a ss.

DkBlue
10-06-2008, 08:20 AM
You rarely hear the guy's name...which I think is good actually. He's not a splash player but he hits hard and does his job well. No showboating or chest thumping when he does make a play.

I think he's back there doing exactly what he should be doing and as a result is one of the unsung heroes of this defense.

Thoughts?

He appears to be very smart. I wish Anthoney Smith had his knowledge and attitude to go along with his physical skills.

DkBlue
10-06-2008, 08:21 AM
You rarely hear the guy's name...which I think is good actually. He's not a splash player but he hits hard and does his job well. No showboating or chest thumping when he does make a play.

I think he's back there doing exactly what he should be doing and as a result is one of the unsung heroes of this defense.

Thoughts?

He appears to be very smart. I wish Anthoney Smith had his knowledge and attitude to go along with his physical skills.

BigBen2112
10-06-2008, 09:26 AM
One of the best pickups the FO has had in a LONG time.

frankthetank1
10-06-2008, 09:27 AM
One of the best pickups the FO has had in a LONG time.

oh i dunno, there have been a lot of good pickups the fo has had in recent years. parker and harrison to name a couple

BigBen2112
10-06-2008, 09:29 AM
One of the best pickups the FO has had in a LONG time.

oh i dunno, there have been a lot of good pickups the fo has had in recent years. parker and harrison to name a couple

They were undrafted FA...this guy was a FA from another team. That's what I meant.

frankthetank1
10-06-2008, 09:33 AM
One of the best pickups the FO has had in a LONG time.

oh i dunno, there have been a lot of good pickups the fo has had in recent years. parker and harrison to name a couple

They were undrafted FA...this guy was a FA from another team. That's what I meant.

they are different kind of pick ups but they are still excellent aquisitions. harrison was an undrafted fa but he played with jax before he came to the steelers.

Oviedo
10-06-2008, 09:45 AM
Do any of our medical experts know whether Clark's medical condition would still be an issue if we had a play off game in Denver?

I would rank Farrior as the best FA pick up since Kevin Greene. Clark is a close third along with Jeff Hartings..

BigBen2112
10-06-2008, 09:48 AM
Do any of our medical experts know whether Clark's medical condition would still be an issue if we had a play off game in Denver?

I would rank Farrior as the best FA pick up since Kevin Greene. Clark is a close third.

He would not be able to participate.

The atmospheric pressure would really facilitate the illness.

SteelerNation1
10-06-2008, 11:01 AM
Ryan Clark plays the game hard. I love his attitude. Never pouted when he and Smith were competing. Plus, he gave my niece his workout shirt at training camp. He signed autographs for an hour and a half after practice the day I was there.

ANPSTEEL
10-06-2008, 11:29 AM
while watching the game last night- i was thinking that i wanted to start a thread in appreciation of Clark's performance this year.

he has been solid in the secondary- and you are exactly right- not hearing is name is often a very good thing.

on another note-

james harrison was picked up by the ravens after he was previously let go by the steelers.

when the ravens released him, cowher re-signed him.

he never played for jacksonville

SanAntonioSteelerFan
10-06-2008, 11:34 AM
Can someone tell me what Clark's illness is that he cannot play at high altitude?

(Oh, and BTW, I cannot believe that Harrison was an undrafted FA ... how does someone like that not make it on the radar of every NFL scout?).

ANPSTEEL
10-06-2008, 11:36 AM
Can someone tell me what Clark's illness is that he cannot play at high altitude?

(Oh, and BTW, I cannot believe that Harrison was an undrafted FA ... how does someone like that not make it on the radar of every NFL scout?).

i think the answer is:

kent state has a crappy football program

and

this will come as a shock, he had a huge attitude problem coming out of college

plus he is a bit undersized

frankthetank1
10-06-2008, 11:38 AM
Can someone tell me what Clark's illness is that he cannot play at high altitude?

(Oh, and BTW, I cannot believe that Harrison was an undrafted FA ... how does someone like that not make it on the radar of every NFL scout?).

same with fwp. im guessing harrison was a very very raw talent and it took a long time for harrison to develop. i remember the first game he started for the steelers when porter punched willie green. he was a monster then, i was amazed that he pretty much came out of no where

BigBen2112
10-06-2008, 02:08 PM
Can someone tell me what Clark's illness is that he cannot play at high altitude?

(Oh, and BTW, I cannot believe that Harrison was an undrafted FA ... how does someone like that not make it on the radar of every NFL scout?).

He has a genetic condition that is common in african americans called sickle-cell disease. Its where the blood platelet cells become "sickle" cells that easily stick together and cause huge issues. At high altitudes this especially comes into play. When he was in Denver last he had this issue which led to sickle-cell anemia which led to the removal of his spleen.

Here's the difference between a normal blood cell and a sickle-cell:
http://library.thinkquest.org/28281/rbc.gif
That is an image of a single, normal blood cell. Mostly circular.

http://www.sicklecelldiseasejax.org/SickleCell.jpg
The misshapen cell is the sickle-cell.

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~toxmetal/images/sicklecell.jpg
Again the difference is shown here.

The issue with the sickle-cell is the abnormal hemoglobin which causes the cells to be shaped the way they are. When moving through vessels they often become "sticky" and can clog up vessels.

Some treatments are bone marrow transplants (actually cures the disease), some antibiotics, sometimes blood transfusions are necessary...there really isnt too much else that I know of.

Furthermore, to answer the SPECIFIC question of why it is affected at high altitudes. There are a couple reasons I can come up with:
1. High altitudes put excess stress on the body, and excess stress "ramps" up the body which would cause the blood to be kinda "used" more and thus lead to more complications because of the stickiness of the sickle cells
2. High altitudes have lower oxygen levels and people with sickle cell already have problem with their blood being able to transport ample oxygen throughout the body

Also excessive exercise and stress (as mentioned above) cause problems and as a football player he is always exercising alot and in stressful situations.

I dont know if he could go if we had to play IN Denver!

frankthetank1
10-06-2008, 03:46 PM
Can someone tell me what Clark's illness is that he cannot play at high altitude?

(Oh, and BTW, I cannot believe that Harrison was an undrafted FA ... how does someone like that not make it on the radar of every NFL scout?).

He has a genetic condition that is common in african americans called sickle-cell disease. Its where the blood platelet cells become "sickle" cells that easily stick together and cause huge issues. At high altitudes this especially comes into play. When he was in Denver last he had this issue which led to sickle-cell anemia which led to the removal of his spleen.

Here's the difference between a normal blood cell and a sickle-cell:
http://library.thinkquest.org/28281/rbc.gif
That is an image of a single, normal blood cell. Mostly circular.

http://www.sicklecelldiseasejax.org/SickleCell.jpg
The misshapen cell is the sickle-cell.

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~toxmetal/images/sicklecell.jpg
Again the difference is shown here.

The issue with the sickle-cell is the abnormal hemoglobin which causes the cells to be shaped the way they are. When moving through vessels they often become "sticky" and can clog up vessels.

Some treatments are bone marrow transplants (actually cures the disease), some antibiotics, sometimes blood transfusions are necessary...there really isnt too much else that I know of.

Furthermore, to answer the SPECIFIC question of why it is affected at high altitudes. There are a couple reasons I can come up with:
1. High altitudes put excess stress on the body, and excess stress "ramps" up the body which would cause the blood to be kinda "used" more and thus lead to more complications because of the stickiness of the sickle cells
2. High altitudes have lower oxygen levels and people with sickle cell already have problem with their blood being able to transport ample oxygen throughout the body

Also excessive exercise and stress (as mentioned above) cause problems and as a football player he is always exercising alot and in stressful situations.

I dont know if he could go if we had to play IN Denver!

what are you a doctor or something :lol: haha just kidding. i find it hard to believe that he couldnt play in denver because of sickle cell. im sure denver has had a player or player's that have had sickle cell as it affects a good percentage of african americans

BigBen2112
10-06-2008, 04:20 PM
Hopefully soon enough I'll be a doctor.

And he could play in Denver, I do believe, if he was on some medication...or made sure he had PLENTY of oxygen, like I said above. He'd have to be almost over oxygenated.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
10-07-2008, 09:27 AM
No surprise here and it is about time for Clark to get some attention for his play. One of my greatest fears coming into this season was that he would not be fully recovered.

I have been touting this guy since well before his injury. The injury just pushed his value to the forefront. Last year pre-season, so many people were pushing for Smith to get the starting nod at FS coming out of camp. I argued over and over that Clark is a very solid safety and a perfect complement to the roaming style that Troy plays. What did I get? Often into a debate over the definition of the word "solid".

Clark deserves to receives our praise for many reasons this season.

First: For coming back from such a horrific condition to return his play to such a high level.

Second: Because we now know his worth to this D. After losing him last season we witnessed the Anthony Smith debacle and the inabilities of Tyrone Carter.

Third: Because he is supposedly a great guy and role model, and not just since his near death experience. Back on the trib board Eltrain wrote about him in a thread discussing how he had spent quite a bit of time chatting with him. I found it interesting that this vet, coming off such an awful experience, takes the time to hang out with the parent of some kid who had barely a chance to make the team - so he would doubtfully ever be in a position to face this man again.

frankthetank1
10-07-2008, 09:46 AM
Hopefully soon enough I'll be a doctor.

And he could play in Denver, I do believe, if he was on some medication...or made sure he had PLENTY of oxygen, like I said above. He'd have to be almost over oxygenated.

yea i remembered you saying that you were in med school, i was just kidding. well thats good that he could play there if he had too. he is way too important to the defense

BigBen2112
10-07-2008, 10:15 AM
Hopefully soon enough I'll be a doctor.

And he could play in Denver, I do believe, if he was on some medication...or made sure he had PLENTY of oxygen, like I said above. He'd have to be almost over oxygenated.

yea i remembered you saying that you were in med school, i was just kidding. well thats good that he could play there if he had too. he is way too important to the defense

I dont know how mentally UP for the game he'd be having to worry about possibly dying on the field...but ya never know.

They certainly would needa LOT of full oxygen tanks for him.

frankthetank1
10-07-2008, 10:25 AM
Hopefully soon enough I'll be a doctor.

And he could play in Denver, I do believe, if he was on some medication...or made sure he had PLENTY of oxygen, like I said above. He'd have to be almost over oxygenated.

yea i remembered you saying that you were in med school, i was just kidding. well thats good that he could play there if he had too. he is way too important to the defense

I dont know how mentally UP for the game he'd be having to worry about possibly dying on the field...but ya never know.

They certainly would needa LOT of full oxygen tanks for him.

eh its only death just kidding (obviously). i didnt know he could possibly die from the altitude. maybe it would be best that he never plays in denver then

BigBen2112
10-07-2008, 10:58 AM
Hopefully soon enough I'll be a doctor.

And he could play in Denver, I do believe, if he was on some medication...or made sure he had PLENTY of oxygen, like I said above. He'd have to be almost over oxygenated.

yea i remembered you saying that you were in med school, i was just kidding. well thats good that he could play there if he had too. he is way too important to the defense

I dont know how mentally UP for the game he'd be having to worry about possibly dying on the field...but ya never know.

They certainly would needa LOT of full oxygen tanks for him.

eh its only death just kidding (obviously). i didnt know he could possibly die from the altitude. maybe it would be best that he never plays in denver then

Let me put it this way:

Because of the sickle cell "stickiness" higher altitude will cause less oxygenation causing them to be more sticky and could "clot" some other areas.

He lost his spleen for this reason...what would be next?

I mean if they didnt keep him excessively oxygenated maybe his liver would be next.

After awhile (this is going to sound funny b/c it is kinda) there aren't any more organs to lose. :lol:

He could play IF they keep him oxygenated. Can we be given 5 time outs per half?

frankthetank1
10-07-2008, 11:01 AM
Hopefully soon enough I'll be a doctor.

And he could play in Denver, I do believe, if he was on some medication...or made sure he had PLENTY of oxygen, like I said above. He'd have to be almost over oxygenated.

yea i remembered you saying that you were in med school, i was just kidding. well thats good that he could play there if he had too. he is way too important to the defense

I dont know how mentally UP for the game he'd be having to worry about possibly dying on the field...but ya never know.

They certainly would needa LOT of full oxygen tanks for him.

eh its only death just kidding (obviously). i didnt know he could possibly die from the altitude. maybe it would be best that he never plays in denver then

Let me put it this way:

Because of the sickle cell "stickiness" higher altitude will cause less oxygenation causing them to be more sticky and could "clot" some other areas.

He lost his spleen for this reason...what would be next?

I mean if they didnt keep him excessively oxygenated maybe his liver would be next.

After awhile (this is going to sound funny b/c it is kinda) there aren't any more organs to lose. :lol:

He could play IF they keep him oxygenated. Can we be given 5 time outs per half?

so there is no way he could play there then. i doubt the team would even allow him to play even if he wanted too. thats a huge risk to take for a football game. lets just hope they dont have to play in denver this year

BigBen2112
10-07-2008, 11:05 AM
I dont know what treatment he's had. For all I know he could have had a bone marrow transplant and be completely cured.

RuthlessBurgher
10-08-2008, 11:29 PM
I believe he played in Denver once before when he was playing for Washington. He experienced similar symptoms during and after the game (but it did not get to the point that he needed his spleen removed then, obviously). Denver is not on our schedule this season, but if we needed to go through Denver to get to the Super Bowl like we had to in the '05 season, I would almost guarantee that Clark would be watching the game on TV from Pittsburgh.