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fordfixer
11-04-2009, 02:07 AM
Ward: Team will support Clark's call

By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... -call.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1501/2009/november/03/ward-team-will-support-clarks-call.html)

Tuesday November 3, 2009 12:09 AM

PITTSBURGH — If it were Hines Ward’s decision, Ryan Clark would not play Monday night in Denver.

“Me, personally, I love life better than I do football,” Ward, the veteran wide receiver said Monday when asked about Clark’s impending choice of playing or watching when the Steelers (5-2) play the Broncos (6-1).

“Me, if I was in that situation, I wouldn’t even think twice about it. Life is more precious than football.”

As a sickle cell trait carrier, Clark experienced severe health problems the last time the Steelers played at Invesco Field at Mile High. In a loss to the Broncos on Oct. 21, 2007, over-exerting himself in the game and low oxygen levels in the Rocky Mountain air combined to cause Clark’s blood to negatively affect his spleen.

Clark, a free safety, eventually had his spleen and gall bladder removed. For several weeks, his career seemed in jeopardy. There were even days when Clark feared for his life.

On Monday when the Steelers returned to practice after their bye week, Clark refused to address his personal health issues to the media.
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Clark has received clearance to play from physicians. But he and coach Mike Tomlin have yet to reach a decision.

“His physical health, his well-being, of course, is paramount,” Tomlin said. “We’re going to attempt to do what’s right. We’re going to weigh all our options and we’re going to come to a decision at some point later this week.”

Ward says he and the rest of the Steelers will stick by Clark whatever he decides.

“We support him. Whatever he wants to do, he has our backs,” Ward said. “If he’s unable to play due to life-threatening situations, anybody in this locker room would understand that. I don’t think anyone would second guess any decision he makes.”

Clark, who will fly with the team to Denver regardless, practiced Monday and will practice the rest of the week. But if he doesn’t play in Denver, his spot in the starting lineup will be taken either by 10th-year pro Tyrone Carter or second-year pro Ryan Mundy.

“To be determined,” Tomlin said.

flippy
11-04-2009, 07:49 AM
:Clap

Ward's saying what the Steelers and Tomlin should be saying imho. They should put this thing to rest and fully endorse Clark not playing.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-04-2009, 09:37 AM
Once again, this should be a non issue. Clark shouldn't play.

The more important part of this story in conjunction to what I have seen on Sunday's...Is that Tomlin isn't so quick to fire Carter's name out as the #3 S. Mundy has taken some big strides and I wouldn't be surprised to see him start over Carter if Clark can't go. Mundy reminds me alot of a bigger, faster Darren Perry and he is seing the field alot more. I would love to see him along side Troy if Clark can't go. I have been waiting for someone to push Carter off this roster. Carter's experience has kept him around for a long time but this defense always grows when another young athlete takes a position over an aged experience vet.

In my opinion, this defense "hit a wall" because of some aged depth. Players like Mundy, Hood, Harris, Lewis, and Burnett can break this defense through this wall. The Steelers will have to add some more next draft at LB, DL, & DB again. Fresh legs keeps this D Rollin'!!!

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-04-2009, 09:38 AM
:Clap

Ward's saying what the Steelers and Tomlin should be saying imho. They should put this thing to rest and fully endorse Clark not playing.

Ditto!

ikestops85
11-04-2009, 12:36 PM
:Clap

Ward's saying what the Steelers and Tomlin should be saying imho. They should put this thing to rest and fully endorse Clark not playing.

Ditto!

There is no question in my mind that the decision has already been made. Remember the roster cutdown fiasco? Tomlin has learned never to release information sooner than he needs to. That he learns from his mistakes is one of the things I like about the overpaid janitor. :stirpot

RuthlessBurgher
11-04-2009, 01:14 PM
:Clap

Ward's saying what the Steelers and Tomlin should be saying imho. They should put this thing to rest and fully endorse Clark not playing.

Ditto!

There is no question in my mind that the decision has already been made. Remember the roster cutdown fiasco? Tomlin has learned never to release information sooner than he needs to. That he learns from his mistakes is one of the things I like about the overpaid janitor. :stirpot

:Agree

Clark and Tomlin likely have known the plan for some time now, and the rest of the team probably knows who will line up next to Troy in Denver as well. I think they are keeping it under wraps from the Broncos at this point, for whatever competitive advantage that might be (not knowing if they will see Clark, Mundy, or Carter at FS).