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SteelCrazy
01-03-2012, 01:28 PM
PITTSBURGH -- Channel 11 News has learned that Ryan Clark will not be playing against the Broncos as the Steelers prepare for their wild card playoff game set for Sunday in Denver.

Clark has sickle cell trait, which caused him to become violently ill after the Steelers played at Mile High Stadium in 2007. The high altitude caused Clark's blood to sickle, and the deprivation of oxygen to major organs eventually cost Clark his gall bladder and spleen.

Head coach Mike Tomlin also did not allow Clark to play in Denver in 2009 during a regular-season game, and the free safety did not play in an exhibition game in Denver last season.

http://www.wpxi.com/sports/30124090/detail.html

RuthlessBurgher
01-03-2012, 01:34 PM
Ryan Mundy...next man up.

pick6
01-03-2012, 01:34 PM
Mundy has been getting playing time this year and he seems like a smart player so hopefully he won't be a place of weakness.

Anybody have specifics about CB Lewis and CB Cortez Allen

SteelBucks
01-03-2012, 01:36 PM
Smart move. I wouldn't let him play either.

In other injury news, both Legursky and Woodley are back, Moore and Allen are questionable at best according to Tomlin. Tomlin expects Lewis to play.

SteelCrazy
01-03-2012, 01:40 PM
Mundy has been getting playing time this year and he seems like a smart player so hopefully he won't be a place of weakness.

Anybody have specifics about CB Lewis and CB Cortez Allen

Not sure if they'll play but Allen has a dislocated shoulder and Lewis a hammy, so Allen may be able to go depending on the pain and severity, but with Lewis i dont see him playing.

phillyesq
01-03-2012, 01:51 PM
Good. Ultimately, this is just a game and not worth risking somebody's life.

Oviedo
01-03-2012, 01:53 PM
Time to really look hard at a new FS in the next draft. We already know we play Denver again next season but while this is probably a smart decision this is a decision that hurts our team given our already weak secondary that has been devastated by injuries late in the season.

We are definitely limping into the playoffs with key player not playing or playing at less than 100%. I don't remember us ever going into the playoffs in this bad of shape.

pick6
01-03-2012, 02:00 PM
Mundy has been getting playing time this year and he seems like a smart player so hopefully he won't be a place of weakness.

Anybody have specifics about CB Lewis and CB Cortez Allen

Not sure if they'll play but Allen has a dislocated shoulder and Lewis a hammy, so Allen may be able to go depending on the pain and severity, but with Lewis i dont see him playing.


Ok. This is not good. But being that we are going against the Broncos and there best running game in the NFL, then I hope we give both these guys a rest and let them heal up. So we'll see Bmac. At least he's a good tackler.

Starlifter
01-03-2012, 02:17 PM
the broncos can't throw and they can't catch.

we'll be fine. i'd rather dress one less CB and add another d-lineman.

rpmpit
01-03-2012, 02:20 PM
Good. Ultimately, this is just a game and not worth risking somebody's life.

Agreed. I would have really been shocked had he been allowed to play.

pick6
01-03-2012, 02:49 PM
Good. Ultimately, this is just a game and not worth risking somebody's life.


Good point.

SteelBucks
01-03-2012, 03:29 PM
Mundy has been getting playing time this year and he seems like a smart player so hopefully he won't be a place of weakness.

Anybody have specifics about CB Lewis and CB Cortez Allen

Not sure if they'll play but Allen has a dislocated shoulder and Lewis a hammy, so Allen may be able to go depending on the pain and severity, but with Lewis i dont see him playing.

Tomlin expects Lewis to play. Tomlin didn't sound too optimistic about Allen so I'd expect him to miss the Denver game.

flippy
01-03-2012, 03:56 PM
I hope Allen can play. I really liked when he was playing in place of Ryan in the nickle. And he's our best matchup for some of the elite TEs we may see in the near future.

phillyesq
01-03-2012, 04:15 PM
I hope Allen can play. I really liked when he was playing in place of Ryan in the nickle. And he's our best matchup for some of the elite TEs we may see in the near future.

Daniel Fells is Denver is actually pretty underrated as a receving TE. It would be nice to have Allen for this game, but if Lewis comes back the Steelers could use McFadden as the 4th corner/Dime Back, which isn't the end of the world.

SteelCrazy
01-03-2012, 04:24 PM
If Tomlin expects Lewis to play then the hamstring must be barely tweeked. Cant have a CB playing with a bad hammy.

SteelBucks
01-03-2012, 05:55 PM
If Tomlin expects Lewis to play then the hamstring must be barely tweeked. Cant have a CB playing with a bad hammy.

I don't even think Lewis is on the injury report at all, so I'm assuming he's good to go. Tomlin said they did an MRI and found nothing wrong and he will be a full participant in practice.

It's about time we get some good news on the injury front. :Cheers

NorthCoast
01-03-2012, 07:25 PM
Good. Ultimately, this is just a game and not worth risking somebody's life.

Agreed. I would have really been shocked had he been allowed to play.

+1.... and Tomlin's comment that he "would not allow my son to play given the same circumstances" is right on. NO game is worth a mans life. they have been consistent in this from the day Clark was diagnosed.

Ghost
01-03-2012, 07:41 PM
Did anyone consult Dr. Dee Dub to see if this was "old school" enough and if Clark should really be playing... :roll:

BradshawsHairdresser
01-03-2012, 09:59 PM
Did anyone consult Dr. Dee Dub to see if this was "old school" enough and if Clark should really be playing... :roll:

Even if his blood cells were pop-sickle-ing, Donnie Shell would have been out there in Denver... :lol:

hawaiiansteel
01-04-2012, 02:01 AM
TUESDAY, JANUARY 03, 2012

Tuesday with Tomlin

Mike Tomlin didn't hedge on this one: Ryan Clark will not play when the Steelers travel to Denver Sunday for the opening round of the NFL playoffs.

Clark will miss his second consecutive game in Denver after suffering through an episode of illness following playing there in 2007.

Clark carries the gene for sickle cell anemia and the high altitude there coupled with the physical strain of playing there that year forced him to miss the final 10 games of the season after he lost 30 pounds and had to have his gall bladder and spleen removed.

Ryan Mundy will get the start at free safety.

© In other news, Tomlin said the hamstring injury suffered by Keenan Lewis does not appear to be serious and he should play against the Broncos.

In fact, the only players Tomlin said were questionable were cornerback Cortez Allen (forearm) and running back Mewelde Moore.

© Doug Legursky is expected to return and start at left guard.

© If the Steelers add a running back because Moore is unable to play, it would be Chad Spann, a rookie from Northern Illinois who is on the practice squad.

posted by Dale Lolley

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/sidelines/

steelz09
01-04-2012, 10:43 AM
Question about Ryan Clark.

If his condition is "elevation" related, then why isn't it an issue when they have to fly to other cities?

Slapstick
01-04-2012, 10:58 AM
Clark's condition is due to both elevation and exertion...

Other players carry the sickle cell trait and most of them have no problem playing a game in Denver...the percentage chance of affecting a player is small and Clark is one of the unlucky few...

RuthlessBurgher
01-04-2012, 01:29 PM
Clark's condition is due to both elevation and exertion...

Other players carry the sickle cell trait and most of them have no problem playing a game in Denver...the percentage chance of affecting a player is small and Clark is one of the unlucky few...

Yeah, I believe last time we played in Denver, he traveled with the team and was on the sidelines, but did not take part in the game. I think the doctors had him ride a stationary bike in that altitude for a short while and then did some tests, but nothing like the exertional strain of playing an NFL football game.

I also think that the cabins of airplanes being pressurized has something to do with it as well (it is interesting to see what that can do to athletes...apparently the plane ride back from San Fran caused Ben's ankle to swell a bunch...I wonder how big it got...was it totally distorted like Ben Lovejoy's face on the plane ride during the 24/7 Winter Classic series a year ago).

Snatch98
01-04-2012, 04:31 PM
Time to really look hard at a new FS in the next draft. We already know we play Denver again next season but while this is probably a smart decision this is a decision that hurts our team given our already weak secondary that has been devastated by injuries late in the season.

We are definitely limping into the playoffs with key player not playing or playing at less than 100%. I don't remember us ever going into the playoffs in this bad of shape.

Our secondary is weak? It's been a strong point all season, so much so that most people have stepped off the draft a high cornerback train. Now I do understand that Brown is out, Allen is hobbled and so is lewis but if those guys are healthy our secondary is set for a while IMO. Lewis as mentioned above is supposed to play and Allen has the shoulder that if isn't okay this game will be by the next game. The Bronco offense is putrid and Tebow isn't going to run wild. We were pretty damn banged up last year. I'd say last year was worse than this run.

Snatch98
01-04-2012, 04:36 PM
Question about Ryan Clark.

If his condition is "elevation" related, then why isn't it an issue when they have to fly to other cities?

He's just sitting on a plane when flying, not playing football at the NFL level. Pretty big difference.

steelz09
01-04-2012, 07:41 PM
Question about Ryan Clark.

If his condition is "elevation" related, then why isn't it an issue when they have to fly to other cities?

He's just sitting on a plane when flying, not playing football at the NFL level. Pretty big difference.

Snatch98,

No kidding, captain obvious? Did you think of that all by yourself :) The point is that they never say, it's the combination of the two that causes the problem. They said it's the sickle cell issue in combination w/ Denvers elevation. If that was **it** then just flying would be an issue.

They don't say that the sickle cell disease + contact + elevation = injuries or possibly death. They never said contact was part of that equation.... now did they?

RuthlessBurgher
01-04-2012, 09:01 PM
Question about Ryan Clark.

If his condition is "elevation" related, then why isn't it an issue when they have to fly to other cities?

He's just sitting on a plane when flying, not playing football at the NFL level. Pretty big difference.

Snatch98,

No kidding, captain obvious? Did you think of that all by yourself :) The point is that they never say, it's the combination of the two that causes the problem. They said it's the sickle cell issue in combination w/ Denvers elevation. If that was **it** then just flying would be an issue.

They don't say that the sickle cell disease + contact + elevation = injuries or possibly death. They never said contact was part of that equation.... now did they?

Contact isn't necessarily a part of it. It's the sickle cell trait + elevation + extreme athletic exertion that causes those blood cells to sickle (which caused such damage to his spleen and gall bladder back in 2007 that they both needed to be removed). It doesn't have to be a contact sport like NFL football...Clark shouldn't be participating in any non-contact sports in the greater Denver area either (i.e. he's a no go for the Denver marathon too).

Snatch98
01-04-2012, 09:32 PM
Question about Ryan Clark.

If his condition is "elevation" related, then why isn't it an issue when they have to fly to other cities?

He's just sitting on a plane when flying, not playing football at the NFL level. Pretty big difference.

Snatch98,

No kidding, captain obvious? Did you think of that all by yourself :) The point is that they never say, it's the combination of the two that causes the problem. They said it's the sickle cell issue in combination w/ Denvers elevation. If that was **it** then just flying would be an issue.

They don't say that the sickle cell disease + contact + elevation = injuries or possibly death. They never said contact was part of that equation.... now did they?

Let's FIGHT! flag pole at 10:30pm eastern standard. You bring the weapons I'll bring the PAIN!

RuthlessBurgher
01-04-2012, 09:43 PM
Let's FIGHT! flag pole at 10:30pm eastern standard. You bring the weapons I'll bring the PAIN!

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg214/themightycelestial_bucket/movies%20by%20year/Millenium%20Movies/anchorman.gif

Boy, that escalated quickly... I mean, that really got out of hand fast.

It jumped up a notch.

It did, didn't it?

Yeah, I stabbed a man in the heart.

I saw that. Brick killed a guy. Did you throw a trident?

Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident.

Brick, I've been meaning to talk to you about that. You should find yourself a safehouse or a relative close by. Lay low for a while, because you're probably wanted for murder.

fordfixer
01-04-2012, 10:11 PM
How about we get back on topic :D
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Clark relieved Tomlin kept him out vs. Broncos

By WILL GRAVES,
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=A ... lers-clark (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AvA2dp8LI8eVGlvdWY7tN1ZDubYF?slug=ap-steelers-clark)


PITTSBURGH (AP)—Ryan Clark sat down in Mike Tomlin’s office and did something a little out of character for the normally verbose Pittsburgh Steelers safety. He listened.

And when Tomlin told Clark he couldn’t play in Sunday’s wild card game at Denver because of a sickle-cell trait that becomes aggravated when playing at higher elevations, Clark just shrugged his shoulders and nodded.

“I said `OK coach,”’ Clark said Wednesday. “It wasn’t any fight … does he seem like a man who changes his mind anyway? I knew there wasn’t going to be any changing in that.”
AdChoices

And for that, Clark is grateful. If given the choice, Clark would give it a shot even when faced with potentially dire consequences.

“Y’all have seen me play, I run into people all the time, so clearly I’m not that bright,” Clark told reporters with a laugh.

He’s kidding. Clark knows what’s at stake.

He nearly died the last time he played in Denver, when the then-undiagnosed condition flared up and he ended up having his gall bladder and spleen removed in addition to losing 30 pounds.

[Video: The Jets, Bucs, Eagles, Cowboys and Raiders all failed to meet expectation]

Doctors cleared Clark to play this weekend but didn’t make any guarantees. That’s all Tomlin needed to hear.

“They couldn’t tell me 100 percent that `Nothing is going to happen to you, you’re going to play and you’re going to be fine’ and I think that 1 percent chance was enough for coach Tomlin to take it out of my hands,” Clark said.

Tomlin told Clark that if Tomlin’s son Dino was in the same situation, he wouldn’t let him play, the kind of blunt assessment that Clark has grown to appreciate during Tomlin’s five years on the job.

“I think either way is a difficult situation,” Clark said. “Not to play with your teammates is a tough situation but to have to wonder after every play if you’re going to be alright is also a stressful situation.”

Instead Clark will watch in street clothes as Ryan Mundy steps in. Mundy has played well when called upon this season, collecting the first interception of his career in a 13-9 win at Kansas City on Nov. 27 and even catching a pass on a fake punt in a victory over Tennessee.

While not as quick as Clark, the 6-foot-1, 209-pound Mundy makes up for it with his size. He’s been a special teams ace for most of his career, though Tomlin has called Mundy “starter capable.”

So does Clark, just hopefully not until somewhere around 2013 or 2014.

“I tell him all the time I just need two more years to pay off this house in Baton Rouge and he can have the position,” Clark said. “He’s going to be a guy that’s going to play in this league for a very long time.”

Mundy made two spot starts for Troy Polamalu in 2010 but understands the stakes will be significantly higher this time around. At 26, the former West Virginia star thinks he’s mature enough to handle the pressure.

“It’s the playoffs, and it’s a big deal,” Mundy said. “So, you don’t want to overlook that, but at the same time you don’t want to get your head up in the clouds too much or lose focus of the task at hand.”

The task on Sunday will be making sure not to get suckered by Denver quarterback Tim Tebow. Though Tebow has struggled passing the ball, he’s shown an ability to chuck it downfield when defenses get a little too concerned with stopping the run.

The last thing Mundy wants to see is the ball sailing over his head.

“You can get comfortable from them running the ball, and then here they go throwing a deep pass on you,” Mundy said.

Few teams have done it successfully against the Steelers this season. Pittsburgh allowed the fewest passing yards (172 a game) and the second-fewest passing touchdowns (15) in the league this season, though those numbers may be skewed by a favorable schedule that included games against the woeful AFC South and the NFC West.

Tebow’s numbers aren’t much better, though the secondary has a healthy respect for the former Heisman Trophy winner.

“He’s tough to plan for,” Clark said. “When you think about tackling a quarterback, quarterbacks slide, quarterbacks don’t like to be hit. Tim seems to enjoy the physicality of football. He’s a football player.”

So is Clark, which makes his situation all the more frustrating. He hasn’t missed a start when healthy since playing for the Redskins in 2004. In Pittsburgh’s biggest game of the year (so far) he’ll be forced to watch from the sidelines.

It’s why he didn’t exactly celebrate when it became clear the defending AFC champions would have to start their bid for a record ninth trip to the Super Bowl in Denver. Clark admitted getting emotional after the playoff pairings became set, knowing it would likely mean he’d have to sit out and hope the Steelers advance.

“You fought 16 weeks, you trained during the offseason to help your team win a Super Bowl and this is part of that mission and part of that journey,” Clark said. “I was upset about it, not in the sense of not angry at coach … but just as a competitor you want to go out there and compete and I knew I probably wouldn’t have the opportunity.”

Instead, it’s Mundy’s time. For a week anyway.

“Everybody gets their opportunities in different ways,” Clark said. “This is his and he’s going to do a good job for us.”

fordfixer
01-05-2012, 03:19 AM
Steelers expect no defensive drop-off with Mundy
By Mark Kaboly, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, January 5, 2012

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 75093.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_775093.html)

Ryan Mundy started a routine this year in which he watches game film and visualizes himself playing in the situation that's he watching.

"You have to see yourself making plays," Mundy said. "You have to put yourself in that guy's shoes and ask yourself, 'What you would do in that situation?"

Those shoes Mundy will be filling Sunday when the Steelers travel to Denver for an AFC wild-card game will be those of Ryan Clark.

With Clark ruled out by Mike Tomlin earlier in the week because of an existing medical condition that could be aggravated by Denver's high altitude, Mundy will make the third start of his three-year career, and first as a free safety.

According to Clark, it couldn't come during a better situation.

Denver is first in the NFL in rushing; the Broncos average 164 yards per game. Since Tim Tebow took over at quarterback, Denver has averaged 38 runs per game and only 24 passes, making Mundy's run-stopping ability more valuable.

"They are going to try to run the ball, and those two guys (Mundy and Troy Polamalu) are the best two in-the-box run defenders," said Clark, who led the Steelers with 100 regular-season tackles. "Maybe in a way it turned out to be the perfect week for this to happen to us."

Mundy hasn't played with Polamalu much over his career, instead filling in for him on a number of occasions — including twice this year when Polamalu left games with concussion-like symptoms.

Mundy had five tackles against Jacksonville when Polamalu went out. He had nine stops along with his only career interception against Kansas City a few weeks later.

"We kind of groomed him," Polamalu said. "(Clark) has taught him everything he knows, as well as myself. Whenever I come out of the game or Ryan comes out of the game, he replaces us. I don't anticipate any drop-off in play."

There could be a different look to how Polamalu plays, but it won't be because Mundy is in the game in place of Clark.

Polamalu's freelance tendencies aren't expected to be a big part of the game plan; Denver likes to run the ball out of the spread option, where gap control is paramount.

"This is a week you need to be on all your keys and tendencies," Clark said. "A week that you have to do your assignment first."

However, if Polamalu wants to freelance at times, Mundy sees no complications.

"Troy is going to be Troy," Mundy said. "I have been watching Troy and Ryan play for four years now, so I picked up things on how they communicate and how they play. We are going to work on some things this week to see how we play together and communicate."

Read more: Steelers expect no defensive drop-off with Mundy - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1iZ9azFzv (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_775093.html#ixzz1iZ9azFzv)

fordfixer
01-05-2012, 03:40 AM
Q & A with Ryan Mundy

http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steel ... 93d35.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steelers/q-a-with-ryan-mundy/article_83bfaffc-da3d-54ea-8bea-bd500f193d35.html)

Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 11:32 pm

Mike Bires mbires@timesonline.com

Ryan Mundy, a former WPIAL star who attended Woodland Hills High School, has big shoes to fill this week. He'll start at free safety in place of Ryan Clark, who won't play Sunday in Denver because of health risks. The high altitude of Colorado has a negative effect on Clark's major body organs because he has the sickle cell trait.

A third-year pro, Mundy has played in every Steelers' game the past three years, primarily on special teams. Coach Mike Tomlin calls him "starter capable" and Mundy did start two games last season when strong safety Troy Polamalu was injured. But now the stakes are much higher. Mundy's third start comes in a playoff game.

On Wednesday before practice, Times pro football writer Mike Bires spoke to Mundy about his opportunity. Following are excerpts of that interview:

Q What does it mean to you to get the start this week?

A "It means a lot. It is the playoffs, so it is a big deal. But at the same time, I can't allow myself to get my head up there in the clouds. I can't allow myself to get too psyched up. I have to focus on the task at hand. I still have to go out there and play with technique and execute. I always prepare as if I'm going to play because Troy and Ryan lay it on the line every week. So I have to be ready to play every week. But by already knowing I am going to start, I got a little bit of a heads up. That will help with my preparation."

Q Because Polamalu and Clark mesh so well together, Polamalu is able to freelance a lot and make plays from all over the field. Will he change his style because you're playing in place of Clark?

A "No. Troy will be Troy. I've been watching Troy and Ryan play together for a few years now. ... I'm the back-up to both of them ... so I pick up things on how they communicate and how they play. This is really my first opportunity to play with Troy. So Troy and I are going over some things this week that will help us play together and communicate and be ready on Sunday."

Q Denver leads the NFL in rushing, so do you think defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will keep Polamalu close to the line of scrimmage and just have you line up deep in the secondary as a center fielder?

A "I think that's the plan because the Broncos run the ball so much."

Q Mike Tomlin called you "starter capable." You're playing behind Clark, a 10th-year pro, and Polamalu, a ninth-year pro. Are you eager for the day when you will be a full-time starter? And do you think you'll still be a Steeler if and when it happens?

A "That's my goal, to be a full-time starter. And I think getting the chance to start Sunday in Denver is a good opportunity for me to move in that direction. So I'm just preparing for this opportunity. Hopefully, I will make the most of it."

Q You are one of eight Woodland Hills grads playing in the NFL this season. No other high school has as many alums playing in the league. How do you feel about Woody High's tradition?

A "We take pride in our school and our football program. We take pride in western Pennsylvania football. To have eight guys in the NFL is really amazing and something our school is proud of."

Q What is your take on Tim Tebow?

A "He's an awesome competitor. When you look at that guy on film, you see a guy who has a great will and desire to win. Some games, you look at film and say, ‘Man, how did they win this game?' But like I said, he's a great competitor and a great athlete, and we'll have our hands full defending him on Sunday. We better be ready."

Q You had your first career interception earlier this year in the win against Tennessee. How would it feel to get your next pick in a playoff game against Tebow?

A "I haven't started my visualization yet, but that would mean a lot. You have to visualize and see yourself making plays. Yes, an interception would be nice. But I'm just trying to do everything I have to do to help our team win."