Clark begged Tomlin to play in season opener in Denver


By Jim Wexell For

Posted on July 31, 2012

LATROBE — Ryan Clark said he has “begged” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin “all offseason” to play in the opener in Denver, but Clark says the coach won’t listen.

“Heck, he wouldn’t let me play in a playoff game there,” Clark said. “He won’t let me play this one, either.”

Clark, of course, has health issues that are severely aggravated when playing in high elevation. He’ll give way once again to Ryan Mundy, who replaced Clark at free safety in the playoff game last year and was one of the stung and stunned defenders walking off the field after Tim Tebow’s 80-yard touchdown pass in overtime.

Mundy, nor anyone else, was back to help cornerback Ike Taylor wrestle Demaryius Thomas to the ground as the Broncos’ wide receiver took a slant over the middle for the score.

“I was in position for the called defense,” said Mundy. “I was supposed to be at the line of scrimmage for run support and that’s where I was. But they had a good call for the defense that we had. We had run that defense numerous times throughout the game. They had run like 23 out of 26 times on first down, so they had a good call on.”

The Steelers called an inverted cover-2 and cornerbacks Taylor and William Gay were supposed to back off the line prior to the snap and an inside linebacker was supposed to drop a few steps into the passing lane. None of the three players did as expected, but many still point the finger at the free safety.

“Do I get frustrated sometimes? Maybe a little bit but I don’t let it bother me,” Mundy said. “I know I have the confidence of my teammates and my coaches. Like I said, I’m excited about what the future holds.”

What the future holds this time is Peyton Manning at quarterback for the Broncos and not Tebow.

“It’s going to be a big challenge for our defense,” Mundy said. “We have high goals as a secondary. It’s going to be a good start for us.”