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Thread: Ryan Clark: Troy Polamalu is the third-best safety in NFL

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    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Ryan Clark: Troy Polamalu is the third-best safety in NFL

    Steelers’ Clark: Polamalu third-best safety in NFL



    Troy Polamalu plays against the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium Dec. 2, 2012.

    By Alan Robinson
    Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    Troy Polamalu redefined the role for an NFL safety with his versatility and playmaking skills, but Steelers teammate Ryan Clark thinks he's only the No. 3 player at his position right now.

    Clark, appearing as a guest commentator on ESPN, said he wished he could rank Polamalu ahead of Earl Thomas of Seattle and Dashon Goldson of Tampa Bay, but he can't.

    “This was a decision for me,” Clark said of ranking Polamalu third among his top five safeties in the league. “Here is a guy I really want to put at No. 1, but he's had some injuries over the past few years and hasn't been as effective. He's a guy I feel like can be No. 1 if we get him back fully healthy.”

    Polamalu missed nine games with a torn calf last season, and his absence clearly affected a Steelers defense that nevertheless finished No. 1 in the league. Clark has played alongside Polamalu since 2006 and he bragged about his skills.

    “Anticipation, just innate ability to know the snap count, or know where receivers want to go, know where a quarterback wants to throw the ball,” Clark said on ESPN's NFL Live. “He's been an awesome player for years and years in this league.”

    Clark, never one to shy from an opinion, also appears to be looking forward to the Steelers-Patriots game on Nov. 3. He believes New England downgraded its offense by letting slot receiver Wes Welker sign with Denver and bringing in Danny Amendola to replace him.

    “I know they think Danny Amendola can come in and have the same type of numbers he had with the Rams, but we also have to remember he's fragile,” Clark said. “He's not a guy who has completed a whole season, especially playing in what can be a physical AFC East. You also think about (Rob) Gronkowski and the (arm) injury; that is going to be bigger than anything for the New England Patriots this year.”

    Clark also said the key to controlling Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is to make him “see ghosts” by throttling his receivers early on during a play while pressuring him and forcing him to spend extra time before delivering the ball.

    “In 2010, we saw it with the Jets in the playoffs,” Clark said. “When Tom Brady gets pressure and when you're man-to-man and bumping those guys and making it harder for him to throw, he sees ghosts.”

    The Steelers effectively controlled Brady during a 25-17 win in 2011, the first time they had beaten him since 2004.

    “We played them and dominated them because we went man-to-man and had a big corner in Cortez Allen on Gronkowski and made it hard for Tom Brady to get the ball off, in timing, and made him have to make plays,” Clark said. “It was hard for him.”

    It hasn't always been that way. Brady is 6-2 against the Steelers, with regular-season losses at Heinz Field in 2004 and 2011.

    Still, Clark said, “Even when guys aren't around him, even when he's not about to be sacked, when his clock goes off in his head that the ball should be out, we'll see him duck, we'll see him flinch. When you see Tom Brady doing that, the whole New England Patriots mystique goes away.”

    The Patriots are 6-3 against the Steelers since Brady arrived in 2001, with one loss coming when he was injured and out for the season in 2008.

    Clark isn't the first Steelers safety to talk confidently of opposing the Patriots. In 2007, Anthony Smith “guaranteed” a Steelers win at Foxborough over a Patriots team that would go 16-0 that season. The Patriots won 34-13.

    http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz2SoFoFyAe

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    Legend RuthlessBurgher's Avatar
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    Ryan Clark is going to be a very good commentator one day. He's intelligent, well-spoken, and always speaks his mind. I would prefer, however, if he waited until after his Steeler career was over to join the media in this capacity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher View Post
    Ryan Clark is going to be a very good commentator one day. He's intelligent, well-spoken, and always speaks his mind. I would prefer, however, if he waited until after his Steeler career was over to join the media in this capacity.
    $$$$
    When I read the article, my thought was, "He's auditioning for a job as a TV analyst."

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher View Post
    Ryan Clark is going to be a very good commentator one day. He's intelligent, well-spoken, and always speaks his mind. I would prefer, however, if he waited until after his Steeler career was over to join the media in this capacity.
    Shark could make Clark expendable sooner than later.

    Clark's going the way of OchoCinco. Chad said when he started making more money off the field, he lost focus on playing football. I think Clark is close to turning that corner. Makes you wonder if Clark is causing some of the cracks in the locker room?

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    Hall of Famer Dee Dub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher View Post
    Ryan Clark is going to be a very good commentator one day. He's intelligent, well-spoken, and always speaks his mind. I would prefer, however, if he waited until after his Steeler career was over to join the media in this capacity.
    Agreed on all except I am glad he did it now. He may just have lit a fire under Troy's behind. When the man that plays next to you says you are the 3rd best in the league it may be even greater motivation to return to number 1.
    Steelers 2014 Draft

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    Maybe Clarks tired of watching the best safety in the NFL continuosly miss games and he's igniting the fire?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pittpete View Post
    Maybe Clarks tired of watching the best safety in the NFL continuosly miss games and he's igniting the fire?
    It's also a little homerish to call Troy the best Safety today after being injured for the last 2 years.

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    Perhaps we now see one of the sources of the "fractured" locker room
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

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    Backup SteelSpain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dee Dub View Post
    Agreed on all except I am glad he did it now. He may just have lit a fire under Troy's behind. When the man that plays next to you says you are the 3rd best in the league it may be even greater motivation to return to number 1.
    Right. Maybe Clark expect that too. We will see the best Troy again.

    You know what's even sadder?

    I am a poet and for me spring does not exist

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz View Post
    It's also a little homerish to call Troy the best Safety today after being injured for the last 2 years.
    I saw the show and Clark was very clear the ONLY reason Troy was not higher was the injuries.
    He even said if Troy was healthy he can be number one and recounted what makes Troy great.

    Yup, Troy is a humble guy....likely rate himself LOWER.

    BTW Clark did not list himself at all.

    The Darren Woodson did not even include Troy and included Clark in his list of top safeties.

    Seriously, Clarks responses were FINE.

    Like Dizz said, dont go pure homer.

    I know everybody loves Hoge but really.....I fine his blatant homerism embarrassing.

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