Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Profile: Ryan Clark
Ryan Clark has now been in the NFL for 12 years. Signing with the New York Giants after going undrafted, Clark’s main duties resided in special teams before briefly starting a string of games for the Giants in 2003 where he recorded 23 tackles and one sack during that stretch. Before the 2004 NFL season, Clark was released and chose to sign with the Washington Redskins. With a banged up secondary, Ryan stepped in and played in 15 games that season. Making 91 tackles that year, he led all defensive backs in that category. 2005 was no different story, where he posted three interceptions along with 57 tackles. That offseason he was released, and the Pittsburgh Steelers brought him. Accumulating 387 total tackles and 10 interceptions during his stay with the Steelers, Clark also has a Pro Bowl appearance and a Super Bowl win to add along with his statistics.
2012 remained a productive year for Clark despite missing two games. With 102 tackles, two forced fumbles and two interceptions, he looks to improve in 2013. Coming into training camp, Ryan has the free safety starting position and will likely keep it unless an injury strikes. When both himself and fellow safety Troy Polamalu are healthy, the tandem tend to cause problems for opposing offenses around the league. However, both players seem to have problems staying consistently healthy year in and year out. With Polamalu and Clark coming into camp healthy, they should be good to go.
As an aging player in the NFL, this is not Ryan’s first rodeo when it comes to training camp. Clark will mainly be just getting back into the swing of practice and adapting to new players in his surroundings. With most of the defense back and healthy, he should have no problem doing so. Also, Clark will be looked at as a leader on the defensive side of the ball and showing players like Shamarko Thomas and Terry Hawthorne what it takes to be on the defensive side of the black and gold.