Ryan Clark Will Paralyze Washington Redskins' Secondary

By Jason Bailey
Ryan Clark
Justin K. Aller-Getty Images

The Washington Redskins newly-acquired safety Ryan Clark sat out of practice last Saturday nursing a prolonged and slightly aggravated hamstring injury. What a surprise. Let the domino effect commence.

As Washington’s fanbase knows all too well, the team hasn’t had a dangerous safety prowling center field since the devastating passing of Sean Taylor. The Redskins inked the former Pittsburgh Steelers safety in hopes of adding depth and leadership to last season’s incompetent outfield. It was a commendable idea, though I’m not really sure why the Redskins scouting department and management elected to court and secure Clark’s services.

The signing of Clark merely gives the Redskins an extra man in its already packed outfield. He has a far-from-impressive 15 career interceptions and 827 tackles in his 12 seasons in the NFL. He has one Pro Bowl season, and even that shouldn’t exactly bring excitement to the Redskins’ fanbase. Clark earned that lone Pro Bowl berth off a pretty quiet season in which he logged 100 tackles, a lone pick and one sack.

Clark’s teammates in Washington have expressed optimism about the seasoned safety, praising his proficiency in disrupting the passing game and his above-average football IQ. Star wideout Santana Moss has likened Clark to quarterback on defense.

Moss’ perspective does have merit. After all, Clark was a major presence in the Steelers’ secondary when the Black and Yellow hoisted the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy in 2008; but do yourselves a favor and resist the urge to feel overly elated over his signing. The sun has long since set on the aging safety’s career, which arguably wasn’t much of one to begin with. Washington was wise to only ink Clark to a one-year deal.

Still, that’s one year too many to put a slumping safety into the Redskins’ already-incompetent outfield. Clark is pushing 35 years old, and his career numbers wouldn’t intimidate a Pop Warner rookie wideout. And yet, who am I kidding? The Redskins fanbase has tolerated this caliber of personnel experiments annually. They should almost be used to it.

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