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Clark would have played if Tomlin had let him

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark sat out Monday night’s game in Denver, and everything worked out well: The Steelers won, Clark got out of Denver without any adverse health effects, and Clark’s replacement in the starting lineup, Tyrone Carter, played well enough to earn the AFC defensive player of the week award.

Now Clark is crediting Steelers coach Mike Tomlin for making the call to keep him sidelined — a call that Clark himself says he wouldn’t have made.

I would have played,” Clark said, per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “That just means he’s smarter than I am because, obviously, I’m standing here right now.”

Clark has the sickle cell trait, and playing in Denver’s mile-high elevation caused him serious health problems the last time he played there. But like most football players, Clark was focused more about his desire to compete than his physical safety. Now that he’s had time to think about it, Clark says he’s glad Tomlin was looking out for him.

“I appreciated the fact that he did take it out of my hands,” Clark said. “It kind of gave me a way to breathe either way. I didn’t feel like I was cleared to play and I just chose not to because coach Tomlin made the decision, and also if I do play and get sick I couldn’t live with that, either.”

Clark said he worked out on the field in Denver and feels fine, and he wouldn’t rule out playing in Denver in the future. But for now, he’s glad things worked out the way they did.

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15 Responses to “Clark would have played if Tomlin had let him”
  1. Stillerz says: Nov 12, 2009 11:41 AM

    Has a defending Super Bowl coach ever won Coach of the Year?

  2. Steeler4life says: Nov 12, 2009 11:47 AM

    There was no need to play it was only Kyle Orton and Josh McCheatriot. We have bigger and better things to look forward to.
    Go Steelers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Laxer37 says: Nov 12, 2009 11:48 AM

    Maybe Tomlin knew he could rest some guys and still beat the donkeys on their own field.

  4. Bdrunk says: Nov 12, 2009 11:50 AM

    I am very happy with the outcome of the game and also with the way the Stillers played. I’m glad Clark is still healthy and that a risk wasn’t taken.
    but PLEASE, let’s move on to another story shall we?

  5. BernardPollardIsAnAss says: Nov 12, 2009 11:50 AM

    Easy to say that now. Only an idiot would knowingly put his well-being in serious peril over a sporting event. All I need to hear to make this complete is that the guy is married with a family and then I can put him in the dumbest dip-sh*t ever category for keeps.

  6. goetta-head says: Nov 12, 2009 12:10 PM

    Well Marvin Lewis didnt win the SB last year so I dont know where your going with that one….

  7. *Legion* says: Nov 12, 2009 12:13 PM

    It’s the player’s job to want to play even if their limbs are falling off.
    It’s the coach’s job to be the one to say “no”.

  8. PervyHarvin says: Nov 12, 2009 12:18 PM

    I would of fought Brock Lesnar. But Dana White wouldn’t let me. Said might put my life in danger. At least I can say I would have. Does that make me dumb?

  9. Steeler4life says: Nov 12, 2009 12:20 PM

    Marvin Lewis my ass. Sean Payton has the best chance.

  10. purplepuzzyeatrz says: Nov 12, 2009 12:29 PM

    CLARK = Warrior
    Oh, I mean CLARK = IDIOT
    Dude, there is a point where using your head need apply…….dont try to act like your this fearsome warrior….he knew the whole time that TOMLIN “best coach in league by the way” wasnt going to let him play….could you imagine the backlash if they did and he died…
    SO just sit back at your 4000 above see level and quit trying to look like HANCOCK

  11. The Coop says: Nov 12, 2009 12:43 PM

    Mike Tomlin is such a great guy. He’s actually been known to cure cancer just by looking at people.

  12. Deb says: Nov 12, 2009 12:47 PM

    @*Legion* … That about covers it.
    I’ll always love Bill Cowher. But he didn’t do his job in this respect when Roethlisberger was coming back from the accident then had the emergency appendectomy. Yeah, Ben was cleared and wanted to play. But on the appendectomy alone it was foolish to come back so soon. The wrong hit could have been tragic. All of us–especially pro athletes–sometimes think we’re superhuman. That’s why coaches should intervene. I’m glad Tomlin did his job. Sounds like Ryan is, too.

  13. i'm president charlie! says: Nov 12, 2009 1:09 PM

    love the guy, but i dont understand why tomlin deserves the credit here. anybody w/ half a brain would sat clark out of that game.

  14. Stillerz says: Nov 12, 2009 1:32 PM

    “love the guy, but i dont understand why tomlin deserves the credit here. anybody w/ half a brain would sat clark out of that game.”
    Because they were playing a 5-1 team and trying to keep pace with the Bengals in the division. What do you think Al Davis would have done if he were in this situation?

  15. i'm president charlie! says: Nov 12, 2009 2:35 PM

    the steelers have experienced backups at the safety position and even have had deshea practice just in case. i respect the decision by tomlin, but i think the severity of the situation makes it a no-brainer.

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