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Print

Polamalu will still depend on Clark

Posted Jan 5, 2012

Click for Steelers Injury Report

Troy Polamalu is used to depending on fellow safety Ryan Clark when they are both on the field. The two have a special relationship, playing together in the secondary since 2006. They have an instinct for what the other is going to do; they are able to communicate without saying a word.

This week, though, the relationship will be a bit different. Clark won’t be on the field, but rather the sideline serving as an extra set of eyes for Polamalu and Ryan Mundy.

“I asked Troy was there anything in particular he wanted me to look at I am going to have more time than those guys are going to have,” said Clark. “That is going to be the big thing, just be an extra set of eyes. I know what to look for from the position. I know the information they like to get. I am going to do my best to give them what they need and stay out of the way otherwise.”

Polamalu will miss having Clark on the field, but is ready to take advantage of his contribution from the sidelines.

“It’s going to be a real unique situation,” said Polamalu. “Having Ryan out there, being able to communicate, or not communicate, is special. But it’s going to be nice too because from the sidelines you see the game differently and better. It will be an advantage to have him there at the game, on the sidelines seeing how plays develop, seeing how the defense is trying to be attacked, where they may have some things and not. It will be helpful to have him there. It’s going to be a huge advantage for both of us to have Ryan Clark’s eyes on the sidelines.”

Coach Mike Tomlin joked about this being Clark’s chance to be a coach, and he is ready for that challenge.

“I am going to wear my sunglasses,” said Clark. “I am going to want to look like Coach Tomlin as much as possible. No headset, though. I don’t think they want me to hear what they say about the players.”

In addition to being eyes for the safeties, Clark said he would do whatever else is asked of him to help the team win.

“Whatever they need, whatever they ask,” said Clark. “If it’s tying shoes or getting water, I am going to do it and hopefully I can contribute to us having a successful day.”

Polamalu wishes his friend and teammate could be doing more, though. He understands injuries are part of the game and that keeps players on the sidelines, but in this situation he feels for him.

“It’s something that we all knew he had to deal with if we went to Denver,” said Polamalu. “I am not sure if there is any other NFL player that has this blood disorder that would allow them to play in every other game except one stadium. It’s a unique situation. It’s given Ryan a level of humility to be able to understand that.

“As much as this game of football is a blessing, you could be one play away from not playing, or in this case one city, one stadium away from not playing.”

* * *

Earlier in the week linebacker James Farrior said he was a fan of Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, of course that was before facing him this week. But fan or not, Farrior knows the defense faces a challenge against him.

“He’s a different threat,” said Farrior. “He is something that we haven’t seen in a long time in a quarterback. He’s not a traditional drop-back quarterback. He does a lot of things with his feet, and we have to be prepared for that.”

Tebow has gained nationwide attention for come from behind victories this season, something the Steelers will have to guard against.

“The guy is a winner and a competitor,” said Farrior. “He keeps his team in the game. I don’t want to take anything away from their defense. They have been playing outstanding. But he definitely gives them a chance at the end. He is the guy we have to stop. No doubt about it.”