We all keep in mind what former Steelers’ security nice Ryan Clark dropped at the desk on the again finish of the good defenses that reigned within the mid-2000s, forming a dynamic tandem with Hall Of Famer Troy Polamalu. While Polamalu was given the freedoms to freelance and rack up splash play after splash play, en path to the 2010 AP Defensive Player of the Year, Clark was the enforcer, and one solely must ask former Ravens’ operating again Willis McGahee for verification.
However, Clark suffers from the sickle-cell trait, a genetic illness that’s typically symptom-free which impacts red-blood cell counts and of which he was identified throughout a sport in Denver in 2007. Due to excessive ache through the sport, he misplaced each his gall bladder and his spleen.
That could be the final sport he’d play in Denver, though he pleaded his case to Head Coach Mike Tomlin on a number of events when taking part in within the excessive altitude there, none of which was greater than the AFC Wild Card Game in 2012 which the group misplaced to Tim Tebow and the Broncos in extra time. He reportedly had a 30 minute “campaign” collectively to vent his reasonings to Tomlin, however he didn’t make it even midway into that.
“He stops in the middle and he says something to me man, that I’ll always be grateful for,” Clark said to Tomlin on The Pivot Podcast earlier today. “He was like, if you were my kid, I wouldn’t even be having this conversation.”
Whether or not Clark agreed with it on the time, participant security within the NFL is of the utmost significance, and it’s blatantly obvious how appreciative Clark is of his head coach as he sits now wanting again on reflection. He went on to discuss how a lot he respects Tomlin for his selection, after which the dialog took a really actual flip to it, as Tomlin laid out the truth that it wasn’t so simple as X’s and O’s, it was a matter of life or demise for his participant.
“The last time we was in Denver, this dude almost died,” Tomlin mentioned. “Nah man, I gotta lay my head down at night, like it goes back to that point. How can you expect unique results, without unique relationships? It was my job to care about that dude in that moment, even maybe more so than he cared about himself. First, as a leader, I’ve got an obligation to safeguard him to the best of my ability. Secondarily, I embrace the missionary component of my job.”
Despite docs giving the okay, Mike Tomlin on why he held Ryan Clark out of a sport in Denver. Clark’s sickle cell practically killed him a number of years prior (through @thepivot).
“It was my job to care about that dude in that moment. Even maybe more so than he cared about himself.” pic.twitter.com/IwRhVkLgL6
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) June 21, 2022
The two went back-and-forth all through your complete podcast, which was filled with a whole lot of good-hearted ribbing at each other. It exhibits precisely how the 2 really feel about each other, and it once more exhibits Tomlin’s true character. This is undoubtedly why many gamers throughout the league have an analogous reply when requested which one coach they’d like to play for earlier than their careers are over.