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Clark wanted more time - Mundy injured

Postby thesteelhammer » Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:50 am

Hate to see injuries.

Steelers notes: Clark wanted more action

By Chris Harlan, Times Sports Staff
Published: Saturday, August 9, 2008 12:06 AM EDT
PITTSBURGH — Ryan Clark hadn’t played football in nine months, so you can’t blame the Steelers safety for being a little reluctant to leave the field.

“I kind of wanted to get another series in to run around a little bit more,” Clark said of Friday night’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Heinz Field. “I’m just happy to be out here. It’s a blessing.”

Clark was back starting at free safety, the position he held until he fell seriously ill in Denver last October, leading doctors to remove his spleen and gall bladder. The 28-year-old assisted on one tackle Friday and left with his fellow starters before the first quarter ended.

He was dissatisfied with the defense’s performance, though, disappointed the first-team defense allowed Philadelphia to score in the first quarter but was pleased to have held the Eagles to only a field goal.

“We didn’t let them score in the red zone,” Clark said, “but we have a lot of work to do.”

Aaron Smith could relate. The Steelers defensive end hasn’t played a game since early December, when he tore a biceps muscle in a loss at New England. Smith, who missed the team’s final four games, said Friday he was still “getting a feel for the game. Games are a little faster than practice so it’s about getting into that comfort zone.”


Ryan Mundy’s debut was short.

The rookie safety injured his left leg while making a second-quarter tackle and left the game, a disappointing ending for the Pittsburgh native. Mundy, who limped off the field with help from trainers, was injured when tackling Eagles running back Lorenzo Booker.

Drafted in the sixth round this year, the 22-year-old Woodland Hills graduate played college football at West Virginia.

Mundy led the Steelers with three first-half tackles.


Troy Polamalu and Casey Hampton, two would-be starters on the Steelers defense, sat out Friday’s game as expected. Both players remain on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, which designates them ineligible to play or practice with the team. Polamalu has been sidelined with a hamstring injury. Hampton was deemed out of shape by coach Mike Tomlin and has spent the two weeks of camp improving his conditioning.

The pair was on the sideline with teammates.


Camera flashes sparkled throughout the crowd as Jeff Reed’s 20-yard field goal sailed through the uprights at the closed end of Heinz Field. The atmosphere looked more fitting of a Super Bowl winning kick. But in a relatively low-scoring preseason game, this was enough to excite a camera-phone wielding crowd that had come ready to celebrate the return of Steelers season.

Reed made all three field goal attempts, including a more-impressive 50-yarder in the fourth quarter.


Paul Ernster probably improved his chances to stay with the Steelers. The 26-year-old punter averaged 42 yards on his seven kicks, placed two punts inside the 20-yard line and had a long of 52 yards. Forget his last punt that bounced downfield and he had a solid game. Ernster was also the holder on all three of Jeff Reed’s field goals and showed off his leg strength by sending a kickoff through the opposite end zone in the second half.

X’s & O’s

- Rookie receiver Limus Sweed led the Steelers with three catches for 23 yards despite not making his NFL debut until late in the first half. The Steelers’ second-round draft pick entered the game with 1:50 left in the second quarter.

- The kick return situation didn’t get much clearer, but former Pro Bowl returner Eddie Drummond showed he could still be dangerous. Drummond returned a punt 21 yards the only time he touchdown the football. As a team, the Steelers returned only two kickoffs and two punts. Tyrone Carter returned one kickoff for 23 yards and Mewelde Moore returned another for 28 yards. Moore also returned a punt 9 yards.

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Re: Clark wanted more time - Mundy injured

Postby steelerette » Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:31 pm

Ernster looked really good last night. I was very pleased with his performance and hope he sticks around, which I'm sure is a given at this point.

I really miss Troy not being out on the field, but Casey Hampton, not so much. If he doesn't condition himself properly, he's going to have a heart attack!

So happy for Jeff Reed. His 50-yarder was awesome!

Best wishes to Ryan Mundy for a speedy recovery.

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Re: Clark wanted more time - Mundy injured

Postby benstunner » Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:07 pm

I thought Ernster looked ok. Better then I thought but still a little inconsistent. His kickoff was really nice though and I'd like to see if he can do that more often because if he can boom it through the end zone he should be kicking off.

He is all we got at the moment so lets hope he can have a solid season

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