2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Clark makes voice heard in return to Redskins

By JOSEPH WHITE - AP Sports Writer
    2014-07-31 15:19

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Ryan Clark has been a showman, entertainer, spokesman, pontificator, critic, leader, mentor and fashionista - and that's just from one week of Washington Redskins training camp.

The crowd at camp has quickly warmed to the most interactive new member of the team. And on the second play of an 11-on-11 drill, the veteran free safety was at it again.

DeSean Jackson caught a screen and maneuvered around defenders as if they were pylons. Clark was one of the last to arrive as Jackson was chased out of bounds after a gain of 10 yards or so.

''C'mon, Ryan!'' yelled a fan, chastising the defense.

Clark put it hands on his hips and appeared indignant as he addressed the crowd.

''He was tackled eight times!'' Clark said. ''Eight times!''

Clark was implying that Jackson would have been tackled if tackling had been allowed on that particular drill. The explanation seemed to satisfy the masses.

Fans had been pining for Clark since the Redskins let him go eight years ago, and there's no missing him now that he's back.

''What I can say for those fans who said that they shouldn't have let me go, I appreciate it,'' Clark said. ''But the Ryan Clark that's playing today is 20 times better than the one that left.''

Clark was in Washington in 2004-05, but the Redskins opted not to re-sign him and instead paid big money to Adam Archuleta. Archuleta turned out to be one of the top free agent busts in franchise history, while Clark became a stalwart on the Pittsburgh Steelers defense for eight seasons.

''It didn't bother me. I moved on. I won a Super Bowl. I've been to a Pro Bowl,'' Clark said, ''so it worked out.''

Now he's 34, the Steelers didn't re-sign him, and the Redskins hope he's got at least one year left in him. They need someone to groom young safeties Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo, as well as a vocal leader on defense in the wake of London Fletcher's retirement.

As with many veterans in their 30s, Clark's experience helps trump his declining physical skills. He already has a command over the defense, barking out pre-snap instructions so authoritatively that the coach standing behind him is almost redundant.

''Great student of the game. Great person to be around. Understands the scheme,'' defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. ''If anybody on this team besides myself can tell you about the scheme, he's the guy you want to talk to.''

Another byproduct of a being an old hand: Clark has opinions, and he expresses them.

He'll dress in full pads even when it's not required because he feels that shorts are for basketball. He thinks the NFL needs to reconsider how it polices marijuana use because it's too easy to beat the testing system. Asked on Thursday about the new rules emphasis on defensive contact downfield, he answered: ''I think that's kind of the Seattle Seahawk adjustment, you know what I mean? Nobody likes to see the Sheriff (Peyton Manning) go to the Super Bowl and be embarrassed. He's their guy.''

He stands out on the field for other reasons.

He wears colorful socks every day. On Thursday, it was orange, black, red and blue in a block pattern. He claims a certain Redskins quarterback does not have the ''market cornered on socks.''

''I was doing this before Robert Griffin III got to the NFL. I've got a ton of socks with me on this trip,'' Clark said. ''My kids pick them out for me in the offseason. It keeps a little piece of them out here with me when they're at home.''

Clark will be No. 25 on the roster during games, but he wears No. 21 during practice to pay tribute to former Redskins safety Sean Taylor, who was killed in 2007. Clark and Taylor were teammates for two seasons, and Clark began wearing No. 21 during practices in recent years with the Steelers.

''Wearing it here is difficult. There are some fans who never met Sean, who say I shouldn't wear it to practice,'' Clark said. ''But I understand. That's why they call them fans. They're fanatics, and they're not always right in certain situations, so I don't mind that. I just wear it and honor him. I know I'm not the player he was, or the athlete he was, but he was my friend, and I want people to remember him.''

Notes: WR Jerry Rice Jr. hurt his shoulder as he hit the ground at the end of pass route. Coach Jay Gruden said the injury is ''pretty significant.'' ... LT Trent Williams left practice early after getting kicked in the left shin. ... WR Pierre Garcon and Thomas remain limited with hamstring strains. ... K Zach Hooker had only a small ribbon of hair across the top of his hair after choosing to let teammates give him an ugly haircut instead of perform a rookie skit. He appeared to regret the decision. ''I don't think you can do much to make it look pretty,'' he said.

---

AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Josh GordonJan 25 09:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be under contract through the 2016 season, and he will only be a restricted free agent after that year due to his looming [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 25 04:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon has reportedly failed another drug test and will be subject to a one-year banishment, according to multiple league sources.

Earl ThomasJan 23 09:02p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) will play in the Super Bowl, head coach Pete Carroll said Friday, Jan. 23.

Dennis PittaJan 23 04:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) met with some specialists last week, but the team is not expected to have an update on his status for a few weeks, [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 23 01:12p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel had a big proponent last year in owner Jimmy Haslam, but Haslam now thinks the team needs a quarterback in order to get their [ More ]

Jimmy GrahamJan 23 10:32a

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) said he'll rehabilitate his shoulder injury after the Pro Bowl, but he hasn't made a final decision on surgery. 'It's something we [ More ]

Mark IngramJan 22 06:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram, who will be eligible for free agency this offseason, wants to return to the team next year, and he thinks the interest is [ More ]

Vernon DavisJan 22 06:22p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had just two touchdowns in 2014, and they both came in Week 1. He also wasn't targeted at all in the red zone [ More ]

Geno SmithJan 22 05:32p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith has a lot of talent and promise, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. At the same time, Bowles acknowledged that the quarterback [ More ]

Brian HoyerJan 22 04:52p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer could be re-signed this offseason, according to his agent. Hoyer is expected to meet with general manager Ray Farmer and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in the near future.

Johnny ManzielJan 22 02:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel will be working with a new offensive coordinator this year in John DeFilippo, but DeFilippo is unsure if the team's quarterback next year is [ More ]

Joe FlaccoJan 22 12:52p

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco will have his fourth difference offensive coordinator in as many years in offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. However, head coach John Harbaugh is confident Flacco [ More ]

Tom BradyJan 22 10:12a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is now scheduled to speak to the media Thursday, Jan. 22, and he could come under fire due to the report of deflated [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 21 09:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) has had knee surgery, head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed Wednesday, Jan. 21. While there has been concern Burfict might have to begin the [ More ]

Mike WallaceJan 21 09:03p

Miami Dolphins WR Mike Wallace's future with the team is unclear. General manager Dennis Hickey would not say Wednesday, Jan. 21, whether Wallace will be back or if his [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 21 04:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel could benefit from new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, according to Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr. Carr said DeFilippo will do great with Manziel, adding [ More ]

Richard ShermanJan 21 04:23p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) said he will practice in a brace, but should not have any limitations on gameday.

Marc TrestmanJan 21 03:53p

Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said he wants to learn the specificities of the team's offense instead of changing it. Head coach John Harbaugh said Trestman's familiarity and [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles should be able to develop under new offensive coordinator Greg Olson, according to general manager Dave Caldwell. Caldwell said Olson has the ability to [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles developed bad habits and may need to start over, in the opinion of NFL Films guru Greg Cosell.

Latavius MurrayJan 21 12:53p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray is likely to be the team's lead back in 2015, and new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave plans tailor his system to Murray's talents. Musgrave [ More ]

Peyton ManningJan 21 11:03a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning plans to return in 2015, pending the results of his annual physical, according to three sources The Denver Post's Woody Paige trusts. The test [ More ]

Rashad JenningsJan 21 10:23a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings could have a veteran running back to complement or compete with him next season. The team could possibly add a change-of-pace back and [ More ]

Trent RichardsonJan 21 09:13a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson was suspended and deactivated for the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 18.

Joique BellJan 20 11:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell had minor surgery last week to clean up his knee and Achilles' tendon. He is expected to return in time for organized offseason workouts.

Doug MarroneJan 20 05:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said the team is committed to remaining a zone-blocking team. However, new assistant coach and offensive line coach Doug Marrone didn't use a [ More ]

Peyton ManningJan 20 05:13p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning remains unsure of his future with the team, but head coach Gary Kubiak said he plans to sit down with Manning and talk about [ More ]

Tyler BrayJan 20 04:23p

Kansas City Chiefs QB Tyler Bray (knee) has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Marc TrestmanJan 20 03:43p

Free-agent head coach Marc Trestman (Bears) was hired by the Baltimore Ravens as the team's offensive coordinator Tuesday, Jan. 20. Trestman was previously the head coach of the Chicago Bears.

C.J. AndersonJan 20 01:33p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson, who finished the year with 849 rushing yards, 324 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, is looking forward to his role in new head coach [ More ]

Latavius MurrayJan 19 09:53p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray could benefit from offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, who has used a run-heavy style in the past.

Reggie WayneJan 19 07:03p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (triceps) is unsure if he will be returning for another season. Wayne was targeted just twice in the loss to the New England Patriots [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group