Steelers safety Ryan Clark is studying up on how to be an ESPN talking head for a second career when he retires from the NFL in a few years. Naturally, a fundamental part of being an ESPN analyst is saying purposefully provocative things and/or general trolling. To that end, Ryan Clark is already a smashing success, for he was on the air yesterday talking trash about the Patriots, specifically how Danny Amendola is fragile and Tom Brady constantly buckles when teams get pressure on him.
“I think what’s really underestimated is Wes Welker’s importance to not only the New England Patriots, but Tom Brady. A lot of what they do is timing. A lot of what they do is option reads, when you’re working inside against that nickelback or against those linebackers. Losing him is huge.”
“I know they think Danny Amendola can come in and have the same type of numbers he had with the Rams, but we also have to remember, he’s fragile. He’s not a guy who has completed a whole season, especially playing inside in what can be a physical AFC East.”
“In 2010, we saw it start with the Jets in the playoffs. When Tom Brady gets pressure and when you’re man-to-man and bumping those guys and making it hard for him to throw, he sees ghosts. Even when guys aren’t around him, even when he’s not about to be sacked, when his clock goes off in his head that the ball should be out, we’ll see him duck, we’ll see him flinch. When you get Tom Brady doing that, the whole New England Patriots mystique goes away.”
Lofty trolling. Clark should fit in just fine up in Bristol. And no doubt ESPN will love him come Week 9 when the Steelers travel to Gillette Stadium to play the Patriots and there’s a readymade storyline in place for the game. “HE’S THE NEXT ANTHONY SMITH! BULLETIN BOARD MATERIAL! HURR-DE-HURRDY HURRR”