Watch CBS News

Ryan Clark Thanks Steelers, Fans For 8 Great Years

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - As you know by now, Ryan Clark is now a former Steeler after eight sold seasons complimenting Troy Polamalu in the secondary.

Clark wanted to close the Steeler chapter of his, life but for last time, he wanted to go down memory lane and wanted to do it with Bob Pompeani at KDKA-TV.

WEB EXTRA: Watch the raw interview:

Clark was one of the hardest hitters in the game and one particular hit against the Patriots sticks out in his mind.

"My favorite is [going to] be Wes Welker until I'm gone from this Earth. The Patriots had this mystique about them, they still do, honestly. Wes Welker had this mystique about him, about being a scrappy, tough and whatever adjectives people always like to add to him. We just didn't like those guys, we just didn't and it just felt so good, to hit him," Clark said

So, that was his favorite hit, how about his favorite moment aside from winning the Super Bowl?

"It would have to be when Troy intercepted that pass in 2008-09 AFC Championship Game and scoring basically the winning and sealing touchdown for us to go the Super Bowl. There's no play I think about more than that," he said.

The Steelers won that Super Bowl in Tampa on the last-second touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes, to get their sixth Lombardi Trophy. They had a shot at a seventh in Dallas against the Packers, but fell short.

Clark maintains they would have won it, except for one player who got in the way.

"It's not always just you. I felt like there were some years we didn't play as well as we should have. There were also years where some other teams were just really good. When we played Aaron Rodgers that night in Dallas, 31 other quarterbacks we played against, I don't care if it was Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, we beat 'em. Period. I am 100 percent sure of it. You put any other quarterback quarterbacking Green Bay that night, we beat 'em. He was just better than we were that day," Clark said.

Clark's days in Pittsburgh came to an end when the Steelers traded for Mike Mitchell to essentially take his spot.

That signified the end of eight years in a city Clark has come to love. That was fully apparent, when Pompeani gave him the opportunity to say goodbye one last time.

"Was the greatest years of my life as far as sports go, to be around such good people. People that embraced me and treated me the way they did .Man, it was just beautiful. I just thank them, I thank them all. The Rooney family, I'm just so appreciative they took a guy that nobody really wanted and they gave me a shot. To the fans, just amazing to go to places and like, take over stadiums. To be in San Diego where Terrible Towels overwhelmed anything they had. The Steelers are spoiled by the fans they have, it's just awesome. But, I think the most important things are just my friends, Ike, Troy, Will Gay - like brothers. I think that's just hardest part of this game. I don't want people here (Washington) to think I'm not excited about it, became I am, I really mean it. But, when I was sick, they came to the hospital, Troy cried with me. But, that's the things I'll miss, that's the things I'll remember. I'm just grateful to God that he let me be there (Pittsburgh).

Clark closed out the interview with this:

"I leave with knowing you guys are amazing fans in an amazing city and one of the best organizations in sports and I'm just grateful. A little kid from Louisiana, that no one wanted to draft, got to come in and be a part of something so great."

With that, Ryan Clark closes his eight-year book with the Pittsburgh Steelers.


More Sports News
More Steelers News
More Reports From Bob Pompeani
Join The Conversation, Like KDKA On Facebook
Follow KDKA On Twitter

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.