Ryan Clarks Talks About Tom Brady Seeing Ghost & Danny Amendola Being Fragile

I previously posted that Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark was a guest analyst Monday on NFL Live, and during one segment dedicated to the New England Patriots, Clark was asked to comment on them losing wide receiver Wes Welker via free agency this offseason, and how vulnerable it now makes them offensively as a result. Clark, as expected, was very straight forward in his response.

“I think what’s really underestimated is Wes Welker’s importance, to not only the New England Patriots, but Tom Brady,” said Clark. “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. So 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. You also think about Gronkowski and the injury; that is going to be bigger than anything for the New England Patriots coming in this year. Also, with Aaron Hernandez being questionable and whether or not he will be at full speed when the season starts.

“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 a sacks, 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.”

After that lengthy response, Clark was then asked to tell what the Steelers defensive game plan consisted of when they played the Patriots.

“I’ll be honest, the years we tried to go in there and fire zone and play Tom Brady in that way, he was able to pick us apart. Because in that, you’re not overloading the offense, you\’re getting one-on-one rushes, only rushing five, so he’s able to find places to go,” Clark answered. “Two years ago we played them and dominated them because we went man-to-man, we had a big corner in Cortez Allen on Gronkowski, and making it hard for Tom to get the ball off, in timing, we made him have to make plays and it was hard for him.”

There is nothing wrong with what Clark said, and while many will take it as a shot at the Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Danny Amendola, this is just straight forward analysis that will eventually make Clark a great asset to ESPN after his playing days are over.

The Steelers of course won that 2011 Week 8 game against the Patriots 25-17 after being destroyed by them in Week 10 of the 2010 season. The two teams will meet again this season in Week 9 at New England and it will be interesting to see if the Steelers defense is once again able to attack Brady the same way that they did in 2011. Will Cortez Allen draw tight end Rob Gronkowski again? If so, will William Gay play outside opposite Ike Taylor?

It will be nice not having to face Welker again as a member of the Patriots, but by Week 9, Amendola ought to be way up to speed by then and Brady will most certainly have taken a long hard look at the way the Steelers defensed him the last time the two teams met.

  • TJimmy

    Maybe its analysis but it is still disrespectful to say he was seeing ghosts. Tom will be plotting a way to regain respect now

  • hergieburbur

    The truth is disrespectful? He’s absolutely correct. Even before the ’10 Jets game, we saw it in 07 with the Ravens and Giants late in the season and then the Giants in the Super Bowl. If you hit Brady, get in his receivers’ faces, and throw off his timing he makes mistakes and stsrts to flinch. This isnt news to anyone in football.

  • Nolrog

    Don’t wake the sleeping giant.

  • zyzak

    The Steelers don’t have to worry about the Patriots in the playoffs as long as the Ravens make it in. If they do get past the Ravens then they get to the Super Bowl and hopefully face the Giants. Why can’t the Steelers do what those teams do against Brady?

  • Stephen Dale

    Wish he would have waited to provide that anaylsis until after he retired. NO sense in giving the Patriots any bulletin-board material now…

  • TJimmy

    Yes sometimes when talking to the media you need to to keep quiet about things that are true. You don’t want things going up on your opponents bulletin board. Everyone in football knows that.

  • r4kolb

    Because for years our corners other the Ike suck!!! Also after all these years we still can’t game plan to cover Tight Ends!!

  • mem359

    Clark just mentioned that they tried to do what worked for the Jets (against the Patriots), and it didn’t work. Then again, you can ask why other teams didn’t follow what the Steelers did in 2011.

  • mem359

    If Brady decides to hold onto the ball longer, just to show that Clark is wrong, then he’ll take a few more sacks and start seeing an army of ghosts. What is the down side of that? Clark also pointed out all the years that Brady picked apart the Steelers defense, so it is not like he is disrespecting the man.

  • Ummm, doesn’t every QB do that when the same is applied to them? I knew something like this was going to come up with Clark in front of the cameras. You think this convo will be rehashed when it’s time to play the Patriots? I’ll bet Brady and Amendola will be stashing it away and breaking it out for extra motivation when the time comes. I know I’ll be watching how well Clark performs that day.

  • Yes, the truth can be disrespectful. That should be obvious to you. How about when Keith Butler said it would be a miracle if Sean Spence ever played again? That is probably truthful, but it’s something you just DON”T put out there to the media.

  • Bill Bob

    Does not matter when we play New England we will be 2 and 5 and Ben will be on the sideline with an ACL . Adams and Gilbert will get Ben killed Charlie Batch will be signed and have to play in a game.Adams is so bad he can’t even get called for holding.Defensive linemen and Line backers are going to run around him like he is a blocking sled.Did you not see him cut blocking the turf last year on passing plays.

    Plays too upright and struggles with quickness. Does not strike with
    power and tends to plod. Not agile at the second level. Too
    inconsistent. Struggled to handle the power of Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2011 first-rounder Adrian Clayborn and tenacity of Washington Redskins
    2011 first-rounder Ryan Kerrigan as a junior. Has battled injuries
    throughout career. Very spotty play history. Soft-tempered. Came off as
    very immature and low-burn in the interview process. Questionable mental
    toughness. Has been pampered and is not wired with a trench mentality.
    Not passionate about the game. Bench-pressed 225 pounds only 19 times at
    the Combine and body does not look NFL-conditioned. Too easily
    distracted and has multiple off-field issues that already have
    eliminated him from consideration on some NFL draft boards.

  • Pete

    I doubt that. I think clark was being straightforward as usual. His point was that Brady has settled into a comfort zone and when you disturb that, he has trouble adapting and making plays. So the strategy was to make him beat you by getting enough pressure and disrupting the receivers to force him to make plays. Clark’s observation is that Brady is not comfortable in
    that situation. No harm in saying that.

    Ben is one of the best at attacking a defense when
    they get in his face. Every QB would like to be able to sit back and
    pick a D apart but some are much better at innovating while under
    pressure. Everyone knows Brady is one of the best in the business. But everyone has a weakness no matter how small or difficult to exploit. Nothing disrespectful in that.

  • hergieburbur

    Whether it is a good idea to say it, and whether it is disrespectful, are two different things. If it were still 5-6 years ago, I would agree it is disrespectful, today? Not so much. Everyone knows this about Brady now. Especially when he talked about how much success Brady has had against them over the years as well.

  • hergieburbur

    I didn’t say it was smart to give them the bulletin board material, just that I don’t see it as disrespectful so much as honest analysis that most people know already.

  • hergieburbur

    Sure, if you are oversimplifying. But it is a matter of degrees. Brady rattles more easy than most top flight QBs when he is hit often, particularly early on. He certainly rattles faster than a guy like Ben, or Eli Manning, or Rodgers. He’s more in line with a Flacco in that respect.

  • True, but I bet Brady takes it to heart and brings it out on the field with him when it’s time to play the Steelers. I know I would, and if I was Brady I’d take anything but respect as disrespect. This article is plastered all over the internet right now. People wouldn’t be talking about it if it wasn’t seen as disrespectful. Thumbs up that shit!

  • Ben is LB/DE sized(maybe even bigger). LOL, you can’t really compare the two in that regard. If Ben couldn’t take a hit he’d be a horrible QB. Anyways, saying Brady, who’s a top 10 QB of ALL-TIME(maybe even top 5), rattles easily is a bit oversimplified. He’s 3rd all time in passing efficiency, so these episodes of rattling you and Clark are pointing to don’t happen all that often.

  • hergieburbur

    They don’t happen all that often because he has a quick release and (now) great TEs. He knows how to attack a defense, and of course not all teams have the personnel to cover and still get at him. But, the core roadmap for how to beat Brady has been around for years.

    Brady is a great QB, no doubt, but he isn’t an overly athletically gifted QB. He makes up for it with quick decision making, a very rapid release, and, if we are being honest, a line that has gotten away with way too much holding over the years. Start hitting him and the first two go away, and he becomes much more average.

  • hergieburbur

    Personally, I think the most disrespectful thing he said was calling Amendola Fragile. Yeah, he should have kept his mouth shut for bulletin board reasons, but I don’t see pointing out the obvious, which is becoming more obvious as Brady ages and his release speed declines, as disrespectful.

    To me, it is the same as saying Ike or Troy have lost a step. It’s not a good idea to point it out to them, but it is still true.

  • Thomas Crowley

    Your’re a idiot flacco doesn’t rattle easily

  • hergieburbur

    “Your’re a idiot flacco doesn’t rattle easily”

    Sure he doesn’t. That’s why he has so many sack-fumbles or fumbles at the LOS in the 4th quarter (7, 5 of which were by the Steelers). Because he doesn’t rattle when taking a ton of hits and get thrown off his game.

  • hergieburbur

    3/4 of that post was useless pre-draft analysis that doesn’t mean a lick once you get on an NFL team. The rest was more whining than analysis.

  • Ron Smalley

    Oooh! Someone said something about the NFL’s poster boy. Before all the sissy rules, a number of which can be attributed to that flag-football star (Brady), defensive players were more respected for their insights and opinions… Brady is ruining a great sport. Post This!

  • JDR

    you bunch of know nothing chickenshits….fuck Brady and the cheatriots
    so now its supossedly disrespectful to not just blow sunshine up his ass?
    you guys have no idea what respect means

  • JDR

    stop being a pussy…. the Steelers back down from nobody… he was basically auditioning for a career after football…so when you go to a job interview you just sit and say nothing… not how it works…these people are professionals, its their job to be up for and ready every game, and the millions paid should be motivation for all, press clips and sound bites might stir up some high school kids, but not well paid professionals

  • JDR

    do everybody a favor and go back to your purple browns message board

  • JDR

    right on! Brady is a bigger vagina than his wife’s gaping hole

  • JDR

    so now anything that is not praise is disrespect?
    when did you kids change the definition?

  • mokhkw

    Yea, I can tell that you have a grasp of what respect means……….

  • mokhkw

    Didn’t work out for us in 07 when Anthony Smith guaranteed to stop the Pats winning streak either.

  • JDR

    yep, you’re right… its something that is earned, and nobody owes you shit
    non praise is not disrespect, but maybe in the everybody gets a trophy for participation pussy ass world we’ve allowed to grow, anything that is not praise could be seen by younger generation kids and young somewhat adults as disrespect, but thats because they have no idea what it means.
    nobody respects a chickenshit

  • JDR

    ped st fan? tired of them big mean buckeyes beating up on your has been team?

  • I can’t help but to feel disrespected by you 😉

  • Yeah, I get all that, but it’s like saying Barry Sanders can’t take a hit. The small guys that turn into Hall of Famers are just good at not getting hit.

  • Shut-up you loud-mouthed fool!!! Listen to you going on about earned respect, lol. That’s the WHOLE POINT, doofus. We’re talking about Tom Brady here. I think he’s earned it, and anyone with half a brain will remember Clark’s comments when the Steelers and Patriots meet this season. I guarantee they’ll be brought up by the media, and there’s no need to give fuel to a future Hall of Fame players fire. That’s just stupid, like you.

  • Michael Mazanowski

    Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots on Nov 3, 2013! Brady will take these comments to heart and our defense will make his heart stop!

  • hergieburbur

    No, it;s not like that. Barry, when he took a hit, got right back up and kept pounding the rock. I am not commenting on how Brady takes hits, but on how they affect his mental game. And the whole league KNOWS they affect his mental game.

  • Michael Mazanowski

    Hey I didn’t do anything! Hahaha!

  • Michael Mazanowski

    Lol! Whacko for Flacco!

  • JDR


  • JDR

    pussy…fuck Tom Brady, i hope he reads this and cries… i cant stand that whiny little stick figure, and have no respect for CHEATERS

  • Well, it’s been said all hits, wether to the head or not, can affect brain abnormality, so find me a player who’s mental game wouldn’t be affected by being hit. BOOM! Just won the convo. Oh yeah!

  • hergieburbur