Ryan Clark: Tom Brady toughest QB to defend in NFL


Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark thrust himself into the news cycle earlier this week when he shared with ESPN a less-than-glowing assessment of Tom Brady.

Clark insisted the New England Patriots quarterback "sees ghosts" under pressure -- phantom tacklers who don't exist -- saying, "when his clock goes off in his head that the ball should be out, we'll see him duck, we'll see him flinch."

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Perhaps someone tapped Clark on the shoulder to remind the 33-year-old that he's scheduled to face Brady in Week 9, because the damage control came quick. Visiting ESPN again Thursday, Clark was thrown a softball right down the middle, asked to name the NFL's toughest quarterback to deal with.

"I have to go with the greatest living American, and that's Tom Brady," Clark said, via WEEI-FM. "You know, I said what I said, and I do believe it, and it's true. But when this guy has the opportunity to set up and throw the ball to his receivers, there's nobody better at pinpointing guys out and making plays for his team."

With Clark's football career largely in the rearview mirror, issuing provocative on-air statements about future Hall of Fame quarterbacks is one way to plan for Career No. 2.

Here's the thing: Clark's initial argument has some merit. ProFootballFocus last season graded Brady at No. 21 in accuracy when under pressure. Still, he remains an assassin -- against the seen and unseen -- and fans will talk of Brady's feats long after Clark has left the building.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.