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Ryan Clark: Victor Cruz backed off after penalized hit

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark was flagged for a bogus unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty last week after hitting New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz ... in the chest.

The official thought Clark hit Cruz in the head. Clark's reputation might not have helped, but he told Jay Glazer on Thursday's "NFL Total Access" that he has no regrets.

"The reason I don't regret it, later on in the third quarter, Victor Cruz had the opportunity to catch a crossing route where Eli Manning threw it leading it toward me, and he kinda stuck one hand up and fell down," Clark said. "And I felt like that was for a reason.

"I feel like because guys know if they come in here, 25 is still going to strike you, he's still going to continue to play football the way he's played it, and actually within the rules."

We know exactly the play Clark is referencing. He's not exaggerating. Cruz shied away from being hit later in the game.

The Steelers' secondary is playing excellent football over the last month. Clark and cornerback Keenan Lewis are the two biggest reasons why.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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