Thanks @Realrclark25 #AlwaysASteeler #Steelers pic.twitter.com/5VtYnr296H— BTSC Steelers (@btsteelcurtain) February 19, 2015
BTSC sent this out via Twitter Wednesday night, looking to tie together a career of excellent play and a memorable personality.
Steelers safety Shamarko Thomas posted a picture on Instagram of Clark running out of a tunnel at Heinz Field. Clearly, the Steelers' third-year safety, who only played one season (2013) with Clark in Pittsburgh, was impacted by Clark.
Congrats on your retirement @Realrclark25. You gave us your best and will always live in #Steelers history.Thank you! Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons joined the team just a year after Clark arrived, and the two grew up together as key members of some great Steelers teams. It's a touching tribute, and one that may have only just been finalized in the eyes of Timmons. pic.twitter.com/IYylHWwyfu— ✨Steelers #1 Fan✨ (@JoeSteelerFan) February 19, 2015
Clark had his share of big hits, the one depicted here came on Ravens running back Willis McGahee on the final Ravens' possession of the 2008 season. Troy Polamalu shook the foundation of the city the drive before that with a game-sealing pick six, but Clark, oftentimes having played in Polamalu's shadow, accentuated the victory with the hardest hit in one of the most violent games of the last 20 years.
Steelers S Ryan Clark announces his retirement on NFL Live. He will retire with the Steelers. pic.twitter.com/6oGdCyNQ48— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 18, 2015
It's unclear where and when the closed fist after a third down play - an official's signal indicating it's fourth down - came into vogue in the NFL, but Clark was known to do this, as well as many other Steelers defenders, during their time. William Gay notably does it now, although if he does it too long within 10 yards of an opponent, he gets flagged for taunting.
It's our pleasure to welcome @Realrclark25 to the ESPN family as he announces he'll retire as a Steeler! pic.twitter.com/RtAMJMqb0I— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) February 18, 2015
Here's to celebrating Clark's Steelers career, and wishing him the best in his post-playing career gig as a studio analyst.