After the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Ravens two weeks ago, safety Ryan Clark made his way into the opposing locker room.
He stood up on a chair, leaning over a sizable media contingent to ask Ed Reed, 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, eight-time Pro Bowl selection and Destrehan, La., native, a question.
“What about the rumor that you were not the best safety in metro New Orleans area in 1997 coming out of Destrehan,” Clark said as the room erupted in laughter. "It really was a kid from (Archbishop) Shaw who was discriminated against because he was skinny. What about that?"
Both entered the NFL in 2002. Reed was a first-round draft pick out of Miami and has spent his entire career in Baltimore. Clark, who played at LSU, went undrafted and played for two teams before finding a home in Pittsburgh since 2006.
Clark was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time last season in place of Reed who was injured.
While Ravens-Steelers is a bitter rivalry, no such sentiments exist between these two.
“I love Ryan. We grew up together," Reed said after he recovered a fumble in the Ravens' 13-10 victory in Pittsburgh. “To be 11 years in it and still watching him, hats off to Louisiana. We have a bunch of football players there, like diamonds in the rough. When we came out we didn’t have a lot of pub as they have in Florida, Texas and California. We have a lot talent. Its just a matter of those kids wanting to give away