View Full Version : Steelers' Haggans faces tough situation -- off the field

06-06-2007, 06:43 PM
By Scott Brown
Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Steelers outside linebacker Clark Haggans said Tuesday he would "love to be here" beyond the 2007 season, and the seven-year veteran is proving as much by taking part in OTA (Organized Team Activity) drills.
If anybody has a reason to skip the practices that run through next week, it is Haggans.

His mind and heart are thousands of miles away when he is not working at the Steelers' South Side practice facility. That is because his infant daughter, Alianna Marie, is battling for her life in a Las Vegas hospital.

Haggans declined to get into specifics about her condition -- he acknowledged that it stems from her premature birth -- but it caused him to miss the Steelers' first minicamp in April.

He attended the mandatory minicamp last month, but since OTA practices are voluntary, it would have been easy for Haggans to return full time to his family given the circumstances.
Instead, he has spent the past couple of weeks shuttling between Pittsburgh and Las Vegas, between what is important (career) and what is really important (family).

Not that it has been easy or something Haggans could have done without the blessing of his wife, Alicia.

"Right now, a lot of things are out of my control and all I can do is be there for prayers and support my wife and my son and the rest of my family," said Haggans, who has been flying to Las Vegas after OTA practices are completed for each week. "It's always in the back of my mind and it gets tough at times, but you've just got to push through, keep playing and be a professional. I'm working on my (frequent-flier) miles for U.S. Airways."

He's also working to re-establish himself as a force on the Steelers' defense.

Haggans' production slipped a bit last season after he appeared to have a breakthrough year in 2005 when he finished second on the team in sacks (nine) and fumbles forced (four).

And there are questions about his long-term future with the team considering Haggans is 30 and in the final year of his contract and the fact the Steelers took linebackers with their first two picks in the NFL Draft at the end of April.

One of those picks, second-rounder LaMarr Woodley, could be groomed to take over at left outside linebacker for Haggans, who had 6.5 sacks last season.

"It's up to the organization," Haggans said on whether he expects to return to the Steelers after next season. "I can't imagine myself in any other uniform. I can't imagine myself not having black and gold on. We'll just see what happens."

The 6-foot-4, 253-pounder is focused on the more immediate future -- and specifically a return to form for the Steelers' defense and for himself.

"It's just one of those things where we were out on the field too long and usually, when you're out there too long, positive things aren't really going to happen," Haggans said of last season. "I just look back and see on the film that maybe a step here or a step there where we could have made a play and had a completely different season."

The disappointment of going 8-8 last season and missing the playoffs a year after the Steelers won the Super Bowl has unfortunately been put in perspective by his daughter's condition.

"I know a lesson I've learned right now," Haggans said, "is every day is a blessing."

Prayers out to his daughter, and family!

06-06-2007, 07:13 PM
Family is always more important than one's job/profession.
Football is probably the farthest thing from his mind right now.
I hope that his daughter makes it okay. Prayers for him and his family.

06-06-2007, 07:17 PM
Damn.....My prayers are out to him and his family.

06-06-2007, 07:19 PM
Wow that's just a terrible thing to go through, I can't even imagine. I hope everything works out with his daughter and we'll keep him in our thoughts and prayers.

K Train
06-06-2007, 07:25 PM

06-06-2007, 07:41 PM
Poor guy! He's feelin the pull from both sides! He wants to show the FO/coaches that he REALLY wants to stay, and is doin his darndest to keep his job--but still wants to be with his family...very tough situation. Sure hope everything goes well and that his little daughter gets well! And hopefully he (and his family) knows that we're all wishing them the best...

Black@Gold Forever32
06-06-2007, 07:49 PM
Sad story.....I feel bad for Clark....I give him props for still practicing with the team through these hard times he is going through....Thats being a team guy unlike a certain all-pro guard....lol

06-06-2007, 08:54 PM
Really sad story... all we can hope for is a storybook ending... :pray:

06-06-2007, 11:17 PM
I woder if us fans sent cards o Clark in C/O of the Steelers, if they could forward them to him? Think that would be neat if us fans sent him cards.

06-07-2007, 09:24 AM
my thoughts and prayers are with his family.

06-07-2007, 11:57 AM
wow...that is so sad...my thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family...

06-07-2007, 04:52 PM
That's awful. My thoughts and prayers are with the Haggan's family.

BlacknGold Bleeder
06-07-2007, 08:52 PM
Sad to hear, I'll keep praying for the little one!!

06-07-2007, 10:50 PM
Wow...thats rough...I dunno what I would do if my little dude was sick.

06-07-2007, 10:59 PM
I woder if us fans sent cards o Clark in C/O of the Steelers, if they could forward them to him? Think that would be neat if us fans sent him cards.

That's a good idea. I wonder how we can make it happen. Does anyone know? If someone can figure it out I'm in for a card and flowers.

I like how Clark is still showing up for OTA's. It's not even close to being the most important thing, but he's still there. It must be really rough for him trying to be in both places.

06-07-2007, 11:05 PM
Hope his child pulls through ,,,,,,,,He's got my prayers & thought's

06-08-2007, 12:06 AM
That's a great idea Dom. Situations with preemies are so precarious. Everything can change in a matter of minutes. It has to be so difficult to be away from his wife and baby. No doubt his family can use all of the prayer and support possible.

06-08-2007, 09:41 AM
Well, just called the Front Office, left a message. Hopefuly somebody returns my call, but doubt it.