Friday, August 18, 2006
By Ray Fittipaldo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ryan Clark watched last week as rookie Anthony Smith grabbed the headlines with two interceptions and made his presence felt in the open audition at free safety. Clark had a standout game and impressed coaches with his playmaking ability.

As a five-year veteran, though, Clark knows making plays likely is not the most important thing the coaching staff is looking for in the man who wins the competition. It just may be the man who is steady and does not make mistakes.

"It's not a situation where this guy has to make this many plays or this guy has to do this, and this is what will separate you," said Clark, who signed as a free agent with the Steelers in March to compete for the job vacated by Chris Hope when he signed a contract with Tennessee.