Notebook: Clark won't be fined

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Steelers have been fined for hits that didn't draw penalty flags, but ...

... the team found out from the league Wednesday that it would not be fined for a vicious hit that was flagged.

So Ryan Clark can breathe a sigh of relief after his knockout blow of Wes Welker.

"My wife got all kind of e-mails ‘Ryan Clark is a dirty player' and all that stuff," Clark said. "It really doesn't bother me. None of those guys go to my kid's soccer games; none of those people go to church with me, so they don't know me. Like I said Sunday, I thought the hit was clean. I was just playing football."

The NFL's decision will likely upset New England nose tackle Vince Wilfork, who called the hit "a cheap one" and wondered how he could be fined for his play earlier in the season and Clark was not.

"When it's over and I leave this earth, it's going to be Jesus Christ that I answer to," said Clark. "One of my favorite players in the league is Rodney Harrison. I really find it funny that a team he's on is acting this way.

"I didn't apologize for the hit. I just said I hope he wasn't hurt and that he could play this week. That's all that matters to me. I knew as far as the hit, I wasn't wrong. I was just playing football."

BEN LIMPS OFF FIELD

Ben Roethlisberger slipped in the mud on the Steelers' practice field and limped into the locker room after missing the final portion of the workout. He said he's fine and will practice Thursday.

Missing Wednesday's practice were DE Brett Keisel (knee) and LT Marvel Smith (back), who've been ruled out of Sunday's game against Dallas. Also missing were DE Travis Kirschke (back), RB Willie Parker (knee, shoulder), SS Troy Polamalu (calf), DE Aaron Smith (knee), CB Deshea Townsend (no injury) and WR Hines Ward (no injury).

CB Bryant McFadden (forearm) practiced, as he has the last two weeks, but this time he guaranteed that he'll play Sunday.

"Ain't no bad news this week," McFadden said. "I don't think my dog will die, so I should be good."

TRAINING STAFF NO. 1

The Steelers' training staff was named the 2008 Pro Football Athletic Training Staff off the Year. Head trainer John Norwig and assistants Ryan Grove and Ariko Iso will be recognized March 10 in Baltimore, Md.

The award is given annually to an NFL training staff which best exemplifies dedication and commitment to the training of its players. The award is voted on by the Pro Football Athletic Training Society.

STEELERS LEAD TOY DRIVE

LaMarr Woodley, Willie Parker and Dennis Dixon will host the 7th Annual Pittsburgh Celebrity Toy Drive benefiting Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

The toy drive will be held Tuesday, Dec. 9 at The Mall at Robinson from 6-8 p.m. The players will sign autographs in exchange for the donation of a new, unwrapped toy to benefit Children's Child Life Department. The toy drive will be located on the upper level of the mall near Macy's.


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