Can Ryan Clark fill leadership void with Redskins?

Can Ryan Clark fill leadership void with Redskins?
May 30, 2014, 2:15 pm
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(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

In the coming weeks and months, the Redskins must find a replacement for London Fletcher, the starting inside linebacker. But they also must find a replacement for London Fletcher, the locker room leader.

One player who could help fill that void is Ryan Clark, a 34-year-old safety who’s set to begin his second stint with the Redskins after eight years with the Steelers.

Clark said told CSNWashington.com on Thursday that he would welcome the responsibility. But he also made it clear that he won’t be campaigning for it.

“I was a captain in Pittsburgh, obviously,” he said. “But it’s nothing I try to do. You just be your myself. You come to work. You work hard. You’re professional. You show people that it matters to you, that it means something to you. And that’s all you can do.”

He added: “Any questions that get asked [by teammates], I answer them. If anybody needs help, I help. And that’s how you lead. You don’t lead by coming in like, ‘You should do things this way, or you should be that way.’ So I’m going to come in and be myself and continue to do the things that got me to this point …and hopefully it will help the team be better.”

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Clark recently tweeted out a picture of his practice jersey hanging in his locker stall. It was impossible to ignore the fact that Clark’s stall is right next to DeSean Jackson’s.

It could be a coincidence. But it should be noted that the Redskins have a history of putting seasoned vets next to high-profile youngsters. In 2012, for example, Robert Griffin III’s locker was put right next to Fletcher’s.

“Coincidence, right?” Clark said with a smile when asked about Jackson’s locker being right next to his. “I don’t know. I just figured that it was two open lockers and they wanted them together.”

Then Clark turned serious and added: “For me, it’s good. We talk every morning, joke around, nothing serious. But as the seasons comes up, hopefully that relationship builds [by] being next to him so that if there is an issue, if there is something, then we can talk about it. We can hash those things out before they have to be done in the media or become public [like] some of the things that happened in Philadelphia.”