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Super Bowl XLV: New York Giants' Connections

Interesting stories to pass along regarding a couple of former New York Giants who will be playing in Super Bowl XLV this weekend. Charles Peprah of the Green Bay Packers and Ryan Clark of the Pittsburgh Steelers both began their NFL careers with the Giants.

Peprah, a safety, was the Giants' fifth-round selection (158th overall) in 2006. The Giants waived him in preseason.

"In this business, you can get cut for a number of reasons, and a lot of times ability isn’t No. 1," the Packers’ starting safety said the other day as he and his teammates prepared for Super Bowl XLV against the Steelers. "The guys that let that affect how they move forward are the quickest to get phased out of the league.

"You’ve got to stay confident in your abilities, you’ve got to work hard and just be prepared."

Peprah spent three seasons in Green Bay, was waived by the Packers, spent a season in Atlanta, then returned to Green Bay as a free agent. The 2010 season was the best of his career as he had the only two interceptions of hsi career and 80 of his career total of 110 tackles.

Clark was an undrafted free agent who began his career by spending the 2002 and 2003 seasons with the Giants. He spent two seasons in Washington after that before finding a home with the Steelers, where he has spent the last five seasons.

Clark said he will always be grateful to the Giants for giving him an opportunity.

Despite a solid career at LSU, he was ignored in the draft, signing with the Giants as a free agent. He made the team and played in 22 games over two seasons, starting in four games under Jim Fassel.

He was released in 2004 and spent two seasons with the Washington Redskins before finding a home in Pittsburgh, where he has established himself as the steady sidekick to the spectacular Polamalu. Clark said he'll be forever grateful to the Giants for giving him his first shot.

"I was an undrafted free agent and I didn't have a lot of teams give me a chance to come in and compete, and they did that," he said. "So without them, I don't get that start. ... [They] helped me a great deal to get to this point."

The ESPN New York story on Clark details a scary time in 2007 when he thought he was going to die. It is worth a read.