Q&A with Desmond Clark

<!--Default NodeId For Desmond Clark is 648865,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:648865]>Desmond Clark</A> reflects on his place in the Bears offense, the season so far, and his potential battle with the media.

According to Offensive Coordinator John Shoop. Clark's relationship with quarterback Kordell Stewart will be one of the lynchpins in a hoped for resurgence by the Bears offense in upcoming games.

BR- What is your relationship like with Kordell? Do you feel that you are communicating well with him both on and off the field?

DC- Well, let me think about it. Does this mean that I should go out and get his home number? We could be chatting every night about what's on television or something like that.

Seriously, though, I feel that Kordell and I get along well. We both have been in the football business for a while and we understand our positions. I know and he knows that good communication between a tight end and a quarterback is an important factor in the success of any offense.

BR- So you understand each other well at this point?

DC- It's more or an evolving process. The more you practice together and the more you play together, the better your communication becomes. We talk a lot out on the field both in practice and during a game. Even if a play doesn't need me to be directly involved, Kordell will ask me to look for something, which, of course I do. I think he feels comfortable passing to me at this point.

BR- Coach Jauron said today that there is considerable pressure on this team to perform right now. Sometimes when there is this type of pressure, players try too hard then begin to make mistakes. How do you handle this situation?

DC- I try not to think about it at all. I just go out there and play football. Most of my game is very instinctual. I just react. If you spend much time thinking about what you a re going to be doing, you'll miss the play.

If you try as a player to force things it won't turn out well. It's important to relax and to let things happen naturally. You have to rely on your ability to get the job done. If you go and try to make something happen when it's not really there, things won't turn out the way you want them to.

BR- Is this the way that you've always approached the game?

DC- Yes. Since I first arrived in training camp, that's how I've approached things. I've been talking to the rookies about this as well. Always give 100% but never force things. Learn your job and mind you business. Then good things will happen to you.

BR- How do you prepare mentally for a game?

DC- I just take it week by week. That's all you can do. If something bad happened in the last game, you forget about it as quickly as possible. You want to see a progression from one game to the next. You want to be improving every time you are out there. That's the way I've always approached football.

BR- Coach Shoop has said that there will be a renewed emphasis on the running game during the next games. Is that a system you fit into?

DC- Oh, yes. One of my best skills is my blocking ability. I like to be a wide receiver, that's one of my strengths, but I have always enjoyed blocking. I'm good at it. People usually don't notice that as I've been labeled a pass catching tight end. That's been true since college. But if you go back and watch the film, you'll see that I'm getting some pretty good blocks in there as well. I see myself as the complete tight end. If you catch the passes, you get the glory, but blocking is very important, too.

BR- What's your strength?

DC- Being a good pass catcher. I also read the defense well. I spend a lot of time watching films, studying the other team. That really pays off during the game. Often, I can tell what's coming even before the play begins.

If someone asks me what my weakness is, I wouldn't say that I necessarily have one. Even though I may not be the biggest or the strongest player on the line, I feel confident with my blocking ability.

BR- How's the mood of the team after a pretty rough start to the season?

DC- The mood is pretty good. It's tough that we lost those games. After a loss you sink a little, it can get depressing so you want a win to offset that and to get you on the right track again. This team has a lot of character. We've been able to rise right back up again and get ready for the next game. We always believe that we are going to win.

BR- What about the boos as you were leaving the field the other night?

DC- There's really nothing that you can do about it. The fans come in and they pay their money. It's our job to be giving them something to cheer about.

What really gets me upset is the members of the media who are trashing us right now. I listen to the sports shows on the way home from the game and at night during the week. It really hurts when alumni of this team are saying these things. It makes me very angry.

I read everything, I listen to everything, I want to know who is on my side and who is not on my side. Then when things are going well, when we win six in a row and everyone wants to be my best buddy, it just isn't going to happen. I don't deserve being bashed. Neither does any other member of this team.

Trust me, we are listening and we are making mental notes. That's the nature of a man. When you're down and somebody's kicking you, you're going to get them back. When things turn around, we are going to be very choosy as far as who we are going to be talking to.

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