TE Desmond Clark knows from experience that the best way to deal with a loss in football is to try to forget it as quickly as possible then to move on to the next opponent on the schedule.
"Sometimes this is a lot easier said than done," Clark said. "But what you definitely want to void is a kind of a negative momentum where you lose one game, then you end up thinking that you are going to struggle with the next team you face as well That can be a self fulfilling kind of a situation."
Clark is a seasoned veteran with 5 years and 52 games of NFL experience. Originally drafted in the sixth round by Denver in 1999,he also played for Miami before joining the Bears on March 1,2003.
A quiet and thoughtful man, Clark hopes that fans who follow the team take some time to consider the nuances of the game before forming opinions, either positive or negative, about the coaches and players.
So often you will hear on talk radio or read in the papers following a loss that this person or that person is a total incompetent as a player, and that isn't necessarily the case according to Clark.
"There is so much more to football than the final score, but of course, what often forms people's opinion of you is exactly that. Fans want to know who won and who lost but not necessarily why the game ended as it did."
Clark also reads everything he can get his hands on as far as media reports on the team.
"Sure, I do," he said. "That's how I keep track of things. If some reporter comes up and wants something from me right after he has written something about me that I don't particularly agree with, I might not be in any real hurry to go along with his request."
But Clark also remembers who was in his corner when things were rough.
"I think that most people do this," he said. "People who make an effort for me, I'll do the same thing for them. You're always going to have your friends and your enemies. I make it a point to remember just who falls into each of those two categories."
If Clark finds it difficult to deal with the avalanche of second guessing following the Bears recent losses to Detroit and St. Louis, he keeps it to himself, preferring instead to analyze the game and find room for improvement in his own level of play.
"I always try to do the best that I can possibly do, and I always know that I can be even better," he said. "That comes with hard work. Even when you get discouraged and I have to admit that I do get frustrated and discouraged from time to time, there is nothing better than to go out and work. You give your all in practice and strive for a better result."
After the Rams game, Clark was trying to analyze exactly why the offense came up short in t heir final drive.
"It's hard to tell exactly what happened before seeing the films," he said. "That's particularly true with the three play drive that resulted in a touchdown. That series was incredibly successful. It went like clockwork. But we had run 2 of those 3 plays earlier and nothing happened. We also ran them again toward the end of that game without the same good results. I don't know if the Rams just missed receivers when we scored, or if we were going faster. There has to be some explanation."
Clark did notice during the game that the Rams defense seemed to be able to step up at just the right time to stop the Bears in critical situations.
"This was particularly noticeable during the final offensive drive," he said. "I don't understand what happened and that's really frustrating. We just went down without a whimper. It's a matter of pride. You never want to go out without swinging and fighting."
Did Clark notice anything in particular he would have done differently during the waning minutes of the game?
"The momentum of the game changed after the Rams got that onside kick," Clark said. "It lost us a chance to get a score. I didn't feel that things on our side of the ball were the same after that play."
What about the pass from Chandler to White with 78 seconds left?
"Well I wasn't, on the field when that final plays was called, but it just didn't make sense to me," Clark said. "That just wasn't something that we could have won with. We practice things like that every day. There are different options. I don't know what the mind frame was, but that particular pass might not have been the best choice for the situation."