Clark Speaks Out

The Bears tight ends have been heavily criticized this off-season. Starter Desmond Clark doesn't shy away from the blame for the lack of production from the position, but says others were also responsible.

"We all share the blame for not getting the tight end the ball last year," Clark told the Chicago Tribune.

Clark is also referring to the quarterbacks and coaching staff. The frustration is understandable considering he's seen his numbers steadily decline since signing with the Bears as a free agent in 2004. He caught 44 balls in his first year win Chicago but the total dropped to 24 each of the past two seasons.

During his tenure in Chicago, Clark has come up with some spectacular catches yet at times has dropped easier opportunities.

Playing in a run oriented offense has forced the six-foot-3, 254-pounder to improve his blocking. Still rightly or wrongly, most look at the receiving stats when judging a tight end. Although Clark was voted as a third alternate to the Pro Bowl, there were 14 tight ends in the NFC that had more receptions.

"We're asked to do more than catch the ball, and that has been the big issue," Clark said. "We need a tight end who catches the ball. That's how I make my money—by catching the ball! When I came into the league, I came in as a receiver. So I'm what people are looking for. We just have to get more of it."

With a passing game that ranked 31st it's clear the Bears need playmakers to emerge on offense. While the team failed to address tight end with any of their seven selections, undrafted free agents Tim Day and Cooper Wallace could bring much needed depth to the position.

Despite the new blood on the roster, Clark continues to have confidence in his game.

"I didn't make [the NFL] by chance. I made it by hard work and being one of the better tight ends in the league," he said. "I wasn't voted as an alternate for the Pro Bowl for nothing. My peers see what I do. What the media has to say and what the unknowing public has to say doesn't affect me."

The question is can Clark have an impact on the offense?

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