Camp Chat: Desmond Clark

It's no secret that the Bears have had a hole at tight end for quite some time. But Desmond Clark still feels like he's the guy to control the middle of the field and open things up on the outside. The former Demon Deacon talked to Bear Report about coming to camp lighter, year two of Ron Turner's system, and the difference his position can make.

You came into training camp about 10 pounds lighter this year. Did you do anything differently in the offseason to get yourself ready?
"Just changed up a few eating habits, and that's about it. Ran a little bit more. Besides that? No, nothing really."

There seems to be fewer and fewer really good tight ends in the league. What is it about your position that makes the difference in a good offense?
"When you get a good tight end that can cause trouble, I mean, it just opens it up for the outside. When you got the middle of the field, with a good player in the middle of the field, and then you got the outsides, you can run basically any play in your playbook and have that flexibility to do that. Then the defense can't key on one or two players and try to stop the offense."

Much has been made about the offense being more comfortable in year two of Ron Turner's system. What's it like not having to learn a new scheme in camp?
"Well this year, it's all recall. It's not learning. Right now, we're going through the offense a little bit faster than we did last year, and it's not as many mistakes as last year. So with that, we're just that much further ahead right now."

Everyone knows the defense is going to be very good. Is the offense putting a little extra pressure on itself to take the next step and put 20 points on the board every Sunday?
"It really don't got nothing to do with the defense. We know our defense is going to be good. So if we can just put points on the board, the defense is going to take care of the rest. We want to pick up our play and definitely do more than we did last year."

You had some nice catches out there in practice tonight. Do you already feel more involved with the offense than you have in years past?
"It's early, man. It's the, what, fourth day of training camp? So, it's going to come. I don't think we've seen everything that goes with the tight ends. It's going to come eventually. It's going to come slow. Hopefully, the tight end position is peaking at the right time in the offense. But I think we're gonna have a more permanent role this year in the offense."

JC


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