OTAs Q&A: TE Desmond Clark

Greg Olsen can catch. Brandon Manumaleuna can block. But if the Chicago Bears need a tight end to do both, Desmond Clark is their man. Clark talked with JC after OTAs Wednesday at Halas Hall.

John Crist: I thought tight ends don't catch the football in Mike Martz's offense. Based on what I see, you guys are still running routes and catching passes like normal. Are your responsibilities any different than they were a year ago?

Desmond Clark: No, I think it's pretty much the same. He's just put a big emphasis on the tight end being a blocking tight end first. But saying that, we still catch passes. We're still out there running routes just as much as we have in the past.

JC: The receivers have talked about the route tree now being a little different. Are the tight ends running the same routes they were under Ron Turner, or have there been some tweaks here and there?

DC: There's different techniques on how you run the routes. We have a couple of different routes that we do now, but for the most part the routes are the same. Just how we run them are kind of different than it was in the past.

JC: Your fellow tight end, Greg Olsen, took a lot of heat this offseason and was subject to trade rumors. Since you guys have worked closely together and are in the same meeting room, how do you handle a situation like that?

TE Desmond Clark
Getty Images: Jonathan Daniel

DC: Greg is a big boy, and he can handle that. All you can do as a veteran is just be there for him. He's not the type of guy that needs somebody to go pat him on the back. ... He's not that type of guy. Greg faces all his adversity head-on, and I think really what it does is it fuels him to go out there and push extra hard. So the more negative stuff he gets, the harder he's going to work, so it might work out to his advantage.

JC: Brandon Manumaleuna hasn't had a chance to practice yet after signing as a free agent because of a knee scope. Has it been established that his role is going to be different than what you and Olsen are asked to do?

DC: I don't know. I really don't know. That hasn't even been talked about it. Until you get out on the practice field, I don't know how everybody is going to fit in once he gets back. I guess in training camp we'll see, but that's sort of an unknown mystery right now.

JC: The red zone was an issue for you guys last year. Is that something Martz has specifically targeted during the offseason? Does it matter to him at all that you were a poor red-zone offense in 2009?

DC: No, I don't think he came in with any preconceived notions about last year. We haven't talked about anything that went on last year, besides we have a good unit here from last year and that we can be the best offense in this league if we work on the things that we need to work on. But as far as the red zone, no, he's just installing his red-zone offense. No mention of last year or what we did last year because it really doesn't matter.

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John Crist is the Publisher of BearReport.com, a Heisman Trophy voter and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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