Dallas Clark: We Kept the Edge

Colts TE Dallas Clark talks to the media about overcoming the injury bug, a few of his teammates, the Colts not getting as much attention this year, and more!

On with WR-Marvin Harrison expected back after a lengthy period due to injury, and with him going through something similar last year, how long it takes to get back in the flow...

"I think that all is based on the individual person. Marv's been here twice as long as I have, so it would take me a little bit longer. I think it was really important that I got back for that Miami game last year before the playoffs started to just kind of get the rust if you will chipped away. But Marv, I think he's considered a gamer. I think he can just come in and do what Marv does. I think you should expect exactly what he's capable of, so it definitely helps us. As much as he's confident with everything, you should expect a great game. But obviously he would be the one to ask that."

On possibly having all of the receiving weapons back and being able to do what each is supposed to do...

"It definitely helps with the whole flow, especially from an offensive standpoint, just having the guys back. We haven't been playing together for a few weeks now together and getting that rhythm going, that's always crucial going into the playoffs. You want everyone back. To win playoff games, you need everyone, and we're fortunate enough. We've had kind of the injury bug during the whole season, so we've been able to get guys back. I think it's one of those things that we'll be able to just play with a little more confidence and guys going out there and doing their job to their expectations. I think it definitely helps, but does it mean we're going to win? We still have to go out there and play, that's the whole thing. So it doesn't matter. Those guys who stepped in that weren't original starters, they came in and played really well, so you can't take anything away from them either."

On if he thinks the Colts are better at this time this year than they were at this point last year...

"I don't know. That's a tough question. Obviously we had a little rougher December last year, losing a couple of games, and we didn't have that situation this year. From that standpoint, obviously it looks like we're better, but that's tough. We're kind of more focused on that this is a new season, this is a new playoff run, everyone's 0-0 at this point, and you got here for a reason, that you're a good football team. I think we're a good football team, just like San Diego is a good football team. So I think it's one of those that it really doesn't matter. We just have to go out there and execute."

On not receiving as much attention this year because of the season New England has had and if he feels they have flown under the radar...

"That's not a bad thing and that's not why we play. We're just going out there and trying to get better each week. When you're playing in a season with a team like New England, what they're accomplishing and what they're doing over there with the whole undefeated thing, obviously that's going to get all the attention, and that's great. They deserve all the credit, all the attention that they got, because it's a great achievement as a team. You're not going to sit here and wish you had more attention. We're playing our games just like they're playing their games, and that's what you play for. You don't play for attention and all that stuff. It's hard to compete with that whole thing going on, so it's a credit to them."

On not having the national spotlight and big games...

"We've played in some big games. They may not be important to a national perspective, but they're important to us. The Monday night game down in Jacksonville, that was a big game and that could have totally swung our division one way or the other. And our division was a very tough one this year. We didn't need the national spotlight…we knew what type of games we had each week, and we had some tough ones. With three of the teams in our division making the playoffs, it's evident that we had our hands full every week. Obviously we didn't get the national spotlight or what have you with those type of games, but to the guys on the team and the coaches, we knew they were very critical games."


Peyton Manning
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On with not playing a full game against Tennessee and then having a bye will make it more difficult to find a rhythm...

"We practice pretty intense. We didn't play a lot in front of people, but we did a lot of good work here. I think we kept the edge, I think we kept the rhythm, I think we did what we need to stay sharp and in shape. I definitely don't think that is going to be a concern. I think we handled everything really well. I think we're fresh, and now it's just time to go out there and execute."

On DB-Bob Sanders...

"You don't have enough paper to write all the qualities he has. He's an amazing player. He's on a different level—the speed, the intensity, the reaction time, the quickness. You name it, he has it. He's the complete package. He makes the offense better by facing him, because you know it's not going to get much harder than that. If you can do well or do something against him, then it should be easier against the next guy because Bob's—this is obviously my personal opinion—just on kind of his own playing field. He's just a special player. Being able to see him grow from college, being on the same team (at Iowa) as him in college, and everyone giving him, ‘Oh, he's too short, he's too this.' He's had to face that his whole life, and I think he's done a good job proving everyone wrong."

On saying Bob Sanders is one of the greatest among great athletes...

"Yes, that's why it's no surprise that he won Defensive Player-of-the-Year, because when he's on the field, he changes things. There's a handful of players around the league that you say that about, and he's one of them."

On the strange game vs. San Diego in November and if the Colts are looking forward to playing the Chargers again after that....

"Every game is important and every game matters at that time, but it's one of those things that our motto here is, ‘You kind of learn from it and then you forget it.' You don't, ‘We hope we see…' We lost that game, we had to learn from it and we had to move on. And I think we did a good job of that as a team. I think they have the edge of, they know how to beat us, and it's a credit to them. We're going to have our hands full. They're a very good team. Coming in on the road, all that, it's not going to affect them. They've been in this position before. It's going to be a really good football game."

On the San Diego game in November, the turnovers, return touchdowns, missed field goals, what happened, and what they took from it...

"We're human. It's just one of those that you don't see things like that from an Indianapolis team very often. It was just a tough situation. The way we bounced back as a team in the second half was I think kind of a credit to what kind of team we are. I think we faced adversity head on and were able to come out in the second half and make some plays and get us back in the ballgame. I think that's a credit to the guys not giving up and just playing hard…No matter what bad things happened, there was still I think a lot of good things that the team took from it and were able to carry over to the following weeks."

On San Diego's success...

"I think they're just making teams beat themselves. They're not making mistakes. On offense, they're making you go the distance. They're always applying pressure, always trying to give you fits from an offensive standpoint. And their offense is doing a good job of just controlling the ball and moving it and getting it to their key players and taking care of possession time. It's a great equation to win games. The tough thing is to actually go follow through with it, and they've been able to do that. I think it's a credit to their hard work and the type of team they have."


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