A Few Minutes with: Gary Clark

The ex-Redskins receiver tore it up on the field and occasionally let loose on the sidelines, jawing with coach Joe Gibbs. Clark, who played for the Redskins from 1985-92 and finished with 549 receptions, has strong thoughts on the current Redskins--as well as his former teammate, Art Monk. Clark answers which one was the better receiver.

Q: Do you miss the game?

A: It's not that I miss it, but sometimes I miss it when they play bad. When they don't play as good as I think they can or you see a player do something wrong that you could do right. But mostly I root for the guys to do well.

Q: You were known as a fiery player and that competitive spirit doesn't leave a person. How does that transfer to this job?

A: It doesn't leave at all. I don't like to lose. That was instilled in me when I was a child. Losing sucks. There's ntohing good about it. In today's time it's supposed to be something you deal with. But I never did deal with it well. The only way I could deal with it is to make sure I did better the next week. In the mortgage business things don't always go your way so all you can do is learn from them and the next time you're in a similar situation you make sure it works out. Right now we're a small company and we're not the best mortgage company in the area. My goal is to become the best mortgage company in the area.

Q: How much have you watched these guys?

A: I watched the last preseason game. Maybe I should watch them all because they played really well. And I'll be doing the postgame stuff for Comcast this year so I'll be watching all the games.

Q: What were your impressions of the receivers and the offense?

A: I think the receivers and the quarterbacks have done well. The offense is built around the pasing game. The running game did OK, but it could use some improvement of course. But the passing game looked sharp, the receivers looked sharp, the quarterback looked good. I'm looking for an exciting offense.

Q: What do you think of Coles?

A: He'll be a player. He'll fit in well with Rod. They have two really good receivers on the team and that's what you need. It takes the double coverage out. You can't double both of them.

Q: You know about that well, don't you?

A: We had two great receivers and I was OK.

Q: One of those guys has been mentioned for the Hall of Fame. Are you surprised Art Monk isn't in there?

A: I'm very surprised. Not to say the people who went in shouldn't be in there. But not up against Art. I love Lynn Swann. I grew up loving him. But his numbers aren't Art's numbers. Lynn's numbers aren't my numbers. He belongs in the Hall of Fame, but not against Art Monk.

Q: What would you say others are missing when it comes to Art. Lots of voters pointed to his yards per catch as a drawback?

A: You need 10 yards for a first down. All those 12.1s, those are first downs. He's moving the chains. The key is consistently moving the chains and that's what he did. Unfortunately they compare certain guys as go-to guys. Who wasn't a go-to guy on our team? We all were. We were in a system that allowed us to be that. We all did different things better than the other guys. But Art was the all-around best receiver on the Redskins.

Q: Do you feel you should be in the Hall of Fame?

A: Eventually it should come up to that. Lynn got in and at some point in time I'm going to get in. Art's numbers dwarf Lynn's. They just do. My numbers dwarf his. And Lynn belongs in the Hall of Fame. They go by big plays, I had enough big plays to get into it. I made the plays in the Super Bowl and the playoffs. But I definitely will not go in before Art. So he needs to get his butt in there.

Q: Are you frustrated with the Redskins losing?

A: It's been frustrating until last year. They got the right person in. I'm a big fan of Steve Spurrier's. You can never be a Joe Gibbs. But he'll be the closest thing we can have to a Joe Gibbs. He's just as hard a worker as Joe was. This year they'll surprise some people. A lot of people expect them to go 8-8. I see 10-6 with the possibility of getting into the playoffs. If they win early, get a few breaks to go their way, the confidence will come around and that's half the battle, thinking you're better than what you are.

Q: If they go 2-0, suddenly the outlook is different, isn't it?

A: All of a sudden if you're 2-0 or 4-0, the next thing you know they're talking about the Dolphins' record. The same thing happened to us in 1991. Once you play well and you make a couple big plays, you think you can make them all the time and the big plays come around more often.


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