Playing with Flacco a big draw for Clark
Joe Flacco’s presence was a major reason why Dallas Clark signed with the Ravens.
“He’s a gamer,” Clark said Tuesday, following his first Ravens’ practice. “A great leader. Just can flat-out play the game. As a receiving tight end, that was No. 1. Wherever I was going to go, they had to have a solid quarterback. This is better than that.”
Not only does Clark like to catch, he likes to talk. At age 34, Clark must prove he can help the Ravens, and he will be challenged to learn the offense quickly. Clark had a host of interesting comments following Tuesday’s practice. The best of his outtakes included:
Clark admitted he was lost at times. “I didn’t even know what I was doing out in practice today,” Clark said. “They just threw me in. Hey, do this play. You do your best learning out here, making the mistakes, and looking like an idiot.”
Clark said several teams wanted his services, but the Ravens seemed like the best fit. “I have the luxury to kind of be picky and I was,” Clark said. “I wanted to be in the right situation where I feel like with my skill set I can help. I think this is a place that obviously wants to win, has proven they can win. I just want to be a small piece of helping them continue to do that.”
When it comes to learning the offense, Clark will depend on Flacco. Clark depended on Peyton Manning when they were Colts teammates. “I need to know what he’s thinking, where he needs me to be on certain situations,” Clark said. “That’s how Peyton and I had the most success. Where do you need me? What do you think when you see this? Just talk it out. I’m looking forward to those conversations and getting on the same page. Dinner, over lunch. It’s constant.”
Clark poked fun at his blocking ability. Asked what he will bring, Clark said, “Just get first downs, get touchdowns. Surprise some defenses with some blocking. I know I don’t have the stature, but it’s something I take great pride in, being the complete tight end. I think that’s what kept me playing in this league as long as I have.”
After wearing No. 44 throughout his career, Clark will wear No. 87 with the Ravens. Asking Ravens veteran fullback Vonta Leach to give up No. 44 is not something Clark is willing to do.
“There’s no chance,” Clark said. “I respect him too much as a player to even ask him. As long as I don’t look down, I’m still 44. I looked down one time, and I’m like, `That’s weird.”
Clark probably still feels weird being a Raven. However, his coaches and teammates hope that changes quickly.