Last season, it was commonplace for fans to hear the referee announce, “No. 75 is eligible” as the Broncos broke the huddle.
Tackle Chris Clark was often used as an eligible receiver and extra blocking tight end in Denver’s jumbo formations in 2011.
While he is sticking with his natural position of tackle so far in training camp, Clark says that experience a year ago helped his game.
“It helped a lot, it really did,” Clark said. “I played left tackle all my life. When I played at tight end, I played both left and right. When I’m in there at tackle, I know what the tight end is doing, because I played that also. I know what the tight end is doing and I definitely know what the tackle is doing, so I benefited a lot from that. I’m just glad the coaches have a lot of faith in me that I can get the job done.”
Over the past few practices, Clark has seen that experience lining up on the right side of the formation pay off as he has filled in for injured right tackle Orlando Franklin.
Clark has stepped in for Franklin as the first-team right tackle for the last two practices as Franklin has been held out with a concussion.
That means practicing at the pace dictated by the quarterback, which in the case of Peyton Manning and the Broncos, is full speed.
“That’s our job,” Clark said. “The quarterback leads and we follow. What he says goes. We’re on board. We’re just making sure we all stick together. No matter what the outcome is, we’ll stick together.”
Clark made sure to spend time in the playbook, so when his number was called he was ready to jump right in.
“You always have to be ready,” he said. “No matter who the quarterback is. When things happen – this is training camp. You always have to be ready. I don’t know about other guys, but I go full steam ahead every play. I don’t want to let anyone down. I just give it my all, study hall and do what I need to do as a player to make sure I’m fresh.”
Tags: Chris Clark