Dallas Clark is the best tight end in football. Period.
He's been the best one for some time now, but it was really last year when everyone else on the planet finally noticed what we Colts fans have known since 2003. No other tight end possesses Clark's speed, athletic ability, and big play ability. He can outrun linebackers, safeties, and several corners in this league. He is a match-up nightmare. He's also an under-rated blocker, especially from the slot position.
Clark has also been a catalyst from some very successful Colts teams in the past. So, when he says that the 2010 Colts are better than the 2009 Colts (who won the AFC), my ears perk up.
In a Colts.com interview with Jeffry Gorman, Clark was asked if the 2010 club was better than the club that went to the Super Bowl last year:
I think so. But, I mean, last year we worked hard. We had a great attitude. We had a great mentality. You get that each day by working hard and improving and getting that "fight" in you.
While Clark seems to feel the 2010 Colts offer more talent than the 2009 team (especially at the wide receiver position, which Clark said, "I don't know how we got all these guys on the same team!"), he made it clear that talent does not always equate to winning. In football, the better "team" will more often better the more talented bunch of individuals. Being mentality tough is important, and Clark thinks this team has potential.
This team definitely has the makings of that. But, we gotta go out there and prove it. We gotta come out here everyday, in the heat, learn the offense, learn the defense, learn the special teams. We gotta come out here and perform. It's easy to just be a good "on paper" football player. But you gotta come out here, in pads, and prove it.
For those of you a bit critical of Clark last year for the few drops he had in his 100 catch season, don't fret. Clark himself knows that the first step to making the team better is making himself better. When asked what he is working on in camp, his response:
Just consistency. Just trying to get better. Trying to improve on my run blocking and pass protection. And then, obviously, catching the ball. I had a few too many drops last year.
Clark had 118 total catches in 2009 for over 1200 yards and 11 touchdowns. He averaged 11 yards a catch! Yet, despite these insane numbers, the guy is concerned with "a few drops" he had.
Again, best tight end in football. Anyone who disagrees is, quite simply, wrong.