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CHICAGO (WSCR) — Days after being re-signed for a one-year deal, Bears tight end Desmond Clark says he is excited to be back on the field, and will likely need to take a leadership role in the locker room.
The Bears announced Tuesday afternoon that Clark had been re-signed. His time with the Bears had appeared to be over, but in the last week, the team traded Greg Olsen and released Brandon Manumaleuna, creating space for Clark on the roster.
LISTEN: Desmond Clark on the Mully and Hanley Show
Clark has been with the Bears since 2003 and ranks ninth in franchise history with 242 receptions.
He had been declared inactive for most of the games last season, but said on the Mully and Hanley Show Friday morning that he has been keeping up his practice and effort all along.
“It’s the competitive nature of an athlete – you want to be on the field and you want to play, but the bottom line for me was that I had to go out and do my job every day, and I think I went out and did that. I gave the guys everything that I asked for, and at the end of the day, I was content with myself, because I knew I went out and I played and I practiced well, and I did everything that I had to do, regardless of the situation,” he said.
As the smallest tight end, Clark says he expects to move around the field and use his ability to catch the ball. He is the smallest of tight end corps, which also includes Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth.
“I’ll probably move around, and also be that in-line tight end also, but right now I’m just fitting everywhere; learning all the positions over again,” he said.
And in the locker room, with veteran Olin Kreutz gone, Clark anticipates a role in mentoring and conditioning young rookie players.
“Olin was like the best leader that you could ever want on the team, so now that that void is gone, people do have to step up, and we will – people like myself, like Jay (Cutler), people like Matt Forte, you know, all the guys that know how this team works and know what to expect, to get these young guys that are coming in, and maybe they don’t know the culture of this team,” he said.