The old horseshoe is gone. For first time in his NFL career, Dallas Clark has a new uniform and number to get comfortable in. He admits it didn't take him long to turn the page on his nine-year career with the Colts.
"It hit home a long time ago when they called and said, 'You are no longer a Colt,'" Clark said. "That's pretty much when it hit. Finding a new comfort blanket, that's about what this is."
Clark is only the third player on the Bucs roster over 30, and while this is a deviation for the Bucs in their youth movement, Clark brings in to the Bucs character and leadership—two qualities that Winslow didn't supply.
What would be a successful season be for Clark in his first year with the Bucs?
"Just being consistent," Clark said. "Just being a player that Josh [Freeman] and the offense can depend on."
After recording career highs in receptions and touchdowns in 2009, Clark has struggled staying healthy enough to stay on the field. He missed virtually a full season of starts over the last two years.
"The downside that you look at, he didn't play a lot last year," said Bucs head coach Greg Schiano. "The upside—he didn't play a lot last year. So he's kinda of rested."
Is another 100-catch season possible?
"Oh, I sure hope so," Schiano said, smiling.
Clark has heard to all of the talk that his career is over after suffering through multiple injuries in 2011, but until that talk of retirement comes from him, he's not listening to it.
"Nobody asked me if I was done playing," Clark said. "I'm not done playing. So I don't know where that one came from."
For Clark, the only thing that would make this a better fit is if he can negotiate a deal with Eric Lorig to get his old number 44 back.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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