Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images
The Kansas City defensive end spoke to reporters following the team’s loss to Baltimore on Sunday night.
“Every time we play this football team since I’ve been here the last three years, they give it all they got,” said Clark — who had apparently had lost track of the number of seasons he’s been in Kansas City. “You know, Lamar Jackson [is] a heck of a football player. He does everything that he can.
“Unfortunately, the last two games have been tight games between us. We were able to pull them out. But this game? They took it. They came in [and] beat us in the rushing attack. We missed tackles on a bunch of key plays, gave them the ball and didn’t make enough plays. It’s simple.”
Clark said that he and his defensive teammates had to take responsibility for their own errors in the game.
“In the future, we’ve just got to limit the mistakes — the missed tackles. Of course, when you miss over 10 tackles in a game, that’s cause for devastation for a defense. You’ve got to make the tackles — especially when you’re going against a strong offense like the Ravens.”
The seventh-year veteran said that NFL defensive players only have limited chances to work specifically on their tackling.
“Well, when you’ve got that one day when you can tackle — and it is [in] pads — the emphasis is on striking,” he noted. “The emphasis is on tackling. So that’s when you’ve got to pop those pads a little bit more.”
But Clark said that players don’t always make full use of those opportunities.
“You can’t go into practice running by plays — the plays where you can get a little more aggressive — you can’t ‘tag off’ on guys and stuff like that,” he explained. “Sometimes you get lax when you do that; you’re coming off games where it was a hard game — a lot of hitting and stuff — so guys are sore. It’s just putting the emphasis on that in practice when we do have those pads on [for] that day of the week.
“It’s just taking full advantage: going out there and competing and having fun with it — but also understanding that this is going to transfer over to the game in the future.”
Still, Clark expressed confidence in his teammates — particularly the offensive stars and safety Tyrann Mathieu.
“You know, we’ve got a great group of guys,” he declared. “I’ve got all the confidence in the world in my guys — on defense and offense. Starting over there on offense — you know with Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce and all those guys. The offense did a heck of a job fighting for us tonight. [But] our defense didn’t do enough, I feel. Actually, T — Honey Badger — he came out [and] had two picks earlier in the game that kind of switched the tides of the game for us.
“But it just wasn’t enough.”