COLTS BLOG-TE DALLAS CLARK

Seventh-Year Veteran Tight End Dallas Clark will blog on www.colts.com bi-weekly throughout the season. In this installment, Clark discusses the team's progress in camp and why preseason games are so important.

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Colts TE Dallas Clark Blog-August 14

We've been at camp now going at it for a little over a week, and you're starting to get sick of practicing against one another and you kind of want to see where you're at as a team. Obviously our main focus is that season opener against Jacksonville, but to get there you have to take the steps, and this first preseason game is one of those steps. It's great for the players to get out there and get going, and it's great for the fans to get back and see where we're at and just building up getting ready for the season. I think the most important thing about it is the rookies and the younger guys taking advantage of the opportunity, because they'll play the majority of the game and get to experience that game-type atmosphere and to see how they respond. I think that's the best way for them to show the coaches what they can do.

I remember my first preseason game, and the experience was different because it was in Champaign, Illinois. We were playing the Bears and they were re-doing Soldier Field, so we played down at the University of Illinois' field. That right there was a little different because I had played there in college, so it wasn't really the NFL experience I was looking for coming out of the gate. All that being said, it was still very nerve-racking, very scary. It was a whole new ballgame, no coaches there, just you and 10 of your teammates on the field, and you either knew what you were doing or you didn't. And you prayed that you did. It was exciting for me, though. I caught a couple of passes and got into the flow after awhile. But I was definitely full of all kinds of emotions. It's amazing now after seven years how you know what those younger guys are going through when they look at a preseason game. And as a veteran, it's totally different. We're not out there for too long and then start rotating. But as a rookie, it's huge, and it's a great opportunity for you to go out there and make a statement. So it was all that, wrapped up. But it was great, a very, very fun game.

I think we've gotten good work done here at camp. I think the team has improved every practice, and that's the most important thing. I think the young guys are picking it up quickly. We're flying around, we're playing fast, which is really exciting to see. All that said, it's kind of hard to tell because we have nothing to gauge. I think that's why this week is so important with the game, where you can go out there and have more things to learn from and more things to see—different defenses and whatever Minnesota is going to throw at us. I think that's where preseason games are good, they're a good way to kind of just see where you're progressing and see where you're at as a team. And it gives you a chance to go back to camp and correct the mistakes.

I will keep updating you every couple of Fridays here throughout the season. GO COLTS!

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