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 Colts' first regular-season game and his alma mater's close win last Saturday.

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Colts TE Dallas Clark Blog-September 11

Preseason and training camp are necessary, they're important and they have their purpose, but the season is what we play and prepare for. And it's so nice to get it going. Now everything means something. That's the excitement and the great part about our job, is the season and the challenges that arrive, and we're looking forward to those. It's a fun way to open up the season at home with a division opponent and especially with a great challenge like Jacksonville.

As a player, there are differences between preseason games and regular season games. One of the guys actually asked me last week, about this first week of the regular season, 'Is the intensity different?' And it is, the intensity is amped up a little more. You prepare all week for one opponent, so it's a lot more detailed, a lot more structure in our preparation than we've been doing in preseason. It's intense. The focus and intensity is raised up, and the execution is even more critical. When those rookies go out there, they'll see everything for themselves. I think that's something that you learn by experiencing it.

There is a bittersweet part about starting the regular season, though, and that's the cut-down to the 53-man roster and seeing guys you know get let go. That's the ugly part of this business, and as a rookie, you learn that from day one, the business side of it, when the guy right next to your locker is here one day and gone the next. You kind of wonder what their next step is. You hope that they get picked up by another team and their career continues, but statistics show it's not a long career for a lot of guys. It's sad, the business part of it, but you bust your butt trying to make sure you're not one of those guys.

Finally, I have to talk a little bit about my Iowa Hawkeyes. To the Hawkeye fans out there, we had a close one against UNI (Northern Iowa) and had to block two field goals at the end to seal it. I didn't get to watch the whole game—I don't know why the networks didn't show it, but they don't let me run the networks. Every channel would have had the game on if I did—but they did cut in and I was able to watch the final drive. I was jumping like a madman when they were driving the ball down on that last drive and yelling at the TV. And when they blocked the field goals I was scaring my son because I was losing it. The college pride, it means a lot. You would think after seven years you would kind of lose the excitement for it because I don't really know the players anymore. But I haven't. I think it helps that all the coaches are there still and you want to support them and want to support the school. It's the usual pride that everyone has for their alma mater. But we have to improve…

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

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