Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Bill Polian says Dallas Clark still important player

Ex-Colt GM sees Clark's upside

By Stephen F. Holder

August 7, 2012

Former Colts general manager Bill Polian, visiting Bucs camp Monday with Sirius NFL Radio, offered his sentiments while watching practice.

Polian is uniquely qualified to address free-agent signee TE Dallas Clark, who was a Colt until last season — also Polian's last with the team.

As he watched Clark, 33, have another good practice, Polian seemed convinced Clark could be an important asset if healthy.

"He's still as good a player as you can find," Polian said. "The Dallas Clark intangibles are off the charts. If you drew up a football player and said I want the guy to have a love for the game, great work ethic, smarts, cares about football and his teammates, tough — if you looked all of those up, his picture comes up. He's as good as it gets in that regard. And he is, and was, exceptionally talented. He's as talented as any receiving tight end as there's ever been in the league.

"The only question is his health."

It's a big question considering how much time Clark has missed in the past two seasons — 15 of 32 games — but Polian has a theory on why Clark looks so good.

"Maybe the fact that he had that layoff last year might actually be good for him," Polian said of Clark, who played six games in 2010. "The 100-catch season (in 2009) took a real toll. You don't catch 100 balls down the middle and not take a lot of hits. Hopefully he's back and feeling better and if he stays healthy, he's a great addition to the football team on and off the field. He's as good as it gets."

Polian also addressed coach Greg Schiano's heavy-handed approach.

"That's exactly what this team needed," Polian said. "This is a team that needs discipline. They have to cut out the penalties and the mistakes — all the things that don't help you win. He knows how to win and I don't doubt that he'll be successful."

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