Tight end Dallas Clark admitted Tuesday he was relieved to make the 53-man roster. The Ravens cut veteran Visanthe Shiancoe and kept Clark, who is still searching for a comfort level in the offense.
Asked if he felt certain that he would stick, Clark shook his head and said, “No”, emphatically.
“I think (Joe) Flacco’s about the only one that’s guaranteed on the 53,” Clark added. “That’s the NFL. That’s the beauty, and that’s why even for a year-11 guy like me, it’s still special to make a team. You’re not promised anything. This is a tough business to keep a business in. Every day you got to bring your best. If you don’t, you get fired.”
It will be interesting to see how Clark fits into the offense, and how much he plays Thursday night. He may be used exclusively in passing situations, he could be used in two tight-end sets with Ed Dickson, or Clark could get the bulk of the time at tight end to keep Dickson (hamstring) from re-aggravating his injury.
Clark can play the traditional tight end spot, but he also has the versatility to line up in the slot. However, he is still learning nuances of the Ravens’ offense, which can prevent him from playing instinctively.
During the preseason, the Ravens had the luxury to be patient with Clark. During the regular season, that will change.
“I’m getting more and more comfortable every day,” Clark said. “I want to be out there not thinking at all. If you think, you’re getting beat, you’re a step behind. You got to go out there and react. I’m getting more and more to that point. It’s going to keep taking time. Just keep working, and it will come.”
The Ravens are hoping the regular season brings out Clark’s best.