Clark makes several impressive grabs

Updated: July 31, 2010, 1:32 AM ET
By Melissa Isaacson | ESPNChicago.com

BOURBONNAIS -- To the uninitiated, the Bears' first training camp session Friday was a tight end-geared passing offense in full display.

Desmond Clark, Greg Olsen and Richard Angulo put on a show in the first public exhibition of the team's offense under new coordinator Mike Martz, with Clark, in particular, making catch after dazzling catch.

The eighth-year Bears veteran played it straight after practice, however, saying it was all a big smoke screen.

"We're just trying to throw people off, that's all it is," he said. "We're not getting the ball this year … I mean, that's what everybody says so it must be true."

Bears coach Lovie Smith has heard the same thing.

"[But] the tight ends were the only guys you guys [in the media] were talking to today so it was good to see all them make plays. … The tight ends will be a big part of our offense and today we really concentrated on [them]."

As for Clark, in particular, he caught a one-hander and leapt for another from Caleb Hanie and later in team drills, had several acrobatic grabs from Jay Cutler.

"Every year I've been here, every day I've been a head coach here, he's been here making plays," Smith said.

Clark, who is technically third on the depth chart, clearly feels he must still make an impression.

"I'm trying to establish a role right now," Clark said. "That's all I can do right now, is just to show I can play in the offense. I'll leave it up to the coaches to clear the road for me but first I've got to show them what I can do because right now, that's what everybody is doing … Nobody is set right now in stone except maybe Jay and Brian. Everybody else is trying to clear the road for themselves.

To me, that's the whole purpose of training camp, especially coming in lower than I've ever been on the depth chart since my first year in the league. I'm just coming out trying to fight my way out."

Melissa Isaacson is a columnist for ESPNChicago.com

Melissa Isaacson

Columnist, ESPNChicago.com
Melissa Isaacson is a columnist for espnW.com, ESPN Chicago and ESPN.com. The award-winning writer has covered Chicago sports for most of her 31-year career, including at the Chicago Tribune before joining ESPN in 2009. Isaacson has also covered tennis since 1986.

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