Giving interviews and getting lessons

Originally Published: January 27, 2005
By Mark Clayton | Special to ESPN.com

MOBILE, Ala. -- My Senior Bowl week is going great. I'm enjoying this whole process and really having a lot of fun. It's hard to contain how excited I am. God could have put anybody else here but he chose me. Every time I go for an interview with a team, I'm always 15 minutes early!

Speaking of interviews, on Tuesday night I ended up interviewing with Miami Dolphins receivers coach Charlie Baggett and Kansas City Chiefs receivers coach Charlie Joiner. It was my second interview with the Dolphins (my first interview with Miami was on Sunday). They had me draw up a play. So of course I drew up a touchdown play! It was 3 wide, 1 tight -- two WRs on one side and a WR and TE on the opposite side. One wideout ran a double-move and was the QB's first option. Behind him was the slot receiver, who ran a seam straight down the field. The other WR ran a 5-yard stop.

I just want to learn as much as I can from him and let him teach me to be as explosive as I can be. His brain is just full of stuff. I'm all ears. Anything he says is sticking to me.
Mark Clayton, on working with WR coach Fred Biletnikoff

I also showed how it would work against different defenses. The double-move by the first WR is a possible TD because the QB is looking and pumping over there, which will get the safety out of the way, and the slot receiver running up the seam basically replaces the safety. If the QB is on top of it, he can turn right to the seam and hit it. The third thing, if the seam is not there, the QB can do is hit the hitch. He thought it was a nice play.

The KC interview was my first with the Chiefs so they just asked about personal stuff -- background, family, etc.

Wednesday morning I got up, ate breakfast and had meetings. We watched Tuesday's practice. They look at whether you got off the ball fast, your depth route -- that on an 18-yard route you're not running 15 yards. They look at every route and whether everyone made the right reads.

Fred Biletnikoff is the receivers coach I've been working with and he has been outstanding. I've learned so much from him. I can only imagine what he would teach me if I played for him. He just makes the game seem so easy. He taught me about my stance at the line of scrimmage. I have a tendency to go pigeon-toed. He told me to straighten up because I have to straighten it when I start running anyway. I was like, "Yeah, OK!" He even went up to the arms. He just told me to relax and bend at the elbows. "That's all you need! Keep it tight!" he would tell me. When you come out of your stance it's like coming off the blocks for the 100-yard dash. You have to be as explosive as you can be.

Sometimes this week I would be at the line, worrying about getting my feet straight, and I would miss the snap! The quarterback would snap the ball and I'd be like, "Whoops!" Then I would take off.

I just want to learn as much as I can from him and let him teach me to be as explosive as I can be. His brain is just full of stuff. I'm all ears. Anything he says is sticking to me.

Wednesday afternoon I had practice. We had a real grasp of the game plan by then so it was a good practice. My timing with the QBs has been good. I'm getting adjusted to how the ball comes out of their hands. Wednesday afternoon I got to play some PlayStation, which was nice, and Wednesday night I had another meeting with Kansas City. It was a lengthy meeting. They mainly just wanted to talk more about personal stuff.

Thursday practice we worked mainly on situational stuff like goal line, red zone, etc. We did an eight-play drive from the 50-yard line to try to replicate a game situation.

There is still room for improvement mentally but I'm ready for the game. I just hope everything from this week carries over into the game so we can come out victorious. The whole group is excited. My roommate is Auburn running back Carnell Williams so the trash talk has already begun.

After this weekend I'm heading to Miami for an All-Star Challenge. It's like an obstacle course thing. It looks pretty fun. Then it's off to Phoenix to keep working out so I can be as fast as possible for the combine.

Editor's note: Oklahoma wide receiver Mark Clayton is keeping a diary for ESPN.com during Senior Bowl week.

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