Chiefs defensive lineman Frank Clark made his third consecutive Pro Bowl last season. But it was based more on reputation than the season he had.
Even Clark admits last season wasn’t up to his standards with 22 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 14 games.
On Saturday, Clark recounted his March meeting with head coach Andy Reid.
“It was flat out, ‘I know the type of player you are. You know the type of player you are. You didn’t show that this season.’ Flat out,” Clark said, via Pat Sweeney of arrowheadpride.com. “I understand that. Coach Reid, we’re very real. . . . We relate perfectly fine with each other. We both have to work hard. There wasn’t nothing easy in life. I come in last year. I’m going through what I’m going through, but I still have a job to do, and I didn’t do my job like I should have, in my opinion, to my capability. In some people’s opinions, that’s average. That’s an average year. I watch average players get five sacks in a year, but to my standard, that’s not good enough. And obviously to my coaches, and I appreciate them for that, holding me to that standard.”
Many expected the Chiefs to move on from Clark, who was scheduled to have a $19 million cap hit, but he took a huge pay cut to stay. His base salary dropped to $3.725 million, with bonuses and incentives that allow him to make back some of the money.
“I love it here. I love Chiefs Kingdom,” Clark said. “Four years later, I just love it here. I love the teammates. My boy, Chris Jones, one of my best friends, we got unfinished work.
“I feel like last year we left off on a pretty sour taste. (We) had a lot of high hopes but didn’t accomplish our goals, didn’t win the AFC championship, didn’t make it back to the Super Bowl. You know how we are. We got high standards here. We want to set the bar high and keep it there. Like I said, we left on a sour note, and I wanted to come back and finish on a good note.”
Clark said he was too heavy last season, weighing more than 260 pounds at the beginning of the year. He is lighter now after cutting out red meat and alcohol.
“I’m a professional. I understand how this goes,” Clark said. “So at the end of the day, you got to come in a presentable fashion in everything that you do — and me, as a professional, I feel like I need to change my body; I need to change my mental [approach], and that’s exactly what I did.”