A day-by-day Broncos player breakdown is something we've been doing since our days at BroncoTalk nearly a decade ago. This year the tradition continues as we look at the Denver Broncos roster heading into the 2015 season in our 90-in-90 series.
Today we take a look at New Orleans' favorite Denver Bronco - offensive lineman Chris Clark.
Name: Chris Clark
Height: 6-5 Weight: 305 lbs
Age: 29 Experience: 7th
College: Southern Mississippi
Remember how I said I have a clear bias toward liking Montee Ball? Well, I also have a bias toward Chris Clark; I like him because he's from my home away from home, New Orleans, but I don't like him as a right tackle in the NFL. Notice I said right tackle in the NFL and not "player" or "lineman" or anything else. I'm specifically judging him on being a right tackle, which I believe he simply isn't cut out to be playing.
The Good: Chris Clark is entering his 7th year in the NFL. You have to be a decent player to make it seven years, let's get that straightened out right away. However, just because you are decent and provide good depth doesn't mean you should be starting, much less for a super bowl contending team.
Clark played remarkably well as our Left Tackle when Ryan Clady went down two years ago. You remember that team, right? They are the team that went to the Super Bowl. Well, Clark played pretty good on the left side, but that was the left side, not the right side. I've been in epic arguments that playing on the left is different than playing on the right. Look, I don't care if you played on the line in pee-wee football or high school football or division 24 football (you know, the intramural teams that KFC trots on the field against A&W). Your "experience" playing football counts about as much to me as Monica Lewinsky's experience selling cigars. So take your weak arguments of "you can switch from left to right easily, trust me, I use to play" back to the couch where they belong. It's difficult going from left to right or right to left. It just is. You might be able to be decent at both, but you'll never be great at both, and to be a starter in the NFL, you need to be great, period!
The Bad: Yowza, my "The Good" sounded a lot like "The Bad", didn't it? Either way, I think Chris Clark is better suited on the left side of the line. Lets run down a brief (extremely brief) history of Chris Clark the Right Tackle in the NFL shall we?
Drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a right tackle. Quickly disposed of because he couldn't hack it as the right tackle on that amazing line we know as the 2008 Bucs (that my friends, is dripping with sarcasm. The Bucs' line was atrocious, yet Clark couldn't even sniff the practice squad).
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Moved on to the Minnesota Vikings team where again, he rotted away on the practice squad for two years until he was mercifully cut. Again, the Vikings didn't exactly have a juggernaut of a line. Yes, they had Adrian Peterson, but that was about it. He made plays, not the line.
Clark was then picked up by the Denver Broncos after he (no surprise here) cleared waivers, i.e. no team wanted him. Well, he couldn't hack it as a right tackle with the Broncos either and nobody ever heard of him until Clady went down and he filled in quite well for him on the left side of the line.
So there you have it, that's Clark's right tackle career in a nutshell. The TL;DR version is this: Clark isn't very good as a right tackle, but he's decent as a left tackle, and probably best served to be a backup along the line when called upon for injury purposes.
Outlook: What is my outlook? Seriously, I'm struggling here. I see that he's penciled in as our right tackle, but again, we've been there and done that with him before. It just doesn't work. He's too slow to be a tackle and too weak to be a guard. I think Ryan Harris will leap frog Clark and win that role. So really, I think the outlook for Clark will be much needed offensive line depth. He can fill in for Sambrailo if needed, or whoever our left guard is if needed, but I don't want him even sniffing the right tackle spot. That has disaster written all over it. This is tough to write because I like Clark as a person and as a left tackle (and possibly left guard), but I simply don't like him where the team has him (right tackle). So I think his outlook for 2015 will be best suited as either our left tackle/left guard, or a floating lineman in case an injury happens and he needs to fill in.