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Danny Clark interview - great read.

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Danny Clark interview - great read.

Post  Big_Pete on Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:39 pm

here is an interview about Danny Clark.

I willl admit I was a bit each way about him, but the more I see, read and find out about him the more I like him.

Clark has an excellent attitude and work ethic


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Player Spotlight: LB Danny Clark

Be sure to check out Danny Clarkís official website, Danny updates his site on a regular basis with journal entries from training camp.

Q: This past off-season you probably had a lot of options concerning your employer for 2008. Why did you pick the Giants?
A: There were several reasons. First, the opportunity of playing for a Super Bowl Champion coming off an amazing season was definitely a big selling point for me. Then there was the city of New York and the metropolitan area and the opportunities it offers. I also am familiar with (Giants head coach) Tom Coughlin, who drafted me when we were in Jacksonville, so it was a great opportunity for me to be reunited with him, and so far this has been a fun training camp for me. And then of course the Giants took very good care of me and my family. Iím very glad to be here. Iím looking forward to making plays and showing the fans and my teammates what I can do.

Q: Did you ever think youíd be saying ďfun campĒ and ďTom CoughlinĒ in the same sentence?A: (Laughs) No, not at all. He was a strict coach back then when he drafted me in 2000 and Iíve often said that the thing I respect about this guy is he kept it consistent. Itís all about us making plays and getting better each time weíre out there on the practice field.

Q: How has Coach Coughlin changed from your first time together, when you were in Jacksonville?
A: Well, heís still that same guy who drops the hammer down and concentrates on the little things, and itís important. At the same time, he knows how to work with the players and their personalities. Thatís what makes it a great fit for not just myself, but for the rest of our team. He expects the best out of you and thatís what wins games.

Q: You played offense in college. What position
A: I played quarterback in college. My dream was to be a NFL quarterback. I wanted to be like Joe Montana. What happened was my coaches said I wasnít consistent enough with my throws so they moved me to free safety during my first week in camp at Illinois. I made some big hits and as I started to gain weight Ė I put on about 20 pounds Ė I moved to linebacker, and Iíve been playing there ever since. did you play and why did you switch to defense?

Q: I understand that the number nine is a special number to you. Why is that?A: My birthday is May 9, my jersey number in Pop Warner was 9 and this is my ninth year in the league. Iím extremely optimistic about this, my ninth season being a stand-out, breakout-type of year for Danny Clark, and Iím just excited about getting things going.

Q: Nine years in the league is pretty impressive. Whatís been the key to your longevity?A: Itís about understanding your strengths and working on your weaknesses. Know the things youíre good at and get better at those things, but also continue to get better at the things youíre not good at. You have to understand that teams are always bringing in younger, faster and stronger kids to take your job every year, so you have to keep proving yourself over and over again. To do that, I have the student mentality. Iím a veteran, but because I take the student mentality and commit myself to learning all over again, I think Iím more receptive to being coached and learning all the new things that help make my game better.

Q: I would think that the student mentality you take must help you with not just the fundamentals but also the mental aspect of the game as it changes from year to year.
A: Definitely. Itís cumulative. Everything that happens from your rookie year onward, you start to understand the evolution of the game. If you get stuck in your ways from four years ago, youíll get left behind. I understand the fact you have to get out there and learn the new concepts. Not much has changed on the whole in the game, but at the same time the speed of the game has changed and a couple of new concepts have evolved. Plus with a new team, you learn new terminology so thereís definitely a lot to absorb.

Q: What should the Giants fans expect from Danny Clark on the field? A: What Giants fans should expect to see from Danny Clark are lots of big hits in which I crush tight ends, running backs, receivers and offensive linemen. Iím a big fan of attacking offensive linemen and fullbacks, and shedding their blocks to make plays. I have an aggressive approach and physical style of play by nature. When you see me, youíd never know that I was once a quarterback because I am not afraid to bang heads and knock the ball out. My goal is to energize our team by making big hits, and to get our fans riled up.

Q: Despite all this talk about making big hits, you seem like such a laid back, mellow guy, at least off the field.
A: I think I am. Iím the nicest guy off the field. On the field, Iím a savage. Iím not a dirty player, but people think I am because Iíll bite, scratch and claw to get you down. My mentality is, ďThat guy must go down.Ē Iím excited about it. This is a great market here to play in. But off the field, I think Iím very friendly. I enjoy meeting new people and working with my community to help make things better for everyone.

Q: I understand you have twin brothers who are currently enlisted in the military and who have been involved with the military action in the Middle East.
A: Thatís right. One of them Ė Joshua, whoís a Marine Ė drove trucks on the front line. He recently got out and is now in the reserves. Heís going to college now. My other brother, Jason, is an electrician with the Air Force, and he re-enlisted. Both of them served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Theyíve been in the service since they were 18. Theyíre 23 now. Iím very proud of my boys.

Q: Having had that experience of seeing loved ones put their lives on the line given the instability over there probably helps put football into perspective for you, Iíd think.
A: It does. These people are 17, 18 years old, and theyíre putting their lives on the line every day. They stare down death nearly every day and they really do a great job of defending our freedom. Knowing what they go through definitely is a humbling experience and one of which Iím appreciative. My brothers and their colleagues are a big reason why I go out and give all I can no matter what I do. And my family is obviously very thankful that theyíre safe.

Q: In addition to football, you have established the ďDanny Clark Foundation.Ē What can you tell me about it?
A: Itís a large umbrella that caters to numerous causes. One thing we do is run programs for youths in lower income communities across the country. We had our two football camps this off-season, one in my hometown of Country Club, IL which was attended by more than 250 kids. Then we had another camp in my wifeís hometown in Mississippi which was attended by more than 400 kids. It was a great opportunity for us to go out and reach out to some communities that need some uplifting of the youth.

We also try to help out first-time homebuyers through the process. My wife (Chasity) runs a seminar for people who are about to purchase their first home, teaching them about the process of buying versus renting. Then thereís our work with families whose children are born prematurely. My son, Danny the V ó we call him Nicky ó was born three months early. Because we know what itís like to sit there and see your child hooked up to machines and to wonder if heís going to make it, we wanted to reach out to families who experience the same thing and offer them a support network. I think a lot of people donít realize just how stressful that situation is because you feel almost helpless. And it gets even worse if your child doesnít make it. So weíre trying to put in place a nationwide support system for parents who need someone to talk to.

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