George Kittle

Former tight end Clark enthusiastic about growth of Kittle's TEU

NBC Universal, Inc.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — NFL alum Dallas Clark enjoyed his second visit to Tight End University, the annual summit led by 49ers star George Kittle.

The longtime Indianapolis Colts tight end shared that he thoroughly enjoyed his trip to the two-day event and believes that that his fellow Iowa product is doing an incredible job of promoting the importance of the position.

“He created [National] Tight Ends day,” Clark told NBC Sports Bay Area. “The position has always been tough, but I think he’s brought a lot of attention to the position because, [I’m] biased, I think it’s the best position on the field.”

Clark joined fellow alumni Rob Gronkowski, Greg Olsen and Jordan Reed on the field teaching the younger attendees during on-field work. After classroom sessions, players went onto the field learning drills with the entire group huddled up.

Once the players broke up into smaller groups, Clark helped lead them through the drills. The 11-year former NFL player also took part in several of the drills that involved route running while catching passes from 49ers quarterbacks Trey Lance and Sam Darnold.

“It is just amazing how much it keeps growing,” Clark said of the event. “Not just the number of tight ends but the knowledge, the wealth of experience that comes back. Rob Gronkowski was here and it doesn’t get much better than that. I was kind of a [fan boy] yesterday seeing him and just asking him a bunch of questions."

Kittle believes the sharing of knowledge and techniques that happens when the group convenes in Nashville is important for players and their development. Clark agrees understanding the rigors and responsibility of the job.

“I think it’s the second hardest besides the quarterback and I know I’d a lot of arguments about that but let’s keep it real," Clark said. “We have to block 290-pound, grown, angry humans and then we have to get open on safeties, corners and linebackers.

“So to do all of that, it’s a versatile style of athlete. These guys are the best of the best and you can see why they can do what they do. They have just god-given talent and it’s a beautiful position, and it should be recognized like George is promoting it.” 

Clark added that maybe the most enjoyable part of TEU is the boost of confidence he gets from being around all of the current players. When asked if it made him want to put his game cleats back on, a smile crept across the former tight end's face.

“You think?” Clark said. “I’m 44 years old trying to act like these beasts and freaks of dudes.

"A lot of them are very sweet, ‘Hey why aren’t you still playing?’ I’m like 'Because I’m 44 years old.' But there’s nothing better than the thing that just pumps up the ego. I feel like I’m 20 again and It’s a very addicting environment and it’s special.”

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