Plenty to prove: Packers DT Clark knows what’s at stake

National News

Packers DT Kenny Clark is in a contract year, and he knows what's at stake individually and as a team this season.

GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 16: Kenny Clark #97 of the Green Bay Packers in action during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on September 16, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The game ended in a 29-29 tie. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

GREEN BAY, Wis (WFRV) – The lasting memory of last season was the San Francisco 49ers thrashing of the Packers defense in the NFC championship game on the ground to the tune of 285 yards and an insurmountable 27 to nothing lead at halftime.

Kenny Clark remembers it well and Green Bay’s DT doesn’t mince words when describing how the game unfolded.

“They had a great game plan. Everybody picked the wrong time to have the worst game. This year we don’t plan on guys being able to run the ball.”

Clark was part of a defense that ranked 22nd against the run in 2019 allowing just over 120 yards per game, but Clark is confident that his group will improve this season.

“There are stretches where we were dominating against the run and I just think, even starting with me, I have to be more consistent. Everybody has to be more consistent and we have to make plays where we are supposed to make the plays. And sometimes you just have to have the mentality where you just gotta make plays when it’s not asked of us.”

The 2019 Pro Bowler is in a contract year, but much like his demeanor off the field, he won’t let the situation get in the way of his play on it, and he realizes this training camp will definitely be different than ones in the past.

“I think the reps that we get at practice are going to be crucial going into this first game. You just kind of go back and it’s kind of like college, You get what, three weeks of camp? You don’t get any preseason games. You don’t have anything like that and you just go out there and play that first game.”

The NFL recently came out with their top 100 players list, and while some stars around the league don’t claim to put much stock in it, the Packers defensive stalwart does.

“Sometimes, it messes with my mind because I don’t know what (more) I can do or show,” Clark said. “I don’t know if they respect me as much or it’s because I’m inside and they don’t see. They don’t know the game. They’re not watching the film. They don’t see me on tape as much. I just plan on having another great year. I gotta get back to work and just keep proving myself again this year.”

And if Clark does have another great year, he will get paid like someone who is more than just a player on someone’s top 100 list.

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