‘You’ve got to grow up’

‘You’ve got to grow up’

Kansas City chief defensive end Frank Clark says he had a heart-to-heart conversation with coach Andy Reid after last season.

The message: 2021 was not good enough.

“He’s like, ‘I know what kind of player you are. You know what kind of player you are. You didn’t show that this season. Flat-out,'” Clarke said. “I understand That. Me and Coach, we’re very real.”

It was a chat that was part of the domino effect over the past few months, with Clarke revealing Saturday at Chiefs training camp that he quit drinking in February.

That change, as well as other dietary changes – such as cutting down on red meat – have made her noticeably slimmer during training camp. Clarke expects the work to become more explosive after last year’s 4.5-sack campaign.

“It’s obvious. You can go and see the movie, I was so heavy. I had a gut. It looked like I looked sloppy over there, you know what I mean?” Clark said. “The kind of man I am, I am a professional. I understand how this goes. So at the end of the day, you have to come across in a presentable fashion in everything you do. And I like a professional.” In form, I felt I needed to change my body, I needed to change my mental state. And that’s exactly what I did.”

Clarke said he didn’t drink much before this year, but used to let himself go too often in the off-season. That could be having a drink at a restaurant or ordering shots with friends. He noticed that once he stopped consuming alcohol over the past few months, many gastrointestinal problems went away.

“As I’m moving, I’m training, I feel my body responding to me,” Clark said. “I am able to get up, I am able to work at all times of the day, at all times of the night. It was a commitment that I made.”

Clarke said he entered camp last year at 262 pounds — his heaviest since his third year in the NFL. His target this year was to get back into the 250-255 range in an effort to be faster with the ball.

Moving on from alcohol, Clark said, was also part of a big change in her life.

“At some point, you have to grow up,” Clark said. “I have three kids. I have kids watching me every day. I have a 6 year old daughter watching Daddy, watching me to make the right decisions.

“I can’t seem to get drunk anywhere, missing times, missing dates, can’t remember anything that’s important. And so many important events are happening in my life.”

Reed appeared to kick-start the transformation with some brutal honesty. Clark said that the player and coach, in this instance, share a deeper bond because they both grew up in Los Angeles. Because of this, both have always been comfortable being honest.

“I didn’t do my job as I should have – in my opinion – to the best of my ability,” Clarke said of 2021. “In some people’s opinion, it’s an average year. I see average players get five sacks a year or anything. But by my standard, it’s not good enough, and apparently my coach’s For, and I commend them for holding me to that standard.

Clarke, who renegotiated his deal to stay with the Chiefs in the off-season, said he loves Casey and has no interest in going elsewhere for 2022. Part of this was due to the Cincinnati Chiefs ending last season after a home loss. Bengals in AFC Championship.

“We’ve got unfinished business,” Clark said. “I think last year, we gave up a lot of sour taste, had a lot of expectations but didn’t meet our goals.”

Clarke said he’s motivated enough to move on from that disappointment in his eighth year — evidence coming from a months-long effort to improve his body ahead of this season.

“I’m in a great place. Yeah, I’m in a great place,” Clarke said on Saturday. “Like I said, you go through things – you have to go through things. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. Talk about me, I’m a soldier. I never get distracted. I’m a stand-up guy I am not afraid to face the facts.

“But at the end of the day, you go through it, you grow through it. It’s a fact.”

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