Brian Clark has waited for his opportunity to make an impact for the Bucs all season. When the chance arrived Sunday, the Tampa native and Chamberlain High graduate made the most of it. Late in the fourth quarter, Clark raced in from the left side and blocked Michael Koenen's punt on fourth and 7 from the Atlanta 46. It was a play devised during the game by special teams coach Rich Bisaccia. Clark got his right hand on the ball, causing it to flutter to the ground. It was scooped up at the 40 by Sabby Piscitelli, who returned it 18 yards to the Atlanta 22. It looked as if Clark's play would pave the way to a comeback victory. But the Bucs settled for a field goal to tie the score at 10 in the final minute of regulation, then fell 13-10 in overtime. Clark, who turns 25 next week, was understandably in no mood to bask in any glory after the game. But he spoke about the play:
Can you describe how that play developed?
Well, our coach made the decision from watching some of the film and some of the pictures during the game. He just noticed that the wing on that side was lining up a little bit tight. He said to come off the edge and I figured I could make a play. So I was able to come through for him.
So it happened just the way it was drawn up?
Yeah. Coach Bisaccia just wanted everybody else to prepare for a return, just in case I didn't get it. I was just the sole rusher. That's the way he set it up and I was able to cash in for him.
What did you feel when you made contact?
Just a whole lot of pressure going away. I knew going into (the play) that there was a possibility of it. I just had to stay low and once I got past the guy, I just reached my hand out there and made contact.
When you came off the field, was the feeling on the sideline that you were going to win the game?
Yeah, I think that was the vibe. Just the situation where we were in on the field. But unfortunately we weren't able to cash it in as far as getting six or seven points.
Is that you're biggest play in this league?
Have you blocked any kicks before?
No. … At N.C. State, where I went to college, there were a lot of blocked punts. But I was never really a part of it. It's just too bad we couldn't … win. That's the only unfortunate thing.
As a young guy who's trying to get noticed, what does it mean for you to make this play?
It's just one of those things that's erased already in my mind, just because we weren't able to pull out the win. I mean, it means something as far as individually. But it's not an individual game. So I'm just kind of moving on. People were congratulating me. And I appreciated it. But at the same time, we're 9-5 and I'm not too happy about that.