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Monday, September 21, 2009
Dolphins on the lookout for Clark



Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Matthew Emmons/US Presswire
The Dolphins will keep a close watch on Colts tight end Dallas Clark.

Unusual occurrences hurt the Miami Dolphins in their season-opening loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

In one game, they committed 31 percent of their turnover output from last year. Pro Bowl left tackle gave up only a half sack less than the total he allowed his entire rookie season.

Add one more uncharacteristic lapse to the list.

Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez caught five passes for 73 yards -- not all that big of a deal on the surface. But three of his receptions were for more than 15 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown.

The Dolphins didn't allow a tight end to score from more than 15 yards out last year.

On Monday night, they'll have to defend another of the NFL's elite receiving ends, Dallas Clark of the Indianapolis Colts.

"The guy is outstanding out in space," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. "You've got to be prepared in man-to-man coverage that they are going to feed him the ball. You've got to get him on the ground in a hurry. He has really strong hands in traffic, and you have to try to win the battle up front, one-on-one with your linebacker, let’s say, on his head."

That would be strong-side outside linebacker Jason Taylor, who's still learning the 3-4 position after so many great years as a 4-3 right defensive end.

Gonzalez led all tight ends with 23 receptions of 15 yards or longer. Clark was tied for fifth with 18.