If there were any doubts about whether or not “Big Play” Clay was truly a fitting nickname for Miami Dolphins’ tight end Charles Clay, those doubts were quickly put to rest last Sunday afternoon.
With the game tied at 10, Ryan Tannehill dropped back and hit his tight end on a 5-yard out-route. But instead of settling for what was given to him, Clay quickly planted, turned up field, broke a few tackles and before everyone in the stadium knew it, had gone 39-yard for the score.
“At the time, all I was thinking was, I caught the ball and just getting north and south as fast as I could,” Clay told the Finsiders in an interview. “Obviously, being that close to the end zone, you know you see the end zone and you break one tackle—the only thing going through my head is do whatever you can to get in this end zone. At the time, I was just trying to make a play to spark the team and it worked out pretty good.”
I’d say it worked out pretty well indeed, as the Dolphins didn’t look back and would go on and defeat the Chargers, 20-16.
As for Clay, he credits his development as a player to learning from veterans and their work ethics.
“I do a lot of things different this year after playing behind guys like Anthony Fasano and getting to work with Dustin Keller for the time I did,” Clay said. “You see the way those guys carry themselves on and off the field and it goes a long way. You put in the hard work, not only when you’re here, but when you go home. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that good things start to happen whenever you’ve worked that hard. From my dieting, I just try to be a pro, not only in the building, but outside the building as well.”
And then there’s on the field, where Clay prides himself on making things happen.
“My coach always says ‘don’t wait on somebody else to make a play. You be that guy to spark the team,’” Clay said, “And usually, big plays happen after a catch. I hang my hat on making the first guy miss and usually big things will happen.”
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