Frank Clark feels as if he’s back home in returning to the Seahawks

FILE - Denver Broncos' Frank Clark plays against the Las Vegas Raiders during an NFL football game Sept. 10, 2023, in Denver. The Seattle Seahawks are reuniting with Clark, bringing the veteran back to the team he started his NFL career with. Clark became a free agent after he was released by Denver earlier this month. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Frank Clark didn’t question whether he’d be ready to play this Sunday just days after making his return to the Seattle Seahawks.

“Hell yeah. I got to wear those throwbacks. I told coach (Pete) Carroll, ‘I got to wear that.’” Clark said on Thursday, three days before the Seahawks face Cleveland wearing their throwback uniforms for the first time.

The veteran defensive end, who spent the first four seasons of his career with the Seahawks, returned to Seattle this week fulfilling a desire to once again play for the team that gave him his NFL start.

It’s been nearly five years since Clark was a part of the Seahawks, but walking back into their practice facility on Thursday felt like a return home.

Clark spent the first four seasons of his career with Seattle after being a second-round pick in 2015 before being traded to Kansas City prior to the 2019 season.

Clark says he’s returning as a smarter, more mature player than he was here the first time around.

“That’s always been one of my goals is to get back to Seattle at some point in my career,” Clark said. “Going through my first stint here, I wanted to be here for the rest of my career.”

Bringing back Clark became a need for Seattle after Uchenna Nwosu suffered a pectoral injury last week against Arizona that will require surgery and likely sideline him for the rest of the regular season. Nwosu was placed on injured reserve to clear a roster spot for Clark to sign.

Clark was available after being released by the Broncos earlier this month after playing in just two games for Denver.

“It’s more about the mental part. I feel like I was a little bit more immature about four, five years ago. There was a lot of things about the game that I didn’t really understand.”

What Seattle is hoping to get is a veteran presence with a little pass rush flare that can also help keep the Seahawks among the best teams in the league at stopping the run.

While Nwosu’s pass rush numbers were down some from last season, he was doing an excellent job of setting edges and helping with a run defense that is third in the league in giving up 3.49 yards per rush.

Clark, who had 13½ sacks his final season with Seattle, will be in a rotation with Boye Mafe, Darrell Taylor and Derick Hall playing the edge position in Seattle’s defense.

“He knows technique-wise and all of things and expectations of the position. A lot of it is just getting caught up on lingo and things of that nature,” Seattle defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt said. “Frank was always a sharp guy, so I don’t expect there to be any issues.”