Saturday, November 9, 2013
Morning Ram-blings: Clemens' approach
By Nick Wagoner
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- St. Louis Rams fans accustomed to seeing a quarterback spend most of his time in the pocket exhausting all passing options before taking off and running might have been taken aback the past two weeks watching Kellen Clemens play the position.
That's because Clemens has a whole different approach to playing the position.
Asked this week whether he's more "fearless" than other quarterbacks, Clemens offered a typically witty, humorous response tinged with plenty of his own reality.
“I’m just not as smart as those other guys, probably," Clemens said, a grin creeping across his face. "I don’t know. First downs ... every yard is hard to come by in this league. So, if I have an opportunity to go and move forward, I’m going to try to move forward."
Clemens officially has just three rushes for a total of 27 yards in his two starts this season, but he's also proved more than willing to use his legs to buy time and attempt to throw it down the field.
When Clemens does take off, he generally doesn't care to slide, either. On one run last week, he did slide, but didn't get the call for a late hit when he was hit after sliding, as perhaps the officials were surprised to see him do it.
Clemens has some thoughts on where that mentality comes from.
"I think that just kind of maybe goes back to the way that I was raised. I grew up on a ranch," Clemens said. "You get beat up. You get some bumps, you get bruises. I was running from mother cows from the time that I was six years old and on. That’s just kind of part of who I am. That’s how I play the game.”
Aside from a late fumble that set up Tennessee's winning score, Clemens played a pretty solid game last week. So long as his approach stays fearless and doesn't turn to reckless, Clemens can keep the Rams in position to steal some victories down the stretch.
A roundup of the Rams' stories appearing on ESPN.com on Friday. ... After the Ram-blings, we took a look at how the three Rams remaining on the roster from Richie Incognito's time with the team viewed him as a teammate. ... Next, we jumped into the expected increase in playing time for rookie receiver Stedman Bailey, and what the Rams could use from him in his added opportunities. ... Finally, it was an injury roundup with tight end Lance Kendricks doubtful for Sunday because of a fractured finger.
Lots of good reads here on ESPN.com about the Richie Incognito story:
First, this column from Jason Whitlock explores the issue on some deeper levels.
Liz Merrill provides a lot of insight into who Incognito is, including some personal experiences.
All 32 NFL Nation reporters contributed to this survey of players on how to handle things in the locker room.
Likewise, this survey offered some interesting results on who players would rather have as a teammate between Incognito and Jonathan Martin.
Great read from Nate Latsch on FoxSportsMidwest.com on a special friendship formed between Rams rookie receiver Tavon Austin and a local high school student.
In the same space, a preview of Sunday's game from the Associated Press.
Rams defensive end Robert Quinn chatted with fans at stlouisrams.com on Friday.
At stltoday.com, Joe Lyons writes about Andrew Luck's ability to pull out victories late in games.
Bryan Burwell and Jim Thomas discuss the Colts-Rams matchup and Incognito's issues.