Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Rams to wait and see on backup QBs
By Nick Wagoner
It's become a sort of yearly NFL scouting combine tradition for St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher to be asked about the team's backup quarterback situation.
In 2013, Fisher wasn't shy about offering the team's plans behind starter Sam Bradford. Young Austin Davis spent a season under the apprenticeship of Bradford and Kellen Clemens in 2012, and the Rams had high hopes that he could become the developmental prospect that would serve as the primary backup in 2013.
When asked about Clemens' future with the team then, Fisher indicated that Clemens' future was up in the air.
"Well, we've got Austin Davis," Fisher said then. "I was really happy with his progress. Still there's a possibility that we would bring Kellen back. Kellen's an outstanding locker room guy, and very competitive. And if that were the case we'd probably flip things to where Austin would be (No.) 2, Kellen would be 3."
Before even waiting to see how Davis was progressing in Organized Team Activities and the offseason program, the Rams opted to bring Clemens back to the fold. From there, Davis never really seemed to take hold of the No. 2 job and make it his own.
Davis and Clemens competed throughout training camp and the preseason with Clemens ultimately winning the job and Davis released. It wasn't until Bradford suffered a season ending knee injury against Carolina that Davis came back, and actually became the No. 2 ... behind Clemens.
This time around, Fisher offered nothing even remotely detailed on what the Rams hope to do behind Bradford, though the position again figures to be up for grabs.
"We've got obviously two different ways to solve that second-to-possibly-third quarterback position, and that's our free agency process and also through the draft," Fisher said. "So we're just discussing."
All signs still point to the Rams adding a quarterback in the middle rounds of the draft. Someone like Georgia's Aaron Murray or Wyoming's Brett Smith might fit the mold of the mid-level signal caller the Rams could invest in.
Clemens is to be an unrestricted free agent. After his better-than-expected performance in Bradford's stead, bringing Clemens back cheap would be a logical move.
From my perspective, Clemens is worth bringing back because of his knowledge of the offense, locker room presence and ability to step in should Bradford find himself injured again. But the ideal plan would be to have Clemens helping groom a drafted quarterback who could eventually surpass him as the No. 2 quarterback at some point in 2014 and possibly even push Bradford in future seasons.