I was quick to doubt Kellen Clemens’ ability to be effective and efficient. In two starts for the St. Louis Rams this season, he really hasn’t convinced me that he is can be more than a game manager. He improved from his first start to his second, but after his hot start against the Tennessee Titans going 7-7 on pass attempts, he ended up going 13 for his next 28.
Clemens finished the game with 210 yards passing for an average of 10.5 yards per completion. His average of 6 yards per attempt were similar to his and Sam Bradford’s career averages. Clemens used Zac Stacy as a dump off option 6 times for 51 yards. He was trying to play it safe for most of the game and it nearly paid off until a costly 4th quarter fumble led to the Titans winning touchdown on the next play.
On the next drive Clemens went 0-3 on passes missing WR Austin Pettis twice on 3rd and 4th down. Clemens fumble wasn’t the only factor in the Rams losing effort, but it came at the absolute worst time. He played well enough for the team to win thanks to Zac Stacy’s powerful performance. Clemens has earned another start, but will have to limit turnovers as he has lost 2 fumbles and 2 interceptions in 2 starts this season.
The biggest difference between Clemens and Bradford is Clemens’ willingness to move his feet and extend plays. He does a nice job keeping plays alive even though he isn’t the most athletic players on the field. He knows the playbook extremely well and does a nice job controlling the offense. His confidence shows in the huddle and the offensive line’s protection has been pretty solid with him calling plays. Part of the reason the line looks better might be due to the fact that Clemens isn’t acting like a statue after the snap. When he buys time he usually dumps it instead of staying focused downfield.
St. Louis doesn’t face any pushover teams for the next few weeks so it would be in their best interest to limit Clemens’ pass attempts. Clemens is a game manager at best and not a player that you want to be a focal point of the offense.