No one in the jubilant Rams locker room Sunday in Indianapolis could’ve been happier about the team’s 38-8 victory than quarterback Kellen Clemens. Not Tavon Ausin. Not Jeff Fisher. No one. Clemens has waited a long time between victories as a starting NFL quarterback. In fact, one must go all the way back to Dec. 13, 2009, when as a member of the New York Jets, Clemens started and led the Jets to a 26-3 triumph over Tampa Bay. Most of his eight-year NFL career has been as a backup. He did start eight games for the Jets as a second-year player in 2007. But over the next five seasons, from 2008 through 2012, he started only four times and threw only 127 passes. “Well, it’s fun to play,” Clemens said. “You don’t generally sign up just for practice. It’s fun to be out there, but again, the circumstances aren’t what anybody wants because obviously Sam’s (Bradford) the man. But, I’m enjoying the opportunity.” When Bradford went down with a season-ending knee injury Oct. 20 at Carolina, the Rams added a couple of quarterbacks off the street in Austin Davis and Brady Quinn. In doing so, Fisher basically decided that Clemens would be the guy to get them through the final nine games of this season. “That means a lot, there’s no question about that,” Clemens said. “It means a lot to have him believe in me, and I think that this locker room believes in me. So, that certainly makes the transition easier for a guy in my position.” In his three starts since Bradford’s injury, Clemens has gotten better each time out. After close, wrenching losses to Seattle and Tennessee, the Rams registered one of the biggest upsets of the 2013 NFL season in demolishing the Colts. Clemens threw only 16 passes, but they were good for 247 yards, a career-high two touchdowns and a career-high passer rating of 140.6. “Continuity’s huge,” said Rams general manager Les Snead. “You can talk about physical skills all you want. But this guy, he knows our players, he knows our scheme, and he’s helped teach it to those players backwards and forwards.” That continuity was one of the big reasons the Rams decided to go to Clemens midway through the season.
Clemens settling in as starter for Rams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Nov 16