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Kellen Clemens a Bright Spot Once Again

Posted Aug 16, 2014

The quarterback was poised in the 41-14 loss and was praised by his teammates.

Leading an offense is a tough enough challenge in the league, but leading in one of the most hostile environments in the NFL is even more daunting of a task. 

In Friday night’s 41-14 loss to the Seahawks, quarterback Kellen Clemens took on the challenge with open arms and led his team to their only scores of the night.

“There are some positives that come out of tonight and there are obviously some negatives,” Clemens said.  “We’ll get back to work tomorrow and hopefully build on the positives and get some of the problems fixed.”

After recording a perfect quarterback rating in last week’s showing, Head Coach Mike McCoy was again impressed with his quarterback.

“He did a really nice job once again this week (with) doing certain things and managing the game,” McCoy said.  “He got in the right spots, got us in and out of plays at certain times, and making some plays in the red zone for us.  He scored on the two drives we were down there for us so he’s growing in the system.  That’s something that takes time, but the more he plays the more comfortable he’s going to get.”

Clemens went 14 for 21 for 149-yards and two touchdowns.  He finished the night with a quarterback rating of 118.9 and never flinched despite being under duress for much of the game, getting sacked three times.  His teammates were impressed by his performance and realized protecting him is of the utmost importance.

“He’s a veteran quarterback, and has been for a while in this league, but he stepped in and took some shots,” tight end John Phillips said.  “Unfortunately there’s some stuff we have to clean up to keep him upright and protected, but he took some shots and hung in there, scrambled and made some big throws.  He really hung in there and helped drive that second unit down and score.  I’ve got a lot of respect for him and I think he showed a lot of toughness today.”

While Clemens helped his team drive downfield, a few of the Chargers’ receivers stepped up for big plays.  Clemens gave credit to his corps saying they helped him make those throws.

“(The receivers) did a really great job,” he said.  “That’s a good defense we were going against tonight, they play really good coverage and they’re very technically sound.  I was very pleased with our guys.  They gave me some space, they gave me some separation.”

Clemens joined the Chargers in March after spending the past three seasons in St. Louis.  He has been working as hard as he can to be game-ready for this team.  McCoy acknowledged Clemens’ preparation and credits it with his progress.

“He’s learned in a hurry,” McCoy said.  “He’s been on a crash-course since he got here when we started the OTAs and offseason program.  He’s a very intelligent player and has picked up the system.  He’s been great in the room with Philip (Rivers), and Philip’s a great guy to learn from.  Being in the room with Brad (Sorensen), (Quarterbacks Coach) Nick (Sirianni) and (Offensive Coordinator) Frank (Reich) everyday, it’s a great room and he fits right in.”

Despite being a bright spot in a dull night, Clemens knows there’s always room for improvement.  The former Ram is all-too familiar with his former NFC West rival Seattle and mentioned how this game is just study-material to prep for the Chargers-Seahawks Week 2 matchup.

“(Playing physical is) what they do and they’re good at it,” he said.  “But I think nobody shows everything in these preseason games so I don’t think there’s a reason to panic.  We’ll take a look at the film to see what we can do to get ready to face them in Week 2.”

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