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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
Kellen Clemens Focused on Assisting Philip Rivers
The Chargers were in the market for a veteran backup for Philip Rivers.
It appears that Kellen Clemens is an ideal fit.
The newest addition to the Bolts has experience backing up established starters. Clemens relishes the opportunity to be a sounding board for the starter and is eager to provide whatever support he needs. When he’s been thrust onto the playing field he’s had success, most recently starting the final nine games with the St. Louis Rams last season. Overall, Clemens knows what his role is and he embraces it.
“One of the things that I have done really throughout my career, because I really have never started a year as the starter, was have a very candid conversation with the starter and ask what he wants and needs from me,” he explained. “I really see myself as a guy who is here to help Philip in whatever capacity that is. In the past for guys it’s been extra film, or help with younger guys. Whatever it might be, that’s what I’ll do. I just want to win.”
Clemens jumped at the opportunity to join the Bolts in part because he was impressed by what they did in 2013. He recalled watching the playoffs in January when the Bolts defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wild Card game. Clemens said he was impressed by how smooth the offense clicked.
“I remember sitting there watching that game and watching the guys move down the field,” he said. “I’m always watching the offenses. So I’m watching this offense and seeing what they were doing and was thinking, ‘Wow, they’re also without a couple of their top guys’. So I’m really excited to be a part of this. From a distance, this is pretty inviting with the (receivers) they have here. Obviously there is a lot of talent, and I look forward to watching it and being a part of it.”
One key member of the Chargers offense that Clemens is quite familiar with is Danny Woodhead. The two were teammates a number of years ago with the New York Jets, so the quarterback is thrilled to reunite with the running back. Clemens said the two spoke immediately after he agreed to join the Bolts.
“I was with Danny in New York and I’ve always been a Woodhead fan,” he said. “The guy is just a ball player. He’s so much fun to watch. We spoke on Thursday evening and he welcomed me. I had some questions about the area and where he lives and the commute. And then we reminisced a bit about the old days. It was good to talk to him again.”
While he looks forward to being a part of this offense and a strong shoulder for Rivers to lean on when needed, he also recognizes this is a unique chance for him to grow as well.
“If you ask how excited I am on a scale of 1-10, it’s a 10,” Clemens said excitedly. “This is a great opportunity to come to a new organization where I can learn. Obviously Philip has played a ton of football, so it’s a great opportunity to learn from him and expand my game. I want to take in what he already knows. And then there’s Coach (Mike) McCoy, Coach (Frank) Reich and Coach (Nick) Sirianni. They’ve been around some great quarterbacks, some great players and some high-powered offenses. So I’m just going to sit back initially and soak up as much knowledge as I can to prepare myself for spring and training camp. ”