(FootballStL) -- Kellen Clemens might not be the NFL’s best running quarterback, but it won’t be for lack of effort or courage. Clemens has tucked the ball under his arm and taken off running three times in his two games as the Rams starter. He’s gained 27 yards on those three carries, but has also taken some big hits at the end of his runs. But he’d rather keep running to rack up yards, than slide and avoid a tackle.
“I’m just not as smart as those other guys, probably,” said Clemens. “I don’t know. First downs…every yard is hard to come by in this league. So, if I have an opportunity to go and move forward, I’m going to try to move forward. I think that just kind of maybe goes back to the way that I was raised. I grew up on a ranch. You get beat up. You get some bumps, you get bruises. I was running from mother cows from the time that I was six years old and on. That’s just kind of part of who I am. That’s how I play the game.”
Clemens is a sixth generation cattle rancher from Burns, Oregon. He grew up herding cattle on his family’s 3,500 acre ranch, helping tend to more than 100 head of cattle.
He was a USA Today All American High School player, and went on to enjoy a stellar career at the University of Oregon where he broke some of NFL Hall of Famer Dan Fout’s passing records. Clemens was a second round draft pick of the New York Jets in 2006, but has never been able to earn a full time starting job in the NFL. He’s in his 8th year as a back-up, and has accumulated a total of 8 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions. His career quarterback rating is 62.1.
Clemens will get his third start for the Rams on Sunday at Indianapolis. He’s coming off a game against Tennessee in which he enjoyed one of his best days ever as a pro. Clemens completed 20 of 35 passes for 210 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He says getting the chance to practice every day with the other first stringers has helped more than anything.
“I think at this point what happens is reps start accruing. I’ve had two weeks now of actually getting reps with the No. 1 wide receivers, No. 1 tight ends. So, those reps are starting to accrue and pay dividends. We got a little bit better from Week 1 to Week 2. We’ve got to do even better this week.”