Clemens has edge with Rams' new offense ..
BY JIM THOMAS
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Two and a half weeks into the offseason conditioning program, and in the middle of the team's first minicamp of the spring, quarterback Kellen Clemens has come parachuting into Rams Park.
"I try not to come to Rams Park unless there's practice the next day," Clemens joked.
Clemens is used to joining the Rams in midstream. Actually, last season it was more like near the end of the stream. With injuries at the quarterback position piling up, Clemens joined the Rams for the final four weeks of the season and ended up starting the final three games.
Now, he's back in St. Louis after signing a one-year deal, giving the Rams three quarterbacks on their offseason roster and with a chance to earn a final roster spot behind starter Sam Bradford.
"He's a really talented quarterback, and with all the work we're going to be doing throughout the offseason, we need the help," coach Jeff Fisher said. "We need the arm, and he's played and he understands the offense.
"So it just gives us a chance to rotate three (quarterbacks) through it right now. You want to be careful with the number of throws at this point in the year, especially with your starter."
Clemens spent five seasons — from 2006 through 2010 — with new Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer when they were both with the New York Jets. So Clemens knew this offense better than any current Rams player as soon as he stepped on the field Wednesday for day two of the Rams' two-day minicamp.
"That's a big benefit," Clemens said. "This offense has evolved and it evolved last year when I wasn't there. So there's some subtleties to get caught up on. But his philosophy and what he wants out of the quarterback position, I certainly know that. The terminology is very similar, but there are some changes."
Clemens got a few questions about the offense from players Wednesday, but none yet from Bradford.
"I've been around some quarterbacks, and Sam Bradford is one of the smartest,'' Clemens said. "I mean, that dude is a sponge. You tell it to him once and it's in there. He is so impressive on so many levels. We're early in the (offensive) install but he's got it down pretty well."
The Rams closed the pre-draft visit portion of the offseason with a local touch Wednesday. Iowa wide receiver Marvin McNutt, who played his high school football at Hazelwood Central, visited Rams Park for the team's "local" pro day for prospects who either grew up in the St. Louis area or played at area colleges.
"It went well," McNutt said. "I came out and ran some routes for the coaches. Had a good time meeting everybody, and had a little physical."
As someone who grew up as a Rams fan cheering on the Greatest Show on Turf, McNutt is very aware of the team's current needs at wide receiver.
"I would definitely like to be a part of that — of that group," McNutt said.
McNutt has been training at the University of Iowa since the NFL scouting combine, but he came in a day early for his Rams visit to see his parents and celebrate his younger brother's birthday. He will return to St. Louis for the draft.
"This is something I'll never forget, but it's also one of those things that you only want to go through once," McNutt said of the lengthy pre-draft process. "Right now it's just a waiting game."
McNutt has good size (6-2½, 216) and improved every year at Iowa once he converted from quarterback. Last season, he caught 82 passes for a school-record 1,315 yards and a school-record 12 touchdown receptions. He projects as a middle-round pick.
Re: Clemens has edge with Rams' new offense ..
I've heard some good things about McNutt in the past few weeks being a solid sleeper at WR. His college numbers have been steadily rising each year as he made the position switch from QB>WR. If we get Blackmon early, McNutt my be gone by the time we pickanother WR but it would be nice to get a surprise in the later rounds too.
Clemens makes sense to p/up at this point, hopefully he never leaves the sideline however.