A conversation with Kellen Clemens

Kellen Clemens very well could be the Jets starting quarterback of the future. Here is a recent chat with the Oregon product, who is still isn't 100 percent healed from a broken leg suffered as a senior:

Q)Did you think there was a good chance the Jets would pick you based on how much interest they showed in you prior to the draft? Clemens: I had an idea because they made the trip while they were making their rounds around the country.

I thought I had a pretty good visit with Coach Schottenheimer. I thought definitely the Jets were a possibility.

Q)When the Jets passed on Matt Leinart, did you start to think, even more, you could end up in New York?

Clemens: I kind of knew they would try to take a QB, but I did not know if they were going to take one with their fourth pick. So when they passed on Matt, I figured it (a quarterback) might be one of their second or third round picks, when they would try to sneak someone in. Passing on Leinart left the door open for me, and I was excited about that.

Q)Are you better at the short or deep game?

Clemens: I am definitely more proficient in the short game, but my deep ball and vertical passing game have improved immensely over the last year and a half. I am a QB who has other abilities that include the deep and vertical look.

Q)What can you tell us about the leg injury that ended you senior year prematurely?

Clemens: I had a broken left fibula that happened in the eighth game of the year against Arizona. I was pulled down by a defensive end. He pulled me down by my shoulder pads and my front legs went down just below the knee and it broke my left fibula.

Q)Did you not get a lot of attention out West since you were in the same conference as Leinart?

Clemens: Well it's tough, but he had a 37-2 record and has a Heisman trophy in his back pocket, so you kind of expect to play in his shadow. Drew Olson from UCLA and I just made sure we took care of business and tried to keep our teams winning. Once the season gets going you can't be worrying about what the other guys are doing.

Q)You seemed to thrive in the spread offense as a senior . . .

Clemens: That was new for my senior year. It was something that our coach there was most comfortable with. I felt good in it, but I felt comfortable in the offenses before. I can adjust and make the most of [any offense].

Q)Is your height ever a problem?

Clemens: Anytime anyone wants to look at the negative on me, that's generally the thing that comes up. I can't change that, so I'll focus elsewhere. My height is 6'5/8".

Q)Are you 100 percent recovered from you leg injury?

Clemens: I am 95 percent.

Q)New York must be a stark contrast to where you come from . . .

Clemens: I've actually never been to New York, so this is a first for me on a lot of different levels. My family owns a ranch out in Oregon. It is 3,500 acres with about 100 head of cows.

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