First preseason game important for Clemens

Contrary to last training camp, Eric Mangini has made no secret who the Jets starting quarterback will be opening day, and his name is not Kellen Clemens.

With his role solidified as backup, Clemens will see the bulk of the workload under center during tomorrow night's preseason contest against the Atlanta Falcons. Although the physical attributes of starting quarterback Chad Pennington are often doubted, the cerebral nature of his game, and his solid grasp of the offense rarely are. Given the complexities of the position, the latter is arguably more important than the former.

It is these complexities that Kellen Clemens is just now starting to get a feel for.

"Being in my second year, I'm trying to look at a lot of the intricacies of the offense and dive deeper into some of the run-blocking schemes, the pass protection- how we block in certain looks" Clemens said. "Mentally I have been trying to expand my knowledge of the offense in that aspect."

Although his feel for this intricate offense has improved, Clemens has not looked all that sharp during camp. He has struggled to maintain a tight spiral on his throws and perform with consistency.

Despite his sporadic play, he is currently slated as the backup quarterback to Pennington. However, newly-acquired Marques Tuiasosopo has looked good thus far, and with six years of NFL experience, is also going to make a strong case for the backup spot.

Friday night is important in the maturation process of Clemens. Additional playing time means more opportunities for the second-year pro to demonstrate how far his grasp of the offense has come, and how much progress still needs to be made.

Look for Kellen Clemens to play close to two quarters of Friday night's game, more than any other Jets quarterback.


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