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Clemens' Preseason This Year Is All Business


Quarterback Kellen Clemens is adjusting to a quieter, more workmanlike preseason this year.

A year ago, he was under the microscope of HBO's hit television series "Hard Knocks" with boisterous head coach Rex Ryan and the New York Jets.

Now he practices and plays in relative anonymity. He watches the Redskins' quarterback competition between Rex Grossman and John Beck from the sidelines, until it's his time to come in and finish out preseason games.

"It's completely different," Clemens said. "The focus here is different. Last year, I knew the Jets' offense inside-and-out and I could focus on other things that go along with playing quarterback. This year, it has been a grind just trying to learn this offense and also learn my teammates."

The quiet environment is a welcome change for Clemens.

"We're flying under the radar right now," he said. "There's not a lot of hype down here. It's all about the all-world [Philadelphia] Eagles, or whatever they're calling them up there. And I think that's fine. We're right where we want to be. We're just down here working hard, getting ready to play the New York Giants on Week 1."

Clemens is listed as the third-stringer behind Beck and Grossman. He should see significant playing time in Thursday's preseason finale vs. Tampa Bay.

So far this preseason, Clemens has played in all three games and completed 13-of-26 passes for 138 yards and one interception. His QB rating is 49.8.

Clemens, 28, joined the Redskins in July as a free agent after playing five years with the Jets. He entered the NFL as the Jets' second-round draft pick (49th overall) in 2006 and was thought to be the long-term solution at quarterback.

In 2007, Clemens started 8-of-10 games and completed 130-of-250 passes for 1,529 yards, five touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He had one of his better games against Washington that year, completing 23-of-42 passes for 226 yards and one touchdown, but he was sacked three times in the Redskins' 23-20 overtime victory.

Clemens was never able to establish himself as the Jets' starting quarterback ahead of Chad Pennington and, later, Mark Sanchez.

For now, Clemens is happy for an opportunity to compete for playing time with the Redskins.
He is hustling to become familiar with the Redskins' playbook and understand what the coaches expect from him.

"I'm very excited to be here," he said. "I really enjoy the teammates and coaches that I've gotten to know so far and I'll just keep continuing to work hard and try to make my mark here."

He is impressed with the caliber of the veterans on the Redskins' roster as well as the leadership skills of Grossman and Beck.

"Obviously, there's already great leadership here in London Fletcher and some of those guys on the defensive side of the ball," Clemens said. "Then you have guys like Chris Cooley and Santana Moss. I think Rex and John do a very good job of taking charge out there on the field. They know their stuff having been in this [offense] for a couple years."

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