Monday, November 5, 2007

Making a Kellen

Jets fans are prone to getting ahead of themselves. I think the Mangenius moniker was a little premature, but I'm not one to learn a lesson. If a Jet fan can't get ahead of himself then when can he get excited about anything? With that being said, I'm ready to anoint Kellen Clemens as the best quarterback in the New York.

What about Eli Manning you say? Eli Manning stinks. While he possesses a cannon for an arm, he is not an accurate passer, does not make good decisions, and has the pocket presence of a pair of Umbros. If it weren't for Plexiglass Burress plucking Eli's 500 balls out of the air, he would have plenty of games like this guy. The look on his face after he throws one of his trademark shoelace slants is that of a eight year old kid who was just told that he can't have a third helping of ice cream. At times he seems completely disinterested in playing football. Maybe he really would be rather playing squash.

Clemens has shown me a lot in his two starts. Both starts were against aggressive, blitzing defenses with stand out secondaries. Yes, I understand that Washington just had 50 points hung on their red skins, but games against New England shouldn't count against a teams stats.
He had the team in position to win both games and if his receivers didn't suddenly develop the hands of Venus De Milo (the sculpture not the actress from "Salute Your Shorts") he could easily be 1-1 or 2-0. Yesterday alone Jet receivers dropped 5 balls that would have most likely resulted in points, including a drop by Cotchery on 3rd down in OT that would have put the Jets in FG range. Clemens' performance is even more impressive when taking into account that he had no running game to support him and he was without the services of Laveraneus Coles, the teams best receiver.

He isn't made out of the combined semen of Elway, Montana, and Cunningham, but his combination of arm strength, accuracy, and mobility are good enough to make for a very effective QB. For the first time in a long time, the Jets have a QB who can not only not lose games, but actually win games. (You may need to read that convoluted sentence twice.) He has the ability to throw the ball down field and can properly zip the ball on out routes. On several 3rd and longs he completed several passes for 1st downs, which is something Pennington could not do barring a great individual effort by a receiver or a coverage
breakdown. Finally, opposing defenses have to respect the Jets ability to stretch the field.

I hate to discuss unquantifiable intangibles, but Clemens has somethings that Eli lacks. He has a better pocket presence and command of the huddle than the youngest Manning and these are traits that cannot be taught. While Eli still makes decisions and has the mannerisms of a young QB, Clemens carries himself like a veteran. He showed poise in the face of blitzes and made very good decisions throughout the game. Clemens didn't rush or force the action, but made plays when he had to, like the 20 yd 3rd down completion to McCareins after the pocket broke down.

So I'm willing to lay down the gauntlet. Kellen Clemens will have better statistics than Eli Manning through the end of the season.

1 comment:

Jimer said...

Eli stinks, I will give you that, but lets not get ahead of ourselves with annointing Clemens as anything other than the deserving #2 QB who is finally getting a shot to see if he can perform. He hasnt done squat in the league yet, and his praise or criticism should be tempered accordingly. At this stage in the game, he is clearly a better fit than noodle arm though. Maybe there is a Clemens in NY who will finally start to earn his keep.