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How Does Kellen Clemens Fit In QB Derby?

By ZAC BOYER | zboyer@freelancestar.com | @ZacBoyer

LANDOVER, Md. – Kellen Clemens expected to make a case to be the Washington Redskins’ starting quarterback when he signed a one-year deal with the team shortly after the lockout ended.

Now, Clemens finds himself in an uncomfortable position. As the third quarterback behind Rex Grossman and John Beck, could Clemens be among the 26 players cut from the final roster Saturday afternoon?

“I’m six years into this, going into six years, and what I can control is right now, this week, last week, practice, meeting rooms, games, all that,” Clemens said after Thursday’s victory over Tampa Bay. “Coaches are going to make their decisions. The front office people are going to make their decisions. I have no say in it.”

Clemens, who spent the last five years with the New York Jets, went 18-for-33 with 203 yards, a touchdown and an interception in four preseason games. He has started nine games in his career, including eight in 2007, and has a 51.8 completion percentage with five touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

His most lasting moments came on the final series against the Buccaneers, in which he led a five-play, 74-yard drive that ended in a 41-yard touchdown pass to Donte Stallworth for the victory 29-24 victory with 1:07 remaining.

Clemens was also flagged for unnecessary roughness when his two-point conversion pass attempt to Niles Paul following the touchdown was intercepted by Tampa Bay safety Devin Holland. Per NFL rules, the play is dead at the time of the interception, but Holland returned the interception and Clemens squared him up and made the tackle.

With new rules expanding the game-day roster to 46 players and no exemptions for an emergency quarterback, there’s a chance the Redskins may opt for an extra receiver or lineman instead of a third quarterback.

That was something Clemens didn’t want to think about Thursday, but it wasn’t out of fear.

“I have, honestly, way bigger things on my mind,” Clemens said. “My family got here [Wednesday] night, I haven’t seen them and they’re waiting in the parking lot.”

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