Eye In The Sky Report – Chris Clemons aka Déjà Vu


Eye in the Sky Report – Chris Clemons aka Déjà Vu

Here we go again.  Call this what now; round 4…all the OTA talk surrounding Chris Clemons is astonishing.  Compliments after compliments, praise from all coaches and player.  Fans are now starting to believe the hype, optimism is now growing that we finally have found a cure for our Free Safety positions….I call this déjà vu.

Like all fairy tales, this story should start with “Once upon a time,” but I believe we can skip that nonsense and just get right to the point…Is Chris Clemons our answer at Free Safety? To answer that questions let’s first take a step back and understand what we have seen from this former 6th round pick.

Clemons was drafted under our former regimen, therefore has no ties to our current coaching staff.  Clemons best asset is his speed which has made him valuable to our team.  Back when Tony was our head coach, we would hear about the progress that Clemons has made.  Being on the field for over 600 snaps, his game recognition is growing and we finally see the light coming on.  Well that glowing play recognition did not accurately reflect what we saw on the field.  Clemons first few years left many fans, this one in particular wondering; seriously we don’t have any other better options?

Defensive Stats
SEASON TEAM

GP

COMB

TOTAL

AST

SACK

FF

FR

YDS

INT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

PD

STF

STFYDS

KB

2009 MIA

11

13

10

3

0.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2010 MIA

15

61

51

10

1.5

2

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

5

3

7

0

2011 MIA

14

13

11

2

0.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

3

1

2012 MIA

16

98

72

26

0.0

0

1

-3

2

29

15

29

0

4

3

8

0

Career

56

185

144

41

1.5

2

2

0

3

29

10

29

0

9

7

18

1

Extracted from ESPN.COM

His first three seasons, all under our former regimen.  His stats make you curious to understand his role on our team, really this kid started for our team? As evident in the above table, Clemons had 72 total tackles in the 3 years…let that marinate for a second.

A starting Free Safety, our last line of defence on one of the worst secondaries in the NFL, had only 72 tackles in 40 games.   That’s not what you are looking for statistically speaking from a starting player.

Perhaps it was the complexity of Mike Nolan’s Robber technique that caused Clemons to think too much on the field rather than just playing the game he loves.  When Kevin Coyle became our new DC, we can’t help but notice a substantial increase in the statistical performance by Chris Clemons.  In one season playing Coyle Zebra formation he outperformed his previous three:

-          Tackles

  • First three season = 72
  • Last year = 72

-          Assisted Tackles

  • First three season = 15
  • Last year = 26

-          Interceptions

  • First three season = 1
  • Last year = 2

Huh!?

Is this the same player that showed no promise in his first three seasons? Clemons play last year earned him a modest one million one year contract extension.  Coach Philbin believes that Clemons earned that contract and if he shows this type of progress and development that our front office will then provide the long term commitment that Clemons is looking for.

But, who is the real puppet master here?  Does Clemons success reflect 100% on Kevin Coyle? We have seen what Coyle has done with his former safeties on the Bengals and with our current Strong Safety Rashad Jones.  Coyle is a secondary guru, and we can’t help to be excited about this promising coach.  Coyle knows how to get the best out of his players which is reflected by the breakout year Clemons produced last season.   Or, we can spin the plot in another direction.  Clemons was in a contract year, and for him to attract the attention of our coaching or any staff did his play on the field only increase due to wanting a new contract.  Let’s be fair here, the NFL is the Not For Long league and almost all players are looking to cash in, does Clemons now fall under this umbrella?

Any angle you start looking at this, it all comes down to what we have already been through with Clemons.   Playing well in OTAs, gaining the respect of his coaches, and playing for a contract.  All these factors just put us in a state of déjà vu.

The nickname seems fitting, ironic…isn’t.

Is Chris Clemons our long term solution at FS?

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Tags: Chris Clemons Featured Popular Joe Philbin Kevin Coyle Mike Nolan NFL Draft Phinphanatic.com Rashad Jones Tony Sparano

  • Jcartwright67

    Well, that was difficult to vote on. I want to be optimistic. Nothing about the secondary last season impressed me. Certainly, we had our moments but we mostly got abused. We’ve got all new faces at corner and perhaps with the second season of classroom work and on field training this will help our Safeties perform better in Coyle’s scheme. I hope more than anything that by mid season, Ireland is pushing to sign Jones, Clemmons, and Grimes to long term deals. I hope all three prove they are worth it. Nice info….thanks.

    • dj

      No worries my friend. Thanks for the read. Resigning Jones before the start of the season would be a wise move. Jones played really well this past season, and rewarding him with a contract extension would show great front office morale in the locker room, especially with influx of younger players we have. If you show you can grow in our system you will be rewarded.

      I am expecting a lot of great things from Davis and Taylor. Look for Taylor to start pressing Marshall during Training Camp and Davis moving past Wilson for Nickel duty.

  • tpl

    My hope coming in was coyle would improve the play of the safties. I hope clemons continues to improve.

    • dj

      If Clemons doesn’t improve look for Don Jones and Kelcie McCray to battle for his playing time. The difference this year compared to last year is that we have some depth at the FS position. The Depth is untested, though