The Jacksonville Jaguars signed veteran defensive end Chris Clemons virtually instantly after he was released by the Seattle Seahawks in a cap cutting move over the 2014 NFL offseason, but Monday was the first day he showed up to organized team activities (OTAs), missing the first three practices a week ago with some personal issues.
Those issues are gone however and Clemons is out on the field, feeling healthy as he's ever been.
"It doesn’t bother me," Clemons told media after practice when asked about his knee. "If you go back and watch film last year towards the end of the season you can tell I was already back to where I was the year before. So I don’t worry about the knee. I still take care of it every day. But other than that it doesn’t bother me at all."
The Jaguars gave Clemons, 32, a decent sized deal (4 years, $17.5 million) when he hit the free agent market, as the team desperately needed an injection of talent to the LEO end position and to the pass rush in general. While Clemons is in the later stages of his career, he was still an effective pass rusher last season, especially towards the end of the season when he began to gain more confidence in his surgically repaired knee.
Now that Clemons has reported and in practice, he wants to bring that same mindset the Seahawks not only had when they went on to win the Super Bowl, but in turning the Seahawks to a perennial top flight team in the NFL.
"You want to bring that winning tradition here," Clemons said at his post-practice press conference. "Jacksonville is long overdue. It’s a group of young guys, and you always want to raise them and watch them grow as you watch the team grow. Gus being a young head coach, a lot of the guys being young players, and myself and (inaudible) being veteran players- it’s an easy process but at the same time you’re getting them to understand how to play the game."
Clemons is going to be expected to be a productive pass rusher for the Jaguars, just like he was for the Seahawks the past five seasons.