NFL

Fisher, Clemens shrug off Kosar flap

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ST. LOUIS (AP)

As an NFL quarterback who began his career in New York, Kellen Clemens is accustomed to criticism.

The St. Louis Rams backup quarterback says derogatory comments from Bernie Kosar are no big deal.

''I'm sure Mr. Kosar regrets what he said,'' Clemens said after practice Monday night.

''After five years in New York, it really wasn't that big of a deal. It's not going to affect me or how I perform, and go forward.''

Coach Jeff Fisher was even more determined to put the issue to rest, confirming that the Browns analyst had telephoned to apologize but declining to say anything more.

''It's a dead issue,'' Fisher said. ''It's all behind us now.''

The Browns condemned the comments from Kosar, a former NFL quarterback who was brutal in his assessment of Clemens, the Rams' wide receivers and receivers coach Ray Sherman during Thursday night's preseason opener in Cleveland, but said Kosar would stay on the job.

Clemens was surprised only that he had been judged before he played in the Rams' 27-19 loss at Cleveland to open the preseason.

''My understanding is he made most of his comments before I even got out onto the field,'' Clemens said ''It is what it is, that was four or five days ago, and it's pretty much the end of it now.

''For me.''

The 30-year-old Clemens appeared in two games last year and got a handful of snaps behind Sam Bradford, who started every game for the second time in his three NFL seasons.

Clemens is competing with Austin Davis, the third stringer last year as a rookie after going undrafted out of Southern Mississippi where he broke most of Brett Favre's passing records.

Davis worked with the second team in the opener and Clemens finished with the third-stringers.

Fisher said the roles will be reversed in Week 2 Saturday night at home against the Packers.

Clemens was 6 for 13 for 116 yards, improvising on a touchdown pass while on the run. He also threw two interceptions, one of them a tipped ball. Davis was 9 for 16 for 96 yards with no TDs or interceptions.

Clemens called it a ''very genuine, very friendly competition'' and complimented Davis as a ''guy of high quality, character.'' There are times, he noted, when it's been dog eat dog.

''The reality of the fact is people are competing for jobs,'' Clemens said. ''So there are times in this league, because it's a business, where people aren't quite as friendly, they aren't quite as helpful, they aren't quite as caring, if you will.''

Davis said Clemens has been helpful from Day 1 and added ''there's not really a lot of beef between us.''

''I wouldn't be where I am if it wasn't for Kellen,'' Davis said. ''I respect the heck out of him. Coming in as a rookie I didn't know anything and he knew a lot.''

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon attended part of the practice, watching from under a canopy during rain that chased all but a handful of the few hundred spectators away.

Fisher said Nixon made some good observations and added, perhaps jokingly, that the governor might make a ''few calls for us at some point in the preseason.''

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Tagged: Browns, Rams, Kellen Clemens, Kellen Davis, Austin Davis

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