Philadelphia Eagles' Chris Clemons: "Working To Be the Best"

Dan BandekowContributor IJuly 2, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - JANUARY 04:   Tavaris Jackson #7 of the Minnesota Vikings is hit by Chris Clemons #91 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the NFC Wild Card playoff game on January 4, 2009 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Eagles defeated the Vikings 26-14.(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

If Philadelphia Eagles' Chris Clemons has it his way, being named NFC Defensive Player of the Week (Week 17 vs Dallas, 2008 season) will just be the start of big things to come.

With two of his four 2008 sacks coming in that week 17 matchup, as well as a 70+ yard fumble return for a TD, Clemons began to show Eagles fans the type of plays he is capable of making.  Plays that Raiders fans enjoyed in 2007 when Clemons accounted for eight sacks and two forced fumbles.

The next week, while facing the Vikings in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, Clemons recorded only one tackle in a limited role but gave Minnesota QB Tarvaris Jackson a lesson he will never forget.

After Eagles CB Asante Samuel picked off a Jackson pass in the second quarter, Jackson put himslef into position to make a touchdown saving tackle on Samuel.  This was not to be.

Chris Clemons, playing the role of defensive end turned lead blocker, was not about to miss a free and clear shot at an opposing QB.  Colliding at full speed on the five yard line Clemons pushed Jackson a clear two feet into the air before slamming him into the turf while Jackson simply tried to hold on to Clemons head for dear life.

These two games lead to the widely-held impression that Chris Clemons' struggles with learning the Eagles system were over. 

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When recently asked about the difference with knowing the playbook going into training camp this year, Clemons responded "It makes a lot of difference to stay in a playbook going into a second season."

"It is a lot easier because you already have the scheme of the defense down and they already know what role you are gonna play in that scheme. The biggest thing is to continue to learn and get better."

Learning and getting better is just what Chris Clemons plans to do.  If that is as a situational rusher or special teams player rather than a prestigious starting role, Clemons is just fine with that.

"Anything I can do to help this team win, I'm willing to do anything," said Clemons when asked about his role for the upcoming season. 

When asked about the potential on the Eagles defensive line in 2009, Chris made no attempt to hide his opinion.  He want's to be the best.

"It all depends on the group as a defensive line, your as good as you want to be.  If you want to be the best, than your gonna practice and work at being the best."

Dan Bandekow is a writer on Bleacher Report covering the Philadelphia Eagles. He is also the Lead Columnist for www.thephillyeagles.com covering Daily Eagles News.