A year ago, Corey Clement was just another face in the crowd trying to make the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster.
The running back accomplished that goal. Then he earned a bigger role after Darren Sproles went down with an injury, garnering more snaps and pass-catching touches as the season progressed. On the biggest stage, Super Bowl LII, Clement exploded, earning 100 yards on four receptions with a crucial touchdown.
With LeGarrette Blount’s departure, there are snaps up for grabs behind starter Jay Ajayi. Clement stands as the most likely to win those touches while splitting some of the pass-catching duties with Sproles. Clement knows he’ll have to fend off the likes of Wendell Smallwood, 2017 fourth-round pick Donnel Pumphrey, recently signed Matt Jones and undrafted Josh Adams to earn more opportunities.
“There’s a lot of competition,”
Clement said, via Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News.
“Going head to head with Jay, Wendell, Pump and Matt Jones. And the new undrafted guy [Adams], I’m pretty sure he’s got fire up under his skin like I did last year.”
“I definitely want to get more touches, more carries, more catches out of the backfield this year. I want to be more of a key contributor. I don’t think that’s being greedy. I have a job to do and that’s to put this team in the best position possible [to win].”
With Sproles’ return, the chance for Clement to garner more touches is on the ground. He averaged just 4.2 rushes per game, including playoffs, during his rookie campaign, with just four games of more than six totes — none after Week 9.
The 23-year-old Wisconsin product said he’s targeting strengthening his lower body in hopes of being able to take on more carries.
“I’ve been doing a lot of lower-extremity exercises,” he said. “I haven’t focused as much on the upper body. Legs are more crucial to a running back. Being able to take the wear and tear as the year goes on. I want to add more strength and power in my legs. Get more of a pop. Be more fast and elusive out there.”
Clement shined in limited opportunities on the Super Bowl stage. Now the former undrafted free agent has the opportunity to become a staple in Doug Pederson’s offense.